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It probably won't work. Win 98 machines not only had older BIOS but also the processor was older and most importantly the video was older. XP may just not be able to recognize these parts. In my lab I use an old Dell laptop that was made specifically for Win 98. I was able to install XP but the graphics stay in four color mode as there were no drivers ever written for XP. Also the hard drive with XP was probably formated using NTFS while Windows 98 (unless modified) only recognizes FAT. Good luck and sorry
You can in fact run it in Win 98se Mode in XP, you simply have to set compatibility for win 98, right click the install, sertup, install, .exe and choose properties, then set the compatibility tab for Win 98. also do as Administrator, and also install as Administrator too. You may also need to alter some of the "other" setting on that tab too, you may have to experiment a little to get it to go... Failing that you could use MS Virtual PC, and set it up running in that, you could make a Win98 Virtual machine and load it and run it on that?
Ebay may have a laptop with win 98 but that is a pretty old OS. No way to register the software without contacting Viking to ask them to allow you to register her old software unless she sent you the reg numbers. She can't transfer ownership to you without those numbers on a certificate. Only originators of the software can allow you to do that by overriding her registration. Contact VSM and ask them if they will do this so you can use it.
Win 98 does not support plug & Play USB devices unless the drivers are installed. Xp how ever does. you need to install the drivers to be able to used the device in win 98. since you did not get a driver cd, best would be to download the drive from the net. if you abl to give me more details of the device, i would be able to find the driver.