Avoiding Windows Crashes

Windows 98 crashes on me several times a week. I can see no pattern as to when it crashes.

I don't think I'll ever see a crashless Windows. Are there any tricks that can at least reduce the frequency?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Check your system reasources (Right click My Computer, select properties, go to Performance). If it is below 70 % with nothing opened, that is not rreally good, if it itsnt that isnt the problem. If it is below o close to 70, you need to take off some of your TSR's. The beauty of Win98 is this can be accomplished easily. Go to START-PROGRAMS-ACCESROIES-SYSTEM TOOLS-SYSTEM INFORMATION. Then go to TOOLS and select SYSTEM CONFIGURATION UTILITY. Therre you should go to the START UP tab. The only TSR you really need here are SysTray and Explorer. But some of these may be needed for some programs. If you know you really dont need it, uncheck it, if your not sure, call Microsfot, or if you have an OEM version call the computer compnay who put Win98 on your computer. If this doesn't work, we'll take the next step.

Scott also known as Millie

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Scott (Millie) you are relatively new to this site, and with that welcome. You should know that this site observes a protocol as to how to respond to questions and when to post a proposed answer. If what you are about to post is a guess or merely a suggestion, post it as a comment. In this way, the question remains an open issue and visable to other techs who may have a viable answer. By locking the question as you have, it becomes hidden from view except to those who monitor what has been posted as answers. We would really appreciate your cooperation.

Lincoln, the reasons for lockups and crashes can be many and varies. They can range from incorrect settings for the motherboard, and memory issues (memory module that needs to be reseated or is going bad), to driver problems for you video card or other devices. Sometimes certain programs replace updated Windows 98 files with older versions that are borderline compatible. It would probably be asier if you explained when these crashes occur and what you were doing when they happen. This will enable techs to narrow the filed somewhat as to the cause. Rarely should a terminate and stay resident (TSR) application cause this unless it was from an extremely inexpensive program or a freebie from the internet. Games, on occasion cause this as well. Give us as much info as you can and the techs will work to help you straighten it out.

You may also want to reject the proposed answer, which we cause this question to be again viewed as an open issue.
Lincoln, Win98 provides a few good tools for troubleshooting problems like this. It takes a bit of 'drilling' to get to them, though.

Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Information>Tools>

System File Checker (sfc.exe) does a pretty fair job of checking, you guessed it, system files.

Version Conflict Manager (sorry I don't remember the .exe) does a reasonable attempt to identify "old vs. new" .dll problems.

You still need to keep your wits about you! Be methodical. Take care of obvious flaws and re-boot frequently while sorting through this situation. Don't attempt a "GLOBAL FIX".

The computer I'm using to send this message wouldn't boot when I bought it! So what?

Carry on,


p.s. should you need any further assistance don't hesitate to e-mail (I know how annoying this can get).
As a matter of interest can you tell us whether your PC is based on an Intel, AMD or Cyrix processor? How much memory does it have? Do you know what speed the memory runs at (typically either 66MHz or 100MHz). Have any other cards been installed inside the PC?

Is the PC overheating due to being placed too near to a radiator or in a stuffy cabinet? Sorry if these questions are a bit banal but random crashing is one of the most difficult problems to resolve, and it often takes a top-down, methodical and exhaustive diagnosis to resolve it.

Assuming its good quality hardware in a cool well-ventilated area, you could start off by entering your CMOS setup utility and loading the BIOS setup defaults. Double check that clock multiplier settings etc. haven't been tweaked beyond their limits.

Does the machine crash in safe mode? If not then it would suggest that a driver loaded at start-up may well be the culprit. Real-mode drivers are generally loaded from the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. Back these files up to another folder and delete them from the root of the hard drive.
It's generally much harder for a dodgy protected mode driver to hang the entire system; check the internet to find updated drivers (www.windrivers.com is a good place to start).

Ironically I have found such software as Norton SystemWorks or CrashGuard to cause as many problems as it fixes. Uninstall such software.

Best of luck
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.