To BIOS or not to BIOS (upgrade)

  Newuser579 22:27 23 Mar 2003

My Pentiun 2 PC 350mhz(about 6 year old) has had several upgrades as follows -
CD writer, larger hard drive, more RAM, 550 processor. It seems tempremental & sometimes doesn't see the CD drives yet other times won't speak to my printer. It was networked with my laptop, but I can't get that to work at the moment. I was planning a clear out, instaling Windows ME (it runs 98 at present) & trying to instal a wireless network card. What I need to know is should I upgrade my BIOS, will it help some of its quirks? (currently AWARD v4.51pc) What problems will I encounter, & where do I get the upgrade? The manufacturers site is confusing & I can't find out. The motherboard is a Pakard Bell MediaStar

  woodchip 22:43 23 Mar 2003

If you save all your work and have all drivers for your Hardware then you need a format and reinstall to clear the rubbish that's built up. Nothing wrong with 98 if you go for ME you are loading trouble in my opinion

  Patr100 23:22 23 Mar 2003

To be honest if these are intermitttent problems I doubt upgrading the bios or upgrading to ME will necessarily clear them. Bios upgrading is a potentially hazardous procedure so to be avoided unless you know exactly what you are doing and it either is a last resort , or for a listed specific problem.

By all means try a reinstall of 98 and see how it runs first - Also avoid more than 512MB ram with 98 - reducing the ram to say 256 may actaully make it more stable.

  square eyes 23:26 23 Mar 2003

Agree with woodchip, i have also heard bad things about ME (compatibility), contact Packard Bell regarding the BIOS update, after all that upgrading and being 6 years old, sounds like it could do with a set of new instructions.

  MPete 23:48 23 Mar 2003

"Also avoid more than 512MB ram with 98 - reducing the ram to say 256 may actaully make it more stable."

This is a error. I've got one machine here with 756 meg and one machine here with 1 gig. 98 SE works just fine. Taking memory out will not make it work any better.

If you put ME on your computer get used to reinstalling weekly. It's is beyond a doubt the worst operating system Mocrosoft has ever written.

It's worse than 95. It sounds like you just have a network settings problem. Like printer and network and network card is all shared.

The only way to get the network to work is unistall and then reinstall tcp/ip BEFORE you reboot or you'll be in big trouble doing it from safe mode.

If the cd dissappears you may want to move the letter to a different one like M or some other letter where windows will ignore it. I put it on the end Z drive. It's stays then.

If you using a disk overlay program for your hard drive that may be the problem. Say you, well lets just say it's possible then to start up the machine with a drive missing or being added at the last second and that kicks the cd drive off.
Bacic Windows tricks.

I would not upgrad the bios.

Never fix a working machine. You got programming problems not bios problems and you will find it impossible now to find the upgrade bios for that board. It's too old already.

Upgrading the bios is not going to fix it. You got a conflict happening with the cd drives and printer port or mouse even and or the network card.

I'd reinstall windows 98 SE. Actaully I'd just fix it but I know how to you may find it easier to just reinstall.

Check My Computer > Properties > Device Manager and look for red X's showing conflicts.

If your running more than one cd make sure there both connected to the same ribbon cable and not one going threw a hard drive.

  Patr100 12:22 24 Mar 2003

It is Microsoft themselves who recommend the maximum Ram for Win for Win 98 is 512. We do not know how much Ram Newuser579 has installed on his system. This is indeed an issue and some forum users for example use various programs such as Cachman in order to attempt to manage Ram more effectively and avoid such instability.

From the Microsoft Knowledge Base.:

"PRB: Blue Screen Appears When You Start Computer with 1 GB or More of RAM
The information in this article applies to:
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Microsoft Windows 98

This article was previously published under Q311871
If your computer has 1 gigabyte (GB) or more of random access memory (RAM) with shared video memory, the computer may boot to a blue screen error when you try to start Windows Millennium Edition (Me) or Windows 98.
Windows Me and Windows 98 are not designed to handle 1 GB or more of RAM. 1 GB or more of RAM can lead to potential system instability.
To work around this problem, reduce the amount of memory that is installed in your computer to 512 megabytes (MB) or less.
Last Reviewed: 11/5/2001
Keywords: kbprb KB311871 "

  Newuser579 19:06 24 Mar 2003

Thanks for the advise, it seems I'm better leaving the BIOS be. It only has 192 Mb RAM (I may slot some more in if it a starts co-operating) I'll try formating the hard drive & re-installing Windows. I have ME on my laptop with no problems. So I'll consider this issue for a while. Probably since my friend helped upgrade the hard drive the CDs have become Q & R (When they're there)I like the sound of Labeling the drives differently (from Mpete) so I'll give that a shot if I can work out how! Don't understand disc overlay! but I think the hard drive was installed with "partition magic" for some reason.

  woodchip 19:18 24 Mar 2003

To label the drive all you have to do is go to my computer double click the icon right click the drive letter click on properties there is a small box you can type a label

  Rayuk 19:18 24 Mar 2003

Can you not advise how to fix the problem????

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