Win98SE boot problem

  JoeC 08:24 11 Jun 2003

This problem has me scratching my head !
P3 500mhz Win 98SE ( fully updated ). On powering up, computer gives normal POST beep. It gets to Windows 98 screen and background wallpaper. The taskbar flashes briefly at bottom of screen then disappears. Computer then sits at wallpaper with cursor showing ( cursor is moveable ).

This occurred yesterday after updating Spybot and AVG Antivirus although I am happy they are not the cause ( gut feeling ).

I have tried Safe Mode but the exact same keeps happening. I cannot do anything at all as there is no taskbar. I can get into the other functions though ( Command Prompt etc ) and have tried scanreg /restore - which worked okay but still does not get me past the screen mentioned above.

I also tried to reinstall Win98 over itself but got the message " Windows setup requires the largest programme executable to be over ( a certain size but cannot remember now ) ".

It is my wifes computer and I don't have access to it until tomorrow but would appreciate any help to resolve the problem.

  Gongoozler 10:54 11 Jun 2003

Hi JoeC. Microsoft say that this is caused by one of the following:

The amount of space on the hard disk has been reported incorrectly.

You installed drive overlay software, but you did not follow the correct installation sequence. For example, you may have to press the SHIFT key or use a similar keystroke combination to start your computer when you use a disk.

The computer has a virus.

The computer has failing or faulty hardware.

click here;en-us;289727 or
htt p : //;en-us;289727 ( I hope the spaces will prevent the link being corrupted)

  JoeC 11:19 11 Jun 2003

Many thanks for the link - I had a look and printed out the page. I have to confess that I don't know what drive overlay software is.

The computer was working as normal and I downloaded the updates as mentioned, plus ( now I remember it ) an update for IE6 - I think it was a cumulative patch.

As for a virus, the system was scanned a day or two ago. I am pretty sure it isn't a virus as most of the emails etc are done via my computer. Unless I downloaded a virus along with the updates I am happy the computer is clean.

I have a backup of the system on CDr's so I do not mind reformatting etc. Once I get to a working system, I can reinstall the backup.I have run scandisk c at the command prompt but no problems were found and I have restored a previous registry by use of scanreg /restore. The restore is completed but I end up back at the wallpaper / cursor. The info at the end of your link about " Setup /is " seems worth a go.

I have a Win98 startup floppy and CD so am wondering what the command prompt is to completely wipe the drive and start again. I believe it is format c ??

  Gongoozler 12:39 11 Jun 2003

Hi JoeC. Drive overlay software is used to enable a computer with old BIOS that has a small hard drive capacity limit to use a large hard drive.

If you have all the backups, then a full clean installation is probably the best way to go.

This site has good instructions on how to reformat your hard drive click here, but one thing it doesn't make clear is that when you have chosen to start your computer with CD-ROM support, your RAM will contain a dummy hard drive, and the rest of the process is controlled from there. The result is that if your hard drive was C, and your CD-ROM was D, for the duration of the Windows installation, the dummy drive will be D, and the CD-ROM will be E.

  JoeC 12:51 11 Jun 2003

Thanks once more for your assistance. I have visited the site you gave the link to and it is as I thought. When I had Win98, reformatting and suchlike was common for me but since the move to XP I am getting rusty on 98. I will tick this as sorted since I will be wiping clean and starting again. Regards Joe

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