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Illegal & Not Responding

Posted on 2004-10-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Hello W98 Experts,
I have lots of "..performed an illegal.." and ".. not responding.." events.
Many involve Explorer, but it can be any app.
Usually I have to restart several times per hour but I do remember a day back in November 1999 when it went for 3 hours non stop;-]

Also I get some Explorer "... performed an illegal..." and the message cannot be removed, C+A+D cannot get the task manager, shutdown locks up ... the only way to escape is by pushing the reset button and getting that patronising Scandisk message telling me to shut down correctly!
Oddly enough the PC can be used, just move the message  to one side and keep working, it just can't shut down.

Vet says there are no virus's.
Sometimes it seems like a stack overflow or out of RAM effect so I have run MemTest continually overnight but nothing found.
Question by:frog
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Author Comment

ID: 12265505
Oooops I forgot to mention that the "performed Illegal" can even happen when the PC is starting up, then restart and it starts up OK.
LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 12265545

Try this:

Start > Run > Type SFC and press enter

This will launch the System File Checker utility. Let it scan your system. You may need the Win98 CD.

LVL 59

Accepted Solution

LeeTutor earned 500 total points
ID: 12266195
Checking for viruses with only one program may not catch everything, and there are also lots of other types of malware:  spyware, adware, trojans, etc.  This could be a problem with viruses/trojans/spyware or other malware. Some free online virus scanners:




Also try these free programs to rid your system of spyware, trojans, and other malware:

Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove a multitude of adware files and modules from your computer. Spybot can also clean program and Web usage tracks from your system, which is especially useful if you share your computer with other users. Modules chosen for removal can be sent directly to the included file shredder, ensuring complete elimination from your system. And for advanced users, it allows you to fix Registry inconsistencies related to adware or malicious program installations. The handy online update feature ensures that Spybot always has the most current and complete listing of adware, dialers, and other uninvited system residents.
Version 1.2 adds a variety of new and updated features, including an immunization option that allows you to block many spyware downloads before they get to your computer, and improved detection mechanisms for morphing files.

With its ability to scan your RAM, Registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data mining, advertising, and tracking components, Ad-aware can easily rid your system of these tracking components, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web.

I use BOTH of the above programs on my 3 Windows systems; what one program misses, the other catches.  Also make sure to download the most up-to-date data before you run the programs.

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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 12266755
Oh, to get around scandisk, I just press enter.

I would reinstall win98 upon it self first.Takes about a 1/2 hour and does NOT change any settings.

Boot Win98, insert the cdrom with windows explorer go to the drive where the cd rom is located
Click on setup
If it offers to install the program in another folder such as windows000    DO NOT NO IT.
Let it go through the reinstalation
When finished reboot th PC.
If this does not work then try the comment from Lee Tutor
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 12269937
To get around scandisk permanently (not recommended), Run msconfig, General tab, Advanced button, Tick "Disable Scandisk after bad shutdown".

Chris B

Author Comment

ID: 12306358
Thanks all, it will be a day or so before I can try your suggestions.
I have discovered your site LeeTutor and I wonder why Windows shuts down an application that attempts to access resources that it shouldn't. It seems a bit harsh, is there a setting that prevents the shut down and just gives the warning instead?

Thanks Chris (burrcm), I asked a question about disabling scandisk some time ago and didn't get what I wanted. It seems there is a flag set on the drive itself because when swapping drives the need for scandisk follows the drives. Do you know where it is? (say an flag in the boot sector
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 12307123
I am not aware of any disk based method of doing this, which certainly doesn't mean it can't be done. I wonder then if scandisk can react to SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology systems) errors. If it does, then the continual running would be indicative of impending disk failure. If you have a drive that does this, try disabling SMART in the bios to see if scandisk goes away. Otherwise, can't help, sorry.

Chris B

Author Comment

ID: 12331255
Thanks Chris.
LeeTutor I tried Spybot and Adaware and they didn't find anything life threatening and it is still unstable, although praps a bit better, not sure.
I haven't forgotten reinstalling W98 gonzal13, I'm still finding the courage to do it!
I still have a 60 sec delay from the end of the clouds screen to the desktop, bootlog shows some failures so I guess that's where the delay is.
Failed to find msmouse.vxd so I copied another mouse vxd and named it msmouse.vxd and that one stopped!
ndis2sup.vxd fails even though the file is there.
nuwave.drv = file not found, copied mciwave.drv as nuwave.drv but it still says file not found.
I'll post the explorer lockup again as a separate question.

Expert Comment

ID: 12517356
The best solution would be to format your drive and reinstall windows.
If that's not an option try to find the process manager program from
a Visual Studio 6 installation (or cd). This prog should enable you when
running it to view all the processes and kill those that are stuck (its
just like in xp).

Author Comment

ID: 12622137
For anyone reading this question in the future, this might be helpful -

The PC had been getting more unstable over the last year.
I eliminated each PCI card in turn and also the RAM and the problem turned out to be the motherboard.
A friend told me that many motherboards were manufactured a few years ago using faulty electrolytic capacitors. This caused high ripple/noise on the CPU rails that caused instability. The motherboard monitor utility showed all voltages were within tolerances.
A new motherboard cured all the (unusually high) Windows 98 instability.

This also explains the early death of the original CPU.

This is NOT the fault of the motherboard manufacturer.
It is due to a batch of faulty capacitors.

Author Comment

ID: 12630800
Thanks LeeTutor,
I couldn't find how to close the question so I was going to accept my comment as the answer, but then I fouind that there was no 'accept'  button for it.

Author Comment

ID: 12630857
Lee, I have read the info on answering my own question and I don't want to " give the participants 96 hours to object to the refund", it seems like an unnecessary waste of their time.
I don't want a refund so I'll accept your original comment as the answer.

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