Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Intermittent Error Messages Cause Windows Crashes


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Torvald

Torvald

  • Members
  • 366 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX USA
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 28 March 2010 - 07:08 PM

This weekend I tried to resurrect an old Windows 98SE machine that I had set in a corner about five years ago when I upgraded to a newer computer and switched to Windows XP.

Well, it booted up one time, then froze and would not boot up any more. I replaced the CMOS battery, but that did not help. I then listened to the beep code, which indicated there was a problem with the video card. Removed the card, that did not help, so removed and reinstalled the video card and the three RAM cards - it finally booted up after that.

Was then busily engaged in updating the drivers, antivirus software, and finally flashed a new BIOS setting. However, intermittently during all of this, I kept getting random error messages. Most of them said Explorer had performed an illegal operation and would shut down, but there were also other error messages, such as MSGSRVR32 had executed an invalid instruction, that SHDOCVW.DLL was missing, damaged or wrong version, plus tons of "A fatal exception 0E has occurred at xxxxxxx".

It kept getting worse, so I finally reformatted my harddrive and tried to reinstall Windows 98. However, it took several attempts to get Windows to reinstall, and then the random error messages started up again (mostly mentioning explorer errors or crashing while I was using windows explorer). Have now reinstalled Win98 several more times, plus have downloaded some of the supposedly missing files from my other computer and copied them over. No dice, though. Have also tried extracting replacement files from the Win98_22.cab folder on my install disk, but that does not seem to work either.

Any suggestions as to what else I could try?

Google is my friend. Make Google your friend too.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 Platypus

Platypus

  • Moderator
  • 14,967 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia
  • Local time:08:19 AM

Posted 29 March 2010 - 06:11 AM

My two first thoughts would be firstly since it's been unused so long, and removing and refitting some things did seem to help, to try unplugging and replugging everything several times. Contacts can have tarnished with so long disuse - I've had a bad contact in an IDE lead cause all sorts of misbehaviour and failed Windows installs. The contact pads on cards, memory etc can also be carefully polished up with a pencil eraser.

Secondly, the system may have been one that was made during the high incidence of faulty electrolytic capacitors, which can likewise cause all sorts of odd misbehaviour. But if the system hasn't been being used, the capacitors may be deteriorated but haven't been heated with use to make them bulge or split. This could be hard to detect, but there might be some evidence of electrolytic capacitors leaking or having leaked in the past.

Top 5 things that never get done:

1.


#3 Torvald

Torvald
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 366 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX USA
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:54 PM

Thanks for the advice.

I ran a DOS-based memory tester last night, and the three RAM cards seemed to check out okay. However, I will now do as you suggested - pull every card again & reinsert a couple of times, plus will also try cleaning the card contacts with a clean rubber eraser just in case there is some tarnish.

Also, I just realized that the computer would always operate just fine in DOS when using my Windows 98 startup diskette - the problems always occurred when trying to start up or use Windows 98. That does narrow it down a bit.

If cleaning & reinstalling the cards does not work, I will then re-partion my harddrive in addition to reformatting it.

I will also try re-flashing the BIOS with the earlier version that seemed to work better. (I have an Abit KT7A-Raid, Socket A motherboard, and flashed it yesterday with BIOS update KT7a9.exe, dated 7-11-2002. The computer definitely acted up a lot more after yesterday's BIOS flashing, and reinstalling Windows 98 six separate times after that did not work.)

Wish me luck, as I'd like to get this old machine working again in order to play some old games in 100% true DOS mode rather than using a DOS emulator in Windows XP.

Google is my friend. Make Google your friend too.


#4 Eyesee

Eyesee

    Bleepin Teck Shop


  • BC Advisor
  • 3,545 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In the middle of Kansas
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:33 PM

Torvald

I wound not try reflashing the BIOS to an earlier version.
That could end up being catastrophic and may end up being a paperweight!
What was the reason for flashing the BIOS originally?

Im thinking memory.
Whats the configuration of the memory in the system?

Also, what cards are in the system?
In the beginning there was the command line.

#5 Torvald

Torvald
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 366 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX USA
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 30 March 2010 - 10:52 AM

Eyesee,

Here's what I did last night:

1. Ran Killdisk from DOS to do a low level wipe of my 80 GB EIDE harddrive.

2. Repartioned & reformatted my harddrive.

3. Reflashed the BIOS to the earlier 2001 version that seemed to work better (I had recently flashed it to a 2002 version just to be up to date.) This reflashing last night seemed to work okay.

4. Changed the BIOS settings to the default fail-safe settings.

5. MAJOR MISTAKE HERE >>>> Tweaked one of the BIOS settings to require a shutdown if the CPU temperature got too high. This caused an immediate problem, as the computer would no longer boot/beep/start and would power off within two seconds of being turned on. Was fortunatelty able to eventually fix this by temporarily removing the CMOS battery and moving the CMOS jumper to the reset position, waiting about 30 seconds, then replacing the jumper to the normal position and reinserting the CMOS battery. (Whew!!!!! Sure glad that worked.)

6. Loaded Windows 98 Upgrade from CD, and also loaded Windows 98SE from CD.

7. Loaded all drivers except for the videocard & USB expansion card (ran out of time, so will try that tonight).

Windows 98 is now mostly running okay - the previous error messages & crashes while using Windows Explorer have now all gone away. However, the computer is now experiencing a different problem. While booting up, right after Windows 98 starts to load, the computer will sometimes reboot itself. Also, sometimes Windows appears to load, but then the screen changes to a light blue background with nothing showing. Then, when I hit ctrl-alt-delete to restart, I sometimes get a quick glimpse of a normal Windows 98 screen before it goes blank during the rebooting process.

Not sure if this is being caused by a videocard problem or a CPU overheating problem (BIOS says the chip is running hot).

In answer to your other question, here are the cards currently installed in my computer: 3 RAM cards (512K, 128K & 128K), Linksys Ethernet card, SoundBlaster card, GeForce FX5200 Videocard, and a USB 2.0 expansion card.

Will work on the system some more tonight & will let you know how it turns out.

Google is my friend. Make Google your friend too.


#6 Eyesee

Eyesee

    Bleepin Teck Shop


  • BC Advisor
  • 3,545 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In the middle of Kansas
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 30 March 2010 - 01:25 PM

Check the CPU fan to see if it is oscilating.
If it is replace it

Also try removing the two 128 meg memory modules to see if it makes a difference.
98 didnt like to play well with more than 512 installed.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#7 OldPhil

OldPhil

    Doppleganger


  • Members
  • 4,130 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Long Island New York
  • Local time:06:19 PM

Posted 30 March 2010 - 01:38 PM

I would pull the CPU and re seat it with new paste, after awhile it does not do its job gets to dry.

Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#8 Torvald

Torvald
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 366 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX USA
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 31 March 2010 - 07:24 PM

Hi again,

I was able to load the videocard & USB drivers, then installed Internet Explorer 6 (which allowed me to download some Windows 98 updates), and then installed some basic software (old antivirus, old acrobat reader, old winzip, etc.) Win98 froze up during windows startup a couple of times, but was definitely getting better. (Maybe that low level harddrive wipe & reformat helped.)

I then pulled the heatsink off the CPU, cleaned & added new paste, then reattached the heatsink/fan. The computer seems to be working much more reliably now - no more windows startup freezing problems, but I'm still concerned about the CPU temperature. (It's an AMD Athlon 1GHz processor)

The BIOS menu says the CPU temp is varying between 120* F and 140* F, with CPU fan speed of 5700 rpm and system temp of a steady 86* F. Everest Home software says the CPU temp is varying between 110* F and 126* F, with CPU fan speed of 5700 rpm and motherboard temp of a steady 86*.

Is this CPU temperature okay or too high? If too high, any suggestions about how to lower it?
(I tried the program called speedfan, but it locked up every time - maybe it doesn't like Win98.)

Edited by Torvald, 31 March 2010 - 07:26 PM.

Google is my friend. Make Google your friend too.


#9 Platypus

Platypus

  • Moderator
  • 14,967 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia
  • Local time:08:19 AM

Posted 01 April 2010 - 03:56 AM

As mentioned already, Win98 can have problems with large amounts of memory, I'd agree definitely try running with just the two 128M, or try the instructions here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/253912

The temperatures you're seeing vary from fairly normal (43C) to getting rather high (60C). How quickly do these readings vary? Does the temperature always start low and rise slowly? If it behaves predictably, I'd lean toward the lower readings being correct, and try to find another monitoring utility to confirm them. If it varies erratically and not according to what you would expect from time and how hard the system is working, it could still indicate a capacitor problem. For example Dell had a common false report of a "thermal event" (ie CPU overheat) with faulty capacitors:

http://forums.windrivers.com/archive/index.php/t-82145.html

Edited by Platypus, 01 April 2010 - 03:57 AM.

Top 5 things that never get done:

1.


#10 OldPhil

OldPhil

    Doppleganger


  • Members
  • 4,130 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Long Island New York
  • Local time:06:19 PM

Posted 01 April 2010 - 07:42 AM

Heat sinks are fairly cheap, maybe think about going to a larger one to be on the safe side. Also scrape the clear coating off the contact surface, you will get better heat transfer.

Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#11 Drovers Dog

Drovers Dog

  • Members
  • 1,048 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia
  • Local time:08:19 AM

Posted 01 April 2010 - 10:49 PM

Quick and easy way to find out is to set up a Normal Room Fan to blow inside the Computer with the side removed and see if that lowers the Temperature, then Post back.

It really makes a difference. If not then it is a capacitor problem.

Ray.

Edited by Drovers Dog, 01 April 2010 - 10:56 PM.

What ever you give to others, you will get back doubled, Just make sure you only give Nice Things?......DD saying

There is a saying, "You just can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" it means "to be happy with what you have and not look for the impossible"......DD saying

The "Spirit" of the people who died, on that terrible day 9/11 will NEVER REST until such time as the "Imbeciles" that caused it, are eliminated through out the World.....DD saying

What is a Dog?

#12 Torvald

Torvald
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 366 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX USA
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 03 April 2010 - 03:15 PM

Hi folks,

I've reduced the RAM down to two cards totalling 256MB, and the computer seems a bit more stable now. However, it does still occassionally lock up during the final Windows part of the boot process. At least once Win98 is fully loaded, it doesn't lock up any more.

As far as the CPU heat situation, it goes up slowly after the computer has been turned on, rather than jumping up right away. I've opened the case and blown more air directly onto the CPU fan/heatsink, but the CPU temperature did not go down at all.

If this means the higher heat is being caused by a capacitor problem, what exactly does that mean, and it is easily solveable or not worth the hassle of fixing on such an old motherboard?

Google is my friend. Make Google your friend too.


#13 Eyesee

Eyesee

    Bleepin Teck Shop


  • BC Advisor
  • 3,545 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In the middle of Kansas
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 03 April 2010 - 04:02 PM

For the memory I would try the single 512 stick.

Could you possibly put a case fan on the unit?
That should help the heat issue.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#14 Torvald

Torvald
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 366 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX USA
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 04 April 2010 - 11:42 AM

I've got one case fan installed right now.

It sits in a hole I that cut in the top of the computer case, using a circular drill bit that was originally designed to cut holes in doors for the placement of doorknobs.

Do you know what the potential capacitor problem might be that Platypus and Drovers Dog mentioned earlier?

Google is my friend. Make Google your friend too.


#15 Eyesee

Eyesee

    Bleepin Teck Shop


  • BC Advisor
  • 3,545 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In the middle of Kansas
  • Local time:05:19 PM

Posted 04 April 2010 - 01:45 PM

No I sure dont
Sorry!
In the beginning there was the command line.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users