I've been looking for a vintage computer that I could possibly use for old games, but more importantly, use for ham radio applications. I was hoping for a real DOS machine, but this morning my wife discovered an older Win98 machine at a yard sale down the road. So I got a computer, keyboard, mouse, HP Deskjet printer, speakers and VGA monitor for $5. Yes, five dollars. What's even more amazing is that it actually works.
It's a cast-off from the local school (from 2001), and they didn't bother to unlock the administrator limitations before they cast it off. I can't get to all the system controls that I should be able to. For example, I can't even change the display properties (it's set at 640x480, and should be able to handle at least 800x600) or the wallpaper. Even the system info doesn't tell me everything it should. It tells me that it's a Pentium, but not what speed. It has 16 meg RAM and a 2 gig HD. Also it's a Compaq.
One of the most important things is that this machine has no USB whatsoever, and this is exactly what I was looking for. It's running Win98. It also has a CD-ROM drive, and a 3.5" floppy drive. Perfect.
So...I have a Win98 installation disc that came with another computer from several years ago, and I have the product key so I can use it. From what I've said, does it sound like I can wipe the HD and install the OS from that other disc so I can regain complete control over it? Or would that likely make things even worse? I don't want to lose access to the CD-ROM, and I'm not sure about the drivers.
Or would this be a good time to abandon Windows and install some other OS on it? The main thing that I want to do is be able to still use my KAM Plus TNC with it. Everything else is pretty much secondary. Any ideas?