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Various hardware related problems disks in compatibility mode doesn't sense new hardware

Posted on 2004-08-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Specs:
Dell Dimension XPST7r  PIIIE  700MHZ 385MG RAM WIN98SE

All sorts of seemingly unrelated problems suddenly emerged on my customers Desktop perhaps 2 months ago.
When the system boots there's a broad dark band across the middle of the monitor.  This happens both using his monitor and mine.
NVDIA GEforce 256 AGP Dell video card.  I upgraded the driver and it still does this.
Message "EMM386 not installed."  
I eventually tried selective startup without either the autoexec bat or config sys coming up at boot.  No difference.    
Looking under performance it says:  Disks Running in compatibility mode
                                                     Drive C is running in Dos compatibility mode (something like this.)
I put in an ethernet adapter and plugged in a cat5 cable.  The little green light on the adapter lights up, but at boot the system doesn't recognize there's a new device out there.
Tried several scanreg /restores
Tried the system file checker
Ran Adaware,  Spybot, and hijack this.  Found some stuff, but it didn't make any difference.

Any ideas?
Thanks,
Al
 
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Question by:alanlsilverman
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by:
rid earned 1000 total points
ID: 11890388
The dark band is probably a video card issue. If you try different resolutions - does that make any difference (band gets narrower or broader)?

Do you know if the "DOS compatibility" thing is in fact a new issue?

You could try resetting CMOS or choosing a BIOS option for "Configuration Refresh" or similar, to ensure BIOS Plug-'n-Pray gets some help. Verify that BIOS is set for using PnP O/S!

Win 9X uses win.ini or system.ini for loading EMM386.exe (I think). Or it may be in the autoexec.bat... Did the EMM386 issue appear after the NIC was installed or before?
/RID
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Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 400 total points
ID: 11891930
"DOS compatibility" mode sounds like Windows is not in full protected mode, which may be due to the fact that there are other errors which need to be resolved.  EMM386 was an extended memory manager used in Win 3.1 and should not be needed for Win98.  You probably have a reference in autoexec.bat that expects a HIMEM.SYS reference in config.sys, so just comment it out.
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Author Comment

by:alanlsilverman
ID: 11925902
Mentioning the video card made me think to just replace it and see what happens.  That took care of many of the problems.   I was glad to know that the emm388 wasn't critial, so I commented it out and put it out of my mind.  I think there may be some other more basic problems, as the Creative sound card was also dead, but at least I got the customer up and running on broadband, which was the point in the first place.  Now if I can only talk him into a new computer....
Thanks,
Al  
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