On boot up of Win 98 I recieve illegal operation by Explorer

Posted on 2002-05-09
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I recently deleted and reinstalled the driver for my sound card.  On the reboot after installing the driver
I recieved this error:
This program has performed an illegal operation and will shut down.
If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.

Under details it said:

Explorer caused an invalid page fault in module Explorer.exe at olc:00401f31 Registers

I have tried booting up in safe mode and Windows still gives me the error and it will not complete the startup.
I don't know how to reinstall Windows over Windows, but that is what someone told me to do.

Please help.
Question by:BGreene
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 7000212

I agree with your friend or whoever who told you to reinstall windows over windows.  To do this, get a win98 bootdisk that has CDRom support.  Put your Win98 CD in the CDrom.  Run the setup.  It will reinstall win98 on top of itself for you.  It will maintain your applications and data.  You may need to reinstall your drivers going this route.  So have your video card drivers, sound card drivers and any other drives ready to install....
LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 7000229
Be sure to pay close attention to the dialog boxes and what they are saying, for at some point in the installation process it will detect that you already have Windows in the C:\Windows directory, and will ask you if you want to install in the Windows.000 directory.  
Decline that (I seem to recall you have to click on an Other button) and make sure it installs in Windows
directory.  It will ask if you want to install over an existing copy of Windows (or something like that),
and you should say Yes. Good luck.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 7000238
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 7000252

Right now....or so it seems is that he can't get into Windows 98 even in safe mode.  I suppose if he has an Antivirus software on floppy, he could scan from Dos.  


Expert Comment

ID: 7000270
can you boot to a command prompt ? if so try typing scanreg/restore at the prompt then press enter.
select a date prior to the changes.

Expert Comment

ID: 7000300
Reboot your computer while holding down the CTRL key until the Windows 98 Startup menu appears.  Choose Command Prompt Only .

From the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Type the following at the prompt:

ren c:\explorer.exe explorer.old , and then press ENTER.

Restart the computer.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 7000376

Out of curiosity what does that may help him understand why he should follow those steps...thanks!

Accepted Solution

EricWestbo earned 100 total points
ID: 7000458
Your IPF sounds like the IE installation is corrupt.  As a possible means of correction, you can extract new copies of the original Windows files from your Windows CD.

To do so:

1) Start the computer with CD-ROM support using a Windows 98 Startup Disk.

2) Insert your Windows CD into the CD-ROM drive.

3) Type 'drive':
where 'drive' is the drive letter of the CD or DVD-ROM drive, and then press ENTER. For example, D: .

NOTE : If you don't have a CD, and your system had Windows pre-installed, your Windows installation files may be located on the hard disk in the following location:

Type cd\win98 , and then press ENTER.

4) Type the following command (all one line) and then press ENTER:

extract /a /y /e /l c:\windows\system Shdocvw.dll Mshtml.dll Comctl32.dll Shlwapi.dll Shell32.dll

5) Type the following command and then press ENTER:

extract /a /y /e /l c:\windows explorer.exe
Restart the computer.

NOTE : If you cannot access Control Panel or Windows Explorer, use this procedure to restart the computer in MS-DOS mode and extract the following files from the Windows 98 CD to the Windows\System folder:


hope this helps!


Author Comment

ID: 7000710
Thanks guys for all the comments
Greatly appreciated, I just got the windows boot disk and Im gonna give it a try.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 7000751
Bgreene, Why did you close the question if you haven't solved or completed the issue?  And I see you are going to try the bootdisk?  I suggested it before anyone else....
Plus the reinstallation of win98.  I just didn't do it as pretty...

Expert Comment

ID: 7001090
Thanks for the points, BGreene, but let me know that the answer resolved the problem...

Wakeup, while the bootdisk is going to help him out here, I wasn't suggesting a reinstall, which can be more time consuming and (if not done right) might cause 2 copies of Windows on his HD.  Rather, I was suggesting an extraction of those files that might have been corrupted, which are now giving him the error code noted above.

However, I'm "holding" these points 400 aside to see what the turnout is with BGreene & if it turns out that my answer does not resolve & that a reinstall is needed, they're yours.

LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 7001117
EricWestbo, Sokay...I don't really care...I just am more shocked that he accepted the answer without testing the theory or comment first.

But thanks for being considerate! :)


Expert Comment

ID: 7001132
Quote from the old Dad: "There's nothing better in life than basking in those things you've earned... and nothing worse than lugging around those things you didn't"


Expert Comment

ID: 7001135
Hi Wakeup;

This is the MSKB article I was refering to:;EN-US;q191609


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