system locks up

I own a emachines etower 400I. celeon 400mhz. 128mb(kingston 66mhz), win98. I consistently get fatal exception errors, system reboots in safe mode.

the system has a 66mhz bus speed but can handle up to 100mhz memory. I have tried diffirent memory (128mb 100mhz sdram directly from emachines) but it won't even boot(fatal exception errors). I at least get the system to run after several restarts with the kingston.

Is it possible my motherboard is bad? Is their a way to find out? I'm going to rma the emachine memory(Infineon) and see if a replacement works.
Any troubleshooting ideas would be greatly appreciated!
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Have you tried this

Boot to safe mode

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

Do this
Description of the System File Checker Tool (Sfc.exe);en-us;185836

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 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
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.
We need a little more to go on.... What do you see on the screen when you receive the fatal exception...... record the information..... bring up your system and run DrWatson (Start | Run | Drwatson.exe) to trap the problem and get some information as to why it failed..... We need the cause before we can provide research and/or provide correct solution instead of just guessing at it.

"My car conk out" just won't do it.... ie:  It conks out when I put it in reverse or step the gas, etc....

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Double Check for viruses
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"

eTrust Online antivirus scanner

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
Check for adware and sypware

spybot here



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General and overall information about Spy/Adware

According to Microsoft:

Definition of Kernel32.dll Error Messages

The KERNEL32.DLL file is a 32-bit dynamic link library file that is found in Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millenium Edition (ME). The KERNEL32.DLL file handles memory management, input/output operations, and interrupts. When you start Windows, KERNEL32.DLL is loaded into a protected memory space so that other programs do not take over that memory space.

On occasion, you may receive an invalid page fault (IPF) error message. This error message occurs when a program tries to access the KERNEL32.DLL protected memory space. Occasionally, the error message is caused by one particular program, and other times the error message is provoked by multiple files and programs.

If the problem results from running one program, the program needs to be replaced. If the problem occurs when you access multiple files and programs, the damage is likely caused by damaged hardware.

You may want to clean boot the computer to help you identify the particular third-party memory-resident software. Note that programs that are not memory-resident can also cause IPF error messages.

The following conditions can cause KERNEL32.DLL error messages:

Damaged swap file
File allocation damage
Damaged password list
Damaged or incorrect version of the KERNEL32.DLL file
Damaged registry
Hardware, hot CPU, over clocking, broken power supply, RF noise, ground bounce, or bad hard disk controller
BIOS settings for Wait states, RAM timing, or other BIOS settings
Third-party software that is damaged or incorrectly installed
.DLL files that are saved to the desktop
Non-existent or broken Temp folder
A control panel (.CPL) file is damaged
Incorrect or damaged hardware driver
Incorrectly installed printer drivers or HP Jetadmin drivers
Damaged Java Machine
Damaged .LOG files
Damaged entries in the History folder
Incompatible or damaged dynamic link library files
Damaged or incorrect MSINFO32.EXE file
Low disk space
Other problems that depend on the Kernel file

by Richard G. Harper
In most cases, I still think the fastest diagnostic route for KERNEL32.DLL errors is to follow this checklist by MS-MVP Richard G. Harper:

BAD MEMORY MODULES. Try inserting the command DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:ON into your CONFIG.SYS file with the System Editing utility and watch your computer for a message “HIMEM has detected unreliable memory at address xxxxxxxxx” which will certainly indicate that there is a memory problem. It may take several reboots over a period of days for this to show up. You can also download diagnostic software from AMI, or DocMemory from, to test your system’s memory.

BAD VIDEO DRIVERS. Check with your video card manufacturer for an updated set of drivers. If they don’t have an update, check one of the driver sites here.


FAULTY OR DIRTY COOLING FANS ON YOUR CPU OR POWER SUPPLY. The CPU fan can be cleaned with a small paintbrush and some compressed air. The power supply fan should be cleaned only by someone who is comfortable working around high voltage capacitor components. (If you are not sure if this is you — then trust me — it isn’t you.)

GRAPHIC ACCELERATION IS SET TOO HIGH. Right-click My Computer, select Properties, then the Performance tab, then the Graphics button. Turn down graphics acceleration a notch, reboot, try again. Repeat as necessary.

ANIMATED MOUSE CURSORS, MOUSE TRAILS, AND ACTIVE DESKTOP can also rarely cause these kinds of problems. Try disabling them all and re-adding one at a time until you find the culprit.

The following has solved many people’s Windows Explorer KERNEL32.DLL crashes. It is from early Windows 95 days, and seems to work primarily on Win95, though I have had a couple of Win98 users say that it helped them, too.

In the root directory of C:\, modify or create a CONFIG.SYS file to include the following lines:


If the error persists, try adding this line to your SYSTEM.INI file in the [386Enh] section:

; Increases default stack pages from 2 to 6

(The default is 2. If required, increase by increments of 2 until you find a value that solves the problem. The ; [semicolon] works the same as REM works in AutoExec.bat.)

Click Edit, Save, Edit, exit. Shut down and restart for the changes to take effect.

Additionally, repeat KERNEL32.DLL errors can often be resolved by deleting your Windows swap file, WIN386.SWP, and letting it rebuild itself.

A helpful collection of KERNEL32 information from MS-MVP Svetlana Belacov’s web site.

Another helpful collection, organized by the module causing the problem, is given on Henri Leboeuf’s page.

Several specific KERNEL32-related error messages are discussed individually on this collection of Microsoft Knowledge Base articles. (Check especially the Invalid Page Fault or General Protection Fault subpages, depending on the type of error message you have; or use the “Search This Site” button to find all KERNEL32 references.)

Search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for articles on KERNEL32 problems according to your operating system.
Are you sure your CMOS battery hasn't just gone flat? Replace (costs approx USD5 to 10) and re-start your pc.

Congratulations patrickab I noticed today is your 1 year aniversary here at EE :)
CrazyOne - thanks for the congratulations. You are very observant. Actually I joined earlier and used another handle patrickab2 but a year ago I was put right on having more than one registered name on EE. Since then it's only been patrickab - I suppose 12/6/2002 is when in EE terms I went straight ! It has been a most interesting year during which time I have probably learnt more than I have helped but it is the only forum that I can be bothered with as its conduct and terms of engagement so to speak are more civilised than almost all others.

stv01Author Commented:
Hello crazyone! running through your list of tips. tried to do the Start > Run scanreg /fix.
It says it has to be running dos, so i tried to run this from the dos prompt and still did not work.
So you know, I have run spybot and removed a lot of crap. Also did a scan for viruses from trend micro's site.
stv01Author Commented:
restarted the system in dos mode to run the scanreg /fix It ran for awhile said it fixed user.dat, then next file was system.dat and here it stayed until I restarted the system. It said it was checking system registry structure.
Should I try to run it again?
stv01Author Commented:
Tried running scanreg /fix again, the system erbooted on it's own on checking system.dat
what next crazyone?
Ok in my list of then go to the

then run a THOROUGH scandisk
then defrag

then report back if anything has changed
stv01Author Commented:
I've heard windows derag does not work well. Is there something else out there I could use to defrag?

I did this to my config.sys, just so you know.
BAD MEMORY MODULES. Try inserting the command DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:ON into your CONFIG.SYS file with the System Editing utility and watch your computer for a message “HIMEM has detected unreliable memory at address xxxxxxxxx” which will certainly indicate that there is a memory problem. It may take several reboots over a period of days for this to show up. You can also download diagnostic software from AMI, or DocMemory from, to test your system’s memory.
>>>You can also download diagnostic software from AMI, or DocMemory from, to test your system’s memory

Yeah I know. But this is a more patient way of chekcing for bad RAM.

Go ahead and use the windwos defrag and do it in safe mode

However if you really want and alternative take a look at these. I use Diskeeper on my XP installation




Norton Utilitie 2002 (SpeedDisk)

Ontrack® SystemSuite

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Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
Patrickab:  yeah, happy anniversary.  You're a full week ahead of me, lol.
stv01Author Commented:
Carzyone, Here's an update. I ran scandisk, which said it found errors and fixed them. I ran the windows defrag and it completed successfully.
I next restarted the pc, checked email, clicked on the link to see your latest posting, IE opened, then it locked up a few seconds after opening the expeerts page.
So I restarted and here I am.
Should I keep moving down your list? Thanks.
Yeah but also try this first to see if maybe it is IE that is the problem

If you have any add or pop up blockers they could be the problem. Also any other program running in the back ground may be causing some interference. You may find which one it is by process of elimination by closing them down one at a time. Also check to see if maybe if you are running a firewall and if it is causing the problem.

Start > Run rundll32 setupwbv.dll,IE6Maintenance


Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs
On the Install/Uninstall tab, click Microsoft Internet Explorer
click Add/Remove
click Repair the current installation of Internet Explorer
stv01Author Commented:
Did the Start > Run rundll32 setupwbv.dll,IE6Maintenance
I'll let this test out for awhile before doing anything else. I sometimes had problems with graphics loading in IE.

Also, I ran scanreg /restore in dos mode earlier before your most recent message.
The outcome was that the oldest cab file was dated 12/03/03 I did nothing because I knew I've had the locking up and fatal exception oe errors since at least september 03.  
stv01Author Commented:
12/8 update. Still have locking up. have to unplug system.
this morning system booted in safe mode, I chose to boot normal. Upon booting registry checker ran by itself. Here's the message "You have restored a good registry" "Windows found an error in your system files and restored to a recent back up of the files to fix the problem".
stv01Author Commented:
More... two more locks since home from work. Upon rebooting an error showed, "Error:HIMEM.sys has detected unreliable XMS memory at address 0150ED46
XMS driver not installed.
To continue starting your computer hit enter".
stv01Author Commented:
Note this is from the HIMEM test I loaded in the config.sys file.
Well this seems like a RAM problem. I know you said you replace the RAM so it is unlikely to be the RAM but it still may be bad RAM. Other than that I would say that the mother board might need to be tested at a local computer repair shop.
stv01Author Commented:
Yes I replaced the kingston once and tried the emachine memory recently, so I dout 3 different modules would be bad.
What or how would the test it? Is there not something I can do to test it?
>>>Is there not something I can do to test it?

Not really at least to affectively. The computer shop has diagnostic machinery to run the tests.
stv01Author Commented:
So the error message from the HIMEM test that read no driver installed does not mean I need a driver for XMS?
No I beleive what it is saying that it didn't load the driver because the memory at the said address was unreliable.
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
points to CrazyOne
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