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Re: New Win 98 Questions

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Dennis 

I understand the argument to wait for nt5.0.  Especially if you are already
upgraded to W98.  If however you are considering going to W98, you are
looking at improving what you have and I'd suggest going to NT4.0.

With the HD format, when I was still running a dual system with NT and
Win3.11, I had both FAT16 and NTFS. (And yes the files are easily copied) 
This was primarily because my financial software at the time did not run on
NT.  All that has since changed and now I have my HD formatted in NTFS.  My
understanding is that NT4.0 will operate on a FAT32 disk with no problem. 
But it does not give you the option to format your HD in FAT32.  FAT32 was
created with the W95/98 software as the larger HDs were wasting so much
space with FAT16 and it was a stepping stone.

As far as an "upgrade" from W95/98, I don't believe that is possible.  If
however, you have room on you HD, you can create a partition, before or
after installing NT, and thru the NT utilities, reformat that partition in
NTFS if you desire.  If you choose to go the NTFS format, you would just
have to copy one partition to the other.  I would recommend however, you do
a reinstall of all your software as NT tracks the installations, sets up
your start menus and also makes uninstall complete without having to use
third party software.  But once the software is reinstalled, all of your
data files, (including dwg, templates and anything you created, can just be
copied from one partition to the other.  

When I had problems with some 128 bit encryption, (which the standard NT
does not support) I just reinstalled NT in a new partition, and then all my
software. (With most of my software on CD now, you just close the CD door
and it does the rest) Then I just copied all my files and was back up and
running.  If my backup had been a bit more current, I would have just used
that as I don't backup software... only data.  (The 128 bit encryption had
corrupted my NT software files.)

I can't speak for all the CAD programs, but I use autocad and have not had
a problem.  Like I said, I went to NT with Autocad11 (I think) so I could
run multiple sessions at the same time.  Most current versions of software
now are W98/NT compatible.  AOL's dial up is an exception, but if you have
another provider to log in thru, AOL will work fine.  (I don't know if you
still have your AOL account)  I do know that Norton and all other Symantec
products work fine as do all the MS products.  For my workhorses, and
"critical" pieces of software, I'm a firm believer in buying one of the
"biggies"  They are all NT compatible from what I know.  I have found some
shareware and freeware that didn't work, but the resources just aren't
there for them to develop it on all the various platforms. And along that
line, more and more of the little tools that you'd fine in shareware are
now being incorporated as standard features in the more mainline products.

Again, NT4.0 isn't for everyone, but in a couple of years everyone running
a Microsoft Operating System will be on NT... And with the marketing of
Bill Gates, and it will continue ot be a large percentage of computer
users.  NT5.0 does look exciting as it is supposedly going to be taking a
step above UNIX which many have thought is a better OS, just not well
supported by the various software companies.

Steve P.