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windows media player 9 series

Posted on 2003-02-28
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operating system windows 98 se. installations freezes at end where you click "restart" tried many ways to restart, but it doesn't completely install. can't open with icon in desktop.
thanks if you can help
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Question by:drew732
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16 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:ebullock
ID: 8046526
I would make sure I had all the latest OS software and hardware drivers for your machine installed. Specifically, in order of what's more likely important to less so (in my humble opinion):
1. Use Windows Update to get latest Windoes 98 SE patches.
2. Browse to hardare manufacturer(s) for your PC's hardware and download latest drivers.
3. Get new motherboard bios.
So other than this install, is your machine "very stable"?
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Author Comment

by:drew732
ID: 8049585
to ebullock
no my machine is not "stable" .  it locks up when i tried various things with windows media player series 9, i went to micro soft but couldn't find any patches that dealt eith that media player. I deleted series 9 and downloaded mp71 and i am having simular problems, alt/ctrl/delete says "wm player (not responding).i recently installed a sound card and video card.
thanks for the suggestions.
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Expert Comment

by:ebullock
ID: 8051001
Your problem is most likely not specifically caused by Windows Media 9, nor MP7. They just happen to "excercise" your PC in such a way that another pre-existing flaw is "exposed" -- and the machine crashes. The most likely cause is an incorrect setup of software, or hardware, or both. Another possibility is a virus infection. You will need to resolve these (this) PC setup problems first before you try to get Media Player working.

To help quide you further I need you to answer some basic questions for me:
1. How would you rate for experience level with PCs? Novice, some, intermediate, experienced, or expert.
2. How old is the PC?. What is the manufacturer and model of your PC? Can you list it's major specifications (CPU type & speed, amount of RAM, number of hard disks & their size.)
3. Do you have any near-term plans to upgrade the machine or operating system, or to buy a new system? (We don't want to spend much time on an old klunker if you'll be getting rid of it tomorrow.)
4. Have you ever used the "Windows Update" feature on Microsoft's web site?
5. Was your machine always unstable? Can you pinpoint when it started to "act up"? (Have you recently added and hardware?)
6. Do you have a subscription for and do you regularily use an anti-virus program? Do you know your system to be virus-free?
7. DO you connect to the Internet via phone dial-up, DSL, or cable modem?
Thanks
:-) Ernie
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Author Comment

by:drew732
ID: 8053779
to ebullock
to answer your questions:
pc experence - around intermediate
pc specs - 1998 ProGen discover 3D, 266 mhz, pentium II
ram 256 mb, one 3gb hard drive
i started having problems when i lost my graphics card ( os then was win 95 )upgraded to win 98 to find a usable card,i installed a nvidia tnt2 model m64-agp(checked for latest drivers today)pc says i have best driver installed, i had to back off the graphics accellerator 2 notches to avoid constant  
lock-ups.
norton anti virus is up to date, i use dial-up internet connection.
i upgraded to win 98 se, and recently lost the volume control and audio, installed a new sound card wirh no problems.
i have fixed everything electronic,or electrical since i was a kid radios, tv's(tubes to present)vcr's, printers,but i get a little gun shy talking about pc bios configuration,registry  i hope this helps, thanks ernie
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Expert Comment

by:ebullock
ID: 8055460
Since you say virus-checking is OK ... we'll eliminate virus infection as a possible cause. To be doubly sure you don't have a problem with viruses you should run a full-system scan now if you haven't done one in a month; that makes sure a virus didn't get on your machine at some point when your virus checking was (accidently) turned off.

Based on what I know so far, most likely your BIOS is out of date. As new hardware comes out it uses functions built into your motherboard which were not previously used. New motherboards are rushed out of the factory and often the program code in the BIOS is not fully debugged until well after the motherboard is in general circulation.

Therefore, I recommend you "flash your BIOS" as the next step to astable machine & Media Player nirvana.

To be sure I'm on the same page as you, does this review (from ZDNet) sound like your machine?
http://www.zdnet.com/products/stories/reviews/0,4161,346761,00.html
(Please copy these URLs into your Internet browser.)

That machine uses an A-Trend ATC-6130 motherboard. That motherboard looks like:
http://www.baber.com/baber/411/atrendatc6130.htm
Please crack open your box and verify your board is this model. I believe there was a version 1.0 and 1.1 of this motherboard; note yours. It's very important we identify your exact motherboard model. (the BIOS upgrade works with 1.0 and 1.1 boards.)

I see the board uses an Award BIOS. For the past 5 years or so all BIOSs have been 'flash upgradable'. This means to change the BIOS you boot the PC from an MS-DOS floppy, then run a 'flash' program from a floppy which backups up the existing BIOS code and then replaces it with a new code set. After that you reboot the PC. That's all there is to it.

There is some risk in flashing a BIOS: if either you 1) use the wrong replacement BIOS code or 2) the power fails mid-way through the flash update the PC could be left in a non-bootable condition. Should that happen (it's very rare but it is a real threat) your only recourse is to buy a replacment BIOS chip and plug that into the PC (6 years ago replacement such chips cost about $30; I haven't priced recently.) Replacement chips can be bought at http://www.unicore.com/biosupgrades/upgradenow.cfm#
as well as other places.

Your BIOS can be found at
http://www.bios-drivers.com/companies/129.htm
or
http://www2.driverguide.com/uploads/uploads12/7587.html
There are other sites as well.

Steps
-----
1. Take cover off PC, visually check motherboard model & write down. And don't take the documentation that came with your PC as gospel -- I've seen the docs say one motherboard but something completely different is inside!
2. Boot the PC, take down BIOS version # as machine first starts. (The is no need to flash if you happen to already have the newest -- skip to step 10.)
3. Download the new BIOS code into a temporary subdirectory. Uncompress it if it is a *.ZIP file. The *.BIN file is the new BIOS code.
4. Go to www.award.com and download awdflash.exe, which is the flash program. Also read instructions there on the flashing process.
5. Place both the awdflash.exe and xxxx.bin file on a blank, formatted floppy. We'll call this the 'flash' disk. Write down the *.BIN filename on a scrap of paper.
6. If you PC doesn't already boot from floppy, reboot your PC and enter the BIOS at the initial boot phase (usually by hiting DELETE key). Change "boot from" sequence so floppy is first, then your hard disk.
7. Obtain MS-DOS boot disk. Probably the Disk 1 of your old Windows 95 or 98 will work, or Disk 1 of an MS-DOS install. You boot to that floppy, then cancel (F3 usually) the install after the initial 'splash' screen comes up. You will be left at the MS-DOS "A:\>" prompt.
8. Insert the 'flash' disk and invoke awdflash.exe by typing it's name. When prompted use your paper scrap to type in the *.BIN filename. Answer YES to the "backup existing BIOS" question. Then YES agian to the "continue flashing?" question.
9. If flash finishes normally (it says "successful"), reboot PC. You are done.
9B. If 'flash' not successful, try flash again (this time DON'T save the "old" BIOS, as it isn't really the old one anymore). Or, select "restore old BIOS" and allow it to be put back on the machine (ie "give up").
10. Work with your machine for an hour or two trying out those things which you know tend to make the PC "crash". Note any changes in stability.

After flashing the BIOS, report back here on how the machine works now. Should there still be (significant) instabilities, the next step will be to review Device Manager looking for misconfigured ("X" of "!" marked) devices; then make sure each of the devices has the newest driver available. After that, we can look at IRQ or other hardware conflicts.
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Author Comment

by:drew732
ID: 8061095
to ebullock
ernie i apoligise for getting you into this problem, i thought it would be something simple. but lots of thanks for helping so far.
checked zdnet that computer is simular but mine is a 266MHz and uses Lx-440B mother board (note the B). i couldn't find any updates for that board that matches all the other info:
bios id : 04/29/98-440LX-w977-LX-440B-00
bios eval:LX-440B ver:1.0 04
chip set: intel 440ex/LX rev 3
superio:winbound 977TF rev 0 found at port 3F0h

i ended up at unicore.com and went to the "Bios Agent" and got the above information
Thanks again i'm learning a lot with your help.
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Author Comment

by:drew732
ID: 8061096
to ebullock
ernie i apoligise for getting you into this problem, i thought it would be something simple. but lots of thanks for helping so far.
checked zdnet that computer is simular but mine is a 266MHz and uses Lx-440B mother board (note the B). i couldn't find any updates for that board that matches all the other info:
bios id : 04/29/98-440LX-w977-LX-440B-00
bios eval:LX-440B ver:1.0 04
chip set: intel 440ex/LX rev 3
superio:winbound 977TF rev 0 found at port 3F0h

i ended up at unicore.com and went to the "Bios Agent" and got the above information
Thanks again i'm learning a lot with your help.
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Expert Comment

by:ebullock
ID: 8061891
So you are still on track to flash your BIOS soon? I've found the trick is to discover the right BIOS file for the motherboard in your box ... you *have* opened the case to check? ...

When looking for BIOS-es I always use google.com and I do a search based on the model number, ie "ATC-1630". Sometimes I'll add the keywords "BIOS" and/or "download" if the first search brings back too many 'hits'. If your board is not an ATC-1630, that's fine -- just search on whatever it's name is.

Also, before you didn't specifically answer question 4: are you are familiar with and use the "Windows Update" feature. So?

And now I'm adding a new question to the previous 7:
8. How much free disk space do you have left on that 3Gb drive?

Later dude...
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Author Comment

by:drew732
ID: 8091006
to e bullock
 hi ernie. i found the bios upgrade on google, flashed it and verified a bios version change. only change is now i can load    series 9 from the desk top. it continually reads connecting. i'm still running the graphics accelerator down 2 notches to avoid freeze-ups. yes i cracked the case to verify the motherboard, i checked systems device manager for conflicts and found one "wave device for voice modem" no driver loaded the computer couldn't find one on the the disk, went to windows up-date said ther is a problem "publisher unknown" "not verified by trust provider". they didn't recommend installation. i removed that"wave device for voice modem"(which is the second time it is listed) it wouldn't accept the driver from the first listing. now it pops up when i boot,looks for driver but cant find any.
i have 890 Mb of free space on a 3Gb drive. thanks ernie
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Author Comment

by:drew732
ID: 8091008
to e bullock
 hi ernie. i found the bios upgrade on google, flashed it and verified a bios version change. only change is now i can load    series 9 from the desk top. it continually reads connecting. i'm still running the graphics accelerator down 2 notches to avoid freeze-ups. yes i cracked the case to verify the motherboard, i checked systems device manager for conflicts and found one "wave device for voice modem" no driver loaded the computer couldn't find one on the the disk, went to windows up-date said ther is a problem "publisher unknown" "not verified by trust provider". they didn't recommend installation. i removed that"wave device for voice modem"(which is the second time it is listed) it wouldn't accept the driver from the first listing. now it pops up when i boot,looks for driver but cant find any.
i have 890 Mb of free space on a 3Gb drive. thanks ernie
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Expert Comment

by:ebullock
ID: 8092041
Glad the BIOS upgrade went OK and that your sick machine is a bit better. With some more work we should be able to make it fully healthy.

First about WM9 and "connecting". The first time you load WM9 it attempts to reach an Internet site (I think www.msn.com). To make this first connection successful in a modem environment, first you must use Internet Explorer (or whatever: AOL, Yahoo, etc) to establish a connection to the Internet. THEN envoke WM9 and it will successfully "connect".
Incidentially, WM9 always says "connecting" whenever it is attempting to open a file, whether the file is on the Internet (where the word "connecting" makes sense) or on your local hard disk (where it doesn't).

You can abort this intial "connecting" to the Internet by just pressing the little "folder" button on the top edge of the WM9 display window then navigate through your hard disk until you find an audio or video file  that WM9 can read (*.mpeg, *.avi, others).

As to the "wave device for voice modem" and the "not trusted" messages... I believe you should have allowed the driver to install.

About 3 years ago Microsoft decided there was a potential problem with hackers writing (or modifying) device drivers to insert virus code. Until that time all Microsoft's OSs just took "as gospel" device driver code and installed it. So Microsoft changed the rules for writing a "good" device driver -- henceforth all drivers were to have within the driver's code the publisher's name and a checksum which could be used by the OS to determine if the file had been tampered with after publishing. If these two items were not present, the device driver installer routine(s) would warn the user the driver *could* be "bad".

Even today new device drivers are written which do not follow Microsoft's guidelines; these drivers are perfectly safe (well, as safe as is any software). Also I know of NO vendors who went back into their old device drivers and added in the new Microsoft rules. So by defination almost ALL old devices have "untrusted" drivers.

Though I have worked a lot with computers, I have never seen a "contaminated" device driver. I just don't think this is a problem. So I would trust any device driver as long as it was downloaded from a "non-hacker" site. You'll have to proceed at your own risk, but if I were you I'd go back to the Windows Update site and I'd install that "wave device for modem" driver -- as well as any other upgrades it prompts as available.

But do not trust Microsoft's Windows Update site to have ALL the updated drivers you might need. While I've found it to be "good" in general, individual publishers don't always work with Microsoft to have their device drivers available at the site -- especially foreign or low-budget firms. So I would open up Device Manager and write down each device's name and the name & version of the driver it uses (you can copy-paste some of this into NotePad by highlighting the words). Then I would use the device-name strings to search in google.com, adding "driver" and possibly "download".

Once you feel you have installed all the latest drivers, the next step is to look at possible device resource conflicts. Assuming the machine more-or-less runs (as yours does) I always get new device drivers BEFORE working on conflict issues because many times the newer drivers are better written and gracefully co-exist on the same IRQ, DMS channel, etc. -- while the older version could not. If the new driver works, why hassle detangling IRQs?

When you are done getting/verifying you have the newest drivers available, test your machine and tell me how you are doing. Until then...
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Expert Comment

by:ebullock
ID: 8092065
Oops! That last sentence should say "DMA channel", not DMS channel (no such thing).
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Author Comment

by:drew732
ID: 8123568
to ebullock
hi ernie: i re-installed the graphic card and updated the driver.  then went on line and opened wp 9 , got to the home page but clicking on any view, resulted in a timer icon. that stayed and froze. alt/ctrl/del results in "mp not responding"I give up i guess i wont achieve "multimedia niverna" with this computer. thanks for your time, trouble,and,expert advice.  i learned a lot, and became more confident trying to fix this problem.  thanks again
drew732
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Accepted Solution

by:
ebullock earned 200 total points
ID: 8123762
Your setup is very marginal in "guts" when it comes to trying to run multimedia. You've got an old PC, an old operating system, and a slow dial-up Internet connection -- 3 strikes!

Even with my fast PC and DSL connection, I always try to download video and audio files to my hard disk before playing them. It just works better on average. You should particularily try this with your setup. To save a file to disk, right-click on the image or reference that "points" to the movie. Look that you've got a *.mpeg, *.mpg, *.avi, *.mp3 file (not *.htm which is link to another web page). Select the "Save file as..." option then the "Save" button rather than "open" one.

WMP doesn't like long delays caused by slow download and/or processing speeds and will often appear "hung" when it actually isn't ... it's just waiting (and won't acknowledge anything else). So your system *could* be working just fine now ... just S  L  O  W.
Anyway, good luck. Glad I could help some.
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Expert Comment

by:CleanupPing
ID: 9447432
drew732:
This old question needs to be finalized -- accept an answer, split points, or get a refund.  For information on your options, please click here-> http:/help/closing.jsp#1 
EXPERTS:
Post your closing recommendations!  No comment means you don't care.
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