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Windows98 refuses to load


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#1 miketolbert01

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 04:42 AM

Here's the situation (and it's a doozie): Downloaded some mp3 files the other day, logged off the web, immediately ran virus scan (a habit of mine). Found three viruses, quarantined and deleted them. Shut computer down and went to bed. Awoke next morning, turned on computer, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!!! Computer would begin to post, then flash various messages concerning missing files (VMM32.VXD, HIMEM.SYS, COMCTRL.DLL, SHELL.DLL, PID.DLL, etc....) Removed HDD from computer and slaved it to other computer, checked all missing files, discovered all files were in fact intact and in the proper places. Reinstalled HDD back in original computer, booted up, computer posted, then went to "registry checker" screen where I was informed that my "bad" registry was being restored and I needed to restart my computer. Upon restarting the computer, the exact same scenario unfolded eleven times. On the twelfth restart, computer posted, then displayed the following message: "XMS Driver not installed. Run Setup to install missing drivers." I ran setup (reinstalled Windows98SE) SEVEN times before that message stopped appearing. Now the computer posts and goes to the Windows98 start screen and hangs. Once it gets to the Windows screen, the only way to get it off that screen is to hit the reset button on the computer. Escape, enter, "F" keys,....none have any effect on the Windows screen. During boot I am able to hold the ctrl key and go to the startup menu, but it doesn't seem to do much good. If I try to start in safe mode I get the following message: "ERROR: HIMEM.SYS has detected unreliable XMS memory at address 00810C04. XMS driver not installed. To continue starting your computer, press ENTER." After pressing enter, I receive this message: "HIMEM.SYS is missing. Make sure the file is in your Windows directory. Windows has stopped." Of course, as I mentioned earlier, the file IS in the proper directory. If I go into command prompt from the startup menu and run "scanreg /restore", it appears to restore the registry, but the computer behaves the same as before. If I go into step-by-step comfirmation mode, when I get to the line "Load all Windows drivers (Y/N)?", and choose "Y", I receive the following message: "Run-time error R6003 - integer divide by 0", and the computer hangs again. The only way to get out of that screen is to hit the reset button. Here's the REALLY strange part: if I install my HDD as the master on our other computer, the computer boots quickly and operates flawlessly, so I don't believe the HDD is at fault. Question is: WHAT on the motherboard could a) cause Windows drivers to not load: :thumbsup: prevent Windows from recognizing HIMEM.SYS; and, c) cause runtime error R6003 ? I'm very confused and at my wits' end. Any ideas, suggestions, opinions, thoughts would be highly appreciated.... :flowers:

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#2 Rimmer

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 07:18 AM

Just a guess - your RAM has gone faulty or needs to be reseated.
There is a free RAM diagnostic called Memtest86 which you can download from here:
Memtest86

Use it to create a bootable floppy disk. When you reboot with that floppy in the drive it will automatically run a memory test. Let it run for at least an hour and then examine the error count.

Edited by Rimmer, 09 June 2005 - 07:18 AM.


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#3 chicha1997

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 10:09 PM

Just a guess - your RAM has gone faulty or needs to be reseated.
There is a free RAM diagnostic called Memtest86 which you can download from here:
Memtest86

Use it to create a bootable floppy disk. When you reboot with that floppy in the drive it will automatically run a memory test. Let it run for at least an hour and then examine the error count.

Have you tried reseting the jumper to default in the mother board? JL

#4 tg1911

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 10:30 PM

Something else to check out:
Himem.sys missing or corrupt:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#5 miketolbert01

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 10:55 PM

You guys were right. I started pulling DIMM stix (actually, the FIRST one I pulled out), and hit the power button, and the computer booted flawlessly. It's up and running great, with no problems whatsoever (well, there is the little hitch of running with only 196M of memory, but I suppose sacrifices have to be made sometimes :thumbsup: ). In any case, problem solved. I can't thank you guys enough. Bleepingcomputer ROX!!!




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