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New PC fails after inactivity

MischiefMadness
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I just built a 'new' PC for a client that required the old hard drive (with Windows 98) not be replaced. After some inactivity the screen will go black with garbage in the top left of the screen in many different colors of text (@#$%^&   is the type of garbage I am talking about). I am assuming that there are issues because of installing all new equipment without a clean install of Windows. I was wondering whether anyone else has had anything like this before, and how I can fix it without formatting.

PLEASE, no assumptions, I have tried the basic troulbeshooting (screen saver, power mgmt, sleep mode). I will only award points only if it fixes the error.

The parts that were replaced were: Motherboard, processor, memory, modem, and chassis.
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Glen A.IT Project Manager

Commented:
When I've replaced that much of a Win98 system I always did several things:

#1:  boot to safe mode and run add/remove programs to remove any system-related drivers, etc.
#2:  (again, in safe mode) run regedit.exe and remove the HKLM\Enum key.

Boot the pc.  All the hardware will be detected, and new drivers can be installed, and old ones reinstalled.

But that being said, I only attempted the above if it was CRITICAL not to do a clean reinstall.

With Win98 a clean reinstall of the O/S is best in this kind of hardware upgrade.
Glen A.IT Project Manager

Commented:
Also, as you mention "after some inactivity" it may be a result of advanced power management issues as well, so you may want to disable it in the bios and/or check the many articles on microsofts knowledge base regarding advanced power management issues in Win98.
Commented:
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Glen A.IT Project Manager

Commented:
Things are good here, coral.  Am back to work after 5 weeks :-(  but enjoying it anyway.

BTW, pretty sure in Win98 it's actually HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Enum . . .  you're too used to NT based o/s, I think :-)

_

Commented:
Just checked. Your right. Never used NT. I really need to better when I copy/paste stuff. : D

Commented:
Hello,

I know that you're thinking it's the old Win98 installation, but have you confirmed that the hardware is working properly (with this O/S or just generally) by using a spare disk with a new (no service packs, same version) Win98 installation?

However if it is an issue with the old installation of the O/S, in relation to drivers etc., it could take awhile to sort it out, so before you start tinkering with the O/S (which you would have to do anyway), I would take an image of the O/S and data, then if something goes wrong you can always revert to the original installation.

Regards
Dalziel

Commented:
alberta has the registry key correct...and I'm agreed that you need to delete the enum key and reboot..make sure you backup your registry first

Commented:
Turn ACPI and other power management settings off in the BIOS to help tracking down the problem.

ptero
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Top Expert 2007

Commented:
Win98 definitely had problems with Fast AMD processors, aboove 333 Mhz, and it may have problems with newer Pentiums also.

I would also check the VGA card and the aperature settings.

Also check the config.sys file and consider renaming it wince a standard win98 should not need it.

I hope this helps !

Commented:
I agree that it might be a problem with Win98 as a whole rather than just this particular installation which is why a fresh test install would help confirm what exactly is the issue and that it will work ok with your hardware. However if it is an issue either with Windows generally or this particular setup I'm happy to leave it to others (whatever it is it will, eventually, be fixable) because Windows isn't a I-really-really-want-to-go-into-it subject with me, to be honest the daily task of repairing and modifying Windows installation's is something I dread.

Regards
Dalziel
_

Commented:
>>>Fast AMD processors, aboove 333 Mhz<<<   I must have got lucky then. Running a K6/2 350 OC'd to 400 on W98.   Knock on wood.   : )
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Commented:
I know you have said that you have looked into screen saver, power mgmt, sleep mode, etc but if this is Win98SE, have you installed the Windows 98 shutdown supplement?

http://www.microsoft.com/windows98/downloads/contents/WURecommended/S_WUFeatured/Win98SE/Default.asp

My initial thoughts were graphics card insufficiently ventilated, but this would be unusual when in an idle state.  I haven't seen the random multicoloured @#$%^& type symbols before, but have seen random and moving bands which seemed to have been from an overheated Video Card.

Anything running from task Scheduler that might be kicking into something that's no longer there such as some DOS-based backup program or the like?

Commented:
>>>Fast AMD processors, aboove 333 Mhz<<<  This was only a problem with windows95, windows98 has a much higher tolerance

Commented:
haha 333MHz *PLONK*

if you dontĀ“like erasing parts of your registry or just want it simple,
you can just install win 98 over the actual installation and the new hardware will be detected.

Author

Commented:
THis is a Pentium 4 2.4 GHZ HT on a Asus P4S800 and PC2700. I have changed the settings in the BIOS, and that was no good. I still have to try all of the other ideas.
_

Commented:
Thank you much.    : )
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