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Get IT Done: Troubleshoot Windows 9x startup problems with these tips

Troubleshoot Windows 9x startup problems with these tips


Seventy-nine percent of the respondents to a January 2001 TechRepublic poll said they were still running Windows 95. While Microsoft may be discontinuing support for these systems, TechRepublic is not. Our Windows 95/98 TechMail contains valuable information that can save you time and effort. Below, you'll find several examples of what this TechMail has to offer. Get tips on installation, troubleshooting, and much more, all delivered straight to your inbox—absolutely free. Sign up for the Windows 95/98 TechMail today!

Each time you start Windows 9x, the Startup menu appears
Normally, this would happen if you pressed the [F8] key while Windows 95 started or pressed and held the [Ctrl] key while Windows 98 started. By default, if you do not select an option from the menu, Windows will start in Safe Mode. You may also receive the message:
"Warning: Windows did not finish loading on the previous attempt. Choose Safe Mode to start Windows with a minimal set of drivers."

The problem lies with Windows being unable to delete the Wnbootng.sts file in the \windows folder the last time Windows was started. This file is created when Windows starts and should be deleted when the startup sequence has been completed successfully. If the file cannot be deleted, then the problem occurs.

Delete Wnbootng.sts
The first method of resolving the problem is simply navigating to the \windows\system folder using Explorer and deleting the Wnbootng.sts file. Then, restart the computer and check to see whether the problem is resolved.

Use a startup disk
In case the previous fix failed to do the trick, here is another procedure to try. Before you start this procedure, you must have a Windows 9x Startup disk for your system on hand. To create one for your system, double-click on Add/Remove Programs In Control Panel, click on the Startup Disk tab, and select Create Disk. You will need a completely blank disk to complete the Wizard.

After you have created the Startup disk, type the following lines at a command prompt, pressing [Enter] after each line:
attrib -s -h -r c:\io.sys
ren drive:\io.sys drive:\io.xxx

(wheredrive: is your Windows system drive, i.e., c:).

Next, insert the Windows 95/98 Startup disk in drive A:, type the following line, and then press [Enter]:
a:\sys c:

(wherec: is your computer's hard boot disk).

Then, remove the Startup disk and restart Windows 95/98 to make sure that the problem has been fixed.

Problems caused by Noauto
Windows 9x startup problems are often some of the most difficult to figure out and resolve, so in the Windows 9x TechMails, we try to provide some tips that can cut the amount of time it takes to get your system back up and running.

If your Windows installation reports:
"Missing ‘device name.’ Make sure that the file is in your Windows directory and that its location is correctly specified in your CONFIG.SYS file."

and ‘device name’ is a device such as Himem.sys, you may need to look for the following line in your Config.sys file:
DOS=HIGH,UMB,NOAUTO

The Noauto parameter stops Windows from starting some programs. This means that you would need to add them manually asDEVICE=lines in the Config.sys file.

This parameter can also cause Windows to hang at the logo screen on startup and cause your computer to hang after the first reboot during the setup process because Ifshlp.sys is not loaded.

The easiest cure for this is to remove:
,NOAUTO

from the end of the line printed above.

Get great Windows 95/98 tips like these sent directly to your inbox!
If you would like to read more Windows 95/98 tips, sign up for the Windows 95/98 TechMail. Let us know what you think about this article and the Windows 95/98 TechMail. Post a comment or send us a note.

 

Seventy-nine percent of the respondents to a January 2001 TechRepublic poll said they were still running Windows 95. While Microsoft may be discontinuing support for these systems, TechRepublic is not. Our Windows 95/98 TechMail contains valuable information that can save you time and effort. Below, you'll find several examples of what this TechMail has to offer. Get tips on installation, troubleshooting, and much more, all delivered straight to your inbox—absolutely free. Sign up for the Windows 95/98 TechMail today!

Each time you start Windows 9x, the Startup menu appears
Normally, this would happen if you pressed the [F8] key while Windows 95 started or pressed and held the [Ctrl] key while Windows 98 started. By default, if you do not select an option from the menu, Windows will start in Safe Mode. You may also receive the message:
"Warning: Windows did not finish loading on the previous attempt. Choose Safe Mode to start Windows with a minimal set of drivers."

The problem lies with Windows being unable to delete the Wnbootng.sts file in the \windows folder the last time Windows was started. This file is created when Windows starts and should be deleted when the startup sequence has been completed successfully. If the file cannot be deleted, then the problem occurs.

Delete Wnbootng.sts
The first method of resolving the problem is simply navigating to the \windows\system folder using Explorer and deleting the Wnbootng.sts file. Then, restart the computer and check to see whether the problem is resolved.

Use a startup disk
In case the previous fix failed to do the trick, here is another procedure to try. Before you start this procedure, you must have a Windows 9x Startup disk for your system on hand. To create one for your system, double-click on Add/Remove Programs In Control Panel, click on the Startup Disk tab, and select Create Disk. You will need a completely blank disk to complete the Wizard.

After you have created the Startup disk, type the following lines at a command prompt, pressing [Enter] after each line:
attrib -s -h -r c:\io.sys
ren drive:\io.sys drive:\io.xxx

(wheredrive: is your Windows system drive, i.e., c:).

Next, insert the Windows 95/98 Startup disk in drive A:, type the following line, and then press [Enter]:
a:\sys c:

(wherec: is your computer's hard boot disk).

Then, remove the Startup disk and restart Windows 95/98 to make sure that the problem has been fixed.

Problems caused by Noauto
Windows 9x startup problems are often some of the most difficult to figure out and resolve, so in the Windows 9x TechMails, we try to provide some tips that can cut the amount of time it takes to get your system back up and running.

If your Windows installation reports:
"Missing ‘device name.’ Make sure that the file is in your Windows directory and that its location is correctly specified in your CONFIG.SYS file."

and ‘device name’ is a device such as Himem.sys, you may need to look for the following line in your Config.sys file:
DOS=HIGH,UMB,NOAUTO

The Noauto parameter stops Windows from starting some programs. This means that you would need to add them manually asDEVICE=lines in the Config.sys file.

This parameter can also cause Windows to hang at the logo screen on startup and cause your computer to hang after the first reboot during the setup process because Ifshlp.sys is not loaded.

The easiest cure for this is to remove:
,NOAUTO

from the end of the line printed above.

Get great Windows 95/98 tips like these sent directly to your inbox!
If you would like to read more Windows 95/98 tips, sign up for the Windows 95/98 TechMail. Let us know what you think about this article and the Windows 95/98 TechMail. Post a comment or send us a note.

 

About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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