Windows 98 vs Windows ME

My question is which is better? Currently I have been using Win ME for some time now, having upgraded from Win 98. However, most of the stuff I’ve been hearing about Win ME isnt good. Like being called more of a downgrade then an upgrade, because some things have been taken out.
For the most part everything seems to run smoothy, except for my CD-Writer not working (but thats another story). So, is it worth the hassle to reformat and go back to Windows 98??

I like 98 becuase DOS works better. You can’t even do a sys a: in ME.

I haven’t had problems running Windows Me – at least no new problems from Windows 98. Of course, I’ve never tried to format a floppy from the command line, but everything I’ve done in the command window has worked fine. My understanding is that Me is essentially the same as 98 with mulimedia add-ons. The debate I had when I got my new computer was Me versus 2000. At that time, I decided to go with Me and then upgrade to XP when it comes out. I wish I had gone with 2000 – I have it at work, and it is a much nicer, more stable operating system.

Some people think 98 is more stable than ME but apart from that I’d echo everything JeffB says - ME has more developed Home PC multimedia toys but nothing that’s not better done by third-party software, IMHO.

Also, I don’t know what you’re in to but not all software works so well on 2000.

I can only go on what I have read in the computer press, but my understanding is that it all depends on the hardware/software combination.

If you have an older box with a slower pentium or equivalent CPU, modest RAM capacity, and you are running software that was contempary to when the box was assembled, then stay away from Windows ME. I believe the minimum spec for ME is a CPU running better than 150Mhz.

That said, if you have a brand new system with up-to-the-minute software, then ME is said to be packed with useful smarts to virtually look after itself.

…horses for courses…

I have ME on one computer equal to another doing W98. Me is much slower.

For your cdrom drive visit the manf site & download a ME driver update. I had to do a firmware update on my cd to work with ME.

ME also has terrible support for certain peripherals. I installed ME on my uncle’s computer (bought refurbished) and then had to re-load Win98 SE on it after I found out that ME didn’t support his external USB modem. When I called up some of my friends who have a lot more experience with this stuff than I do, they told me all sorts of horror stories about unsupported devices and drivers that worked on 98 SE, but not on ME.

Some techs would see it like this:

  1. W98
  2. Update of W98=SE
  3. Update of SE= Me

In other words, Me is just basically a second update of 98.

We have Windows ME running on the computer that’s the home network’s server. It crashes almost on a daily basis. When we first moved into this house, the server was 98SE, and didn’t crash nearly as much. Another housemate has recently switched back to SE since ME gave his computer all kinds of problems. Personally, I have 98 on my computer, my bf has 98SE, and both are fairly good at the moment, although we now mostly use linux.

Well, I have ME installed on my HP something-or-other, and it doesn’t work very dependably. Truly, I have never seen the blue screen of death, but that’s not a good thing, because in lieu of that, the computer just locks entirely up! The three-finger salute does NOT work, and the only means seems to be to unplug the sucker to force it off.

Both of the Macs, on the other hand, have Windows 98 installed (via VPC), and they both run FLAWLESSLY (you know, for Windows that is). Granted, VPC is a little slow, but it’s stable.

This could spawn a question: both of the Win98 are virgin installs, i.e., from an original, licensed Win98 CD. It’s the “pure” OS. The HP has only the crappy HP recovery CD, which installs ME with all of the stupid, free, badly-written consumer programs with their DLLs and so on. To be cheap, HP (and I’m sure other PC makers) don’t ship “pure” Windows disks anymore. Thus, it may not really be ME’s fault; it could be some crap installed by the manufacturer (in my case, HP’s stuff AND PeoplePC’s stuff). Might want to check that out.

Related note: is it illegal/unethical to procure a, uh, “bootlegged” copy of ME (full version) to do a clean install, assuming I use my own HP-supplied WinME serial number? NOTE: I’m not saying that’s what I’m asking for; just the legality and such. I mean, I do have a valid license. In any case, I’m thinking of downgrading to Win98, which WOULD be unethical, since I’d have to reuse one of the Win98 serial numbers I already have.

I have relativeley the same problems w/ mine…and it also likes to freeze up if it decides not to crash on me. Also the only thing different that I sas between 98 and Me was the media player and the movie maker…could be wrong on that one though but in either case you can go and download those to you 98 operating system. My advice if you haven’t already…STAY W/ WINDOWS 98!!! It’s a lot better.
“If dolphins are so smart, why did Flipper work for television?”

      • Win98 has got a couple years of patching applied to it, and a couple years’ worth of well-tested drivers already written for it.
  • Branded OEM CD’s have the same OS on them as the MS CD’s, just with some extra stuff: original equipment drivers, online service links and OEM-specific tutorials. You can’t not install this extra junk, but you can delete it after install is done. You can also burn a copy without the junk, but only if you are a long-hair. What OEM CD’s commonly lack are some nice-but-not-necessary utilities such as TweakUI (which can often be found on the net illegally). - MC

The initial release of ME was very unstable. It crashed easily and frequently for me. The first thing I did after installing ME was to run windows update and installed all the extras like DirectX8a and Media player, the latest MSIE patches and driver updates and such. After that, install the critical updates. You want to do the critical updates last because they will want to be reinstalled after each of your other updates and you’ll end up repeating steps. It doesn’t cost you anything but a bit of time and a few more reboots. It will make your OS much more stable. ME runs better than 98SE did for me on a PIII 450 with 128MB ram.

We bought a Dell computer with windows ME installed on it, and it crashed constantly no matter what we did to fix it. We gave up on it and installed windows 2000 professional, I always recommend either that or just sticking to 98, ME isn’t all that much better. But that’s just my opinion :wink:

2000 is for the office, it doesn’t have the drivers for things that ordinary folk have at home.

2000 for the home should be coming out soon, I think that it’s called Whistler.

Me is okay if you put it on a bare HD. That works for me but kinda slow even with the Restore thing off.

Being a computer repair guy… yes. ME is really bad with some support. I’ve personaly removed ME from tons of systems because people “upgraded” and it messed everything up.

Our current new systems do not have ME installed. Too many problems. We use Windows 98 SE.

Obvious Guy: If you had a choice… go with Win 98 SE. If you are considering upgrading from 98 to ME… DONT. You are asking for problems.

My take on this, and what I tell most my clients, why do you need to upgrade the OS? If win98 is working for you, leave it alone. Save the extra bucks from the ME upgrade.

Is there any way to get Win98 on a PC that came with ME? (without completely reinstalling)

I don’t think so.

But even if you could (kind of a reverse upgrade?) I wouldn’t recomend it.

Fresh is the only way to go

Gunslinger, You should just reinstall if you want a different version of windows. Win98 will see that there is an existing version of Windows and usually doesn’t allow you to overwrite unless it was an earlier version. Also, you should create a separate partition when you do the install to save your data to. That way, if you ever have to wipe out your OS and reinstall, you will not have to delete your data. Always use the windows update tool once you install the OS and get the latest drivers, service packs and critical updates installed.
I also recommend that you check for updates weekly or at least monthly.
This will help keep your system more secure as well as more stable.

This is somewhere around #2 on my list of “top ten things I can’t believe that nobody knows about their computers”.

On modern motherboards, hitting the power button is a “soft” power-off. It informs the OS that you want it to shut itself down and turn off the power. If the OS is hung, it no-sells the power off.

But, if you hold the power button in for 5-15 seconds, then it issues a “hard” power-off, and just turns off the computer.

(others in the top three include “Name-brand computers are NOT more reliable than home-built.” and “Never upgrade a Microsoft product that’s working.”)