Getting a 98SE box online

So I’ve started the task of getting some older hardware online for certain scientific purposes. I’ve got four computers right now, all various forms of PIIIs (450 MHz to 1 GHz), and all of them running fresh installations of Windows 98 SE. (And before anyone asks, we’ve got the licenses for them.)

Problem is, two of the boxes can’t seem to find the right driver for the onboard LAN. Searching online for drivers has proven fruitless as well.

Short of plopping down the seven bucks to get a new NIC and put it in, is there any way to get these things on the network?

Do you have their motherboard model numbers, or even the computer make/model?

If they’re only running boinc, why not just put linux on them? And you’ll never have to reboot them.

Everything takes reboots now and again. (Although I did go 15 days without one on my iBook.) Plus I’m right familiar with Windows 98, so chalk it up to personal preference.

One is a Gateway E-3400, with a 1 GHz PIII. The other is a Dell Optiplex GX110 with a 733 MHz PIII.

I can’t locate any drivers for the Gateway, but here’s where to go for the Dell one:

(you might have to try about 7-8 different drivers to see which one works, as they appear to have packaged the 110 with several different cards)

I checked Gateway’s site–I can’t seem to even find the E-3400 for some reason. But a little poking around with a functioning Dell similar to this one seems to have indicated it’s a 3Com 3C905somethingorother. I’ll burn a CD and see what develops.

That’s what you think… In the last year, I’ve only rebooted my server 6 times. Twice because the power went out, once for a hardware upgrade, twice for software upgrades, and another because I accidently killed something I shouldn’t have.

Billfred, when you go into the control panel and look at the hardware profile does it at least show the network card and possibly a manufacturer? I imagine since you’re only missing the driver that it will show up with a yellow exclamation point and not a red X next to it.

I just did an internet search and I found that the Gateway 3400 was offered with 4 different mobos from GVC, Intel, Jabil, and MSI. The latter 2 apperently had capacitor problems and the units returned to and repaired by Gateway wound up with the GVC and Intel mobos. Not knowing which is in your computer puts a new twist in locating a driver. If you can at least come up with a manufacturer for the mobo and/or the LAN then it may make things easier.

Of course the simplest thing would be to just find a new, or even used, network card to put in it if there’s an available PCI slot. To be honest I think that’s what you’re going to have to do to network this computer even though you’re trying to avoid it.

The control panel tells me zip. I think I might have an old NIC back at home, which I’ll go hunt down later this week. (It’s not like I’d rather die than crack the case, but it’s not like I jump for joy, either.)

On a positive note, the Dell is now online and crunching. W00t!

Try the Novell/Anthem NE2000 compatible or the Zenith Datasystems NE2000 compatible drivers.
They are supposed to be generic NIC drivers to use with any (almost) NIC.

How much is your time worth?

Since you have been inside, it is better to get the manufacturer of the motherboard and go to their site looking for drivers. Unfortunately, you may find that a PIII board may never have written drivers for 98 as it was looking to be used for NT/2000 or above. There is also the possiblity that is disabled somewhere in the BIOS, check through every screen.

Your standards are too low. I’ve taken a windows 98 machine that needed rebooting several times a day and installed debian on it, and now it lasts at least 60 days between reboots. I took a Windows XP machine and installed OpenBSD on it and it lasts 90 days between reboots.

Suppose I should qualify that–15 days until the update to 10.4.3 forced a reboot. I normally update as soon as Software Update tells me new things are available, which often triggers a reboot. I’ve had to do the three-finger salute (Ctrl+Flower+Power on a Mac, if you’re curious) perhaps three times since I got the iBook.