Win 98 contantly freezing

I am experienceing regular freezing with my new system. The supplier has replaced the ram, modem and soundcard, and now says the problem is software related. They have twice done a clean install of Windows 98. The last time the problem recurred before I had reinstalled any of the software that had been installed when the problem ocurred originally. It freezes anywhere within Windows or Office (97), but not in games. It is particularly unreliable in Outlook 97 and Explorer 4.0. I have downladed a new graphics driver, and the latest patches for IE 4, but there is no improvement.  When the system freezes I get no error message, and cannot do anything except hit the reset button. I am running a Pentium III 450, with 128 mb sdram, 8 mb Intel 740 AGP, Creative Soundblaster 16  Soundcard and 56k Connextant Voice modem.
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dew_associatesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
KM, there are several fixes that you need to do to cure this. I'll post them in the order that they should be done.

1. Use Find, Files and Folders and search for Config.sys and rename ot to Config.old.

2. Now search for Autoexec.bat and rename it to Autoexec.old.

Next, have your Windows 98 CD Rom disk handy.

1. Reboot the system and either hold the Ctrl key down right after memory post or just before you see the “Starting Windows…” dialogue, touch the F8 key.

2. Choose #5 Command (MSDOS)  Prompt only.
3. At the dos prompt, change directories to X:\Windows\Command, with “X” being the directory where Windows is installed.

4. Now type SCANREG/FIX <enter>

5. Follow the dialogue and let Scanreg review your registry and make any necessary repairs.

6. When Scanreg is done, reboot into Windows.


1. Insert your Windows 98 CD Rom disk into the drive.

2. Click Start, Run and type  SFC <OK>

3. This will start the System File Checker.

4. Click on the settings button and select “Check for changed and deleted files” and click OK to start.

5.A. Replace any files that are detected as damaged OR make sure you replace older files with newer ones. SFC will copy the old file to X:\Windows\Sysbckup in case you need it back.

6. When SFC is done, reboot the system and note the performance.


1. Click Start, Settings and Control Panel. Now click on the Fast Find icon. Highlight each index shown and remove it. Now click index and then click "close and stop".

2. Close control panel etc.


1. Visit the Microsoft Office update site and download the two service packs for Office 97, they are Service Pack one (SP1) and Service Pack two (SP2).

2. Once they are downloaded and saved to a folder where you can find them, use your Ctrl, Alt and Del keys and close or "end task" for all running programs EXCEPT for Systray and Explorer.

3. Apply Service Pack One (SP1)

4. Restart the system.

5. Repeat the process in #2 above.

6. Apply Service Pack Two (SP2). Now restart and test the system and let me know!

KMuirheadAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 200
KMuirheadAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your very clear instructions.  I have followed them but was interupted while running the system file checker and I think I accepted a file I should have restored - not sure what it was. There were no corrupted files, but lots of old ones. Initially the problem was worse, but it improved after applying the service packs (which I had already had all along).  It was fine for a couple of days, but this evening it would not go on standby, with a message that a device driver or programm would not allow it.  It then froze every time I tried to look at the power management settings.  Any more ideas?
It sounds like a few of the virtual device drivers are still bad. Give this a shot before doing any drastic like a format and reinstall.

1. Make a Windows Startup Disk from the Add/Remove Programs area of Control Panel.

2. Boot to the Windows Startup Disk and then insert your Windows 98 CD into the drive.

3. At the dos prompt, type "setup /p f" without quotes and touch enter. This will cause setup to clean the registry and check for damaged files and replace them if necessary. Watch it closely as it will ask on some files whether you want to replace a newer file with an older one. Always chhose the newer file.

4. After this is done, reboot the system once after it's final reboot and check the devices in device manager to make certain everything is okay.

5. Now log onto the internet and then click Start, Windows Update and update your system files.
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