It has been reported that Windows 98 and Millenium Editions have exceedingly long loadtimes when loading/starting games.
The only known "workaround" at this time is to upgrade to Windows 2000 or XP.
Mr. Tyranny found this workaround for ATI users at least:
I've been noticing an increasing amount of people posting complaints about long
loading times for Win98 and me being the resident 98SE fanboi and all I decided to
tackle the problem and see what could be done.. Not having noticed any of the
stated problems myself I decided it must be some tweak that I had applied so off I
went to reset all my settings to default and see what would happen..
Several days and a mind-numbing amount of reboots later I present to you the fix..
What you need..
Rage3D Tweak v3.9c (what I have..)
or some other tweak program
that lets you change this setting..
What you need to do..
First off you need to change your windows virtual memory swap file to fixed if
its not already set that way..( I would strongly suggest defragging your drive
so as to get the swap file as close to the beggining of the disk as possible..)
To do this you need to go to the control panel folder and open the System Properties
icon near the bottom of the list.. Once opened you need to click the 'Performance'
tab then go down to the 'Advanced settings' buttons and select 'Virtual Memory'..
What to set you swap file to..
If you have multiple hard drives you will want to put the swap file on the fastest drive
installed or on any drive other than the system drive if they are the same speed..
Reboot your computer when prompted and proceed to the next step..
After you have rebooted go to www.rage3d.com and download and install Rage3D Tweak v3.9c from
the Tweak section.. If you don't have an ATI card don't worry as you can install the program
and change the desired setting and then uninstall it as the new value should be persistant..
Look for the 'Conservative swapfile' setting on the Rage3DTweak tab under the 'Windows' tweak
section.. once it has been found left click the check box to enable it.. This will also enable the
'Fast Filesystem' tweak by default..(trust me.. you want this.. )
What the setting does..
Reboot one more time for good measure and then enjoy the new speed for all your programs.. not just DoW..
Load Times For DoW Using Default Windows Settings..
Desktop to main menu.. 4 mins 53 secs
Skirmish game using 7 ai's.. 2 mins 11 secs
Online game using all humans.. 3 mins 27 secs
Load Times For DoW Using Tweaked Windows Settings..
Desktop to main menu.. 3 mins 17 secs
Skirmish game using 7 ai's.. 1 mins 2 secs
Online game using all humans.. 1 mins 59 secs
Thats around a 50% decrease in load times for all modes.. not to shabby I must say..
Many thanks to the proceding peeps who helped me out with the online part of the testing..
SuperUltra.. Shalarak.. Ozi.. porkshank9.. smiddyHurler.. Zero_T and BloodBroz..