Just got Windows XP - nothing works

I got a new computer for my kids yesterday (emachines T1150 - 1.30 GHz, 128 MB SDRAM, 40 GB HD). Of course, it came with Windows XP installed. Do we have any choice?

The kids bought CD-ROM games they were eager to try. They immediately found out that the disks were supposed to run on Windows 98 or ME. We could not function on Windows XP. We could not even install the software. The install programs failed. :mad:

I tried the Compatibility Wizard, but that had no idea apart from resetting the resolution to 400x640, which wasn’t the real problem.

I then succeeded in installing the game, but it needed ActiveX 8.0, which it could not install. I used the AOL connection to try to register it, but the ActiveX install failure bombed the registration.

Then another program just popped up and offered to help: BigFix. I thought, fine, let’s try this. I already had the AOL internet connection going. BigFix tried to connect, but “AOL Connectio Failed.” So it was no help at all. I opened Internet Explorer, but it won’t connect to any sites. I’m now at the SDMB using the AOL browser, which I usually don’t use.

Has anyone else experienced frustration trying to use a new Windows XP? Any advice on diagnosis and fixes? :confused:

Microsoft in Windows 2000 and XP also very intentionally broke backwards compatibility whenever they thought they could make the operating system “better.” Microsoft’s solution is for you to get an update from the people who made your software. In other words, they broke it, but they expect you to fix it.

I played around with the different compatibility modes, which I had a lot of hope for, but in the end I found them rather lacking. The computer I’m typing on dual boots 98 and XP just to get around these kind of issues.

I went to the game manufacturer’s web site for an update. It said:

So that means we’re SOL. :mad: Screwed by Miscrosoft. :mad: :mad:

Another problem with XP is that I cannot connect to anything any more with my AOL connection. Apparently I’m expected to use MSN as my ISP, and if I don’t want MSN, then forget connecting to anything. Internet Explorer won’t connect to anything when I’m signed on to AOL. Other programs like BigFix won’t connect to anything even though I’m signed on to AOL. Running Windows 98, I was always about to run IE and Netscape and all other online connectivity when I was signed on to AOL. Now, none of those are connecting any more.

I went to the Control Panel’s Network and Internet Connections to configure the settings to allow AOL as an ISP for all the other applications. But nothing there functions! Everything I click produces no results at all.

I am getting really angry about Windows XP. :mad: I had heard a lot of bad things about it, and knew that I didn’t want it. But if you go to get a new PC nowadays, do you have any choice? You have to get XP, like it or not. And I hate it. :mad:

engineer_comp_geek, how do you get that dual boot including 98?

I can’t help those probs, however, here’s useful tip. XP urges you to set up user accounts for everyone who’ll use the box. Unless you have a really good reason, don’t do it. It adds time, hassle, and keystrokes to every startup, and they freely admit that having more than one user logged on at the same time slows everything down.

XP was a retrofit here, and it didn’t like my drivers for the DVD drive and the mouse. I went back to the sources and bought XP-friendly drivers. It took weeks to coax it to accept the DVD driver, but the damned thing still thinks I have a Microsofty Mouse. The thumb button won’t do anything (it used to be a double click.)

On the plus side, the #@$%^*&^%# dead lockups that Win98 used to do are gone.:slight_smile:

Ya know, Jomo there are a few ISPs out there in the world other than AOL and MSN. :slight_smile:

Any ISP that follows common standards for internet connections will work on just about any recent OS. AOL connection technology is proprietary and that can complicate things.

This is a harder jump for some Win users than previous jumps. The dominance of MS OSes was founded on backwards compatibility, and thus MS was very slow to make this jump. They claimed 5 years ago that NT4 and 98 would be the last generation of separate Win platforms, but then they decided to do one more generation with ME and 2K.

The reality is that the core of 95/98/ME is weak. That’s why MS started the NT line. They maintained the old line primarily to maintain the chain of compatibility. Now there are finally cutting off the weak line. A pain to deal with for some poeple no doubt, but it was something that had to happen at some point.

Uggg, fun, fun, fun…

First off, grab all the compatability updates you can: those usually help (and so far, in my experience, they haven’t hurt). Install and run everything that isn’t working under combatability mode: right click on the file, click ‘properties’ and you’ll see the tab to do that stuff in the pop up menu. For files on a CD, you’ll have to do this every time. For stuff on the HD, you’ll need to do this once. You can also do this for items that are already on the start menu. (Hopefully. If XP doesn’t lose the settings.)

I haven’t had any problems with using my ISP to connect to the 'net, and it isn’t AOL or MSN… do you know how to double check the settings for your connection? XP may have tried to be ‘helpful’ and screwed them up for you. :wink:

And to AskNott: Which mouse are you using? I’ve got a Logitech, and the thumb button works just fine… All I did was make sure I had the most recent drivers.

<< There is a point to this, really… >>

Mac is looking better and better, these days, especially OS X. Apple also made a compatibility jump in going from 9 to X, but the “compatability mode” (the computer pretends it’s running OS 9) seems to work pretty well.

I am really tempted by OS X, esp since it has a FreeBSD core. :slight_smile:
If I had the spare money, I would snatch up an Apple.

      • The best “fix” I can recommend involves installing an earlier OS. You can just borrow a friend’s install CD, or shell out $100 or so for a full version yourself. -If you buy a copy, be certain that it’s a full install version and not just an upgrade version like what Wal-Mart sells… —Win98SE still runs games fastest, but I would recommend ME first now, because hardware and software is -beginning- to appear that is not supported at all under Win98(SE).

        If you borrow a CD, then when you install the alternate OS, be certain to copy all the CAB files to the PC. This way it will never ask for the OS install CD again. Before you do that though, you need to locate and download drivers for the modem. The drivers may be included in WinXP but not in earlier OS’s, so you need to know you have it on hand first. With the modem working, you can then get all the others offa da net.

        There is simply lots of things that will work right in every Microsoft OS except WinXP, and there’s nothing you or I can do about it. And yes, if you go to the right places, you do have an OS choice: if anyone asks me about it beforehand, I tell them to buy their PC from someplace that allows you to select which OS you want with it, and then don’t pick XP. - DougC

Of course some of us think the Mac has always looked pretty good :slight_smile:

The “compatibility mode” does more than make the computer “think” it is running OS 9, it actually is running both operating systems. The MacOS 9 environment is kept at arm’s distance from the actual hardware, though. The “classic environment” wraps a sort of hardware abstraction layer around it. (From the perspective of MacOS X, MacOS 9 and the classic environment is a single process).

On a PC, you can accomplish something similar with Connectix VirtualPC. On Intel hardware, VirtualPC does not have the performance overhead that it has on a Mac because it doesn’t have to emulate the CPU or even the general chip set (although I think it does emulate some of the latter for the same need for a hardware abstraction layer), so the performance is pretty good. I’m not sure it is quite good enough for graphics-intensive games, but if they were written with the hardware of the Windows98 era in mind, it might be. Under VirtualPC you would create a virtual hard drive and install whatever PC OS you want. It runs as a single process within XP, but within that process you have the entirety of Windows98 or Windows95 (or Linux or whatever you want to play with).

I think they have freebie downloads for trying it out.

The easiest way is to install 98 (or ME) first, then install XP and choose a new install rather than an upgrade. This will leave you with a boot manager which allows you to select which OS you want to run every time you start the computer.

It’s easiest for your own sanity if you split the disk in half and keep all 98 stuff in one partition and all XP stuff in another partition. If you want software to run in both you generally need to install it in both, otherwise you end up with missing DLL files and registry configurations and all sorts of weirdness.

Microsoft is invalidating THEIR OWN software!!! I have Visual J++ 1.0 and it will not install into Win2K. Both are Microsoft products.

I really don’t want to light up another platform flame-war; and while I’m not and never have been a PC user, I want to say I have a lot of admiration for the accomplishments of Microsoft and the distance they’ve traveled since DOS. My girlfriend has XP and it is an admirable OS all around.

Having said that–god am I glad that engineer_comp_geek’s warning doesn’t tend to apply to Macs! That would drive me absolutely crazy!

engineer_comp_geek’s advice is the correct method for maximum success. XP is a far superior OS to 98 or ME and part of the reason for that is that it jettisoned a lot of the old Win/DOS based code. Trying to run these games on XP will be an exercise in frustration for numerous reasons. If you want to run 98/ME games you really to do it on a 98/ME platform.


eBay does a brisk market in used Macs, and some Mac dealers (like Small Dog Electronics) sells refurbished units. Or you could get a new “old style” G3 iMac for about $800, which isn’t outrageously expensive.

Just make sure you get lots of RAM (preferably third-party, as it’s cheaper), since MacOS X loves it to pieces.


eMachines? Ewwwww. Even a Dell would’ve been better. :wink:

Dude, yer goin’ to Hell!

That’s because XP came from the NT codebase, not the 9x codebase. NT 4 just got the 9x-style shell, the underlying code is different.

Speaking of XP, it is supposed to be able to run all existing Windows software. :rolleyes:

I don’t think anyone (much less Microsoft) is claiming this. XP is very upfront about the fact that it will only run Windows software that meets certain criteria. I had to get rid of about half my windows software and upgrade numerous apps to have XP work with them.