The eMachines eTower 466ix was a budget desktop computer released in 1999 by eMachines. The system was made available with an Intel Celeron clocked at 466MHz, 64MB of RAM, 4.3GB of storage (which varies based on the model) and integrate Intel graphics. Windows 98 Second Edition is the operating system used here.
Recovery Install Process
Recovery is started by booting from the CD. As with other eMachines recovery software we need to have a pre partition disk (does not need to be formatted but must be initalized using the FDISK utility) before we can begin the install.
Had to switch motherboards after the recovery was complete as I got hammered with IOS errors upon bootup, changing to the ABIT LX6 worked much better. Plus it had the advantage of having a similar if not the same chipset as the original motherboard, albeit with no onboard ATI video.
The eTower also had a Crystal sound chip onboard along with the software but we can sort of substitute it with the Crystal 4236B ISA soundcard that is supported in 86box.
Windows 98 does not seem to come with a driver, so a third party driver must be installed.
Desktop First Boot
Windows 98 boot screen, with the Microsoft logo on the top right.
Looks very similar to the eMachines eMonster that was also a Windows 98SE based install, but we see a lot less software bundled and installed.
The eMachines website, or whats left of it
We get a few emachines desktop backgrounds for us to use:
E – Windows 98 dark blue background with the emachines logo centred
Emachine – the emachine logo in 800×600
Ewall – same as Emachine but zoomed out slightly, also 800×600
Ewalls – low resolution of Ewall, at 640×480
The Musica sound scheme is set as the default with no customer schemes included or set.
The eWare bar come bundled and appears at the bottom, but on top of the Windows taskbar. This will show shortcuts to popular internet website in addition to a few adverts right on your desktop. There are dedicated buttons for shopping and search engine sites.
Most of these are custom affiliate links which haven’t been archived by the OldNet, so we just get an error page.
There is also an option to take a survey. There is also some sort of search function that similar to Sherlock that’s included on MacOS 9 that can pull search results from Yahoo, Lycos and AltaVista.
An audio/MIDI playback application which functions only on Crystal soundcards, at least for the one bundled here. This means it wont function on say a Creative Soundblaster but if we use the Crystal 4236B ISA soundcard in 86Box and install the appropriate drivers (they’re not bundled in Windows 98) we are able to use the application. Again it gives the appearance of a mid 90s home HiFi.
ATI Video Player
A simple video player that makes use of the video acceleration that some of ATI’s RAGE chipsets had supported. 86Box does not exactly emulate a RAGE based chipset but we do have the ATI Mach graphics cards to use instead.
It does work somewhat, I can playback AVI files with the exampling being one pulled from Microsoft Garden Home software. The video can be scaled in size and mentions support for MPEG video.
Microsoft Works: A basic office Suite, Works 2000 Version 5.0 is installed here.
Netscape Communicator: A shortcut exists on the desktop but it not completely installed opening it will launch the 4.6 installer. This will also install RealPlayer G2.
AOL 5.0: Also has to be installed from the desktop
Adobe Reader 3.01: It’s a bit old as its copyright is dated from 1997 and Reader 4.0 was released in April 1999
Microsoft Money: Finance management software
Archived discussion of motherboard specifications