URGENT! Help wanted to start W98

  Nosmas 19:45 14 Jun 03
Locked

My system runs W98 and my graphics card is a Matrox Mystique G200 AGP, with a 19" Iiyama Vision Master Pro 450 monitor. A few days ago I downloaded Internet Explorer v6.0, which also installed Outlook Express v 6.0 and both appear to have been functioning without any problems.

At various times recently I have experienced a number of "Illegal Operation" and one or two "Fatal" (BSOD) error messages. Last night whilst on the Internet I had a "Fatal" error, and because Windows had not been properly shut down, on re-booting I was advised to do so in "Safe Mode" which I duly did. First I ran ScanDisk (in "Standard" mode) which reported no errors. I then tried to run Defrag but at 10% complete, got an "Illegal Operation" message. This was repeated in subsequent attempts to defrag so, fearing perhaps overheating might be causing a problem, I turned off the system until today.

When I re-booted in "Safe Mode" I again ran ScanDisk, this time in "Thorough Mode". The program kept re-starting and eventually I got a message that there had been 10 re-starts and asking if I wanted to continue. I clicked the continue button and eventually the program completed and again no errors were reported. I then tried to Defrag the C drive but after about 10% complete, kept getting messages stating "Drive's contents changed - re-starting", and eventually an "Illegal Operation" error - "Defrag caused a general protection fault in module KRNL386.EXE at 0001:00001c4a". Repeated attempts to Defrag have met with similar error messages and so far Defrag has failed to complete.

I have eventually managed to re-boot in "Normal" mode, but the monitor resolution has remained at the 640 x 480 resulting from "Safe Mode". Even though I have gone into Display Properties and changed to 1024 x 768, I still find that after re-booting to make the new setting take effect, the setting has changed back to 640 x 480. The very much enlarged screen display at this setting makes it difficult to use the PC - including composing this posting! Even though I have managed to re-boot in "Normal" mode, this has only been possible by selecting Option 1 from the Windows Startup Menu - something that I do not normally see unless an abnormal shutdown causes that menu to display with a message to re-boot in "Safe Mode" - i.e. Option 3. Also I am not seeing the normal icons in the System Tray as a result of programs which normally load at startup e.g. AVG, Sygate Personal Firewall etc. The only icon appearing is Creative PCI Audio Mixer. Before coming onto the Internet I have manually had to start both AVG and Sygate.

I would greatly appreciate any advice to enable me to start in "Normal" mode WITHOUT seeing Windows Startup Menu displayed, and to be able to effect the change of monitor resolution. Also has anyone any ideas as to why I have been getting so many "Illegal Operation" and "Fatal" error messages, or why the Drive contents should change mid-way through the Defrag?

If I have given insufficient info re my system, please let me know what else is required.

  BurrWalnut 20:01 14 Jun 03

When you set the resolution to 1024 x 768 did you also set the color to 16 high (or similar wording)?

If not it may be this that is causing the problem.

Give it a try.

  Valvegrid 20:05 14 Jun 03

Next time it starts in the startup menu. go down the list and select start at command promote, at the command promote type

scanreg/restore

you will be presented with a list of 5 dates select the date which the computer was running OK and hit return. This will put the computer back a stage when it was running OK.

You can keep pressing the F8 key while the computer boots, this will take you to the startup menu.

Paul.

  Valvegrid 20:07 14 Jun 03

Sorry about promote, it should read prompt, blasted spell checker telling me porkies :-)

  Nosmas 22:10 14 Jun 03

You're a bloomin' marvel!! Carrying out your suggestion has almost solved my problems. At least the monitor resolution is now back to normal. I restored the Registry settings as of two days ago when my system was "hunky-dory", so I presume that somehow the Registry had become corrupted. However the one thing that isn't back to normal is that whenever I reboot I now get the Windows Startup Menu (WITHOUT pressing F8) with Option 1 (Normal) already selected. Do you (or anyone else) know of any setting - Registry or otherwise - that will prevent that menu from displaying?

One thing I haven't yet tried is to get my C drive defragged. I just do not understand how the contents of the drive can change when the only program running is Defrag itself. Also, if some of the drive has been "re-arranged" during the course of an abortive Defrag run, surely any subsequent run of Defrag should very quickly reach the point at which the previous run failed and continue the "re-arrangement" from there?

  Nosmas 22:14 14 Jun 03

Thanks for your idea, but I had changed the colours setting when changing the resolution, but all to no avail.

As you will see from the posts above, Valvegrid's suggestion has almost cured my problems.

  woodchip 22:20 14 Jun 03

Start MSCONFIG from the run box check what box's are ticked it should be normal or selected if you have disabled some items

  Valvegrid 23:11 14 Jun 03

You must have a program running in the background that keeps writing to the drive when your trying to defrag, have you tried defrag in safe mode? this only loads a minimum set of drivers.

I'm still thinking about the startup problem, you could try re-installing Windows.

Paul.

  Nosmas 23:24 14 Jun 03

Thanks for that tip. When I ran MSCONFIG the radio button for "Selective Startup" was selected and in the Advanced window the enable Startup Menu box was checked. I unchecked it, but left the radio button as it was and then re-booted. Hey Presto! I no longer saw the Windows Startup Menu!

But for some reason SuperVoice, a piece of software (that came with my dial-up modem) which I haven't used for years, decided to launch itself. When I re-checked MSCONFIG I found the "Normal Startup" radio button was now selected.

I don't understand why SuperVoice now gets launched at startup. The path to the Shortcut is C:\WINDOWS\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup and the Shortcut points to a target of C\Supervoc\Program\Supervoc.exe. Do you have any thoughts on that?

  Flying Teddy 23:28 14 Jun 03

The problem with defrag is (might be?) the swap file. If anything else is going on which uses the swap file (it might even be the gefragger itself), defrag sees that the file has changed size, this means that the contents of the C drive have changed, and starts defragging again - hence the 'you've done this 10 times already' message. You could either set your swap file to a fixed size, or elect not to have one at all for the duration of the defragging.

  woodchip 23:31 14 Jun 03

Check to see if its in the start folder in programs on the desktop if it is right click and remove. Or right click and drag to desktop and choose move. You can also disable in MSCONFIG start-up settings

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