March 1, 2024

Retro Computer Windows XP Gaming PC

Playing older PC games can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. Neither it’s a software issue with the operating system, or it wants specific hardware of the era. While there are lots of work around’s, like emulation, and virtual machines. But even then issues will arise. If you want the best experience it is best to run it on the real thing And run windows 98 or windows xp! In this way, you get an authentic way of how it plays and feels.

Dell Dimension 4600

Quest For Windows 98 With Dino Dell Computer

The computer which I got that started this whole plan started was an old Dell Dimension 4600. This old dinosaur sported an old Pentium 4, 512MB of ram, an old GeForce MX440, and an 80Gb hard disk.

Originally this computer ran on Windows XP, But I wanted better compatibility with Windows 9X programs. Since I happen to have my old family’s Dell PC restore disk for Windows ME. My first attempt was to install Windows ME. But after using Windows ME for a while, I realize it lacks the dos support I wanted for playing DOS games. But It was all I had at the time.

I did remember that I had some old hardware lying around, and I thought it was worth looking. What I found was surprising! I found a Radeon 9800 pro! which is one of the best graphics cards you can get for older windows 9x systems. I also happen to have a 3.2ghz Pentium 4 Prescott and 1GB DDR PC3200 RAM plus an Old raptor hard drive 70GB. This Dino was turning into a dream Win98 machine!

Inside case after upgrades

Fixn’t The Issues with Windows XP

I found a windows 98 disk, but because of compatibility issues with the motherboard(Utterly hang on boot), I wouldn’t use it. I have a choice, stay with Windows ME didn’t have Dos mode, or install Windows XP. After all the issues, I deiced to install windows XP. I figure why bother when I could install Windows XP, and still have access to most of Windows 9X software anyways.

Booting Windows XP

Windows XP requires a little bit of work. It needed to be activated, but Microsoft close its online activation servers years ago. There’s still a way to activate Windows XP, and that’s by phone. It’s easy to do, just select “yes, I want to telephone…” then at the next screen pick your location, and call(Amazing that this line still works). You should hear the instructions and it will ask you to enter the installation Id on the phone. It will give back confirmation ID, Put that it in, and Windows XP is activated.

With that out of the way, I installed all the Drivers from a good resource I know and loaded up some games. There were some issues with graphics glitching out, but it was an issue with the drivers for the video card. I was able to fix it after reinstalling the driver.

Building and setting up my retro gaming pc was fun. I find that it plays most late 90s games and early 2000 fine. With all the issues I have with windows 98, I’m going to need to build a better computer specifically for that era. Something with a Pentium 1 or 2 would be great, but that will be a build for the future.


Computer guru with years working with technology. I find it fun to tinker with computer new and old, and make them do my work for me.

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