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Win 98 Keeps locking up.

By Woodesigner ·
I have win 98SE on a Dell Dimension 4100. System has an Adaptec CD burner, 512MB ram, USB 2.0 PCI card.

After bootup, sometimes the CD light starts flashing in a constant rapid fashion & is unavailable.

Other times the system just locks up completely & gives no error messages at all. The system does not lock up in safe mode. I'm at wit's end trying to figure out what is causimg the lockup. I've turned off just about everything in Startup that I can without losing functionality & the problem persists.

I thought the problem was with the HP PSC2355 printer, scanner, copier or it's drivers, but the problem persists after completely removing the printer & it's software. The printer uses USB.

I've heard Win 98SE doesn't like USB devices very well. Any ideas?

This system has always worked great before & I hate to trash it.

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by Woodesigner In reply to Win 98 Keeps locking up.

When the system locks up the disk activity light stays on constantly like it's in some kind of loop.

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by wcp In reply to Win 98 Keeps locking up.

The probable cause is HW, Startup programs, or drivers.

1. Disconnect all non-essential HW including optical drives (i.e. CD-ROM, DVD-ROM), USB card, NIC, sound (if not on-board), modem, card reader, and so on. If the problem got resolved, connect one device at a time to identify the culprit.

2. Disable all startup programs from MSCONFIG. If the problem got resolved, enable/disable half the programs at a time to find the culprit.

3. Uninstall the video driver and install the latest one.

4. Try a different video card.

5. If you still have the problem, follow the procedure in http://tinyurl.com/8lhuo (How to Perform Clean-Boot Troubleshooting for Windows 9. You may skip the processes you already did above.

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by Woodesigner In reply to

Poster rated this answer.
It was indeed the CD Drive that is causing the problem. Disconnected it and the system has been running smoothly for two days now. Haven't had time to see if it is just the cable, conflicting drivers or the drive itself, but it is the problem. Thanks for your help!

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Win 98 Keeps locking up.

It wouldn't hurt to test the hardware first with a Live Linux that runs off the CD ROM Drive.

Go into a local Newsagent and buy a Mag with a Live Linux as a Cover CD and try booting off that to see if everything works. If ti doesn't you can remove the USB Devices and then try again.

If it does you might find it faster to do an Inplace Install like suggested above.

Col

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by Woodesigner In reply to

Poster rated this answer.
Never thought of booting off a Linux disk as a system test. Might try that in the future.

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by TheChas In reply to Win 98 Keeps locking up.

I suspect that you are running into the Windows 98 large RAM bug.

While not the exact article I was looking for, this MS Knowledge Base article describes the problem and work-arounds.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q253912

Despite the wording of over 512MB, it can and does happen with exactly 512MB installed.

A new driver or Windows update can trigger the problem.

For the sake of stability, I limit all my W98 installations to 384MB of RAM.

Chas

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by Woodesigner In reply to

Poster rated this answer.
I took the system down to 256MB ram & problem did not go away.

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by Woodesigner In reply to Win 98 Keeps locking up.

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