Why does Windows ME constantly hang on me? This just started.

Posted on 2003-10-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-04
Why does Windows ME constantly hang up on me? It usually happens when I open Windows Explorer. The machine just stops moving; I can see the screen, but nothing moves, and I can't use ctl-alt-del to reboot. I have to manually press the restart button. This just started happening, and now happens a couple of times a day. Is it a memory thing? That is my thought. But I need to know what to check. Please, please, please (in the words of James Brown) can someone help me??
Question by:Jefraser
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9637398
See if you have an option of doing a Last Known Configuration
Boot the machine and as the BIOS is ready to Finish checking the hardware hit the Ctrl key and if  there is a menu choose of Last Known Configuratin select it.

Boot to safe mode

If you are using Active desktop then turn off Active Desktop Start > Settings > Active Destop > 
Deselect View as Web Page

Then this if still having problems

Start > Run scanreg /fix.

then run a THOROUGH scandisk
then defrag

If that doesn't do it then try this

boot to a ME or Win98 floppy bootdisk http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm and run this command

scanreg /restore

If still not fixed then

Reinstall the operating system over the top of itself. This will retain most of you settings and programs and replace the system files.

If the CD is bootable and your system allows booting from the CD then boot to the CD and install.

Otherwise boot to a ME or Win98 floppy bootdisk http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm
Put the CD in the CD drive
At the prompt run the following command


If you don't have the CD then run one of these commands





Note that reinstalling Windows does not alter your currently installed programs unless a program has previously replaced a Windows system file. If a program does not work correctly after you reinstall Windows, reinstall the program, but note that the program may be replacing one or more Windows system files.

LVL 44

Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 375 total points
ID: 9637407
Could be over heating check to make sure all fans including the power supply fan are working properly.

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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9637412
Test the RAM

If you can swap out the RAM with known good modules for testing first if you can't do that then test the machine with one RAM module at a time until you tested every module. Other wise run the the following RAM testers.

NOTE IF THIS DOESN'T FIND ANYTHING WRONG WITH THE RAM THIS DOESN'T MEAN THE RAM IS GOOD you would need to swap out the RAM with known good modules for testing. However if it does find something wrong then chances are the RAM is bad.

DocMemory PC RAM
Diagnostic Software




LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9637419
Check for adware and sypware

spybot here



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General and overall information about Spy/Adware
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9637423
Online Scanners

 Norton Web Services  
Go to this page and click on Scan for Viruses

It needs to download a few file so as to activate the scan so you may see a message like this.

"The Scan for Viruses uses an ActiveX program to scan your computer. The download is approximately 1.5MB and can take about 10 minutes over a 28.8 modem.

The scan can take more than 20 minutes depending on the speed of your computer and the number of files that you have. Please do not browse away from this page unless you intend to abort the scan.
Downloading Scan for Viruses controls. Please wait...
During the download, you might see one or more messages asking if it is OK to download and run these programs. Click Yes when these messages appear.
Note: Scan for Viruses does not scan compressed files"
 Trend Micro HouseCall        
"Trend Micro's free online virus scanner
In order to better serve our customers, we ask HouseCall users to register before scanning their computer.  By registering, you will receive virus alerts from our team of Virus Doctors. You will be able to unsubscribe when you receive your first email. You can also scan without registering"

PC Pitstop Virus Scan
Our free Web-based virus scan uses Panda Software's award-winning technology and virus list. We're checking against the "wildlist," the roughly 200 viruses that are most prevalent in the world in a given month
LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 9637437
Greetings, Jefraser!
   If this is a recent occurance, do a system restore to a date before the problem started.

System Restore Utility in Windows Millennium Edition

Best wishes, war1

Expert Comment

ID: 9637518
We have nothing left over to tell ;) Good work CrazyOne.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9637572
Ah shucks thanks Jonybrv :)
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 9637579
Lots of good suggestions but IMHO the MOST IMPORTANT point has been missed!!

This is WINDOWS ME!  By definition, ME is the WORST operating system ever released by Microsoft.  It simply hangs ALL THE TIME!  I've never supported an ME installation that didn't do exactly what you're describing.

My advice is to either "downgrade" to the MUCH better Win98SE, if your system is older and won't run XP well.  If it's a newer system, I'd say 256MB RAM and a 750MHz CPU or better, then XP is a MUCH better choice.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9637606
I theory jhance I agree to a certain extent but the question siad "This just started." leading me to believe it probably isn't the OS itself the is causing this. It comes across as being more hardware related or the questioner has installed a piece a software or hardware or driver they have forgotten about and hasn't infromed as of this yet.

Expert Comment

ID: 9639097
I completely agree with Jhance. I have "rebuilt/reinstalled/reconfigured" no less than 50 Windows ME operating systems to the far better Win98SE or WinXP if you have a FAST CPU.

I would however, further add that if you are using this PC for games, then Win98SE is the better choice as you really need a FAST CPU to run WIn XP.
If you are a gamer and primarily use this PC for games then I would not go to XP unless you have an XP Athlon 1800+ or a Pentium 4, 1.6GHZ or greater.

Eg: Microsoft Dungeon Seige runs very badly (very slow, unplayable) on a Duron 1200Cpu with 512MB RAM & 64MB Geforce 4 running WinXP, but runs beautifully on Win98SE.
If your CPU is slower than a Duron 1200 and is likely is because of the time that Windows ME came out (2-3yrs ago) then you should go "Upgrade" to Win98SE.

Even though this has "just started" this is simply the worst operating system released by Microsoft as Jhance has already mentioned.
Unfortunately for you, it was only a matter of time before this "Freezing up" happens as it has happened to everyone I know with Windows ME.

Change to Win98SE!!!


Author Comment

ID: 9641907
I really appreciate everyone's comments. I have long been thinking of upgrading to XP, but don't look forward to having to reload all my applications (some of which I no longer have the disks for).

LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 9643061
Does system restore fix the problem for you?

Author Comment

ID: 9643089
I have not been able to set a restore point...for about 2 months. Another problem. :-(

Expert Comment

ID: 9872922
i think the problem with Windows ME is that it is a very unstable OS you should consider formating and installing Windows 98SE or XP, which i think are one of the better OS by far

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