Well, I wanted to increase the clock speed on my new system to more than 300 MHz. (Remember, I've been using my 400 MHz processor at 300 MHz because of an operating system problem.) So I installed Windows 98 on a second hard drive ... and guess what - the network wouldn't work!
Nothing I could do would allow Windows 98 to even recognize that the network card was plugged in.
It is fortunate that I use removable hard drives because this allows me to easily change operating systems. The network works perfectly with the Windows 95 disk; it is completely worthless with the Windows 98 system. Same hardware, same network, ... uh, different software?
Well, I got "lucky" on this one, I was browsing a new CD and found a Windows 98 update that supposedly fixes that particular problem. (Windows 98 Service Pack 1) And it "worked", sort of. Now I could ping 127.0.0.1 and the system's assigned IP address. But the system could not see any other computer on the network, other computers could not see it, and opening Windows Explorer now takes a long time. Not only that, but all applications began running much slower. The mouse icon keeps changing to an hour glass and Windows Explorer keeps erasing the display and repainting it.
(BTW, I installed Windows 98 in Aug 1999 and found the fix Jan 2000. The system was basically unused during this time.)
Back to the internet. After several hours of research, I had a list of things to try. (I highly recommend Helmig's Trouble Shooting Center. This archive is great and has helped me solve many network problems not documented elsewhere.)
The fix that "worked" was to disable PCI Bus IRQ Steering. Finally, the Windows 98 system was able to see other computers. But, so what! The system still runs slower than molasses, Windows Explorer won't settle down, and I don't have a clue what to try next.
So, you buy an upgrade (95 to 98) which breaks a working system, then you have to buy another upgrade to maybe, if you're lucky, fix it. Or maybe, I should buy a different network card, or a different motherboard, or ... it never ends.
Well, I went back to the NIC manufacture's web site, downloaded the current software, and loaded the driver. It works! Win98(5).txt contained the necessary instructions. There was a separate driver for Windows 98. I even took a risk and re-enabled PCI Bus IRQ Steering. Well, that worked too.
When installing the new driver, I had to use the Windows 98 CD. Afterward, I placed a partially written CD back in the drive. (That CD had been in the drive during the previous testing. It never caused a problem with the Windows 95 hard drive because the HP software that created it was loaded on the disk. I had planned to load the CD Writer software on the Windows 98 disk after fixing the network problem.) Well, it turns out that this is what was causing the mouse icon to change to an hour glass and it caused Windows Explorer to keep erasing the display and repainting it. I didn't expect this, but it makes sense.
Trouble shooting is difficult. It is an attitude, perseverence, and a lot of luck. You never know what you are going to find. At least part of the time, you will be a part of the problem (like I was this time).
Bottom line: I strongly suggest testing new software and particularly new operating systems on a disk which is used only for that. (No, I don't always do this myself, and believe me, I've paid for it!)
I assume that technically, it was Windows Explorer that was broken instead of notepad. But the bottom line is the same