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Windows 98 Startup Problem - Explorer has performed an illegal operation

Posted on 2004-10-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
A friend (not local) is having problems booting up into Windows.  He is running Windows 98 and when his computer is first booting into Windows he is receiving an illegal operation error with Explorer (Explorer itself, not IE).  Once he acknowledges that error it just goes to the green background with no icons or anything.  He is unable to boot into Safe mode.  He does have a boot disk that can boot him into DOS with CD-Rom support.  He is a very novice computer user so step by step directions would be needed.  Thanks!
Question by:adrian78
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LVL 65

Accepted Solution

SheharyaarSaahil earned 672 total points
ID: 12323519
Hello adrian78 =)

Can he try doing what is described here >> http://www.windows-help.net/windows98/start-145.shtml

Author Comment

ID: 12323659
Thanks!  I will get him to try this.

Expert Comment

ID: 12324320
Hi Adrian,

If ScanReg doesn't work then his best bet would be to reinstall Windows 98 over the top of his current installation.

It's easy, you just boot off the CD-ROM into Windows setup and choose the option not to format.

It'll replace pretty much the entire contents of the C:\Winodws directory and it wont touch the registry or uninstall any of his programs.

With Windows 98 this is usually the best option.

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LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 12325607
It  may be necessary to rename win.com to win.old before he can reinstall over top (the file is in c:\windows).
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

AlbertaBeef earned 664 total points
ID: 12326014
I personally don't believe an installation overtop is the best bet with Win98.  

Because Win95, 98, 98SE are known to have issues with the registry bloating, I find it's best to do a clean install with a new registry.  It'll run MUCH smoother, faster, and with less problems.

If you want to do a fresh install without formatting the hard drive, I suggest the following, taken from a PAQ of mine:

If you want to reinstall your Win98 without risking data loss or having to format your hard drive, here's a great method, if you have the free hard drive space, and even though this write-up is long, it doesn't take that long to do, and it's well worth it:

1st, ensure the Windows98 setup files are on your hard drive.  (Win98 installs much faster from the hard drive than from CD Rom.  Plus when you install from hard drive you're never asked for the cd again . . .) These files are all in the \cabs folder on your win98 setup cd.  Copy these files (.cab files, etc.,) to your hdd in the a new folder, call it "c:\win98" or something, that's what I usually call it.  (Yes, I know the standard place is c:\windows\options\cabs, we'll get to that in a minute. . ."

Now, boot directly to dos mode.  (you can boot to dos prompt by pressing [f8] just as windows starts booting, then a menu appears in which you can choose that option.)

In dos mode, switch to your windows directory (type "cd\windows" without quotes) and rename your win.com file to win.bak or win.old or something like that.

Once that file is renamed go back to your root directory by typing "cd\" without quotes.

rename your windows directory using the ren command:  type "ren c:\windows c:\winbak"

now lets make sure it still knows where to find the DOS commands by typing "path = %path%;c:\winbak\command"

Now create a new directory by typing "md c:\windows"
And another by typing "md c:\windows\options"
and another by typing "md c:\windows\options\cabs"

Now move the cabs by typing "move c:\win98\*.* c:\windows\options\cabs"

go to your .cabs directory by typing "cd\windows\options\cabs"

now you can run setup using "setup /is /id /im /iq"  (fastest way to run it)

Make sure when you run setup to install it to the c:\windows directory, even if it wants to install to c:\winbak or c:\windows.000 (it probably will . . .)

Once setup is complete, because you kept your old windows directory as "c:\winbak", you've still got all your favorites that you can copy back over, they're in c:\winbak\favorites.  All your emails are still there (search your c: drive for "inbox" and you'll find the folder they're hiding in.)  You can import them from that folder back into your mail reader using it's 'import' feature.  All your backgrounds are there (usually as .bmp files) in your c:\winbak directory as well as many other things you may need.

All your drivers will still be there, and when asked for the files you can point to them in c:\winbak\inf or c:\winbak\inf\other and sometimes c:\winbak\system.

You'll have to reinstall your software, of course, (but because you haven't formatted, all your documents, saved games, etc., should all still be there) and you may have to reinstall your Internet Explorer and Outlook Express (keep in mind ie5 or ie6 usually can be reinstalled from "c:\windows update setup files".  You can usually find the setup there to reinstall your ie without downloading it all again.

Once your happy with how things are running, and your sure you recovered all that you need to, then delete the old c:\winbak folder.

It's a method I've used several times for reinstalls without risk of data loss, and it's always worked *GREAT* for me!

Assisted Solution

happythedog earned 664 total points
ID: 12327291
thats an os kernal issue boot into dos and type DEBUG
a white line shows up
then type the following
A:\>debug <enter>
-fcs:200 400 0 <enter>
-acs:100 <enter>
-xxxx:0100 mov ax, 0 <enter>
-xxxx:0103 mov ax, cx <enter>
-xxxx:0105 out 70, al <enter>
-xxxx:0107 mov ax, 0 <enter>
-xxxx:010a out 71,al <enter>
-xxxx:010c inc cx <enter>
-xxxx:010d cmp cx,100 <enter>
-xxxx:0111 jb 103 <enter>
-xxxx:0113 mov ax,302 <enter>
-xxxx:0116 mov bx,200 <enter>
-xxxx:0119 mov cx,1 <enter>
-xxxx:011c mov dx,80 <enter>
-xxxx:011f int 13 <enter>
-xxxx:012l int 20 <enter>
-xxxx:0123 <enter> (without typing anything.)
-g <enter>
program terminated normally
If you are doing this debug routine to clear out a possible virus turn off your computer and wait and turn back on.
-q <enter>
Once back at DOS reboot your computer
NOTE the XXXX can be anything the:and four numbers is a prompt no spaces between prompt and command no space after end on command and enter

Expert Comment

ID: 12327306
this is guaranteed to clear his system to he lowest possibile level , even the fat tables that arent cleared by normal format
NOTE to 2000/XP users: command exists but those oses dont allow hardware writes so you will get an error at the end

Author Comment

ID: 12328850
Thanks everyone!  I will have him try out all these potential issues and get back to you.  I (and he!) appreciate it!

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