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Can't Update or Upgrade

By leer154 ·
I was asked to upgrade this Compaq Presario 5000 Pent. III 733mhz,20GB HDD with 11GB free, with 512 MB RAM from ME to XP. They purchased an XP upgrade and once XP begins gathering system information the PC stalls. With sever sessions with tech support the suggested doing a complete format and install of XP. But XP found some incompatable hardware possibly. So I've decided against doing a format and complete install. Next I decided to just update ME with Critical updates but again the system stalls. Then I tried to upgrade from IE 5.5 to 6.0 and again system fails to update. Can someone please help? I can download files all day on this machine until I need to download a file that pertains to Microsoft such as their critical updates or the IE. Then it stalls. No indications of any errors just that if I let it sit long enough a window will popup saying "unable to perform present task at this time" or something to that effect. No I haven't monitored any system logs.

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by Chris910 In reply to Can't Update or Upgrade

I Ran into a similar problem that turned out to be ad-ware/Virus issues.
--Do a complete virus scan.
--Run a product like Ad-Aware or SpyBot Search and destroy to remove any ad-ware.
--If you find your Browser has been hijacked by the WebSearch tool bar or one of the others, Run Hijackthis to clean it up. (be carful, you can do a lot of good with this tool but you can also mess yourself up) for Ad-Aware for HijackThis

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by TheChas In reply to Can't Update or Upgrade

I'm curious what hardware is not compatible with XP.

Aside from a modem and perhaps the video system, I can't think of what should be a problem with a PIII system.

As to the MS downloads hanging, have you tried manually downloading some of the updates?

Another distinct possibility is the Windows 9X large RAM bug. I have seen systems slow to a crawl and do other strange things after changing from 256MB to 512MB of RAM.
I limit ALL of my W9X / Me systems to 384MB to avoid the bug.

XP is a much more stable operating system than Me.
Personally, I would go ahead with the format and clean install of XP.

A clean installation is ALWAYS better than an in-place upgrade. The system will be MUCH more stable with a clean install.

I assume that they have had this system for at least 3 years. If so, I would even forget about trying to repair Me, and perform a fresh install of Me if you don't want to switch to XP.

Between the registry and old system files, there is a lot of junk that needs to be cleaned out to get the system operating properly.

For the average home user, W9X and Me have a "functional" life of around 2 years before they slow down and need to be rebuilt.

To prove this, swap in a different hard drive, and install Me or XP fresh. You will be pleasantly surprised.


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by csmith In reply to Can't Update or Upgrade

Unfortunately what you are experiencing is very common.
Since the PC is running, and just will not upgrade, do a full backup on the hard drive before you go any further.
I have seen plenty of totally trashed drives on PCs that were being upgraded to XP.
This is why "Tech Support" was recommending a clean install.

You are correct to be suspicious about the hardware support in XP. I have seen newer PCs than a 733MHz that were not supported.

Now to the solution.

After you have backed up the hard drive, run Antivirus, run Ad-Aware, etc. (The answer of the other Chris is valid.)
, download Cacheman from (Cnet is the parent of TechRepublic)

Run the utility, and check memory usage, etc.
Next, set the Disk Cache to twice the cache RAM installed on the hard drive. In this case 8 Meg Max , and 2 Meg Min.
I think the cache on the hard drive is 4Meg, for this Presario.
Make sure Conservative Swap File Usage is also engaged.

Next, disable Virtual Memory.
(Not to worry, the memory manager in ME can not normally allocate more than 512Meg logical memory anyway. This means that all allocations should be to physically installed RAM, and any virtual memory attempts are just a confusion factor.)


The PC will probably now be running slightly faster, because the load on the memory manager has been reduced.

Try the upgrade to XP.
If it does not work, you are now sure the problem is in XP, because you have eliminated all of the other common possibilities.
Also, is this copy of XP the "Second Update"?
If you have the unsupported hardware problem, the PC will have to stay with WinME.
If the unable to perform errors persist, download the WinME updates on a different PC, and burn them to a CD. Then do a manual install of the updates from the CD.

If you try a clean install, swap in another hard drive first. It will save a lot of headaches. Then you can always reinstall the working drive, when XP will not support the hardware, a driver

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by csmith In reply to

can not be found, etc. (The usual problems.)
Regards, Chris

(The joys of the 2000 character limit.)

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