The first time I installed XP Pro, it took the better part of 2 days! I had to caching turned off. When I turned it back on, the speeds were acceptable, but there were some strange things about the installation. I could not get to the advanced networking fuctions to setup the Internet Connection Sharing or the Internet firewall. The cheap CD RW that they installed is not recognized by Adaptec Easy CD Creator, even though they included the basic version of the program with the computer! After a search on the web, I find that there does not seem to be an updated driver for it.
When I went to replace the bad memory chip, the store did not have a 128M stick and they did not have a 256M stick in PC133 memory, so I bought a 512M stick and it was still dirt cheap! My computer should never have to page out to hard disk!
Later in the weekend, I decided to install a second copy of XP on my D: drive. It went much faster and smoother and completed in about 40 minutes. I was able to get connection sharing and the firewall program to operate. And Internet Explorer was more visible on this install, so I guess it's disappearance was a fluke of a bad installation.
Last night I decided to replace the bad XP installlation on C: with a copy of Windows 98, so I could have both available if needed. It went ok, except for a mangled Internet Explorer installation. The Internet Connection Wizard would not work. The way MS sets it up, IE and OE will not work without first running the wizard. I could tell that the Internet was available from pinging at the dos prompt, but IE and OE would not come up. I may try downloading a newer version of IE to see if that will fix it.
Usually when you install Windows 98 on C: after a D: install of NT, this overwrites the boot sector on C; and NT will not be seen. Normally this can be fixed by repairing the installation with the NT cd. This did not work, even though the Setup program offerred to repair it and even knew where it was. I guess I will need to install a third time and write over the D: installation. I didn't have too many programs installed yet and it's good practice, right? :-)