View Full Version : Windows 95,98,ME Support

11-17-2007, 03:30 PM
What do you guys tell clients that are still using these versions of Windows? Do you raise your hourly rate?

I have a customer with 98 and wants me to diagnose why her computer comes on but has a black screen. It got me to thinking maybe I should just try to sell a new computer that I build, that is new and will be better for her and will be cheaper in the long run.

Lets say I get her current pc working. She'll probably feel ripped off after she's on the internet for awhile and starts having problems with viruses and such. I haven't gotten the specs on it yet so its probably a dinosaur.

Would you work on it? How do computers with these versions of windows hold up on the net now days?

11-17-2007, 04:50 PM
I do work on them, but only after trying my best to sell them a new pc. I keep a couple new systems in stock that are good replacements for those.

If I have to work on them I explain that the total value of the pc is X (usually an old 98 pc is work about $50-$100 in my eyes.) Then I put that next to my hourly rate. If they STILL want me to work on it then I will. I don't try and get them to use somebody else, I just try to make them fully understand up front so the bill doesn't shock them.

That being said, 98se was actually a great system and there are many things you can do to it to make it a usable internet pc. Upgrade the ram a little. Use the windows 98 autopatcher to bring it really up to date with fixes and new software (latest IE that works on it, 32bit icons, all the fixes that MS stopped releasing but still made for 98, and the fixes for ME that can be backported to 98.) The autopatcher can be found here: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=80800. Current one is October Full. I would play with the autopatcher in a virtual environment first, setup a VMWare image of 98se and test it out there (so you know how to use it.) One of the things I will say is when installing, you can select optional modules to install, choose these:

ScanFrag - Unoffical update of Defrag & Scandisk to Windows ME versions (optional)
NativUSB - Maximus Decim Native USB Drivers v3.1 (optional)
48BITLBA - Unofficial Update for Drives over 137gb (not for IBM portables) (optional)
48BITLB2 - Unofficial Update for Drives over 137gb (for IBM portables) (optional)

For the 48bit LBA ones, choose the correct one. The first one is for any computer that isnt an IBM laptop, the second one is for IBM laptops. As the update says it allows 98se to use hard drives over 137gig. The USB drivers are great, they give you the plug and play usb system for 98se.

I always backup a system first, before autopatching it on 98. Its 99% perfect for me, but every now and then I get a system that wont boot afterword (maybe 1 in 30.) Since 98 machines are usually so small its not hard to do a quick acronis/ghost/driveimage/whatever image of the drive first.

11-17-2007, 05:03 PM
Pretty much the same as greggh, I try to sell them a more up to date system first. I almost always end up charging more because it takes longer to work on these older systems, at lest thats my experience.

11-17-2007, 06:09 PM
Raise your system price another $75, tell her you would take the old computer and knock $75 off the price.

11-18-2007, 12:02 AM
I don't charge more but it tends to end up costing more becuase of time spent due to a slow system. I tell them they should consider replacing it and right now I tell them do it fast while an XP machine can still be found.

11-29-2007, 04:54 PM
First let me say I loves 98, one of my fave windows, I would go the same route of selling/up grading parts. On a side note, if the computer was just used as an internet box etc. maybe suggesting xubuntu with kde and setting that up for them + lessons on using it may work, I dunno just a thought...


03-03-2008, 08:01 PM
I love 98 systems. When working on them I charge by the hour so the price is typically more. I must say for anyone in the position to choose not to support older systems you are missing out on a large market. I get a few calls a month from someone who bought a clunker for their kid and needs it checked out.
I do try and sell a new system and offer to take a little of the new price in exchange for the old PC.

03-03-2008, 08:19 PM
Just to make note in the same as others Win 98SE is wonderful but when the people are having issues on these its often the hardware is just dying on them so its best to get a new machine.