Just past the splash screen, I am prompted with:
While initializing device IOS
ERROR: Real mode system memory allocation failed.
I've tried to boot in Safe Mode, by pressing F8, to no avail. (I haven't succeeded in doing this before, when there were no problems with my computer). I've pressed it repeatedly, once a second and held it down, at the first sign of something on the screen, until the splash screen presents itself.
I've tried running safe mode from the boot disk, to no avail. This first loaded a menu with three options and, when choosing Safe Mode, ended up at the A:\ prompt and wouldn't allow changing to the C:\ prompt (I was going to try a suggestion to rename c:\windows\smartdrv.exe to smartdrv.old). This next loaded a menu with five options and, when choosing Safe Mode, prompted me, in turn, with a myriad of questions about whether to perform certain operations, etc. (Someone might know something more about this).
This problem arose after restarting my computer normally; the only thing I'd really done, in terms of installing software, was try to patch Office 2000 with SP3, which ended up not happening anyway (said I needed SP2 then, after that failed, that I needed SP1; I have SP1 and SP2 installed, so not sure what happened there). In any case, nothing has been installed and no settings changed.
I'm running a PIII 733 MHz with 256 MB RAM, Windows 98 original (although fully updated via Windows Update).
I've seen the question at http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/Q_20367214.html
but, as Safe Mode fails, cannot make use of it.
Should I be buying new RAM perhaps? (I think, from memory, I have a 128 MB stick of Kingmax and a 128 MB stick of some other (reputable) brand).
Any help would be greatly appreciated! (Thank goodness I have another computer to send this from).