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Windows ME boots to just a blinking cursor


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#1 Sylveon Fetish

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 09:42 AM

Since I never got a reply to my other topic, I will create a new topic with updated information.

 

After I installed Windows ME, I got an error message that says "Windows Protection Error. You must restart your computer" after it said, "Please wait while setup updates your configuration files. Configuration files updated. Continuing to load Windows"

 

I powered off the machine several times and now every time I boot it up, immediately after the Windows ME logo, it boots to a black screen with a blinking cursor. If I power off the machine, it says "Windows did not finish loading" and asks me to put it into safe mode.

 

I can access safe mode with no problems at all, but if I shut it down and/or restart the machine, it goes right back to that blinking cursor.

 

I Googled the problem and found a few others with people booting to a black screen with a blinking cursor, but none of those results pertain to this problem immediately after installing Windows ME. All the results on Google are people who had Windows ME installed for awhile. None deal with this problem immediately after installing Windows ME.

 

When I am in safe mode, there are no devices in device manager with a red exclamation mark. I do need drivers for three or four devices, however; including my video card (ATI)


Edited by Sylveon Fetish, 25 August 2018 - 09:42 AM.


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#2 Sylveon Fetish

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 09:50 AM

Did I stump everybody? Is my problem one of a kind?

 

Please help me fix this.



#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 10:26 AM

Regarding the Protection Error, how much RAM is on this computer? Anything over 512MB will cause a problem. Also try switching RAM and slots once you are down to 512MB. Other than that, it's all I have regarding ideas. 



#4 Sylveon Fetish

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 07:41 AM

Even with 512 MB ram, it still boots to just a blinking cursor. As before, I can only get into safe mode. Still, this is right after a clean install of Windows ME.



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 08:05 AM

I'm not sure you will have one on a clean install but if I can remember ME has a System Restore Feature. Is that available in Safe Mode?

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/221512/how-to-manually-restore-the-windows-98-me-registry

 

Also, per the below page make sure your vcache in system.ini is set to 512000. 

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/166841-48-tomshardware

 

I'm not sure why it boots fine in safe mode and not in normal mode unless there is some startup item in normal mode causing a conflict.



#6 Sylveon Fetish

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 09:16 AM

I even tried wiping the hard drive with Gparted and reinstalling Windows ME a second time with only 512 MB ram during install and literally the same thing happened! I got the same Windows Protection Error after it said it was updating my configuration files and now I am getting the same blinking cursor during boot


Edited by Sylveon Fetish, 27 August 2018 - 09:17 AM.


#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 09:41 AM

Sorry, I am out of ideas on this. I have no idea on why it can boot to Safe Mode and not Normal Mode especially after doing a clean install. Do you think it may be your ATI video driver? In safe mode Windows uses the generic Windows driver. Have you installed the ATI driver?



#8 Sylveon Fetish

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 10:29 AM

No. I have not installed anything at all. How can I install anything if I cannot even get into Windows not even once?



#9 mightywiz

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 10:42 AM

i would go into safe mode and load msconfig, then I disable all services.  and reboot to see if windows boots.

 

if it does then open msconfig and start adding a couple services at a time until you find the one that's killing your boot.

 

if you can get to safe mode then you probably have a driver conflict.  could be something as simple as an interrupt conflict with a jumper setting on an internal card.

 

oh there ya go, pull all unnecessary i/o boards (any that have jumpers to set interrupts) and try booting the system.  sound card & printer cards & comports.



#10 Sylveon Fetish

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 11:17 AM

I ended up swapping out the SATA hard drive that was in the computer and using an IDE hard drive and after reinstalling Windows ME a third time, it works with the IDE hard drive.

 

Not sure why, though. My Windows 98 se computer has a SATA hard drive in it and that runs just fine. Not sure why a newer OS than Windows 98 cannot handle a SATA hard drive.



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 11:27 AM

No. I have not installed anything at all. How can I install anything if I cannot even get into Windows not even once?

Glad you finally got it to work. I was assuming you could install the ATI driver in Safe Mode which I would have to guess was not available on the second time install. 

 

Even Windows XP does not have native SATA drivers. Those needed to be streamed into the install CD. I'm surprised you were able to do the first install of ME to a SATA drive. Usually when doing the install the drive isn't detected because no SATA drivers are available on the install media.



#12 Sylveon Fetish

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 12:49 PM

Can you help me in my other topic.The ATI drivers refuse to install.



#13 Eyesee

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 08:59 PM

I am thinking that the problem here is a bad stick of memory or dirty slots.

 

First thing to try is to take all the memory out and spritz the slots with some compressed air to remove any dust. It is an older system after all.

I assume that the system has two 256 modules.

If the issue persists remove half the memory and try it then. If its fine swap them and see if it fails. Its trial and error with memory.

You could also test it with Memtest386 or something similar.

 

I also asked for clarification on the model #. HP pavilion a1423w does not appear to exist with a Google search which is why driver searches appear to be bringing up spam sites.

 

If the ATI card is original and an OEM you want to get the drivers from the HP site only as the card has been modified to suit the manufacturer. This would explain why the drivers from the ATI site do not work.

 

Without further clarification on the system we are dealing with everything is guess work.

We dont know if there are video drivers for ME unless we know what system we are dealing with.


Edited by Eyesee, 04 September 2018 - 09:17 PM.

In the beginning there was the command line.




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