multiple problems with my whole system

Posted on 2006-11-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I am very new to computers, and don't know or understand most lingo.  I was given an old computer running windows 98.  The computer had set idle for several years, so after finding windows update, I downloaded all that was available.  I live in an area where I can only get dial up service with access to only 1 phone no., service is very slow, so after many hours of studying and following many instructions, and given lots of advice, my computer is really a mess.  I receive many error, fatal exception, vxd files missing, dll errors.  I don't have a book on the PC itself, but I have a windows 98 book and CD.  It seems the more I try to fix the more I mess it up, so my question is, can this PC be fixed or do I need to just buy a new one?  Is there one program that I can download that will scan, fix, repair registry, missing or duplicate files, virus's, an overall fixit, etc. etc. I have AT&T dial up service.  I even had truouble loading this website, and getting signed up, so I really do need an expert to help me thru all of this, and keep in mind I will need very easy to understand step by step instructions, I am a newbie.  Thanks so much, Becky
Question by:purkissbecky
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17864445

It sounds like it is fixable. But might take some effort.

Do you have another system to connect to the web, or someone who can download things for you?

You need to find out exactly what your system is. CPU, ram size and type, video card, etc.

Did you try a dirty install of W98, yet?

Dirty Install of W98
Go into the BIOS and set the CD Rom as first boot device. If you have WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS or INSTALL on the hard drive, you can run the Setup.exe from there.
Choose Install  
Run the setup program from the CD or WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS or INSTALL folder.
This should save all of your settings and programs.  But you will probably have to reinstall any updates/patches

Also make sure you install to WINDOWS not WINDOWS001 ( or whatever ) when it asks where to install.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17864456
Since it has been setting for awhile, you might want to reseat the ram and addon cards, to make sure they are making good contact.

Also, if the time or bios settings keep changing, you might need to replace the CMOS battery.
LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 17864719

Personally I would format and reinstall Windows.

You mention a CD, is it a Windows 98 installation CD? Do you have the product key for that CD (check the book cover and CD case)?

Do not try an installation without the product key.

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LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17865311

Probably the best thing you can do to try and help us understand a bit more about your computer is to UPload two reports to an area of the Experts-Exchange web site so that we can have a look at them and get a better understanding of what is installed and running on your computer.

Please do as follows:

Report No. 1.
1. Start Menu > click the RUN option > and type in   MSINFO32  > click OK
2. Click the FILE Menu and then click the "Save" option
3. Browse to a suitable folder OR, if you are using another computer to connect here on the Internet, then maybe insert a blank floppy and browse to it.
4. Type in a suitable file name, eg. Becky1, and it will save as an *.NFO file type to the folder you chose, or to the floppy disk.  It can take a while to finish.

Report No. 2
1. Start Menu > click the RUN option > and type in   DRWATSON  > click OK
2. A new icon will appear in the "System Tray" at the bottom right of your screen next to the clock
3. Click on it with the RIGHT Mouse button and choose "Open Dr watson" (or similarly named option - I don't have access to Windows 98 right now)
4. It will load as a window with several tabs across the top
5. Click the FILE Menu and Save the file (as steps 3 and 4 for the first report, but name it with a different name, eg. Becky2)
6. It will Save As a *.WLG file type with the same icon as the one in the System tray.  If you don't choose where to save the file, it will automatically save to the folder C:\Windows\DRWATSON.

The reason I mentioned saving to a floppy disk as an option is in case your problem PC crashes more and you have to upload these reports from another functional PC with Internet connection.  In that case, you can just transfer the files from the floppy to that computer.  read on ...

Now the tricky bit.  The File Upload facility at Experts-Exchange only allows you to upload certain file types, and neither the *.nfo or *.wlg types are allowed.  If WinZip, or some other file zipping utility, is installed on the computer, then Zip BOTH files up into one appropriately named *.Zip file eg. Becky_Reports.zip.

Once done, check the file size and make sure it is less than 4 MB in size, because that is the maximum size of file you can upload at a time.  Hopefully they will be pretty small, but if the zip file is more than 4MB, create two new ones by zipping up each report separately.

To upload the zip file, FIRST copy or write down the address of your question, ie:

Now go to this web address and enter your Experts-Exchange login details:

In the "Question" field, paste (or type) the address of your question, and then browse to and select the *.ZIP file you created with the two reports in it.
Click the "Upload" button, and it will show you a web address that you should write down or copy.  Paste this here, or type it into a new comment, so that we can go to that address and download your reports.

One thing that we MUST make sure about is what type of Windows 98 CD you have.  Some CD's were sold with the computer on which the seller installed Windows 98, and the CD would be a "Recovery" CD.  Some of these wipe the entire drive and reinstall everything from scratch, but a FULL "Retail" CD version would allow you to reinstall Windows back on top of itself.  There is also another type known as an "Upgrade" CD which requires that you have an older Windows version already installed so that it can be upgraded from the CD.

The Version should be written somewhere on the CD.  Please let us know what type it is before you do anything further.

One thing that you CAN do meantime is as follows.  It MIGHT help to stop some of the errors.

1. Start Menu > RUN > and type   MSCONFIG   > click OK
2. Click on the "Startup" tab and you will see a list with tick-boxes

These are the programs that are run every time your computer starts up.  Not all of them are essential, and one or more MIGHT be causing some of the errors.  If the box against a line is TICKED, then the program will run.

3. UNTICK ALL of the boxes EXCEPT for the following ones:
4. Click the "APPLY" button, then the "OK" button, and say YES when it tells you to restart the computer.

IF you get any error messages about something not being found or unable to start up, then the error would give you a clue that one of the startups needs to run another that is disabled, and you can then open the Startup tab of MSCONFIG and TICK it again.

In fact, this is a good way to test and see if one particular startup program is causing the problems.  Tick them one at a time and reboot after each one.  If the error messages disappeared when all the non essential startups were disabled, but then started again when you re-enabled one of them, then you have pinned down the problem one and you can let us know the details.

Take notes!!

It is always a good idea to either write down the FULL details of error messages, or to take a "screenshot" of them.  To take a screenshot of an error message and save it as a file, do as follows:

1. Press the ALT and then the PrintScreen (or PrntScr) keys
2. Open up Microsoft Paint (Start menu > Programs > Assessories > Paint)
3. Click the menu options EDIT and then Paste, OR just press the Ctrl and V keys
4. It may tell you the image is too big and it has to stretch the window, or something like that.  Say Yes, and the pasted image of the error will show.
5. Use the File Menu and choose Save As to save it as an image file.
If it gives the option of saving as a *.JPG image type, then choose that.  If not, then just save as a *.BMP file.  Choose appropriate names for the files that describe the errors.

You can always upload those image files separately to
as it accepts those two file types.

Hope this helps a bit.


Author Comment

ID: 17869417
Thanx to all who have responded, but I am so new to all of this, it will take me some time to process.  I don't have a printer to print out the instructions, so I have to go back and forth thru pages, and my computer is so so slow, I have tried to follow some of your suggestions, but I don't understand the lingo, like how I find out what kind of system I have, CPU, system and type, video card, etc., how do you dirty install windows 98?, what is BIOS, how do you get there, how do you reset the ram and add on cards, how do you format and reinstall windows, I do have a Product Key no. on the book windows 98 that was given to me, the windows CD itself says for distribution with a new PC only. To  BillDL, I followed all your instructions in step one up to clicking on file to save on the System Configuration Utility Page, and all it said was close, like in close window, no save item appeared.  This seems to be the story of my life when trying to follow any instrcutions, I get so far, and either my PC or program doesn't have what it tells me to do or my computer will freeze up.  Anyway, as you can see I am a true newbie, I will keep trying to figure this out so be patient with me.  I hope I am responding correctly and that you all get this?                                
LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 17870272

If you don't need the data and software on that PC, format and reinstall Windows:


LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 17870295


To create a Windows 98 boot floppy go Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Startup disk tab > Click Create disk.

You will need a formatted/clean floppy in the drive.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17872133
OK. Lets start with getting hardware info and you into the Bios.

To get into the BIOS:
When you first turn on the computer, while it is doing the memory count (usually top left corner) you need to press the DELETE key. Not all systems are the same, but across the bottom of the screen it will tell you what key to press to get into the BIOS Setup.

You can also press the PAUSE key, and freeze the boot screen to get the cpu type/speed (at the top of the screen) and the bios numbers (bottom of the screen) which we can use to track down the motherboard.

I agree that a "clean install" of W98 would be best if you do not need any thing on the drive, but you need to find out if you need to get drivers for any of your hardware first.

A "dirty install" will usually just fix the Windows files, and leave drivers and programs as they are.

For both option, you can boot from the W98 cd (if it is W98SE). To do this:
Once in the BIOS Setup, you need to find the BOOT DEVICE order, and set it to boot from the CD ROM first, then the Hard drive second. Save and Exit.

If it is W98 only, or you system can not boot from a cd drive, you will need to make a boot disk and set the Bios to Floppy first, then hard drive, Save and Exit. Then boot from the floppy "with cd support", change to the CD drive *** at the A:\ prompt type D:\ and press ENTER ***
, and type in SETUP and press ENTER.

Since you are just learning, don't worry about anything but getting use to the system right now.
Getting in and out of the BIOS is the first thing you should get comfy with.

That should keep you busy for a minute or two.   : )
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17872585
It's good to know from the outset how experienced you are, so thank you for being honest.

Re your attempts to save the MSINFO32 report to a file, it would seem that you may also have some damaged/corrupt files on your system that this utility uses, so don't worry about pursuing this for now.  It would have given a very good starting point to assess your system though.

Regarding note taking in the absence of a printer, here's some advice.  You can "scroll over" text in most open windows and COPY the highlighted contents so that you can then PASTE them into another application.  Windows Notepad is the most useful for note-taking, and you can then just use the File Menu > Save As option to save as many separate files of instruction as you wish.  Just save the files somewhere easy to get to, like into a new folder on your desktop.  You can then have the instructions open in Notepad while you follow some steps, and you just click on its icon down in the Task bar (very bottom of the screen) to bring it up in front of what you are doing any time you need.

To COPY text just press the Cntrl key and then the "C" key, or look for an Edit menu in the window that is open, and choose "Copy".
To PASTE somewhere else, look for an Edit Menu and a "Paste" option in that application, or press the Ctrl key and then the "V" key.

Hope this helps you struggle through what must seem like an alien language.

CPU = Processor.  The main chip in your computer that does all the work, and is rated according to how fast it works in Megahertz  which is abbreviated to MHz.  The larger the number in MHz, the faster the processor runs.  You MAY see this indicated if you click on the "My Computer" icon with your RIGHT mouse button and click on the "Properties" menu option.

RAM = Small add-on Memory cards that fit into slots on the main board inside the computer's case.  The computer needs some memory to work, and goes faster the more you have.  This is given as MegaBytes or KiloBytes.  Your computer could have anything from eg. 32 MB (megabytes) to say 384MB or 512MB.  Any more than that, and Windows 98 causes loads of errors.  You can see the amount of memory if you view the My Computer "Properties" as detailed above.

BIOS = A small chip on the main board that contains a program to check out all the other computer hardware each time it starts up.  The "BIOS Setup Screen" is just a way of viewing or modifying very important user-changeable settings that the system needs to know as it starts up.  You MUST know what you are doing, but you will ALWAYS have a key designated to "Exit without saving changes" eg. pressing the <ESCAPE> key would ask you this, and you have a way out.  You will ALWAYS be asked if you want to save changes when you press <ESC> to close the BIOS Setup Screen, so it's easy enough to say Yes or No, depending whether you made changes by accident or intentionally.

As you are inexperienced, I would recommend that you DON'T go poking around inside the computer's case checking to see if all the cards and memory are firmly pushed into the slots.  If you know someone who has experience with this, then ask them to do it, BUT make sure:
1. The computer is powered off
2. That they are wearing an anti-static wristband or have their arm touching a bare metal part of the case.
The silicon chips on vcomputer hardware can be ruined by a static shock that is too small for you to even detect.

Personally, given your level of expertise, I would go along with blue_zee's recommendation to create a Bootable Floppy Disk from within Windows, and then follow the instructions in the page that he provided the link for.  You did say that you have a Windows 98 BOOK, and you MAY find some similar instructions in there.

Be aware that the suggestion here is to do a "Dirty Install".  This is just an expression for installing Windows back ON TOP of the existing installation in the hope that it repairs damaged files or wrong software settings. When reinstalling Windows this way, IT WILL detect the presence of the existing installation, and will probably NOT show this screen (from blue_zee's linked page - 3rd image into "Part 2" of the instructions):

It is MORE likely that it will come up with a suggested folder to install to, and will probably show something like   C:\WINDOWS000   or similar.

This is IMPORTANT.   You DON'T want to accept that as the folder to install to.
CHANGE it to   C:\WINDOWS   before proceeding.
The idea is to reinstall it over the existing installation already in the C:\Windows folder and NOT to create a new folder.

LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17872604
Sorry, I also meant to emphasis that you WILL be asked to enter your software registration key into a screen like this:

You NEED this number BEFORE reinstalling, so look for a number in the following format which will be made from letters and numbers (replaced by x's below just to show the format:


Usually this will be on a sticker (Certificate of Authority or License) on the front of your Windows 98 Manual or on the case that the CD came in.  It could also be on the side or back of the case somewhere.  See here:

If you DON'T have that number, then DON'T go ahead and try to reinstall Windows.
We can tell you how to get it from deep within Windows' files if you don't have it.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17875445
Also, if you are not sure which version of W98 you have, when you do the RIGHT-CLICK on My Computer, and LEFT-CLICK Properties, it should tell you which version of W98 you have
Something like: (this is mine)

Microsoft Windows 98
Second Edition
4.10.2222 A

Some other numbers you might see.

Windows 98 Retail OEM       4.10.1998    11 May 1998
Windows 98 Security CD      4.10.1998A
Windows 98 SE OEM           4.10.2222    23 April 1999
Windows 98 SE               4.10.2222A   23 April 1999
Windows 98 SE Security CD   4.10.2222B

<stolen from another BillDL post>  ; )
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:Christopher McKay
Christopher McKay earned 400 total points
ID: 17882615
Hello Becky,

(Also a quick hello to coral47, not used to seeing your outside the lounge, you may find this software of interest too.)

One of the things that the experts need here to help you, is more information about your computer. I understand that this is a difficult task for you, as you aren't familiar with the tools that we use to get this information from the computer. Perhaps this will assist you.

First, you can download this software from here: http://www.gtopala.com/en/siw.exe
Then save it to a floppy disk.
Take that floppy disk to your Windows 98 computer.
put the disk in your computer, then do this:

Click start.
Click Run
type "Command" (without the quotes)
Press "Enter" (on the keyboard)
This should open a black window with "C:\Windows>" (Or something similar)

In the black window do this:
Type "a:" (Once again, without the quotes)
Press Enter
The prompt should change to "A:\>" (Without the quotes.)
At the A:\ type "siw /log" (without the quotes)
Press Enter
The computer should act busy for a while, and you may get a report on the screen telling you "SIW -- Progress"
Once that is done, it will create a new file on the floppy drive. Usually called "SIW_(a bunch of numbers here).html"
This file will contain the information that the techs need.
It will contain information about your motherboard, CPU, RAM, Hard Drives, Video Card, etc.....

(Side note for coral47 and other techs)
SIW also has the ability to grab most product keys, and also contains software to try to recover lost passwords etc.

Hope this helps!



Author Comment

ID: 17883375
Hi all, I was up last night late trying to give you an update on what I had been able to find and do on this horrible computer, but when I went to submit, it failed to do so, but I think I saved my comments to notepad, but I don't know how to repost it to the comments, I don't want to type it all again, so please help me once again with what is to you a simple task, but daunting to me, I was so frustrated after typing all that and then it not submitting, let's see if this will work, now submitting, thanx, Becky.  Bartender, I will try your suggestion
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 17883485
If you saved your comments to notepad, then this is how to repost them:

Open the txt document that contains your comments.
On your keyboard press and hold CTRL then press "A" (Ignore the quotes)
Release both keys
This will highlight the entire text of your document.

Then press and hold CTRL then press "C" (ignore the quotes)
Release both keys.
This will copy the entire text of your document.

Change windows to this window (As in this page on experts-exchange)
Click inside the "Post a comment" box.
Press and hold CTRL then press "V" (ignore the quotes)

That should paste your entire text into the comments box.
Then you can click on the submit button again.

Hope this helps!



Author Comment

ID: 17885095
   Post a Comment: (Question and Answer tips)
I am really impressed with all of you, because since I got this PC, I have been very lost, frustrated, and intimidated, yet the challenge of learning and fixing is somewhat rewarding.  How long have you been at this?  Do you have really up to date PC, and high speed connections?  It is so time consuming, most likely because of my system and connection.  Anyway, this is what I have found out, I don't have or couldn't find a zip utility or paint from accessories, I managed to save a file from DRWATSON, although I probably won't be able to find it again, I still don't quite know how to use notepad, I managed to save this page to the desktop, which I won't know how to get off when I'm done with this, I cound't find anything about a video card, but, my PC is running windows 98-4.10.1998, Award Software, Inc., CPU type-Intel Celeron(TM), Base Memory 640K, Extended Memory 64512K, CPU clock 366MHZ, AGP-PCI BIOS for Intel-82443LX(6ILA-V1.3, ROM PCI/ISA BIOS (2A69JC59), Genuine Intel Pentium(1) 11 Processor IntelMMX(TM) Technology 64.0MB RAM.  I did do a start up floppy disk, per instructions, but it asked me to put in the windows 98 CD, so I did. Did it copy from the cd or from the computer, I don't understand.  I did go to the reinstall web page, but it scared me, because as I said before, everytime I try to fix something other things go wrong, also because I've been short on time, I've put that off.  I'm caring for my mother who has alzheimers, so its hard to sit down and do this.  Some of the errors I get are at startup device file missing needed to run windows, win registry or system.INI file refers to this device file, no longer exists, NDISWAN>VXD, I thing I got this after doing a win upgrade.  I don't know how but I found a list of thing I upgraded that day, it has something to do with dial-up networking and virtual private networking, but you probably know that already.  I did try a few fix it instruction from microsoft, the ones I could follow and understand, but the message remains on start-up to windows.  Another error mess. the app. or one of its dlls may have overflowed an internal temp. buffer, module name, Kernel. 32.DLL, another one is fatal exception OE at 0028.C294F788in VXD PCIMP(01) + 00001c08, defrag caused invalid page fault in module Kernell32.DLL at 015F.bff9dbA7, another explorer gen protection fault Kernell386. exe at 0001:0001 c36, anyway, these are just a few of the many.  I hope this will help you to help me, remember, newbie, me, need easy step by step instructions, thanx, Becky  I also lost the sound on the PC, I found the product key no. on the windows 98 book cover, so many questions, and things to learn  

Author Comment

ID: 17885218
Oh my goodness bartender, I finally got my last comments to reappear on this page, it took a couple of trys, and it repeated it like five times, but I figured out how to highlight and delete the repeated info, I'm so amazed and excited when something does work.  Another thing that happens is when you guys list a page or web address within your comments, I point, click, it turns to red with a square around it, the address appears on the bar next to start, but it goes nowhere, can I also put this into the address bar without typing it in, thanx the newbie
LVL 29

Assisted Solution

blue_zee earned 200 total points
ID: 17885387


Checking list, you have:

a) Boot/startup floppy;
b) Windows 98 CD;
c) Windows 98 CD product key;

Question: Do you need anything in that PC (data, software, documents)?

If you don't, you really need to follow the installation instructions in:


If you still are too scared with the above, do you have anyone with minimal computer skills to do it for you?

LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 17885436
Cool.... well done Becky.

you've managed to capture a bit of the info that we need.

First off, let's answer your questions:
>>How long have you been at this?
I assume you mean computers in general.... so, not as long as many here, I've only been working on computers since ~1990.

>>Do you have really up to date PC, and high speed connections?
I have a couple of relatively up to date computers, and I do have high speed connection to the internet in one of my homes.

It appears you have Windows 98, but not SE (SE stands for Second Edition)
You have an Intel Celeron PII 366MHz CPU
You have 64 MB RAM
The "Intel-82443LX" refers to the chipset.

I assume you just want to get this computer up and running again?

If doing a wipe and rebuild is what we're aiming at, then we really should make sure we have all of the necessary drivers you'll need to get online once the OS is installed.

Downloading and running that SIW.EXE file I mentioned in my first post will help, but you don't need to run it in the manner I specified.

Instead, you could take the disk to the computer, insert it, then do this:

double click on "My Computer" (typically in the upper left corner of your screen)
Find and double click on "A:"
Find and double click on "SIW" (should be a green square icon)
Once it's loaded, on the left hand pane of the window, you should have a list of stuff starting with "Software", then "Operating System"

look through that list until you find "Video"
Click on the word "video"
In the right hand pane, it should bring up information on your video capabilities.

in the right hand pane, look for "Name"
Copy that information down.

Then in the left hand pane, look for and click on "PCI"
In the right hand pane, there should be a number of devices listed.
Copy the information listed under "Device Name"

If you can bring that information back here, we can help you with your rebuild.


LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17887651
Hi Becky
You say that you "found the product key no. on the windows 98 book cover".
Well, that's good news and is a very important piece of info you will require.
Keep it to yourself though.  It's not something to share with us ;-)

While you are running Bartender_1's SIW.EXE utility, you can double-check that the CD-Key on the manual is the same as that logged in the computer.  It will be shown under the Software --> Licences section, and will be the one named "Windows Key".

You may also find some other useful CD-Keys such as the one used to install Microsoft Office or other retail software that is installed and for which you may have reinstallation CD's kicking around.

Seeing as you are now coming on in giant leaps and bounds as you discover things, perhaps now is a good time to try and boot your computer without a whole load of unnecessary programs automatically launching as it does.  Going back to an earlier suggestion I made, try performing the following steps:

1. Make sure that you don't have any other programs running.
   eg. Save what you have typed up in Notepad and close it, close Internet Explorer,
   the SIW program, etc.
2. Now click the Start Menu > click RUN > and type   MSCONFIG   > click OK
3. Click on the "Startup" tab at the top right and you will see a list of tick-boxes
4. UNTICK ALL of the boxes EXCEPT for the following ones:
5. Click the "APPLY" button, then click the "OK" button to close MSCONFIG
6. Click "YES" when it tells you that you must restart the computer.

On reboot you may be shown an informative notice telling you that your system is running in a "diagnostic" mode or something similar.  If you see this, just tick the "don't show me again" box and acknowledge the message.

You may get less error messages, but even if you don't, the computer isn't wasting valuable resources running things that aren't required.

FAO Other Experts
(just ignore this technobabble, Becky, it's just here as a reference for others)

Check the board in this linked page (note the "6ILA"):

Soyo SY-6ILA Socket-370 82440LX (440LX) chipset-based ATX with AGP 1x port.
Integrated Creative ES1373 PCI PnP audio chip.
Three 168-pin SDRAM DIMM sockets support up to 384MB RAM.
66MHz FSB and CPU Support 300A/333/366/400/433 MHz.

A bit confusing though, because it tells you it is a socket 370 with a Slot 1 CPU interface???  Image and manual show a Socket 370, but the technical description refers to "Innovative SOfset for CPU Installation".

Support links:
(Only Audio Driver ~ 45.3MB, and INF installer ~ 651KB are applicable to Win98).

Award Flash BIOS Update to Revision 6ILA_2AA2 (14th July 2002):
Filename "6ila2aa2.bin".
AwardFlash Utility: http://www.soyousa.com/dl/bios/Awdflash.exe

Manual (1.29MB):  http://www.soyousa.com/downloads/filedesc.php?id=1568
Addendum (47.3KB): http://www.soyousa.com/downloads/filedesc.php?id=1621
(corrects a mistake in the doc below)
Quick Settings : http://www.soyousa.com/downloads/filedesc.php?id=1686

CMOS Clear shown on Page 24 of Manual.
CMOS Setup Screens Start Page 26 (<DEL> to enter).

Soyo Motherboard Identifier Utility (for older boards):

Compare with Becky's spec as given:
- Award BIOS:
   AGP-PCI BIOS for Intel-82443LX 6ILA-V1.3
- CPU Intel Celeron 366MHz MMX
   (reports "Pentium(1) 11 Processor" but utilities sometimes get this wrong)
- 64.0MB RAM

Note the BIOS String 2A69JC59.  I've peeked into the BIOS Update *.bin file mentioned earlier, and the BIOS is "2A69JS2T".

OK, who will have a friendly wager with me that Becky has a Soyo SY-6ILA Motherboard? :-)

Q. Where can I find the BIOS revision of my mainboard?
A. The BIOS version will be displayed on the upper left corner of the screen during boot-up.  It will show as your board type followed by the revision number, such as kvxa_2BA1 (meaning BIOS revision 2BA1 for the SY-K7V Dragon plus board) or 6BA+ IV_2AA2 which means SY-6BA+ IV motherboard with 2AA2 bios.

If so, then the BIOS String should resemble "6ILA_2A" or similar.

Bill (about to eat his own words no doubt, because Gainward seem to have a board using "6ILA").
LVL 29

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ID: 17887791

For someone with very little experience with computers as Becky, shouldn't we try a step by step easy wait out of trouble?

I would be puzzled and scared with all the flood of information in the posts above.

Sorry if anyone may be offended.

LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17887798
Hmmm.  I'm wrong.  According to Wim Verboets
the Award BIOS ID 2A69JC59 relates to:
2A69J = Intel 440LX/EX chipset (Pentium II based chipset)
C5 = Mfr ID for "Chaplet Systems USA" (http://www.wimsbios.com/manuf/chaplet.jsp)

>>> "Taipei-based Chaplet, which uses the Halikan and Ilufa brand names, gets the Ilufa range manufactured for it by the Mitac Group. It has made laptops under the Acom Patriot, Micom, Mitsuba, Olivetti Echos, CompuAdd ColorPro and Magitronic labels. The company has its US base in Sunnyvale, California". <<<

Becky, is this a LAPTOP computer?
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 17895031
Becky, in your original post you said: "can this PC be fixed or do I need to just buy a new one?"

Well, as you can see, with the help of the people who frequent these forums you CAN fix it.  But SHOULD you?  I don't think so.  You'll spend many hours getting that computer ready to go, only to be disappointed in the end because even in perfect working order, that computer won't be able to run Windows XP or do much with music or photos, much less video.  And computers of that age tend to suffer from failed power supplies and hard drives,  which isn't the end of the world, but it puts you in a good-money-after-bad situation if you decide to repair it.  So if you want to do this as a challenge and learning opportunity, great.  But if you really want to just start USING a computer, I'd say its time to think about spending a few hundred dollars for a brand new system.     I just saw an ad today for $299 for an HP computer with Windows XP, Athlon 64 3400+ 2.2 GHz, 512MB, 100GB & even a DVD burner.   That particular unit is refurbished, but still has a factory warranty, toll-free tech support to help you if you have problems, and even though it isn't the latest and greatest, it would still be plenty fast enough to do anything you wanted to for several years.    

My 2 cents...
LVL 32

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ID: 17895682
Sorry for the delay, but my ISP was down last night.  : (
Looks like you are being well cared for, though.  : )

We all started where you are at. Like anything else, it gets easier as you go. Just remember:
Patience is not only a virtue, it is a requirement.

>> Do you have really up to date PC, and high speed connections?

Naaaaa. I've been building "Trashcan" systems for about 15+ years. If you are wanting to learn about computers, you are on the right track.
I'm currently running an AMD SlotA 750MHz (about the same era as yours) with 56K dial-up.

>> I'm so amazed and excited when something does work.

That's what it is all about. You are doing very good.  : )

Bartender: Thanks for the link. I will check it out.

BillDL: I usually won't bet against you. You have a bad habit of being correct.   ; )

Author Comment

ID: 17896481
Hi, I'm back, been really busy, and of course PC acting up, first Batender, I downloaded the program you suggested, but once again, I couldn't figure out how to save to a floppy disk, I clicked on file and edit on wedsite after download but there was no save option on the page, so once again I need step by step instructions on how to save this to a floppy disk, and where will this file be? (I'm referring to SIW here) Blue Z checklist a,b,c, yes I have all, when I first received this PC I went crazy downloading everything because I didn't know any better, anything I found I liked, I downloaded, so yes I have some things on here that I would like to keep, but I don't know what would be lost if I do the dirty install.  I've saved a lot of things in my e-mail boxes.  I'm sure I did a lot of the damage here because I didn't know what I was doing, but most of the stuff was from windows update. I've saved pages and websites to desktop, links, favorites, etc. Some I would like to get rid of, but don't know how?  yessirnosir, believe me I've considered your suggesstion and I've looked at other computers, but was overwhelmed by so many options, also, where I live I can only get dial-up service, no cable or dsl here.  My neighbor purchased a new PC, but because of the bad phone lines, his PC is still very slow and he can't view videos either.  The only other option is sattelite, very expensive.  I've noticed that everyone is using nicknames, should I not use my real name?  I've looked at all your profiles, and viewed some of your other questions and comments, there's a lot of talk about virus's, spies, worms, and downloading protection programs, all I have on this computer is what the ISP (AT&T) and yahoo have on their programs,  I tried to download a free spyware program but lost it somewhere in my computer and can't bring it back up, it says its in the time and chaos file, but I can't open it, maybe my PC is infected with all this garbage.  I downloaded a program called registry mechanic and it showed I had a lot of errors, and it repaired some things but you have to pay for it to fix all it can, but again the instructions intimadated me, anyway I'm going on and on and your also busy, Im not shutting off my computer until someone tells me how to save SIW program to floppy, or I'm afraid I'll lose it, anyway have a good laugh over my ignorance, but I'm glad to know you did'nt all start out as genius's.

Author Comment

ID: 17896529
Another thing, when I've tried to follow other instructions, as in BillDl, it says to be sure there are no other programs running in the background, besides clicking on the X in upper right hand corner to close windows, how can you be sure there are no other programs running and how to you close them?
LVL 29

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ID: 17896681


On my part of your comments...

A dirty or "on top" reinstall of Windows if correctly done will keep your current programs and data.

This will also mean that any intruders, malware, etc. that you may have will be retained.

The simple "repair" process that you can try is clicking Start > Run > type SFC and press Enter.

This will launch the System File Checker utility that will check your PC for corrupted or missing files. Just follow the prompts.

During the process you may be asked for the Windows 98 CD, so have it near you.

If you want to give it a try...?? It's quite simple.


LVL 38

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ID: 17896869
Hi Becky

First off, don't worry about nicknames or real names.  Some of us experts get to know each other by real names as time goes on, but for many others we never know them by anything other than their user names.  So, you're Becky (and we can see your 2nd name), I'm Bill (and my 2nd name sounds like DL), and you can call any of the others whatever you want, as long as we get an idea who you're talking about.  You don't have any personally identifying details in your profile, so I wouldn't worry about it.  There's probably many thousands of people with your name throughout the globe.

OK, to download something from a link on a web page.
Normally the security settings in Internet Explorer will block it from actually trying to RUN the program, and will show an options box asking you if you want to Run the file or Save it.  The way your system is at the moment, I wouldn't guarantee that you will see this prompt showing, so here's the best way to DOWNLOAD (ie. to SAVE) a file to your computer:

Here's the link again:

Assuming you are Right-Handed, and click on things normally using the Left-Hand mouse button, you should RIGHT-CLICK on the above link.  That is to say click on it with the RIGHT-Hand mouse button rather than the left one.

This will show a Menu that pops out and is separated into separate sections.  You will see options like Open Link in New Window, Copy Shortcut, and quite a few others.  The one you should click on (using the normal mouse button) is "Save TARGET As".  The "target" here is just referring to the file shown at the end of the link, ie. SIW.EXE, and that's what it will try and Save to your computer.

This will show a "Save As" dialog.  The expression "dialog" is just used to describe this kind of options box that isn't really a "window".  You will most probably see "My Documents" already showing in the "Save In" field near the top.

If you left it set as that and clicked the "Save" button, then that's where it would download the file SIW.EXE to.  A better idea at the moment is to save things to your Desktop where you can easily locate them.  To Save the download to your Desktop, just click the little black arrow at the right of the "Save In" field, and it will show a list of folders or drives.  Amongst these you will see "Desktop", and that's what you should click on.  You will now see that showing in the "Save In" field, and all you have to do is click on the "Save" button.

Similarly, instead of downloading something to your "My Documents" folder or to the Desktop, you can just click on the drive from the list that shows as "3 1/2" Floppy [A:]" or "3.5" Floppy [A:]".  It is just the same procedure, but you're downloading to a Drive rather than to a folder on a drive.

You will see a progress dialog which may or not close by itself after the file has been successfully and completely downloaded.

In fact, just about all of the "Save As" dialogs shown eg. when saving a file from Notepad, etc, work in just the same way.  If you are saving things to the Desktop, then you have an option of creating a New Folder there on the Desktop as you are either downloading a file or Saving it.  You will see a button to the right of the "Save In" field that looks like an open document folder icon.  When you hang the mouse over it without clicking on it, you should probably see a small pop-out text "tip" that identifies it as "New Folder".  If you click on this after choosing your Desktop as the placer to save to, it will create a new folder (named "New Folder") which will be highlighted in blue.  All you have to do is start typing a better name for it, for example "DOWNLOADS".  You will see the new name for the folder, and you can then just DOUBLE-CLICK (ie. click twice in quick succession) on this folder to open it and set it as the "Save In" destination.  Just click the "Save" button, and that's you done.

Your Windows 98 user manual should be able to lead you through various options for copying or moving files, copying and pasting files and selected text from documents or web pages, and so on.  It may be worth sparing about an hour to get a better idea how to navigate around your computer's drives and folders.

You said:
"anyway have a good laugh over my ignorance, but I'm glad to know you didn't all start out as geniuses".

No, NONE of us did.  We were ALL at your stage at one time.  My story is that I got a 2nd-hand PC with Windows 95, and it was problematic from the word go.  A friend with some experience showed me how to wipe the drive and reinstall, but I watched carefully and took handwritten notes (to his annoyance) as he did so.  That was the main part over, and in reality it was so simple I only really needed the briefest of notes for the next couple of times I had to do that.  From there on, the fact that my computer played up regularly provided me with the motivation to fix it up completely, and I may never have been bitten by the bug if (like today) I had been able to buy a brand new high specification computer for the same money as it cost me to buy a slow-as-treacle CD-Writer Drive back then.

yessirnosir touched on this earlier and suggested that now may be the time to buy a new computer.  In some ways I reckon that, with a bit of patience and time, you can fix this computer up and use it as a good learning one until you feel confident and build up your overall knowledge.  That way you are less terrified of messing up a brand new one, or cluttering it up with junk files as you learn how to use it.

I've still got a computer of roughly the same specification as yours that I regularly use to install and test programs on first.  Don't give up.  I'me sure we can help you to set it back up again and get you running promlem free.


Author Comment

ID: 17897183
Hi Bill, well I managed to save SIW to desktop, as a matter of fact I think I saved it more than once, I also wound up with two empty folders, great huh, I wasn't so successful in saving to a floppy disk, it brought up new windows, asking for other things I didn't understand, so I aborted that idea, but I guess I still need to make  a floppy, yes?  Anyway, need to get in bed so I'm shutting down, will work on this again in the morning.  Bye
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 17899748
Hello again Becky,

Glad you're making progress. As I'm sure you've noticed, there are many of us here who are willing to help you, in the smallest steps that you're comfortable with.

The next thing we can work on is getting your SIW file to a floppy disk, so here are some instructions.

One thing to note, there are often many different ways to accomplish any given task, so sometimes it may seem like we're telling you  different things, but in reality, it just means that we find different ways easier to accomplish the same task.

It looks as if Bill has educated you on the fun of the right mouse button, so let's use that new knowledge.

Copying a file to floppy from the desktop:

Use the right mouse button to click on the file.
It should bring up a small menu which show options such as "OPEN" "SEND TO" "CUT" "COPY" "PASTE"
Select the "COPY" option, and use the left mouse button to click on it.
Insert a floppy disk in the floppy drive. (You should use a new or blank disk.)
Now Open "My Computer" (Typically in the upper right corner of the desktop)
Open "3 1/2 Floppy A:" (Don't be worried if the name of the drive isn't exactly as written here, the idea is to get to the floppy disk drive.)
Once the window opens for the floppy drive, you should be looking at a blank white window.
Once again, use the right mouse button to click, this time, click anywhere in the white area of the window... I like to use the middle.
The menu should appear again, this time, select "PASTE" and use the left mouse button to click on it.
The floppy drive will be busy for a little while, and when you can see the file in the window, you should have the file copied to your floppy disk.

I'm going to stop the lesson there, and continue to comment about the willingness for all of us to assist.

First off, I have a high speed connection, and a relatively new computer that I use for everyday use, but that doesn't mean I don't have older computers, I keep them around for parts, or for playing games that don't run well on new computers, etc. I'm sure all of us here have old computers sitting around somewhere. My oldest computer is an Apple ][e.

One thing that's for sure, we all were at the same place you're at right now. My willingness to help you through this, is because I hope that you'll take an interest in this, and one day enjoy it as much as we all do, and if you decide it's not for you, then at least you should enjoy the functionality of your computer properly.


LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 17899775
Ack... just realized that I said "My Computer" is typically in the upper right corner of the screen..... that's not accurate.
"My Computer" is typically located in the upper LEFT corner of the screen. ~LOL~



Author Comment

ID: 17900703
Good morning bartender,  well I followed your instructions, to the point of inserting floppy and clicking paste on middle of sheet, another screen came up same as last night, that the disk wasn't formatted (whats this?) even though the disk I had said it was formatted, I clicked yes to format, another window to format disk, I checked full, after bringing down the ? from right hand corner to explain, I figured that was the right one, so checked it and hit start, it said it was moving from folder 4 to folder 4, when finished the folder 4 vanished from the desktop, so I opened computer, clicked on the folder, and the SIW showed up so I quess it worked.  Now, I opened the program, found video and PCI, tried the cut,copy, paste option from that programs edit option, to no avail, (no big surprise) would not move to this box, gave up on that, Duh, I did figure out that the computer icon was on the left had side, HA HA  Need to cut, copy paste or some other way from SWI to hear, HELP  blue zee, did the SFC, it did stop and say a couple of files were uninstalled or missing, but as usual, I aborted because I don't know what was changed for a reason by windows upgrade, how do you know what to keep, ignore, remove, reinstall, etc.  Billdl, my PC is not a laptop.  I thank you all for your help, support and encouragement, I think of this as kind of therapy, when you can't change or fix the big things in life, like my mothers alzheimers, and other disturbing things in the world, change and fix the things you can, this helps me focus on something I have a chance of fixing, and satisfying when it happens, very insightful HUH, well my connection keeps cutting me off so I'll stop before I can't submit this, and lose it again
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

_ earned 400 total points
ID: 17904035
>> did the SFC... how do you know what to keep, ignore, remove, reinstall, etc.

That is a good question.

Rule of thumb is to Accept the default choice.
There are several different reasons SFC will stop on a file.

File has changed - Usually means it has been updated. Look at the file comparisons. If it is the same file with a newer date and a higher number, it should be OK to "Update" (make sure the box next to that choice has a mark in it and click OK.

If you are getting a lot of these (you said you downloaded a bunch), it might be faster to put the mark next to 'update all' of this type of warning.
<my words might not be exact>

File size does not match - Usually safe to mark 'fix', the click OK. This is just a hicup with the FAT (File Allocation Table)

File Missing - this one is a little trickier, so I will leave it for Bill (he likes to type, and explains things better than I do)  : )
LVL 32

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ID: 17904046
You can always mark the 'Ignore' or 'Skip' choice, to continue. That way you can ask, and go back to it on the next run of SFC.
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Expert Comment

ID: 17904728
>>> He (bill) likes to type, and explains things better than I do <<<
He, he.  I think you did perfectly well, and in far fewer lines than I woulod have done :-)

One thing I must add is the fact that this is Windows 98 First Edition and there is an acknowledged problem (fixed in Win98 2nd Edition) with the way SFC searches the CD for files to restore.  I feel that it is VERY important that I add the following warning for Becky's information:

BECKY - Important!

There are a handful of files in Windows 98 1st Edition that (if notified as being missing, damaged, or changed by SFC) will be restored by the wrong file.

I therefore suggest that you run SFC the long and laborious way by allowing it to stop and notify you of all files that it finds a problem with, and choose the appropriate action.  In general, as coral47 has stated, the best action would be to allow all the files to be "restored", BUT DO NOT allow it to restore any of the following files from the CD:


Note that there are files with names that look similar, but are different and safe to allow restoring from the CD eg. USER32.EXE, GDI32.EXE, and others.

I would hazard an educated guess that allowing SFC to restore changed, damaged, and missing files from the CD (apart from the ones listed above) is more likely to set your system to a stable status where it has more matched-up files than mismatched ones that may be the root of the problem.

If you wish, you could run SFC and restore the first file it tells you about, then close SFC and reboot the system to test to make sure it is still working.  As long as you set the SFC option to make a backup before restoring, and take a note of the file name, you can reverse this change.  If everything seems OK, then run SFC again and restore the next file.  It would probably take a while to go through all the files in this way.

Here's a good page that gives recommended SFC Settings:

What you COULD do if you are paranoid about this, and if you feel like setting aside half an hour or more to some repeated mouse-clicking, is to run SFC through to completion and set each of the instances as it pops up to "Ignore" (as being suggested by coral47 in his addendum comment above).

That would give you a good idea of just how many files it would "restore".
You could write down the name of each of the files that it is notifying you of, along with the status of the notification eg. missing, changed, or damaged.

That could mean quite a bit of typing for you to post the details back here, but there may be an easier way.  SFC creates an activity log file as "SfcLog.txt" which should be in the C:\Windows folder.  You should be able to open it by using the Start Menu's "Run" field and typing in the following command and clicking OK

Just a hint for how to save details of specific sections in the SIW program.
Once the section loads the details into the right-hand pane, go back to the section name in the LEFT pane and RIGHT-CLICK on it.  This will show an option to "EXPORT TO...".  Move the mouse onto that and across to the right, and a pop-out sub-menu will show that you have the options to save the details of that section to 4 different file formats.  Click on the "TXT" option, and it will open the "Save As" dialog I mentioned earlier, allowing you to save details to separate files with appropriate file names.

If you just want to save a couple of lines from the RIGHT pane to a Text file, or to COPY them so you can paste them into Notepad or here, then you can use another trick.  Click on one line to select it, Press and hold down the CTRL key, and then click on any other lines to select them.  Release the CTRL key, then RIGHT-CLICK on any of the selected lines and choose the "Export To > TXT" option OR the "COPY" option.

Using the CTRL key you can select multiple lines that aren't right underneath the first one.  To select one lump of lines all right under the other, you can do the same as the above but hold down the SHIFT key and then select the LAST one in the bunch of lines.  This will select all lines in between the top one and bottom one.


Author Comment

ID: 17904961
Hi again, I ran the sfc file checker, and two files had been deleted, I assume because of updates, I tried to run the NOTEPAD etc., that you suggested, but it told me I needed to have a disk in the drive I specified, what disk?, what drive? Also I still need instructions on how to transfer info from the SWI to here.  I tried the cut, copy, paste from that page to here but it wouldn't work from the SWI edit tab, the IP toolbar is not visible while on this page.  It's late and I'm getting to tired to think straight, its complicated for me, but thanks for your continued help and support, I'll keep trying.

Author Comment

ID: 17904987
I'm sorry bill, you did give me further instructions on how to save from the SIW file, crazy me, I'm really tired tonight, must go to bed, my brain was thinking about saving info from the sfc files, passed right by me.  I'll work on that tomorrow, night all

Author Comment

ID: 17910181
Bus/Dev./Func.      Type      Class Type      Manufacturer      Device Name      Sub System Device Vendor      Sub System Device Name
00  /  00  /  00      PCI      PCI to HOST Bridge      Intel Corporation      82443LX/EX 440LX/EX CPU to PCI Bridge            
00  /  01  /  00      PCI      PCI to PCI Bridge      Intel Corporation      82443LX/EX 440LX/EX PCI to AGP Bridge            
00  /  07  /  00      PCI      PCI to ISA Bridge      Intel Corporation      371EB/MB PIIX4E/M ISA Bridge            
00  /  07  /  01      PCI      Bus Master IDE controller      Intel Corporation      82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4/E/M EIDE Controller            
00  /  07  /  02      PCI      USB (UHCI)      Intel Corporation      82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4/E/M USB Controller            
00  /  07  /  03      PCI      PCI to Other Bridge      Intel Corporation      371EB PIIX4E Power Management Controller            
00  /  11  /  00      PCI      Audio Device      YAMAHA Corp      YF724F DS-1 Audio      YAMAHA Corp      DS-XG PCI Audio CODEC
00  /  13  /  00      PCI      Other      Rockwell Semiconductor Systems (Also Conexant)      R6793-11 Conexant SoftK56 Speakerphone Modem      Askey Computer Corp      
Name      RAGE PRO TURBO AGP (English)
Chip Type      Mach64: RagePro
DAC Type      Internal
Memory      8192 KBytes
OK, a miracle, I think I finally copied the info that bartenter asked for, there is a lot of info you can retrieve from the SIW program, also bill the product key code does match whats on the cover of the win98 book, I've learned so much with all you guys help, I'm actually having fun now with the cut, copy, paste feature, I've done this with some fun stuff in emails etc. But against better judgement, I tried to download some animated software for some greeting cards, and freeze up with a message say system dangerously low on resources, I don't thing I better try to download anything else until I get my PC cleaned up some, which leads me to the question, is there somewhere on my PC to get a list of things that I can easily start removing, uninstalling unnecessary things, easilly and safely for me.  I ran maintenace wizard in safe mode this morning, and it scanned, cleaned, but in the defrag it stopped with these messages, defrag caused invalid page fault in module kernell32. dll at 015F.bff9dbA7, also on shut down fatal exception err at same number, I think I better stop downloading and do some cleaning up, HELP please, I'm going to shut down now and try bills suggestion on eliminating some items on startup.

Author Comment

ID: 17910482
Hi bill, before I do the unticking in mscong, you say to close all programs running, I asked this once before, besides closing with the X in upper right hand corner, is there another way to make sure there are no other programs running in background and how do you do this?  Also, I found something that no one told me how to do, if I click the _ box in the upper right hand corner, the page I'm looking at disappears to the bar at the bottom of the page and I can just click on it and it reappears, so I can go from one page to another that way to follow instructions, also, you keep referring me back to the windows 98 book for instructions, and when I first connected this computer up, thats all I had, and it helped alot, and a friend gave me some PC for dummies books, pre 98, but it still was like learning a foreign language, I've learned more and faster thru you guys, thats why I signed up because I was spending way too much time trying to figure out what the books were saying, but I am starting to understand some the simple lingo, I can at least  apbreviate, Internet Service Provider, etc.
LVL 32

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ID: 17911994
First I would like to say what a pleasure you are to work with.
Makes up for the nitwits that show up on a regular basis around here.

>> and in far fewer lines than I would have done
True. But she needs the background that I am not so good at.  : )

Now back to business..

>> I don't download anything else until I get my PC cleaned up some

Good call.
Tempting I know, but in a couple of weeks you will be amazed at how easy this turned out to be.  ; )

>> to make sure there are no other programs running in background and how do you do this?

The quickest way is to press the Control key, the Alt key, and the Delete key at the same time.

This will bring up the TASK MANAGER.
You can END TASK just about anything listed there, EXCEPT Systray and Explorer. Windows needs these to run.
This key combination is good for other things, but that's for later.
There are other ways to do this, but that is for later also.

To unstall programs:
Left-click the START button > put the cursor on SETTINGS > and then left-click Control Panel in the next pop-up menu.
When it comes up, double left-click Add/Remove Programs.
This will give you a list of stuff installed on the computer.
Left-click anything you know you want to remove, and then click the Add/Remove button on the bottom right(ish).
You can also just double left-click the program name, and it will ask if you are sure you want to delete this.

The error you are getting kind of sounds like the hard drive is getting a little crowded, and Windows doesn't have enough free space to work in. But at the moment, that is just a guess.
LVL 38

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ID: 17913138
>>> "I think I better stop downloading and do some cleaning up" <<<

Yes, that will be the first step AFTE we get your system running properly.  Uninstalling programs is remarkably easy as described by coral47, and you should ALWAYS REBOOT after uninstalling a program.

Trying to uninstall programs one after the other without rebooting in between causes no end of problems, because some of the files left on the system are only removed DURING the reboot.

Starting the uninstallation of a program is easy part, but you should know in advance that you sometimes get messages during uninstallation telling you that a "shared file" installed by the software you are uninstalling "is no longer being used" (ie. it isn't being used by ANOTHERr program that needs it).  The message asks you if you wish to remove or keep the "shared file" where it is.  Invariably Windows gets this wrong, and the shared file IS STILL needed by some other program.  Although the advice is to ALWAYS KEEP the file, but you have to read the message carefully to know whether the Yes and No buttons mean to Keep or Remove.

I think it would be a very good idea if you were to write down a list of what programs are installed and listed in the "Add/Remove Programs" dialog and tell us what they are BEFORE uninstalling any of them.  On some occasions it is better to uninstall things in a particular sequence for best results, but that's something that only becomes known through experience.  In general, you want to uninstall the most up-to-date programs first.

Thanks to coral47 who answered what I neglected to address about closing running programs.  In general, if you know that running some process is going to make you shut down and restart, you should really just save anything you are working on and close that program window, and also make sure you are offline (Right-Click in two flashing screens in System Tray next to clock and click on "Disconnect").

Using the Task Manager just takes it that extra step and kills running tasks, some of which can cause your computer to hang at the shutdown screen.  When you are rebooting, eg. after making changes in MSCONFIG or after you have just uninstalled a program, the last thing you want it to do is hang at the shutdown screen and force you to power off manually.  When the system reboots after things are changed, the system has to do certain things as it is shutting down and restarting, and a forced power off and power up can mess up these stages that need to be done.

You are finding out loads of new and useful things as you go on, eg your discovery:
>>> "if I click the _ box in the upper right hand corner, the page I'm looking at disappears to the bar at the bottom of the page and I can just click on it and it reappears" <<<

If you hear people talking about "Minimizing" and "Maximizing" a program window, that's what is being referred to. The button with the Square on it will show as large when the Window is maximized and the window can't be dragged anywhere.  If it shows as a smaller box, then it can be resized by stretching it in any direction.

TIP: Kep your windows Maximized for now.  It is very easy to slide a window up off the top of the screen beyond reach to slide it back down, and you need to use a special sequence of key-presses to get it back down.

If you hear the expression "Active Window", that means the one sitting in front with the blue "Title Bar" at the top instead of it being greyed out.  Another way to cycle through windows that you have open at any one time is to press the "ALT" key with your thumb, and then press the "TAB" Key (two opposing sideways arrows).  By repeatedly tapping the TAB key, it moves through the icons that show for the windows that are open, and opens that window in front (ie. as the active window) when you release the ALT key.

Thanks for posting the details of your system.

The main "motherboard" inside your computer is an older and very common one with the Intel 440LX "chipset" layout.  Those boards usually have an inbuilt Audio Chip rather than an add-on "card", and in your case the audio chip is the "YF724F DS-1 Audio" chip.  The Graphics device that sends the signals to your monitor is also a standard "Rage Pro Turbo Mach64" that either exists as a card in a special slot called an "AGP" slot, or as an on-board chip like the audio one.

The good news is that Windows 98 SHOULD be able to recognise all of these devices if it comes to wiping your hard drive clean and reinstalling Windows from scratch, and should also install its own "drivers" to support them.  Drivers are just small software programs that allow Windows to use the hardware device.

Even if Windows doesn't automatically install its own drivers, they are readily available for download.  In fact, I'm sure I've got the driver installation file for your graphics card/chip and the Yamaha sound chip right here on this computer somewhere.  I should be able to upload it to space here on Experts-Exchange for you to download and have ready.

As far as the driver for your Modem (the devive that connects the computer to your telephone line for Internet connection) is concerned, I would have to check and see if Windows 98 has its own drivers for this.  It is a "Conexant R6793-11 56K Voice/Fax/Data" Modem, and is what is referred to as a "WinModem" or "Software Modem".  That just means that, instead of being a completely self-contained piece of hardware with all its own resources, it uses many of the Windows resources instead.  The principle of installing drivers for it is just the same as with any other piece of hardware though, and it is quite likely that Windows can install its own drivers for it.  If not, they should be easy enough to locate on the Internet.

Your system sounds as though it is in a bit of a mess if trying to launch Notepad told you it needed to have a Disk in the Drive.  It might be that the shortcut to Notepad is actually pointing to a file that you previously had open from the floppy disk, so a good way to open Notepad without this error is just to type NOTEPAD into the Run field from the Start menu and click OK or press the <Enter> key.

We will wait and see what happens after you have disabled the unnecessary startups using MSCONFIG.


Author Comment

ID: 17917032
copied this from SIW, I love this program, select, copy, paste, so easy.  Gotta go take my mom to doctor, more later              
3D Bug Attack            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\3DBugAttack\DeIsL1.isu"  -c"C:\Program Files\3DBugAttack\_ISREG32.DLL"            
40 Games            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Expert Software\40 Games\DeIsL1.isu"            
Adobe Acrobat 4.0      4.0      C:\WINDOWS\ISUNINST.EXE -f"C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat 4.0\98\Uninst.isu" -c"C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat 4.0\98\Uninst.dll"            
Adobe Flash Player 9 ActiveX      9      C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\Macromed\Flash\UninstFl.exe -q            
Aiptek Pen Cam Manager            C:\WINDOWS\restart.exe /U D:\CAMERA\DISK1\INSTALL.LOG            
AT&T Worldnet Accelerator            C:\Program Files\AT&T Worldnet Accelerator\trayctl.exe /UNINSTALL            
AT&T Worldnet Service            C:\WINDOWS\wnbackup\WnClient80\unwise.exe /Z /U C:\WINDOWS\wnbackup\WnClient80\install.log "AT&T WorldNet Service"            
ATI mach64 Display Driver            atiuinst.exe -uninstall            
Card Game Classics for 95            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Expert Software\Card Game Classics for 95\DeIsL1.isu"            
Casino            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Expert Software\Casino\Uninst.isu"            
Chinese Checkers            C:\PROGRA~1\EGAMES\CHINES~1\UNWISE.EXE C:\PROGRA~1\EGAMES\CHINES~1\INSTALL.LOG            
Co-Pilot - iWon            rundll32 C:\PROGRA~1\IWON\IWONBAR\1.BIN\iwonbar.dll,O             
Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia 1996            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Compton's NewMedia\CIE96\DeIsL1.isu"            
Compton's World Atlas            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Compton's Home Library\Compton's Interactive World Atlas\DeIsL1.isu"            
Conexant SoftK56 Modem            infunist.exe            
Corel Applications            C:\WINDOWS\COREL\UNINSTAL.EXE            
Crosswords and Word Games            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Expert Software\Crosswords and Word Games\DeIsL1.isu"            
Dial-up Networking 1.4 Update for Windows 98            rundll32.exe advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\WINDOWS\MSDUN\msdun98.inf,Uninstall,,A            
DirectShow            C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\unam4ie.exe -,LaunchINFSectionEx,quartz.dll,DifferentSection,64,{4112DF42-0DCB-11d1-8177-00AA00576BAD}            
DP Editor Ver.1.0            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\DP Editor\Uninst.isu"            
EPSON Status Monitor 2            C:\ESM2\STMSETUP.EXE /UNINSTALL            
Exif Launcher Ver.1.0            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Exif Launcher\Uninst.isu"            
Exif Viewer Ver.1.1            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Exif Viewer\Uninst.isu"            
Find... On the Internet                        
GEX (Remove only, requires CD)            D:\Loader.exe U            
Internet Connection wizard            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx C:\WINDOWS\INF\icw.inf,,,256            
Internet Explorer Browsing Enhancements            rundll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx C:\WINDOWS\INF\ie_extra.inf,,,256            
Internet Explorer Exception pack            "C:\PROGRA~1\INTERN~1\W2K\expinst.exe" /EU ieexinst.inf            
Internet Explorer Help            rundll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx C:\WINDOWS\INF\hhupdcab.inf,,,256            
Internet Explorer Help Content            rundll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx C:\WINDOWS\INF\unie5bak.inf,,,256            
Internet Explorer Q916281            C:\WINDOWS\ieuninst.exe C:\WINDOWS\INF\Q916281.inf            
Internet Explorer ReadMe            rundll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx C:\WINDOWS\INF\iereadme.inf,,,256            
iWon Prize Machine            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection "C:\PROGRAM FILES\IWON\IWONSLOT\1.BIN\uninstall.inf",Uninstall            
Jazz Jackrabbit 2            C:\Games\Jazz2\UnInst.exe C:\Games\Jazz2\UnInst.j2            
Juno            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -f"C:\PROGRAM FILES\JUNO\Uninst.isu" -c"C:\PROGRAM FILES\JUNO\bin\juninstall.dll"            
Lernout & Hauspie TruVoice American English TTS Engine            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\WINDOWS\INF\tv_enua.inf, Uninstall            
Mah Jongg Magic            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -fC:\Mahjongg\DeIsL1.isu  -cC:\Mahjongg\_ISREG32.DLL            
Microsoft IntelliPoint 4.1      4.10.0851      MsiExec.exe /I{1FD0C5C1-B01B-4B4C-9607-E5D3B3D1318F}            
Microsoft IntelliType Pro            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Hardware\Keyboard\Uninst.isu" -c"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Hardware\Keyboard\sutils.dll"            
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 SP1 and Internet Tools            rundll32 setupwbv.dll,IE6Maintenance "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Setup\SETUP.EXE" /g "C:\WINDOWS\IE Uninstall Log.Txt"            
Microsoft Office 97, Professional Edition            C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Setup\Acme.exe /w Off97Pro.STF            
Microsoft Outlook Express 6            "C:\PROGRA~1\OUTLOO~1\setup50.exe" /APP:OE /UNINSTALL /PROMPT            
My Web Search (Smiley Central)            rundll32 C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\BAR\1.BIN\mwsbar.dll,O             
Myst            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Myst\DeIsL1.isu"            
NetShow Tools 3.0            C:\Program Files\NetShow Services\Tools\_INSTTOO.EXE /U            
Offline Browsing Pack            rundll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx C:\WINDOWS\INF\mobilepk.inf,,,256            
Olympus USB Reader Ver 3.11            C:\WINDOWS\UNINST16.EXE -f"C:\PROGRA~1\OLYMPUS\USB_RE~1\DEISL3.ISU" -c"C:\PROGRA~1\OLYMPUS\USB_RE~1\Uninst16.dll"            
Outlook Express Q837009            C:\WINDOWS\oeuninst.exe C:\WINDOWS\INF\Q837009.inf            
Panicware Pop-Up Stopper      2.2      C:\PROGRA~1\PANICW~1\POP-UP~1\UNWISE.EXE C:\PROGRA~1\PANICW~1\POP-UP~1\INSTALL.LOG            
pcANYWHERE32            C:\Program Files\pcANYWHERE\SETUP.EXE /U            
QuickTime            C:\WINDOWS\unvise32qt.exe C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\QuickTime\Uninstall.log            
QuickTime for Windows (32-bit)            C:\WINDOWS\QTW32DEL.EXE            
RealPlayer Basic            C:\Program Files\Common Files\Real\Update\\rnuninst.exe RealNetworks|RealPlayer|6.0            
Sierra On-Line Games (Remove only)            C:\SIERRA\SETUP.EXE /U            
Task Scheduler            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx C:\WINDOWS\INF\mstask.inf,,,256            
The Print Shop Premier Edition 5.0            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -f"C:\The Print Shop Products\The Print Shop Premier Edition 5.0\DeIsL1.isu" -c"C:\The Print Shop Products\The Print Shop Premier Edition 5.0\psfinst.dll"            
The Print Shop PressWriter 1.5            C:\WINDOWS\uninst.exe -f"C:\The Print Shop Products\The Print Shop PressWriter 1.5\DeIsL1.isu" -c"C:\The Print Shop Products\The Print Shop PressWriter 1.5\psfinst.dll"            
Time & Chaos for 32 bit Windows            C:\Program Files\CHAOS32\UNWISE.EXE            
Ulead COOL 360 1.0            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Ulead Systems\Ulead COOL 360\Uninst.isu" -c"C:\Program Files\Ulead Systems\Ulead COOL 360\IS32Inst.dll"            
Ulead Photo Express 3.0 SE            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Ulead Systems\Ulead Photo Express 3.0 SE\Uninst.isu" -c"C:\Program Files\Ulead Systems\Ulead Photo Express 3.0 SE\IS32Inst.dll"            
Ulead VideoStudio version 3.0 SE            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -f"C:\Program Files\Ulead Systems\Ulead VideoStudio 3.0 SE\Uninst.isu" -c"C:\Program Files\Ulead Systems\Ulead VideoStudio 3.0 SE\IS32Inst.dll"            
USB Scanner v1.0            C:\WINDOWS\TWAIN_32\1200CU~1\UNINST.EXE            
Vector Graphics Rendering (VML)            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSectionEx C:\WINDOWS\INF\vgx.inf,,,256            
WeatherBug      v3.0      C:\PROGRA~1\AWS\WEATHE~1\REMOVE.EXE C:\PROGRA~1\AWS\WEATHE~1\INSTALL.LOG            
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire            C:\WINDOWS\IsUninst.exe -fC:\PROGRA~1\DISNEY~1\WHOWAN~1\DeIsL1.isu            
Windows 98 KB891711 Update            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\WINDOWS\INF\QFE\W98\891711UN.INF            
Windows 98 KB896358 Update            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\WINDOWS\INF\QFE\W98\KB896358.INF,uninstall            
Windows 98 KB908519 Update            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\WINDOWS\INF\QFE\W98\KB908519.INF,uninstall            
Windows 98 KB918547 Update            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\WINDOWS\INF\QFE\W98\KB918547.INF,uninstall            
Windows 98 Q823559 Update            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\WINDOWS\INF\QFE\W98\823559UN.INF            
Windows 98 Q888113 Update            RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\WINDOWS\INF\QFE\W98\888113UN.INF            
Windows Media Player 7.1            C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\setup_wm.exe /Uninstall            
Yahoo! Install Manager            C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\regsvr32 /u C:\WINDOWS\DOWNLO~1\YINSTH~1.DLL            
Yahoo! Toolbar                        
Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer            C:\PROGRA~1\YAHOO!\COMMON\UNYT.EXE            
YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Television            c:\windows\ydkjtv\unwise.exe  c:\windows\ydkjtv\jacktv.log            
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17919951
>> driver for your Modem.... check and see if Windows 98 has its own drivers for this

W98 first edition only goes up to 33.6K, and W98 second edition has only a few 56K modem drivers.
So if you do a clean install, you would need to make sure you have the correct driver for the modem saved somewhere you can get to it.

Tons of stuff to uninstall in Add/Remove, so lets take it in sections.
1) if you are not using Yahoo, get rid of them. Same for AT&T and Juno (keep the one you are using for going online).
I haven't had any trouble nuking Yahoo off a system, but if it does mess up Intrenet Explorer, just Right-click "Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 SP1 and Internet Tools" and choose Repair.

2) any games you do not want to play.

3) YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Television. Unless you added it.

4) DO NOT mess with anything that says Windows 98, Microsoft, or Internet Explorer/Boost

After you get done, try running Defrag again.
Make sure nothing but Systray and Explorer is running in Task Manager, first.

Author Comment

ID: 17922775
F3EZSETP.DLLC:\Program Files\FunWebProducts\Installr\1.bin- delete00832107.exedC:\Program Files\FunWebProducts\Installr\Cache OK, I'm back, not really comprehending the whole SFC thing, but I did run it according to instruction from bill from the website he recommended, these are the only two files that came up as deleted.  Also, finally, unticked all items except systray, taskmom, scanreg, and haven't recieved any error messages, tried to cut, copy, paste the items on startup menu to here but it didn' work, oh well, (msconfig) also looked in the system. ini and win.ini tabs and all items are ticked, didn't mess with that, on the web page on SFC, it talked about reinstalling windows 98 from the MSDOS mode on top of itself, click set up, is it really that easy to reinstall windows 98, I don't know why I'm staying away from this, I wanted to experiment to see what happens when I put in the windows 98 cd in, and a menu came up, of course which I had no clue where to go with that, so I aborted.  Also, and this is really a stupid and simple thing I can't figure out, how do you paragraph down on this keyboard, I just keep typing sentence after sentence, HA HA silly one.  coral 47. I haven't done the add/remove pro. yet,  I have yahoo e-mail and AT&T is my ISP and an e-mail address. How do I check to see if win 98 has its own drivers? bill, I'm still not understanding the whole notebook thing, but I did run notebook, opened the file stuff, clicked on win98C, but could not locate the sfclog.txt, I found a net log with a whole bunch of stuff, but I don't think thats what you want, also, I'm loving the alt tab key system, makes this so much easier, thanx.  Is there  anything that I should not post that can cause hijackers, virus's, worm, bugs and monsters coming out of the closet to get me or mess up my PC? Gotta go for now and do some real work, I'd rather do this, but other duties call, rats, BECKY

Author Comment

ID: 17922910
Well I came back, my PC is running much slower since I unticked things in msconfig, start up menu, so I'm typing the list so you can see what I have on this menu, weather, mywebsearch e-mail plugin,critical update, conmgr.exe, realtray, update mgr.exe., load power profile, AtiCwd32, AtiKey, StillMageMoniter, Microsoft Intellitype pro, MSwheel, ledtray exe, iconfig.exe, Pointer, Redir3l, Propel accelerator, my websearch bar (even though I unticked this, its still appearing on my toolbar),my websearch email plugin, load power profile, scheduling agent, KB891711, KB918547, Netshow power point helper, run= OK there it is, really gotta stop now
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

BillDL earned 400 total points
ID: 17924087
Hi Becky.

No, it doesn't sound stupid at all.  I guessed that you hadn't yet discovered how to add new lines.  When you hear people taling about the <Enter> Key and the <Return> Key, they are the same thing.  The "Return" expression just comes from the old manual typewriters where pressing that handle on the side returned the "carriage" mechanism to the left of the page and added a new line.  The modern computer keyboard does the same thing, and it is known as a "carriage return and line feed".

Just press the <Enter> key to go to a new line, and press it again to add another blank line, ie. create a new paragraph.  To get back up to the end of the last bit you typed, or onto the previous line, just press the "backspace" key above it.  Be aware that this key will backspace and delete any text that it gets to if you hold it in or keep pressing it.  If you just need to get back into the text you already typed, and maybe add something or just delete a couple of words, then get there by pressing the Arrow Keys.  The flashing "cursor" marks what they refer to in word processing as the "insertion point" so you can just type something in or backspace to delete text behind where you see the cursor flashing.

Sometimes this text field that I'm typing the comment into behaves in a funny way, and I'm not sure if it's just my computer, but watch for it.  If I have pasted some text in here and then arrow back to type in some extra text amongst it, when I start typing it overtypes the text, ie. it replaces all the text in front of it with each letter I type in.  It's a real nuisance, and is why I usually try to type all my notes into Windows Notepad first, then copy it all and paste it here in one go before clicking the <Submit> button.

By the way if, when you are typing up notes into Notepad, the text just keeps going away across past where you see the Right-Hand side of the Notepad window, then there is a setting where you can force all the text to "wrap" inside the window instead.  It saves you scolling back and forwards to read long sentences.  Make sure it is set:

In Windows XP's Notepad, the option is under the "Format" Menu, but I THINK that Windows 98's one is under the "EDIT" menu.  Just open Notepad's menu's and look for the option named "Word Wrap".  If it isn't ticked, then click on that menu option and it will place a tick there.

It's rather strange that the system is running slower after disabling all the startup programs.  It should be the opposite, although one thing is clear in that one of them was causing the error messages.  The way to figure out which program was causing the errors would be to enable (TICK) them ONE AT A TIME and reboot the system to test again before ticking the next one and rebooting.  As long as you take a note of which one you last enabled just before the reboot, the error messages returning will tell you which it was.

You have notices the few items re-enabling themselves again.  This is typical of what is eferred to as "Adware".  This is usually created by installing additional "Toolbars" that show in Internet Explorer, and they invariably also install other rubbish to your system.  They are deliberately written to be persistent.  Adware isn't really "Spyware" in the true sense of the meaning, because it doesn't usually send any sensitive user information from the computer or allow others to access info on it from elsewhere, but what it usually does is allows different websites to track and record the web pages you visit and throw up selected advertising banners into toolbars and pages that they think will capture your attention.  It is in your interest to get rid of these acknowledged "pests".  Uninstalling them from the "Add/Remove Programs" list doesn't always remove them though.

I have your list of programs that are uninstallable from the Add/Remove Programs, and will organise it into a step-by-step sequence to uninstall them.

AFTER THAT has been done, it would then be a good idea to run a program that will allow you to remove unwanted processes that have not been removed, or which CANNOT be removed using conventional methods.

The program is called "HiJack This" and it is quite good at listing things that start up and run when your computer boots.  It has the benefit also that you can generate a "Log File" and Upload it to a site that will "Analyze" it and make suggestions.   There is no harm in downloading the program in readiness, but DON'T RUN  IT YET.

Create a New Folder on your desktop for it first:
RIGHT-Click in a blank area of the Desktop and choose NEW > FOLDER
This creates a new folder named "New Folder" that will be highlighted in blue.
While it is like this, just type a suitable name like "HiJackThis" and click away from it.

Now go to this page:
and click on the down-pointing arrow in the green pane towards the upper right-hand side of the Internet Explorer window.  the text next to it will say:
"Download Latest Version 213KB
HijackThis 1.99.1"

That will open a page that SHOULD automatically show the prompt asking if you want to Save or Run the file "HiJackThis.exe".  Choose the SAVE option and this will then allow you to navigate to the new folder you created on your Desktop.
HINT: when you click the small black arrow next to the "Save In" field on the "save As" dialog, it will show all your drives and folders in a long list.  The folders on your Desktop will always show in the LOWER part of the list, so you should see your new folder there and be able to select it as the destination to save "HiJackThis.exe" into.

IF, for some reason, the download prompt doesn't show when you go the page linked to above, then you should see a link towards the upper left of the new page that loads (again with the green down-pinting arrow) ie.
"Thank you. Your download should start automatically. If not then click here".

RIGHT-CLICK on the "If not then click here" phrase, and choose "Save TARGET As".
This should then show the download prompt and you can SAVE the file.

The reason I've picked this roundabout way of getting the download is that it is the single program file, rather than one packaged up into a compressed zip file that may confuse you more trying to unpack the program file from it.

I will be back shortly with some more details.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17924226
>>F3EZSETP.DLLC:\Program Files\FunWebProducts\Installr\1.bin- delete00832107.exed
>>C:\Program Files\FunWebProducts\Installr\Cache

Both of these should be fine to let SFC update itself that they are gone <I think that is what it says>. Anyway, do not Restore or Ignore.

>> How do I check to see if win 98 has its own drivers?

You are going to love this one.  : D

In Control Panel, double-click Add New Hardware.
It is going to want to Scan for New Hardware. Let it. Just keep clicking NEXT until it asks you if the "device you want to install is listed below?".
Click the NO box. Then NEXT.
The next screen will ask "if you want Windows to search for New Hardware. Click NO, and then NEXT.
The next screen will have a list of hardware devices to pick from. I will stick with Modem for this.
Left-click Modem once to highlight it, then NEXT.
This screen will want to scan for a Modem, but since you have one already installed, click the box "Don't detect my modem. I will select it from a list". Then click NEXT.

This is the screen you want.
Makers name is in the left window, and model is in the right.

Your modem should be listed in that mess somewhere.
"Rockwell Semiconductor Systems (Also Conexant)"    
"R6793-11 Conexant SoftK56 Speakerphone Modem"    
"Askey Computer Corp" (I would start with Askey. Conexant chips are used in a lot of different modems)

If you do a "dirty install" it should still be listed.
If you do a "clean install" it probably will not. Clean installs of W98 only go up to 33.6K modems, on any I have looked at.
As you install hardware, it are added to the list to make it easier (haha) to reinstall something if you need to.

When you head stops spinning, come back, and we will confuse you some more.   ; )

Author Comment

ID: 17924578
OK bill, are you there, I downloaded hijack and I think I saved to desktop successfully, but I don't want to close all this to find out, because I don't want to lose what I want to ask you, when the download complete came up, it had the option of open or open folder, so I clicked open and got this warning," since hijack this targets browser hijacking methods instead of actual browser hickjackers, entries may appear in the scan list that are not hijackers.  Be careful what you delete, some system utilities can cause problems if disabled.  For best results, ask spyware experts for help (you I hope, me saying this) and show them your scan log.  They will advise you what to fix and what to keep.  Some adware-supported programs may cease to function if the associated adware is removed". OOOPS!! I just clicked hijack this on desktop, and it said it is already running, I guess I shouldn't have clicked open, how bad is this? Very scaaary!!
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17924607
Hi becky, that was just the disclaimer file that opens when you first run HiJack This.  I was going to explain this to you in the next steps, but you've got there and got a fright before I could tell you.  Nothing to worry about, so calm down ;-)  You've done well so far.

I haven't fully made up the list i was working on, but you may as well go to the next step and have HiJack This create a Log File.   Just follow these instructions for now, but I' afraid I need some sleep for now.  I've been up continuously for too long fixing a problem computer too :-)

OK, how to use the HiJack This program to create a log file that we can have a look at.

Don't worry too much about disconnecting from the Internet or closing the Internet Explorer window to do this, because you are NOT YET going to use the program to get rid of potentially unwanted stuff, you are just generating a report.

- Close all other program windows in the normal way (X at top right)
- Double-click on your new desktop folder containg the HiJack This program
  to open it.
- Double-click on the file "HiJack This.exe" which should show with a dynamite
  and plunger icon.
- When you first run it, you will get a message which is just a disclaimer wrapped
  up as a warning message.  Just click OK to continue.

You will see as "New Users Quickstart" dialog, at the top of which you should see a button entitled "Do a system scan and save a log file".  Click on that button only.

You will see a list of tick-boxes appear in the program dialog.  Wait for a moment and Notepad will pop up with the Log file in front of the program.  You will see the name of the file in the blue title bar at the top of Notepad: "hijackthislog.txt".

What this has done is created this file in the same folder on your desktop as the program file you downloaded and then ran.

The easiest way to upload your logfile for analysis is just to
- Close Notepad and then
- Close the HiJack This! program window.

Go to this page now:   http://www.hijackthis.de/en  (RIGHT-Click link and choose "Open Link in New Window", so you still have this Experts-Exchange question open.

You will there see a new comment window just like you type out your experts-exchange comments.  That is intended for PASTING the contents of your log file if you had copied it from Notepad.  Go down to the bottom of that comment field and you will see a small field with a "BROWSE" button next to it, above which you will see the text "or you can choose a logfile from your computer".

Click the "Browse" button, and a "Choose File" windows dialog will appear.  Navigate to the new folder on your desktop (use the small black drop-down arrow as previously discussed).  This will then show the program file and the log file.  the log file will have the Notepad-type icon.

Click on the file "hijackthislog.txt" and then click the "OPEN" button.
This will close the "Choose File" dialog and return you to the web page again, where you will see that the white field will be filled in with the path to your log file.

Click the "ANALYZE" button now.

There will be a few movements in the Internet Explorer window and some new text will appear just below the "Analyze" button like this:
"The following analyses has been stored temporarily
Analysis 1       12.11.2006, 05:20:32"

You should see that the "Analysis 1" text is orangey-purple, and that's the link that will open your saved anaysis if someone else click on it.

RIGHT-CLICK on the "Analysis 1" link and choose "COPY SHORTCUT".

In your new Experts-Exchange comment, just either RIGHT-Click and choose "Paste", or use Internet Explorer's "EDIT" Menu and choose Paste to paste the shortcut for us to see.  This will paste an Internet Web Address (people refer to this as a URL) like this one which is to an analysis I just did so I could accurately detail the steps for you:


We can then visit that analysis and make suggestions.

*** DO NOT RUN Hijack This and start ticking things yourself *** - (yet :-)

 That's what the scary disclaimer was that you saw when you first accidentally ran HiJack This.

Good luck
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17924623
Be back later tonight, at which stage you can tell us whether coral47's expertly described explanation above mine means anything to you.

Need some sleep before I visit my father in hospital and tell him that I have read all his "male interest" emails from his ex work buddies who hang around in a Yahoo Groups site.  He receives emails redirected from the site, and was worried that he would miss some if his usable space on the mail server got full.

Another useful tip:
Always remember that there is a "CANCEL" button if a dialog takes you into unfamiliar territory.  Some settings will only be applied if you click the "Apply" button, but others will be applied if you click the "OK" button, so DON'T assume that the "OK" button is just a button to acknowledge something.

Author Comment

ID: 17924651
Hi bill, I know you've gone to bed, and I should to, but I decided to go ahead and do the scan and try to save it for you, but it started the scan and I got this from Dr. Watson, an error occurred while loading the file C:\windows\desktop\hijack this\highjackthis.log the file is damaged or is not a valid Dr. Watson log file, no notepad came, will wait for your, "now what fix it"

Hey look I paragraphed down!!

coral 47, must go to bed, try your stuff tomorrow.
Oh yeah, I reticked propel accelerator in startup, and PC seems to be moving faster now, but not much, dial up service, awful


Author Comment

ID: 17926386
Hi bill, first of all, I'm sorry to hear your dad is in the hospital, nothing real serious, I hope.  I've been dealing with this for some time, first with my dad, who passed away, and now my mom, we never prepare for our parents to get old and ill, but we can't stop it. OK last night after downloading highjack this, and trying to scan and log, i got DrWatson, as above, and when I went to shut down PC, I got fatal exception error OE has occurred at 0177:bff996EF, I hit a key to continue, I got a black screen with a bunch of little dots in, so I had to shut down manually, but it hasn't done that since. So, I finally did the msconfig, startup, ticked each item one by one, and restarted, nothing came up except on scheduling agent message, it did not run, but this has been happening for some time, its not working properly.  Also, as I mentioned before, on start up before windows loads, I get a message cannot find a device file that may be needed to run windows or a windows application.  The win registry or system. ini file refers to this device file, no longer exists, if you deleted this file on purpose, try uninstalling the associated application using its uninstall or set up program.  If you still want to use the application associated with this device file, try re-installing that application to replace the missing file NDISWAN.VXD.  I researched microsoft and found some instructions that I could follow, but the message is still here, don't ask me how or where I found this info, but in snooping around, I somehow came across where is showed that this happened after I did a windows update, I downloaded client for microsoft, TCP/IP, microsoft family logon, conexant soft 56 data, fax, HP deskjet 500c printer, microsoft virtual private networking, dial-up adapter #2 (VPN support), dial-up-adapter, you probably don't want or need any of this but it said NDISWAN, problem code = 2 (0x2), registry key, HKEY_local_machine\enum\network\NDISWAN\000, microsoft virtual private networking adapter c:\windows\system\netpptp.sys<NDISWAN.VXD, driver file details network, NDISWAN is used by the dial-up adapter to acces ISDN devices, I think I found this info by doing a reg scan or device manager scan, but I had no clue about any of this.  Maybe, but you know of course, if this may be causing some of the problems.  Also, I looked up ISDN devices in win help to see what this was, and it said I don't have any ISDN devices loaded, so in my snooping around and downloading things I had no idea about, I probably created all these problems, I'm just surprised that this PC is still running at all.  Anyway, have to stop and do some other things, I trully hope your dad will recover quickly
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17927738
Hi Becky

Thanks for the thoughts about my Father.  Not a life threatening condition as it is, but it has incapacitated him meantime until the hospital gets him sorted out.

OK, so where were the paragraphs in the 2nd posting then? ;-)

I wouldn't worry too much about the "fatal exception error 0E" that you received after Dr Watson complained about the HiJack This Log file not being in the expected format.  It was probably just a glitch directly related to this event, and if it hasn't occurred again then forget about it.

OK, first off the log file trying to open with DRWATSON.EXE.
What to do is turn off DRWATSON for now.
RIGHT-Click on the DrWatson icon in the System Tray (bottom right of screen near clock) and choose the option "Turn Off Dr watson".
The icon will disappear from the System tray, and Dr Watson will not load the next time you start up the computer.

Now open Windows Explorer or double-click on "My Computer" and navigate your way through the folders to the C Drive > Windows folder > Desktop folder, and you should see the file named "hijackthis.log".

You probably won't see the dot and log after the file name "hijackthis", but you'll probably see a funny icon as was being shown in the System Tray while Dr Watson was running.

This would be caused by what is referred to as a "file association" ie. the .LOG file type has been previously set to open with DRWATSON.EXE.  In fact, Dr Watson should only really be set to open its own type of log files which are .WLG files.  It's easy enough to reassign the .LOG file type to Notepad though.

1. Click ONCE with the LEFT (ie. normal) button on the file "hijackthis.LOG" to select it (ie. it turns blue)
2. Hold down the SHIFT key (ie. the one you press to create capital letters)
3. Now RIGHT-CLICK on the highlighted file "hijackthis.log"
4. This will show a pop-out menu that will have an option to "OPEN WITH ..."
5. Release the Shift key and move the mouse so the cursor goes over onto the pop-out menu
6. Click on the "Open With ..." option (normal left-click), and it will show a dialog with a list of named programs in it
7. Scroll down slowly until you see the one named "NOTEPAD" and click ONCE on it
8. Now click in the box entitled "Always use this program to open files of this type" so that it is TICKED (if it's already ticked, then just leave it)
9. Click on the "Apply" button if it exists.  If not, then click the "OK" button.
10. This should now open the log file in Windows Notepad, and will do so from this point onwards.

There should be no need to run HiJack This again to create another log file, because you can go to the website I gave earlier (http://www.hijackthis.de/en) and click the "BROWSE" button to locate the file on your Desktop and upload it for analysis.  I don't suppose there would be any harm in having HJThis create a new log file, and it will overwrite the previous one.

You were right about "Propel Accelerator" apparently speeding up the computer, but this should only be apparent for Internet-based activities, and not your standard computing functions.  See here:  http://www.propel.com/home/index.jsp
That is not to say, however, that it isn't a bit buggy and might be contributing to the error messages.

Regarding the NDISWAN.VXD error message.

One thing that is puzzling me is where you say that you have DOWNLOADED and installed various components including:

- Dial-up Adapter
- Dial-up Adapter #2 (VPN support)
- Client for Microsoft Networks
- Microsoft Family Logon
- Microsoft Virtual Private Networking <-- Do you really need this?
(Conexant Soft 56 Data/Fax Modem)
(HP Deskjet 500c Printer)

Perhaps you are using the expression "downloaded" to describe how you installed them from your Windows 98 CD rather than meaning that you downloaded them from somewhere on the Internet.  I hope that is the case, because these are all available from the Win98 CD.

First of all, you probably don't need Virtual Private Networking.
VPN is, as it suggests, a means to access a "private network" from somewhere outside it (ie. from a "public" network).  Say for instance that you are a salesperson working away from the office with a laptop or from your home computer and you need to gain access to some documents that are on the computer you use when you are at the office.  You could connect to your ordinary Internet Service providor through your own wireless or telephone line and use the Virtual Private Networking "Client" to connect with the office network which is connected separately to the Internet through its own Internet Service Providor.  As long as it was all configured properly to do so, you can access the office computer as though you were sitting in front of it, but it's not a terribly secure way of doing things even though the signals are jumbled up deliberately while being transmitted.


As far as I gather, you are connecting to the internet through a thin cable that connects to the rear of the computer where the Modem is inside the computer case and the telephone wall socket, and nothing in between.  In other words, a standard "Dial-Up" connection rather than a fast Cable or Broadband setup where there would be a Modem or other device in between the back of the computer and the telephone wall socket.

It strikes me that whoever had the computer before you used it in some corporate capacity and needed to access data FROM it while using another computer elsewhere, access data TO it FROM another computer away from it, and also synchronise files between your computer and maybe a Laptop.  The reason I reckon this to be the case is because your computer has a program named "pcAnywhere" installed on it.  This is a non-Microsoft utility program that allows the above things and is a whole lot more advanced than Win98's VPN ever was.

Microsoft Virtual Private Networking is a separately installable or uninstallable (ie. an "Optional") Windows 98 component.  It's optional because not everyone would ever use it, and it's very easy to uninstall or reinstall as long as you have your Win98 CD.

Are you normally asked for a user name and password every time Windows starts up?

If so, then does it look like this:

Like this:

Like this:

OR like this?:

Do you see "Microsoft Family Logon" , "Client for Microsoft Networks" , AND "Windows Logon" when you open Control Panel > Network, and click on the small black drop-down arrow at the right of the  "Primary Network Logon" field?

Does it show more than one user name when you open Control Panel > Passwords?

IF you are asked for a password at startup, or IF it shows more than one user name in the Passwords dialog or logon dialog, then I DO NOT SUGGEST that you continue beyond this point until you have told us what settings you have.

IF there is only ONE user, AND IF you are not asked for a password every time the computer starts up, then you can continue from here.

The reason for caution here is that if the computer is set up for more than one user and you continue, then you may not be able to start up the computer and boot into YOUR Desktop and Start Menu arrangement, because these settings would be stored in separate places for each user.  By messing with the way the computer starts up, and whether a login is asked for, you can end up having to use a non-personalised layout by bypassing the login.

So, we assume that it is OK to continue here.
First I suggest that you open the Control Panel > Network option, and change the "Primary Network Logon"  from "Client for Microsoft Networks" to "Windows Logon" (if that is what was previously set), and reboot the system BEFORE continuing and removing the other things I will describe below.

I suggest that you UNinstall VPN as shown in the TOP TWO screen images and instructions on this page (ie. the brief stuff above the horizontal line on the page):

You are just UNTICKING the box in the Add/Remove Programs > "Windows Setup" tab, rather than ticking it as shown on that page linked to above.  Reboot when done.

When it reboots, open the "Network" option shown in Control Panel and have a look to ensure that it DOES NOT show any of the following (Note: there may be others with similar names, so be careful and compare them to the exact descriptions below):

- Dial-up Adapter #2 (VPN support)
- TCP/IP -> Dial-up Adapter #2 (VPN support)
- Microsoft Virtual Private Networking Adapter
- NDISWAN -> Microsoft Virtual Private Networking Adapter
- File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks
- Client for Netware Networks

Here's an example of the appearance of the dialog you will see, although the listed items may not necessarily be the same:

If any of the above exist, then select them and click the "Remove" button.  You may have to reboot after removing each one of them separately.  Reboot anyway, even if not prompted to.

This should all set your computer to a simple standalone home computer with no functions that would allow it to connect to any other computer apart from the ones owned by your Internet Service Providor, and which has one user profile and no login.

IF you are asked for a username and login when the computer boots at any time, there is an easy way to reset it to a BLANK Password detailed on this page:
(pay particular attention, if having to do this, to the instruction after the 2nd image where it tells you NOT to click the OK button).

I'm sorry if this all seems overly complicated, but that's the only way I see that you will be able to get rid of the NDISWAN.VXD error and the necessity for Windows to be trying to load it to start with.

Perhaps other experts can offer a simpler suggestion.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17927955
>> offer a simpler suggestion
It does sound like a Nic card used to be installed.
The only other thing I can think of, is to look in Device Manager to see if a NIC (Network Interface Card) is listed. Maybe with a yellow "!", or a red "X", next to it.

Depending on if the drivers are loaded or not, you might need to go to Safe Mode and see if any NICs are listed.

Click the "+" sign next to Network Adapters, to see what is listed, if it is not already expanded.
DO NOT mess with anything listed as a Dial-up Adapter.

To get to Device Manager, Right-click My Computer > left-click Properties > click Device Manager tab. Make sure "View devices by type" is selected (just under the tabs across the top).

To get in Safe Mode, shut down the computer, and reboot.
Just after the BIOS screen is done, and right as it says "loading windows 98" at the botton of the screen, start tapping the F8 key until you get the Boot Menu. Select Safe Mode then press the Enter key. When you are there, it will say 'Safe Mode' in all four corners of the screen.

This is a timing thing, wait too long and you won't get the Menu. You will have to wait until Normal Mode loads, Shut Down, and try again.
The faster the computer, the harder it is, but since yours is about the same as mine, it shouldn't be too bad.


Author Comment

ID: 17928757
Hi bill and coral, my computer has been acting up a bit, with page cannot be found, and running slow.  You've given me a lot of instructions and its late, my mom won't go to bed tonight unless I do, so I won't be able to work on this tonight and I have a really busy day tomorrow, so give me a day or two to process all of this.

(Paragraph, ha ha) I can tell you bill that already I encountered a problem with your very first step, go to my computer, c drive, windows, desktop folder, there is no desktop folder appearing there, as I told you before this has been my experience so far with trying to follow instructions, I get so far and the item I'm told to do is not on my PC.  I did turn off DrWatson.  I still have hijack this on desktop, are we taking another route? Also, I got this computer from a little ole lady, who bought it from a computer sale at the fairgrounds, so I'm pretty sure she didn't do any major work with it.  As I said before, the computer sat idle for a few years, and I unknowingly, installed everything from microsoft windows update site, not from win 98 CD, as I didn't have this until recently, when I asked her for it. I saw windows update on the startup menu and out of curiosty, I went there, and I scanned and it said I needed loads of updates, and without knowing what I was doing, I had them install everything, ooops, huh? So on the same day it installed the list of things I gave you before, thats when the NDIS missing file showed up.  Yes, on standard dial up connection, nothing in between, I can't get anything else where I live.  Yes, the computer asks me for a password before desktop appears, a friend of mine set that up for me, since I'm on this subject, it offers and ok or cancel option, what happens if you click cancel?

I just got another error message tring  to go to control panel, explorer caused a general protection fault in module USER.EXE at 001e:00001541.

OK got to control panel network, yes I see all three, micro fam logon, windows logon, and client for micro networks, also in passwords, it doesn't show any, not even mine, no user name or password.

You're asking me if I need something on this computer, don't forget, newbie me, how do I know.  But, from your description on virtual networking, I don't need this.

In your "first consider this" section, am I supposed to go the all the websites you have listed, I don't understand?

I'm starting to fall behind on some of your instructions, so I get a little lost, you might have to remind me if I skip or forget to do some of them, thanx

coral, I do know how to get into safe mode, I learned how to do this to run maintenance clean.

Anyway, I've got brain freeze now, so must get some sleep, hope this helped you help me.

Oh yeah, just one more thing, if I save this page to a floppy, do I have to use a new floppy each time there are changes, or can I just keep adding to it, how does that work, just in case my computer takes a final dive, and just how much information can we keep putting here?  Have you ever had to spend this much time with anyone else?
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17929298
Hi Becky

>>> "In your "first consider this" section, am I supposed to go the all the websites you have listed, I don't understand?" <<<

If you RIGHT-Click on each link and choose "Open Link in NEW Window" it should load the image of the different type of logins you may be shown.  I was hoping to try and find out how the computer is logging in.

It sounds like you may not have a standard C:\Windows\Desktop folder, but rather each user has a separate folder for all their personal folders.  When your friend set up the new Password for you, it will have created a new "Profile".  What this does is takes the "User Name" that was used for this profile, and creates a separate bunch of folders under a new folder named "Profiles".

So, let's assume that before this the computer was not set up for separate users.  Anyone turning on the computer would be using the SAME Desktop, Start Menu, Internet Explorer Favorites, program settings, and so on.  these user folders would be:
C:\My Documents
C:\Windows\Start Menu

When the new User Profile was created (let's asume that the name "Becky" was used when setting it up), this would create a new folder C:\Windows\PROFILES, and under that a new folder would be added using your new User Name, ie.

New folders (or sometimes copies of the ones shown above) would be added UNDER the folder named Becky, ie.
C:\Windows\Profiles\Becky\My Documents
C:\Windows\Profiles\Becky\Start Menu

Each time you logged in using the name "Becky", and with the appropriate password, it would use the contents of those new folders as YOURS.  So, if you saved something to the Desktop while you were logged in as Becky, it would be saving the file to:
and NOT:
The reason for this is so that each user can have a different image displayed on the Desktop, sort the order of their Start menu, save new Internet "Favorites", and save new documents and stuff to their OWN folders.  You would be able to go to and open the other users' folders in Windows 98, but they wouldn't be treated as being yours unless you logged in as the user to whom they were assigned.

>>> "it (the login) offers and ok or cancel option, what happens if you click cancel?" <<<

It just goes to an ANY USER setting, which is to say that it hasn't loaded any particular user profile, and the Desktop, Start menu, and "My Documents" that you see will be the non-personalised ones at:
C:\Windows\Start Menu
C:\My Documents

That doesn't mean that you couldn't go to any of those folders and see or open documents or shortcuts, it's just that the "My Documents" you would see with the different isn't "Becky's" My Documents, and the Favorites that you saw in Internet Explorer wouldn't be those created while "Becky" was logged in.

It's pretty easy in principle, but for a new user who hasn't really had a chance to explore the computer before problems arose, it can seem slightly complicated.

>>> "if I save this page to a floppy, do I have to use a new floppy each time there are changes, or can I just keep adding to it, how does that work ... just how much information can we keep putting here?" <<<

A floppy disk doesn't hold very much information, but it depends how you save the web page.  When you save a web page, it will usually try to save all the images that were showing on that page at the time, and will place these in a folder alongside the actual web page file that can be identified by the blue "e" icon.  These can take up a fair amount of room, so here's what I would do:

You will see a field entitled "Save As Type" in which it probably shows as "Web Page Complete (*htm ; *.html)", and the "File Name" above it will show as "Windows 98 multiple problems with my whole system".

The next time you Save this page to the floppy, you can instead click on the drop-down arrow and select "Web Page HTML ONLY (*.htm; *.html)", and type in a file name like "My EE Question".  This will save this page as a NEW file of that name, but WILL NOT save all the Images and stuff in a folder alongside it.

You can then open the Floppy Drive in My Computer and Delete the old file named "Windows 98 multiple problems with my whole system" and the FOLDER that should be alongside it named "Windows 98 multiple problems with my whole system files".  LEAVE your new file named "My EE Question".

Now, the next time you save the web page with new information added to it, when you choose the Floppy drive to save it to, you can choose the "Web Page HTML ONLY (*.htm; *.html)" option again.  Instead of saving the file by a new name, you should see the previously saved "My EE Question" file.  If you click on that, instead of typing a new file name, it will add this name to the "File name:" field.  When you click the "Save" button, it will tell you that you are about to overwrite the existing file of that name, and ask you if you want to do this.  Say YES, and you will have updated the file's contents.

Because the images and stuff were not saved alongside the web page, you may see it hunting for images as you open the file from the floppy and perhaps giving errors.  It will try and go online to fetch the images, but you can just cancel this and ignore the blank spaces where the images would have been.

You can optionally also Save As a "Text File (*.txt)" to the floppy disk.  This will save ONLY the text content of the page to a file named ""Windows 98 multiple problems with my whole system.TXT" or, if you are renaming it as suggested, "My EE Question.TXT".  Text files take up a tiny amount of room, and you can fit a lot of them onto a floppy before it fills up, but until you see if you can fix the problem with Dr watson trying to open .TXT files instead of Notepad, then it will give you more of a headache.

Try coral47's suggestion above this comment of mine and see what happens.



Author Comment

ID: 17932343
Good morning, so I had a few minutes, I checked device manager under networks adapter, no network interface card is listed, only, dial up adapter, dial up adaper #2 (VPN support) and microsoft virtual private networking adapter.

Bill, my login password window looks like the third website you listed above, welcome to windows. How's your dad doing today?
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17936590
Hi Becky.
Some slight improvement with my Dad, and thanks for asking.

OK, so you have your "Primary Network Logon" set as the "Microsoft Family Logon", and there will presumably be one or more names OTHER THAN your own shown in it.

It's actually pretty easy to get rid of ALL user profiles and make the system into a single-user standalone desktop PC, but I am hesitant to provide you with the instructions given that you said you received an error message when you opened Control Panel (explorer caused a general protection fault in module USER.EXE blah, blah).  What I WOULDN'T want to happen is for an error situation to spring up when you were half way through removing unwanted user profiles and leave a botched job.  There is also the issue right now that I would normally suggest copying all user-created files from EACH of the users' "profile folders" as backups to some neutral non-system folder BEFORE removing user profiles.

We can come back to this once we get your system straightened out a bit more, and it can be part of a general cleanup operation to reduce wasted storage on your hard drive.

At least we know that you DO NOT have a Network Card fitted to the computer.  I am positive that your NDISWAN.VXD Error is caused by an incomplete installation, or flaw with, "Virtual Private Networking" as described in this article:

I suggest that you follow these steps to uninstall Virtual Private Networking:

1. Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > "Windows Setup" tab
2. Click on "Communications" then click the "Details" button.
3. Click in the "Virtual Private Networking" check box to UNTICK IT
4. Click Close > click OK > then click Apply.
5. When prompted to restart Windows, do so.

Hopefully the NDISWAN.VXD Error will not show itself this time.

In the meantime, also try and assign (associate) the .LOG file type to Windows NOTEPAD so that HiJack This does not fail and crash out when DRWATSON tries to open the Log File unsuccessfully.  I have detailed the steps again for you as follows:

1. Click ONCE with the LEFT (ie. normal) button on the file "hijackthis.LOG" to select it (ie. it turns blue)
2. Hold down the SHIFT key (ie. the one you press to create capital letters)
3. Now RIGHT-CLICK on the highlighted file "hijackthis.log"
4. This will show a pop-out menu that will have an option to "OPEN WITH ..."
5. Release the Shift key and move the mouse so the cursor goes over onto the pop-out menu
6. Click on the "Open With ..." option (normal left-click), and it will show a dialog with a list of named programs in it
7. Scroll down slowly until you see the one named "NOTEPAD" and click ONCE on it
8. Now click in the box entitled "Always use this program to open files of this type" so that it is TICKED (if it's already ticked, then just leave it)
9. Click on the "Apply" button if it exists.  If not, then click the "OK" button.
10. This should now open the log file in Windows Notepad, and will do so from this point onwards.
11. Run HiJack This again to create another log file
12. Go to the website http://www.hijackthis.de/en
13. Click the "BROWSE" button and locate the file "hijackthis.log" on your Desktop
14. Upload it and click the "Analyze" button
15. RIGHT-Click on the link that exists as the text "Analysis 1" , and choose "COPY SHORTCUT"
16. Paste that copied web address in a new comment here (Ctrl and C keys, or Internet Explorer EDIT Menu > Paste).

Once we see that log file, we will know where we stand.

For your info, there are a few unwanted programs installed on your computer that, while not altogether "nasty", are using up your Internet connection's available resources.  BonziBUDDY, Co-Pilot – iWon, iWon Prize Machine, MyQuickSearch, My Web Search (Smiley Central), WeatherBug, and possibly others that deliberately don't advertise themselves in the Add/Remove Programs list because they are too sneaky.  These may persistently return after uninstalling, but the HiJack This analysis will give us some better details.

Let us know how you get on with these suggestions.


Author Comment

ID: 17942191

Hi bill, well I hope this is what you need. It took me a few tries, a little different route than what you instructed, round about, but I hope I got it. I'm going to submit this before I loose it, I'll continue with more, if this goes thru.  

Author Comment

ID: 17943247
Hi bill, first of all , how is your dad today?

I am a little concerned about something.  In downloading info from the SIW and highjack this programs unto  here, can anyone get personal info off of this that can hurt me or the PC?  I try not to put too much info on here, but in this day and age it doesn't take much to steal someones identity

I followed your instructions to untick virtual private networking, restarted, message still there NDIS file missing.  I had tried the instructions from microsoft that you sent me to before I started talking to you guys, same result, but I must have down something wrong because out of curiosity I tried to do it again, the second time I accidentally unticked communications instead of clicking communicatons, so I reticked comm, and when I opened for details, oh I'll just stop here with this because it is to long and drawn out, but I had to do a lot of cancelling and restarting to get it straightened out.  I got back to here so I guess its alright now, anyway that didn't work.

We are going to be having family come in this weekend from out of town, so the rest of my week will be very busy getting ready for them, also my mom have doctors appointments, so I may not respond or be able to work on this very much, so if you don't here from me for awhile, that why. Gotta go fix dinner, bye
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17944179
>> having family come in this weekend...

Enjoy. See you on the other side.  : )

Author Comment

ID: 17949210
Hi bill, I had a few minutes this morning, so I took a look at the website I posted for you above, the hijack this site, what is this all about? Safe, nasty? Who is rating my programs? Please explain what this is? Thanx

Also, I truly believe that my PC is a distant relative of Hal the computer from 2001 a space odesy (SP) because my PC seems to have a mind of its own.  Even though I shut it down at night, it seems to change things.  This morning when I started it up, my windows were very small and the text was very large, similar things like this happen all the time, how does this happen?  I think that there is an evil component installed that thinks up ways to mess with my mind, HA HA

Anyway, how is your dad doing, I hope he is better.  I'll try to take a few minutes here and there to check back, I've got lots of other necessary work to do right now, have fallen behind a bit.  I also received a new error message while trying read some of my email, Illegal operation - Propelac caused invalid page fault in module PHYTHON23.DLL at 0177:le0372c8, Becky out
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17953529
Did you mean PYTHON23.DLL? (no H)
Or does it really say PHYTHON23.DLL

A quick look around says this about Propelac:
"propelac.exe is a process associated with Propel Accelerator from Propel Software"

Link for PYTHON23.DLL

Might also be related to some Adware/Sypware. I need to check into it some more.

Some links here:

Links for InternetBOOST <listed in your Add/Remove Program post above>

That page also has this link on it:
Propel Web Accelerator, Internet Accelerator Download
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17954288
It was most likely installed by the ISP's CD:
C:\Program Files\AT&T Worldnet Accelerator\Propelac.Exe
LVL 30

Accepted Solution

Marc Z earned 400 total points
ID: 17967757
Haven't read the entire thing yet, but have you run an Antivirus yet?  If you did not install and update an Antivirus program when you got this out of storage, you need to get one now.   I use the free avast home edition from www.avast.com
which will work on Win 98. Get it here. http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html  Install it, update it, reboot and run a virus scan.

Hijack this is not an Antivirus program, it is a very strong tool to see what you have on your machine and some fixes for issues.  

Go to your control panel and Add/remove programs - Remove Weatherbug and any programs there that are showing up in your Hijackthis log that shows as Nasty if you can find them in the Add/remove programs.  If not, we will look at rerunning hijackthis after a reboot and selecting the Scan & Fix option and then Fixing the Nasties.

It certainly does look like you have at least one virus though and since it was an older computer that has sat around for a  while, probably because someone couldn't figure out how to beat the virus, but it should get fixed with an updated AV.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17970871
I have just revisited this question and see that my last comment has completely vanished, despite the fact that I clearly saw it added as a new comment after I posted it.  Must be someone monkeying around while creating the "New Website (that) is coming".  Most annoying, to say the least.

It was very much as you (mtz1of4) were suggesting about uninstalling the programs that are currently referenced where they show as "Nasties" in the HiJack This analysis (http://www.hijackthis.de/logfiles/e894637f30abb75f773167707ce47d66.html), and then using HiJack This in real time to "fix" any of those listed items that have been persistent.  The problem I saw in the analyzed log file is that it isn't as clear-cut as it should have been with the Nasties and Possible Nasties, especially for a total novice (sorry Becky :-).


AFTER you have downloaded, updated, and run the virus scan as suggested by mtz1of4, you can download the following document that I have uploaded.  It gives some suggestions about which programs you SHOULD UNINSTALL, which ones are NEEDED, and which ones are OPTIONAL.

Note:  There are two documents uploaded.  One is a standard Text file (.TXT) which you should open in WORDPAD for best viewing, and the other is one that will open in Adobe Acrobat Reader (which IS installed on your computer).  I STRONGLY suggest that you copy this file to a floppy after downloading it  (RIGHT-Click on the file > Send To ...  > Click on "Floppy Disk" to COPY it there) and then take it to a computer with a printer so you can print it (9 pages - all text and no graphics - won't cost the user an arm and a leg).  It is intended as a hardcopy paper guide that you can actually hold and make your own notes on as you go.

I am conscious of the fact that, although you have learned a lot through this crash-course in intermediate computing, that you are struggling a bit to keep up.  Perhaps the notes may be of some assistance to you.

Adobe Acrobat .PDF document:

Plain Text version:

Click on EITHER link and enter your login details when requested.
Click on the link to "See ALL files for this question".
RIGHT-CLICK the first link and choose "Open In NEW Window"
Click on the "Download" Button to (hopefully) open the "Save or Open" dialog
Choose "Save" and save it somewhere you can find it easily again.
Close the new Window and repeat the above steps for the 2nd link.


Author Comment

ID: 17970928
Hi all, sorry I haven't been able to catch up on any of the new posts, as I mentioned before, I've got family in for the weekend, and I have been really busy. Also, I had to put one of my dogs to sleep today, I've had her for 17 years, it was pretty devastating.  Anyway, I'll try to catch up soon, sorry and thanx for you much needed help.

Expert Comment

ID: 17971398
Hello Purkissbecky, I applaud you for your diligence and patience, and determination to solve this problem. Remember, You are using an old computer that at it's best, will still seem slow compared to any of todays modern computers. Windows'98 with 64 bits of RAM,  is going to freeze up on you from time to time seemingly for no reason at all. Always remember to shut  down your computer by clicking on 'Start' and then selecting 'turn off computer' from your screen and wait until it powers down, before turning the power off. Bonzai Buddi is notorious malware......At todays prices, you would  have already ran up a Tech bill closing in on $1000...keep this computer to learn and have fun on, but start saving for something newer. My condolences for your Dog, I recently lost 2  as well...
Kudos to all of you outstanding experts for your thoroughness and patience in  helping this most deserving Lady. I wish I had seen this post earlier...
.My 2 cents> replace her .dat files with her .dao files... I also suggest defragging your hard drive and  installing a good anti-virus program like AVG which is free and available at:   http://www.grisoft.com 
Enjoy many years of Happy computing...most of us prolly learned in similar fashion...Booda2us

Expert Comment

ID: 17971621
Given, this is the Win98 forum; but I'm kind of surprised nobody has suggested Ubuntu, which will mail an install CD for free.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17973284
No great rush to commit yourself to ploughing through this while you have so much on your plate for now.  Give it a few days off and then come back with a clear head ready to tackle this thing.  You've been dropped in at the deep-end, and most people in your position would probably have had a friend or acquaintance a bit more conversant with tinkering to come round to the house and either mess it up further for you, or fix it along the various lines that we have been suggesting.

It's always harder to provide step-by-step advice over a medium like this and get quick results because we need to await feedback, whereas over a telephone a technician can get instant feedback like "What options do you see on screen now? OK, click the cancel key and go into that other tab.  What do you see now?  Right, now click the OK button and restart ... etc.  The GOOD thing about the experts-exchange type of medium is that you have notes to revert back to.

So be patient, forget about this for a couple of days, and we'll be ready when you are.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17973696
Sorry to hear about your dog. Been there a couple of time myself.

See you after things settle down.  : )

Author Comment

ID: 17973741
Hi bill, thanx so much for your encouragement, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed right now, but I do keep checking back and trying to sort thru all of this a little at a time, and the computer is still getting me back to here, so I guess I haven't messed it up to bad.

OK, as usual this computer doesn't cooperate with the instructions, I took a few minutes to set up the download of the antivirus, at avast.com, a window came up showing the download in progress, and it would take almost four hours, so I went about my business and I checked back after a couple of hours, and low and behold a message box, saying Internet Explorer cannot download setupeng.exe from download 504.avast.com the connections with the server was reset.  The download was still working behind this box and maybe I should have left it alone, but the message box had an OK, and I thought about it for a second but clicked the OK button, and everything was gone.  So I don't know if it finished, or if it is still downloading, and if it finished I don't know where it went.  I'm not turning the computer off until I hear from you.

I know this is probably asking alot, but since I've gotten so behind on everyones suggestions, I'm very lost.  If you have the time, or someone else does, could you review everything and please make a list of things I need to do according to priority.  You don't really need to retype the instructions, but just a list to follow so I can find the instructions on this page.  I went next door to my neighbors, and brought this up on their computer, and they started to print it out for me and in the middle of printing, it ran out of ink, and they like me, don't have a lot of experience, and they didn't know how to stop the printer, old printer, so they unplugged it, so I got just the first six pages of thirty two.  I really just gotta laugh at all the goofball things that go wrong, while trying to make this right.  Another friend of mine gave me an old lexmark 1100 printer with no book, so I have no clue what to do with that, and the way things are going, I don't think I even want to attempt that right now.  I don't know anyone experienced enough to do a hands on help with this, and I can't really afford or want to spend a lot of money.  I was going to do the floppy as you suggested, but after the download stall, I'll just wait on that.  Anyway, I'll wait to hear from you.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17973764
Lets see... what to do first...

* Get SFC to do a run through without errors.

* Fix boot-up error message, and get the log-in sorted out.

* Uninstall any programs you do not want, in Add/Remove Programs

* Defrag the hard drive.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 17973857
To minimize the frustration of having multi-hour downloads over dial-up fail, and having to start over, you may want to think about installing a download manager.  These utilities can gracefully recover from a failed connection, allowing you to resume a failed download right where you left off.     It's been a while since I really had to deal with this, so others may have better software recommendations, but one program I've tried is  "Download Express"; it seems very effective, and is free for home use:  http://www.metaproducts.com/mp/MetaProducts_Download_Express.htm  

Also, if you have call waiting on your phone line, you'll want to make sure your modem settings include a *70, in front of the phone number to disable it, otherwise any incoming call would knock your modem offline.  Here is one guide about how to do it:  http://www.computing.net/howto/simple/callwait/
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17974196
It's easy for us to forget that we can't all have a broadband connection, so here are some download links for some free standalone virus removal tools from the reputable companies that market the full anti-virus products.  They only target the most common viruses, but it is a whole lot better than nothing at all.  You should be able to download these in a fairly short time over a standard dialup connection and run them separately after you have later disconnected from the Internet and closed all running programs.

I recommend that you first of all create a new folder into which you should download all of the following.  For example, RIGHT-Click on your Desktop and choose "NEW" then "Folder".  Type in a new name for the folder while it is highlighted (eg.  AVTOOLS) and then click away from the new folder to apply the new name.

RIGHT-CLICK on each of the following 4 links in turn and choose "Save TARGET As".
When prompted to Run or Save, SAVE them and browse to your new Desktop folder (eg. AVTOOLS).  Run them as instructed below each link.

Free Avast virus & worm removal tool version 1.0.209 (built on 18.6.2006):
http://files.avast.com/files/eng/aswclnr.exe (220KB)
1. Double-Click on ASWCLNR.EXE and click the "Scan Now" button.
2. When done, shut down, leave it a few moments, then start the computer again.

McAfee "Stinger" version 2.6.0 (04.05.2006) for common viruses (1.09MB):
(I know it's older, but the computer was lying around for a long while)
Stinger Instructions:
1. Double-Click STNG260.EXE and then click the "Preferences" button when it opens
2. Leave all the settings as they are BUT ALSO tick the "Boot Sector" box
3. Click "OK"
4. Click the "Scan Now" button.
5. When done, shut down, leave it a few moments, then start the computer again.

AVG (Grisoft) VCleaner Common Virus Removal Tool (111KB):
1. Double-Click on VCLEANER.EXE and it will open a DOS Window and run
2. Allow it to complete
3. If you need to interrupt it, Press Ctrl and Pause/Break, or Ctrl and C together
4. When done, shut down, leave it a few moments, then start the computer again.

Win32/Magistr, variants A and B Virus Removal Tool (27KB):
(I think you may have this virus)
Same as VCLEANER, except you obviously double-click on RMMAG.EXE instead.

The above small standalone programs will target the commonest viruses, but are not a substitute for a full antivirus program with the latest update installed.


Author Comment

ID: 17976263
Hi bill, once again I have to stress how impressed I am with all you know how to do, and I am very appreciative of all the time, patience and support you are giving me, along with all you other guys, also. When I first read your instructions, I didn't think I could follow them, but you have made it so easy that I finally figure it out.

Anyway, I downloaded, saved to desktop and ran all the AV tools, the first two didn't find any virus's, but the second two were finding and removing them, only when they finished the window disappeared, so I don't know what it found or what it got rid of, is there a logfile to view, I'm curious to see.

Also, I followed all your instructions to save the uninstall progs, and saved to desktop, but when I click to find open with, it only says open, and I can open one to notepad, but the other one that needs acrobat reader, tried to open, but as usual, got, "error processing page - problem reading document (9), so I click OK, then another box, " acrobat reader file contains info not understood by the viewer.  Suppress further errors? yes or no choices, it clicked yes, anyway can't open that file, I'll have to wait for a day I can spend on this, its looks like it will take awhile.  More later
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17976507
Hmmm.  Strange that the PDF document wouldn't open in Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4 which you have installed.  I created it by "printing" it to a file from Microsoft Word (version 2003) using an older "virtual printer" that just converts what it sees on the screen to a file.

OK, maybe it's something to do with the fact that I'm using it in Windows XP from Word 2003, whereas I've always used it previously in Windows 98 from Word 2000.  I created another one this time by printing the file from WordPad and we can see if you can open and print this new version:


Maybe this is just another problem with wrongly associated file types on your system, or perhaps you have accidentally downloaded and saved the Text (.TXT) file intended for Notepad/Wordpad and ended up somehow renaming it as a PDF file ie. by adding the .PDF extension to the end of the file name eg. "Progs_For_Uninstallation.txt.PDF".
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17976589
Oh yes, and you asked about whether the standalone virus removal tools created log files. Look for the following files in the folder from where you ran the respective programs:
Avast ASWCLNR.EXE - aswclnr.log
Stinger (STNG260.EXE) - stng260.txt

Note: The Stinger tool also creates a file "stng260.opt" in the same folder.  The "stng260.TXT" file is the log file, and will display the typical Notepad file, while the .OPT file will display the typical Windows flag icon.

"aswclnr.log" can be opened in Notepad by (do you remember?) RIGHT-Click > Open With... > Untick the always use this program..." box > select Notepad from list.

The two AVG tools (rmmag.exe and vcleaner.exe) do not appear to create log files, but I haven't yet run these versions to completion.  One way you might be able to make sure that you see the end results, rather than the DOS window just closing, would be to:
1. Open Windows Explorer or My Documents and navigate to, and open, the folder containing eg. VCLEANER.EXE
2. Start Menu > Programs > MS-DOS Prompt to open a new DOS Window
3. Move the DOS Window by dragging it with the blue Title Bar at the top so you can see vcleaner.exe that would have been hidden behind it
4. Click on vcleaner.exe with your normal left mouse button and drag it on top of the MS-DOS window
5. Release the mouse button (ie. Drag and Drop the file into the DOS window)

This should then run the program, but should not exit and close the DOS window when it finishes.  You may there see the results of the scan, which hopefully will be clear.  If not, then I wouldn't worry because I'm SURE it would have generated popup messages and instructions IF it had found any infected files.

Author Comment

ID: 17976916
OK bill, followed your last instructions, saved to desktop, tried to open, opened to acrobat reader, with the same error message as before, clicked OK to first message and yes to second message. If I  click the file tab on acrobat reader screen and click open, it shows a window entitled open with a file name pdf, list of file type acrobat (*.pdf), lists the windows desktop folders, OK wait a minute, I just noticed that when the file opens the acrobat reader, it says acrobat reader 2.1 and you said I should have 4.0 version, could this be the problem?

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17977076
For the latest version that runs on W98:
Looks like version 6

Select which version of 98 you have from the drop-down box and click "continue"
Uncheck the Yahoo boxes so they do not download.

For version 4 or 5
Acrobat Reader at OldVersion.com

For that matter, OldVersion has all of them listed with the file sizes. So you can pick one of the smaller ones if you want.
Just to give you an idea, I currently have 5.1 on W98SE, and in no rush to upgrade.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17977089
Actually, OldVersion looks like a good place to pick up a lot of older stuff.
I just bookmarked it for me to use.  : D
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17977831
becky, you're certainly getting quite conversant with all this downloading and saving of files now.  Well done.

Your question title "multiple problems with my whole system" just about sums it up.
Your Add/Remove Programs list certainly shows "Adobe Acrobat 4.0"

.... but wait ... maybe you have the full Adobe Acrobat application version 4 installed.  There is a full and quite expensive retail program named Adobe Acrobat that actually allows you to CREATE *.pdf files from scratch.  The Adobe Acrobat "Reader" is the freeware program that just allows you to VIEW .pdf files. Unfgortunately the listing in Add/Remove Programs for the Reader doesn't make it clear whether it is for the free Acrobat Reader or the Acrobat "writer" program.

Again, conscious of the fact you are on a standard dial-up connection.  Perhaps one of the CD's you have kicking around may have the setup package for free Adobe Acrobat Reader on it.  Many of the Driver CD's and ISP Setup CD's will have it because most User Manuals that you can view from CD's are in the .pdf file format, and the CD would then prompt you to install the reader from the CD to allow you to read the manual.

The setup package on such CD's is usually easy to find as it will be in a folder of its own named something like "Reader" or Acrobat", and the file usually has an icon that (a) looks like a red open-top box viewed overhead from an angle with something blue inside it - version 5 or (b) a square red icon with a white upward-pointing arrow - version 6.  The setup file is often named something like "rp50enu.exe", "rp505enu.exe", or "AdbeRdr60_enu_full.exe", or similar.  You would be able to install Acrobat Reader using one of those setup files if you have one on a CD.

I would suggest meantime that you once again ask your kind neighbour if you can use their computer to print off the document I uploaded, seeing as they have a printer attached and will most likely have a more recent version of Acrobat reader installed.  The document is 9 pages of text and you could pay them $1 or $2 to more than cover their ink and paper costs.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17977860
If downloading an installer from the link given by coral47, you would probably get by with either of the following versions:

http://download.oldversion.com/acrobat4.exe (version 4.0 - 5.2 MegaBytes)
http://download.oldversion.com/acrobat405.exe (version 5.05 - 5.5 MegaBytes)
http://download.oldversion.com/acrobat50.exe (version 5.0 - 8.4 MegaBytes)
http://download.oldversion.com/acrobat505.exe (version 5.5 - 8.6 MegaBytes)

Like coral47, I too still use version 5.1 on my Win98se systems, but the download size jumps up to 13 MegaBytes, and the difference in download time is quite significant on a standard dialup connection.  Version 4.05 would probably do you well enough for now.

Author Comment

ID: 17978076
Hi bill, first of all, I don't have any other CDs for this computer other than the windows 98 CD, ATI RAGE TURBO ver.1.00 and a floppy disk for CD-ROM drive IDE/ATAPI interface installation disk. Also, I checked my programs from start up menu and it does have adobe acrobat 4.0 listed and I open it and it says acrobat reader.  There have been times when I would click to read something on a website and it would say I needed acrobat reader to read the file, it seems to me that at one point I got a popup saying I needed to update this and I thought I did, but something must have gone wrong with the installation. Also, you mentioned in one of your posts about the recycle bin, so I opened it and there is a folder in there named acrobat reader 2.1 and another folder that says adobe acrobat, I must have deleted these when I thought I upgraded to 4.0 or thought I did.  Should I try to install a new version from the website that coral 47 suggested?

I did not see any of the file types you mentioned in the AVTools folder .log, txt or exe, to check the logs, but this is the least of my problems right now, so I'll put that aside for now.

I think the most important thing I need to do is remove stuff that is nasty, but it looks like this will take some time, but I'll try to print it out and get started as soon as I can.  

Author Comment

ID: 17978199
OK something really weird just happened, I was closing out this page to shut down for the night and when I clicked the close X, the page kept reappearing over and over again, I had like ten pages popping up, before it dawned on me to hit ctr, alt, delete to stop it, crazy huh?  Anyway, it looks like I'm jumping over comments, when I came back bill, you suggested I reinstall acrobat reader, correct? Should I uninstall the old one that is supposed to be here first or after?
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 17982815
Foxit has a PDF Reader that is only 1.5 MB download and it's free and faster than Adobe's.

At the state that this machine is in and Bill's excellent advice, let me just throw in I personally wouldn't be installing too much (especially a download manager) until we get this thing up and running smooth.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 17983059
I suppose it is kind of a chicken or egg thing about the download manager... I agree that you don't want to add new software to a system that isn't working well, but unless you can download all these utilities and updates successfully, your chances of ever getting the system working well are much lower.   I have many memories of leaving my machine downloading huge files over dialup when I went to bed, only to wake up the next morning to find the download had failed, so I had lost a whole day.  So personally,  I'd be doing the download manager as my #1 priority!  
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17984445
You'll probably find that the existing installation of Acrobat Reader won't uninstall properly if (as it appears) the installation is corrupt.

The only reason I'm even covering this information about Adobe Acrobat Reader is so you can print off the instructions I typed out and saved as the PDF document.  The actual presence of, and attempts to get Acrobat Reader functional, are just incidental and certainly not a high priority in the whole scope of trying to get this computer of yours fixed up.

I was hoping to keep it uncomplicated and, as the upload site here allows for only certain file types including PDF, I thought that it would save you a bit of hassle copying the document to floppy, going next door, and asking the neighbour to print it off for you so you had hardcopy notes to follow.  I could have created the instructions in another format that you aren't allowed to upload here, zipped it up into a .ZIP file (which is an acceptable file type to upload), and uploaded that.   Problem is that you don't seem to have WinZip installed, and that would have put you in another unfamiliar area trying to unpack a zip file to get at the contents, and probably having to download and install another program to do so.

Opening my downloaded PDF document on your computer will certainly give you notes to follow, but they were really intended for printing, and you don't currently have your 2nd-hand Lexmark 1100 printer (with no book) installed, attached, and configured on your computerto allow you to do this.  We could probably walk you through that, and easily locate drivers to download so you could set it up, but that's all getting further and further away from the priority actions that should be getting performed.

mtz1of4 has offered an excellent alternative workaround to the Acrobat reader problem, however.  I've just downloaded and tested the Foxit PDF Reader on my computer and with the document I created for you, and it is a fantastically small and fast program.  There is a standalone program version you can download as a zip file (1.74MB) which doesn't require installation, but does require WinZip, WinRAR, or some other program to unpack the single program file from it:

The standalone version, when run, creates its own registry entries, so you would probably be just as well downloading the program installation package and installing it.


RIGHT-Click on link above > Save Target As > Save anywhere
Double-click "foxitreader_setup.exe" > follow the prompts > choose "Default" Option > allow installer to complete.
Allow program to run > File Menu > Open, browse to any PDF document, and open it in the reader.

In principle I tend to agree with mtz1of4's hesitance about installing any other programs, such as a download manager as suggested by yessirnosir, but he argument about needing a way of getting larger downloads such as a FULL AntiVirus and AntiSpyware program is a good one.

I suggest that following the advice in my PDF document to uninstall some of the unwanted programs installed, and then you can run HiJack This again and we can see what entries you can get it to "Fix".

After that, I DO think that it might be a good idea to install a reputable download manager to get the full programs needed to finish the cleanup.

You could then run Scandisk, followed by a Defrag, and lastly, you can try running the Windows 98 System File Checker to see if that restores missing or damaged files.  If here are still problems, THEN you could probably try and reinstall Windows back on top of itself.

One step at a time, as (I think it was) blue_zee and coral47 stated a while back.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17985086
I forgot about Foxit. D'oh!

As a side note, if you check the magazine rack(s) at the stores you go to, some of the computer mags have CD disks included. My favorite way of getting stuff without dealing with slow downloads.
"MaximumPC" usually has a nice collection of freeware Apps and Utilities on theirs. If you can find a store that still has several back issues on the rack, you can pick and choose.
The mags usually run about $10.00 USD with tax. A little more for the special issues.

Watch out for PC World (I think). They started using a lot of "not freeware", with download links, instead of having the stuff on the disk.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17985262
Yeah, I hate it when they do that.
Good thinking coral.
I once got a fully functional version of a Sage accounting package worth about 400 Pounds from one of those PC magazine CD's.  I found a strangely out of place folder on the CD, and can only assume that the person compiling the CD left stuff on it that shouldn't have been there. I managed to create an installer from the files and burn a working setup CD.  That same PC Magazine also messed up badly once and accidentally attached a CD of classical music to each magazine, and then had to post the proper CD's to lord knows how many buyers - the dummies!

coral, can you please do me a favour and download my uploaded PDF file to see whether you think it is actually worth Becky's trouble trying to get it printed off for reference.  Don't be shy, just tell me if you reckon it is useful to Becky at this stage, and we can halt the need for a PDF Reader and move on if it isn't worth the effort ;-)
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17985334
Considering what she needs to do in Add/Remove, a hardcopy would be very handy. Nice job.

Something I keep forgetting to ask.
If you double left-click My Computer, and right-click Drive C:, then left-click Properties, what does it say your drive size is, and how much Freespace is on it?
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 17986651
Bill, I looked at the text file and if the pdf is the same, have her use the txt.  At least she can see that one without extra programs and I thought it was very well done for her situation.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17987262
Thanks mtz1of4.  the .TXT version is only really viewable and/or printable if opened in Wordpad rather than in Notepad.  Instructions were given to Becky how to use the Right-Click > "Open With.." option earlier.

I would still have preferred Becky to be using a hardcopy of the document,as quite a few reboots will be required, but perhaps you're right about not installing more programs just to read the instructions.

Author Comment

ID: 17988962
Good morning all, you've been busy, OK bill, this is what I got off C properties,
used space-2,972,000256 bytes 2.76GB, free space-5,458,829,312 bytes 5.08GB,
capacity-8,430,829,568 bytes 7.85GB, file system Fat 32.

 Also, you once again mentioned transferring txt file from notepad to wordpad, but as I said before when I right click the folder on desktop, it doesn't give me the open with option, only open.
Can I save this to a floppy from notepad?  So am I installing foxit, acrobat reader,download manager?

If I restore acrobat reader 2.l out of recycle bin, would that help? Are there different instructions on the pdf, rather than txt, are there two different instructions?

I won't be able to spend much time on this because of Thanksgiving coming up, much to do, but I'll do small stuff, but I think the add/remove progs. will have to wait for a while. Thanx again all.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 17988994
Wow..... lot's of reading to catch up on here....

Bill or coral, mind giving me a low down on what we're working towards now?


LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 17990125
Becky, if you hold the shift key while right-clicking, you should see the additional "Open With..." option in the menu.  

Author Comment

ID: 17991910
yessir, thanx for the tip, it worked, I got the uninstall info up on wordpad, and saved it to a floppy, I just have to ask my neighbor to print it out for me.  I do have call waiting, but I had already disabled it, my dial up has *70, in front when it dials, thanx.

Also, I would like to mention that if I don't address and respond to each one of you that are  helping me with all this, its not that I don't appreciate what you are doing, it would just take alot more typing and space to do so, but believe me you have all contributed to my education.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 17993281
>> So am I installing foxit, acrobat reader,download manager?

You can do either Foxit OR Acrobat Reader. They do the same thing.
Foxit is a smaller download and runs a bit faster.

>> this is what I got off C properties

That is better than I hoped. Some of the earlier errors sounded like you might be having "hard drive almost full" problems (aka: Virtual Memory/Swap File/Page File).
But you are in good shape, and we can take that one off the list.

>> mind giving me a low down on what we're working towards now?

Currently working on:
* getting Add/Remove Programs cleaned out..
* Getting rid of a Virtual Network hiccup/login..
* I think the SFC is done?
* ditto on opening/saving things with Wordpad/Notepad/Acrobat..
* Defrag when the Add/Remove is done..

>> lot's of reading to catch up on here....

LOL. Yeah. I just pasted the thread into Wordpad to make a cheatsheet.  ; )
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 17995082
Now that you can read the notes from the txt file, you do not need to install Foxit or Adobe until we get your machine up and running smoothly.

I don't know if this was addressed, but have you called your library to see if they have internet access and possibly the ability to save a cd from their computers so you can get the files necessary to clean up this machine?  They typically have a highspeed connection which would help you in getting these larger files and most times it is free to use.  You might have to bring or pay for a CD to bur nit to.  But they would also be able to assist with the burning procedure.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17995405
That's a good idea from mtz1of4 about using a library resource.  Hopefully they may have the facility to allow writing out to a CD that you can take away with the downloaded programs on it so you can install them on your computer.

As coral47 stated, you have a fairly substantial amount of space left on your hard drive, so uninstalling the larger programs IS NOT the priority that I previously perceived it to be, given that you had that "low disk space notification" message a while back.  To give you a very rough idea, your hard drive with all the programs installed on it is only about 35% full (ie. with about 65% left free).  You could fit the contents of about 3,846 full floppy disks or about 7.5 whole CD's into the free space that is left (although that would be a rather silly thing to try and do)!  That's plenty of free space for now and for a good while to come.

Agreed.  DON'T worry about installing another program to view the notes I made, because there is only a small section of it that covers the programs that you should now try and uninstall, and you can use Notepad/Wordpad (remember SHIFT + Right-Click - untick "always open with") to view those bits of the text document that are relevant for now.

So, meantime DISREGARD all the instructions detailed in my notes under the sections "3rd Party Software (Optional Uninstallation)" and "Programs that probably should be uninstalled".  Instead, concentrate on trying to uninstall those programs listed under the heading "PROGRAMS OR TOOLBARS THAT SHOULD BE UNINSTALLED".

You should also look at the notes I made at the start of the document about the:
Epson Status Monitor
USB Scanner v1.0
Aiptek Pen Cam Manager
Olympus USB Reader Ver 3.11
because you probably have no need for these to be installed, and one of these programs could be causing miscellaneous errors or conflicts.

Make enquiries to see how you can download the larger AntiVirus program and Spyware Removal utilities that have been mentioned previously.  You really need to be installing and running them next.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 17997773
One thing I've noticed about un-installing and installing programs...

Once you remove a couple of programs, it helps to do a defrag on your drive. Whenever I've done a number of uninstalls, I usuallu do a defrag after 2 or 3, just to keep the system responding a little quicker.

Has anyone posted the "How to do a defrag" info yet?

Author Comment

ID: 17998104
Bartender, thanx for the info, I do know how to do defrag, from regular and safemode, thru programs, accessories, system tools, with maintenance wizard, it cleans, scans and defrag, I close everything but explorer and system tray, if there any others suggestions, I welcome them.

bill, I will start working on uninstall stuff and soon as I get a little more time.  

I will check with the library after the holiday, they will be closed for a few days.

Author Comment

ID: 18009255
Hello all, well here we go again, made floppy from bills instructions, printed it to hard copy, decided to start uninstalling bad stuff, tried to open control panel, and got the following error message - program caused illegal operation - explorer caused an invalid page fault in module kernell32.dll at 0177:bff87eb5, also my desktop keeps turning white background, with restore active desktop, but when I click to restore it, nothing happens, very frustrating to say the least, please help again.  My PC apparently doesn't want me to get rid of the bad stuff!

Also, I need to know if when I run sfc, there are other tabs, search criteria, advanced, settings, how should this all be set up to get a full scan?  Thanx

Author Comment

ID: 18009495
I'm back, restarted PC and got to control panel, after removing  internetboost file, got message window - windows explorer c:\windows\start menu\programs\internet boost is not accessible, this folder was moved or removed.  Does this mean its gone?  Also, under bonzibuddy, per your instructions (bill) to follow, I can't find purple ape or dollar sign icon next to clock, I don't have bonzibuddy listed from start, programs, when I tried to remove from add\remove, I got window message - wise uninstall could not open install.log file.

I'm feeling a little dumb about the hijack this, too many options, after removing co-pilot iwon from add\remove you (bill) said to run hijack this and allow it to fix all entries relating to i-won, when you say run, do you mean scan, and how do I get it to fix all entries relating to iwon? Sorry, I guess I'm not good at following directions yet without more step by step button pushing instructions?  I'll stop for now until I hear back, gotta fix us something to eat.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 18010433
>> after removing internetboost file... Does this mean its gone?

Yes. But some program is still looking for it. Maybe AT&T?

>> desktop keeps turning white background, with restore active desktop

Try turning off Active Desktop.
Click the START button, then Settings > Active Desktop > then click  View as Webpage.

>> when I run sfc... be set up to get a full scan?

The Default is fine for what you are doing.
I wouldn't mess with the Search Criteria and Advanced tabs without Knowing Exactly What You Are Doing.
These tell SFC what files to looks at for changes, and where its working Folder is located.
The Settings tab can be messed with if you do not want Backups of the pre-change list, and/or a log of what SFC did, and how to save the log.
Append just means it will keep adding to the log (can get very big).
Over-write will replace the previous log with the new one (keeps the log file small).
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 18011109
Hi Becky
The "explorer caused an invalid page fault in module kernell32.dll" error message when opening Control Panel is really just another sign that you have a great many problems on that computer. If you are going to prevented at future times from opening Control Panel because of a repeat error like this, then it's going to greatly hamper further progress, so I think that running SFC as soon as you can is something that you should definitely do.  Hopefully it will restore any problem files that are causing this error.  It may just be an occasional glitch as sometimes happens.

"Active Desktop" is a nuisance.  Turn it OFF, as coral47 has suggested.

Re. the error shown at reboot after uninstalling InternetBOOST:
"windows explorer - c:\windows\start menu\programs\internet boost is not accessible, this folder was moved or removed".

Your AT&T Internet Connection Software uses "AT&T Worldnet Accelerator" and "AT&T Worldnet Service".  I am sure that your ISP software also installed "Propel Accelerator", but not "InternetBOOST", because it has such a bad name.  Unfortunately your HiJack This analysis has timed out.  It is only stored on that server for a limited time.

Open MSCONFIG and ensure that any tick-boxes referring to "InternetBOOST" are UNTICKED, apply the change and reboot to see if the  error disappears.

Regarding the BonziBuddy uninstallation, and the inability to locate the "install.log" file.  It should have been in the folder:
"C:\Program Files\BonziBuddy" as "install.log" alongside the file "unwise.exe" which is called to uninstall it.  It sounds like BonziBuddy has been only partly uninstalled.  Don't waste time on this for now.

Yes, when I said "run hijack this and allow it to fix all entries relating to i-won" (or any of the pesky programs just uninstalled), I DID mean the "Scan" option.  This will create a list with a tick-box next to each.  It MIGHT already have ticked ALL of them, and I suggest that you FIRST UNtick all of them before going any further.  In the case mentioned, you are just looking for the entries that SPECIFICALLY contain references to "i-won".  You TICK those boxes and then click the  "FIX CHECKED" button.  Follow the prompts, close HiJack This, and reboot after it has finished.
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

yessirnosir earned 200 total points
ID: 18014788
If you get to the point of wanting a download manager, I have a recommendation to pass on.  I spent Thanksgiving weekend in a house with only dial-up, and as visiting geek I helped fix a few things that required some big downloads:   I tried out "Internet Download Manager"   www.internetdownloadmanager.com  and was really impressed.  Very professional interface; excellent integration with browser and Windows.  Was able to schedule a bunch of downloads before bed, and let them run for many hours overnight.  The software recovered automatically when the connection dropped, redialing the connection while we slept.  When the downloads were done, the software automatically hung up the phone, conserving use of limited monthly connection hours.  Without the download manager I never would have been able to get everything downloaded in one night.  The software says it is a "trial version" but appears to be fully functional.  

Author Comment

ID: 18039243
Hi all, just wanted to let you know that I haven't left the project, I just had to put it on hold for now, lots of things going on with my mom and another family member in hospital, I will resume as soon as things get more settled, thanx to all, Becky
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 18041229
Hoping all will go well and we'll be here when you need us.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 18044950
Becky.  Your computer problems are insignificant when compared with your domestic circumstances right now, so don't even think about the computer meantime. Hopefully things will become a bit more settled.  It's a real strain on everyone when family members are hospitalised.

Author Comment

ID: 18083307
Hi all, things are still very hectic right now, so not much time to play on the computer.  I've had a chance to remove, uninstall some programs, but my PC is acting very weird, still getting fatal exception error messages, at one point it shut down to scan and repair registry problems, and when I came back to here my post a comment box was missing, so I had to post a new question to figure that out.

I spent some time today trying to figure how to restore the sound on my PC, somewhere in all the updating, downloading and installing, I lost it.  As usual, I'm not sure which instructions to follow, there are several that are confusing or scary for me to try.  I've been getting emails that are supposed to be animated with sound, but no animation or sound, even though all the advertisements on the top and sides are animated, I quess nothing can stop the ads.  Anyway, I'll keep trying to find time to catch up, in the meantime any easy suggestions on the sound problem? Thanx, Becky
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 18085400

I know you all have spent a lot of time helping Becky, but should we think about telling her about a free alternate OS like Ubuntu?  She could request a Free CD shipped to her from them http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu which could help pinpoint whether or not she truly has hardware issues.

If she doesn't have any important files (to me that mostly is Pictures) on here, this may be a viable alternative.  I know she is learning tons here and am willing to go either way, but trying to resurrect a win98 machine and putting it on dialup might actually hurt her more if she decides to actually put important files on this machine.


Chances are it's a corrupt driver.  Did you have any luck with the library or access to a different computer with access to faster internet access like Cable, DSL so that we can get you some utilities to help get the correct information from your computer?

Don't mind my chatter above.  I am just learning Linux myself, which is what Ubuntu is all about.  You can take a look at the pages if you might be interested.  From what I've been told, learning Linux is like driving a new car.  You still know how to drive, you just don't know what all the buttons do, yet.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 18085679
Before making any suggestions to try and restore your computer to full functionality, can I just make a suggestion about emails with animated multimedia-type adverts.  Try to avoid clicking on those adverts.  Those kind of emails are often from free web-based email (ie. sent by logging onto a web page rather than using Outlook Express or Outlook which are installed on your computer).

"Free" web-mail often places adverts in email messages because they get money when you click on a link and it opens the sponsor's web page, or even installs some program or utility that you didn't really want or need.

Uninstalling programs and applications always carries a slight risk in that the process most often needs to delete files installed by the program and reinstate backed-up copies.  Program uninstallers very often do not remove all the registry settings that they created, and occasionally conflicts can arise where some registry settings that are left can be seen as problematic and in need of fixing.

Troubleshooting sound devices can take a while, and may confuse you more at the moment.  Taken into context, it is of much lesser importance than the need to get your system running without error messages, and I suggest that you try and ignore this aspect for now.

I think the best thing you can probably do right now is to try installing Windows back over itself from your Windows CD.  You HAVE your CD-Key (Product Key) that will be needed during the setup process (ie. the long licence number xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx).

Going way back to one of blue_zee's early comments, you need a boot floppy disk.

To create a Windows 98 boot floppy:
Insert a blank floppy in the floppy disk drive.
Start Menu > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Startup Disk tab > Click Create disk.

You should preferably use a new blank one, and they are very cheap to buy in boxes of about 10 at any PC shop. Just ask someone for a pack of blank floppy disks so you can make a "DOS Boot Floppy".

Leave the floppy in the floppy drive for now.
Insert your Windows 98 CD and hold down the SHIFT key to stop it from automatically running the CD.
Wait until the CD stops spinning and it's light goes off, and shut down the computer normally.

This time when the computer is powered on again, it should find the boot floppy and you will hear a lot of whirring and clicking.
It will show a menu of 3 options:

1. WITH CD-Rom Support
2. Without CD-Rom Support
3. Help File

The first one ie. "WITH CD-Rom Support" should already be highlighted and that option will be chosen when you press the <ENTER> Key.  If it ISN'T highlighted, then use the up/down arrow until it IS selected, and press <ENTER>

WAIT until it noisily and slowly displays a load of stuff that will be meaningless to you, and it will eventually stop at the prompt which will show as


This means that the A: Drive (the floppy disk) is currently selected.
A Win98 boot floppy will always set your CD Drive one letter higher than it would have been in Windows, so your CD Drive will be E: instead of D:

To change to the E: Drive, just type


and press the <Enter> Key, and the prompt should show as E:\>

Now change into the "win98" folder of the CD by typing the following command and pressing the <Enter> key:

CD  win98

The prompt should now change to E:\WIN98>

Type   SETUP   and press the <Enter> key.

The Windows 98 setup should begin, and you should see screens as shown under "PART 2" of this page:


Going back to coral47's first comment, the setup screens should stop at one particular screen when it detects that Windows 98 is already present.

IF you get to a screen where you see the "Directory to install to" shown as anything OTHER than C:\WINDOWS  then CHANGE IT to C:\WINDOWS.

Usually, where Win98 is already installed to the C:\Windows folder, it will offer to install to something like C:\WINDOWS.000 or some other similar folder name.

This is VERY Important, because you want to reinstall Windows to the SAME folder to try and repair it, and NOT to another folder as a fresh installation.

When you get to the screen shown in this image (RIGHT-Click link below > Open in New Window):
Click the button entitled "Typical" and click <Next>

Choose the "recommended" options as you continue.  You should see screens similar to those following on from Part 2 of the page linked to above.  The computer will restart several times, and you will be asked to remove the boot floppy on the first occasion this happens.

After one of the reboots before it finally loads your Desktop again, it will ask for your CD-Key.

Hopefully this reinstallation will reinstate any missing files and restore any wrong registry entries, and do away with the error messages.


Author Comment

ID: 18091631
OK bill, I'm assuming that when I do the reinstall, I won't be able to go back and forth to this page for instructions, so I need to print them out, so my question is, can I somehow highlight the instructions and email them to a friend with a printer so they can print them out for me? Should I do any of the steps above, such as download manager to install antivirus or spyware before reinstall win 98?

Also, we live in a very small community, our local library has high speed service but does not have ability to save or download to CDs.  A friend of mine close by was just able to start getting dsl, so its getting closer to me, and I believe she has a fairly new PC, so she might be able to do some to this for me, if she knows how.

I ran another sfc and got the following, changed files MAPISRVR.EXE, Dr. Watson.VXD, MSISYS.VXD, HWINFOD.VXD.  Deleted files, Comcat.dll, regicon.ocx, all in C:\windows\system.  I just ignored and went on cuz I still don't know what I'm doing with this.  When it asks to restore from where, I don't know what to tell it to do, so I just ignore and go on. back later, Becky
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 18094045
Hold off with the reinstallation for now and run SFC again.  Restoring the files you listed MIGHT fix up the odd problem.  It's worth trying.

Before running SFC again, insert your Windows 98 CD and hold down the SHIFT Key (ie. the one you press to get capital letters).  This stops the CD from automatically running and loading a menu.

When SFC stops at the first file it detects something wrong with, and you choose to restore it from the CD, it will be looking for the folder named "win98" from the Windows 98 CD.  It should know where your CD-Rom drive is, and may not need to be told.   If you see a tick-box entitled "From CD" or similar, just tick that.  If not, then "Browse" just as though you were going to save a file or whatever, and work your way to your CD-Rom Drive, then to the "win98" folder on it.  That should find the file needed, and it will continue.

Sorry for not being more precise on the above, but I don't have Windows running right now.

Let us know what happens.

Author Comment

ID: 18107102
Hi all, I did as bill suggested and ran the sfc with the windows 98 cd.  A lot of files came up, assuming because I had done a lot of remove uninstall stuff, so I started to try to restore the ones I didn't recognize as being attached to files I had removed, but when I went the window that asked where to restore from D:\win 98, save file in C:\windows\system and hit OK, it said file could not be found verify correct file location and try again or a window came up, do you want to save to backup file C:\windows\helpdesk\sfc, I would click yes, then a window, backup folder does not exist, do you want to create one?, it gave the option to skip this, I clicked skip, and it said file could not be found, so after trying about five of these and getting the same response and many changed and deleted files, so I checked the update verification information for all changed files and let it run. It showed 5 files removed from verification data files and 4 files updated from verification data files. I have to admit I still don't fully understand the sfc stuff or how it is supposed to work.

I slowly worked my way thru the remove, uninstall stuff, not an easy task, some stuff removed easily, some gave the option to keep shared files, which I did per your instructions, some did not give the option to keep shared files, when I clicked ok to uninstall, it removed all components, some with a note that some elements could not be removed, must manually remove them, which I don't know how, some I got an illegal move message, some I just aborted because there were so many shared files, I didn't know which ones to keep or remove.  Anyway, maybe you can take another look at the hijack this to see what I've done or not done.

I had already made a win98 start up disk, and the person that gave me the PC, found a win98 boot disk series l.44 mb and gave that to me if that will be of any help. Gotta go to bed now, Later, Becky

Author Comment

ID: 18107169

Oh yeah a couple of more things, I wanted to take another look at the siw program and when I tried to open it from the floppy I created, I got a message window intitled unknown that says, " This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. Quit all programs, and then restart your computer.  If the problem persists, contact the program vendor, and then another window, Restrictions: "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer.  Please contact your system administrator.  Whats this, and who the heck is my system administrator?

Also, I keep coming across things that are listed that I supposedly removed or uninstalled, they are no longer listed in the add/remove list, but are shown other places, like internet boost is still listed in my scheduled task window.

And, on my ststem tray bar, I have some icons, America online 4.0, (not using), launch outlook express, (I don't know how to use this), my spy protector, (I don't know how to start this or know if it is active, when I try to open this, it goes to notepad), task scheduler, ATI desktop help, (don't know what this is), real player, (don't know what this is), Intellipoint, something to do with the mouse, I think.

There are a lot of things listed in the links, favorites and desktop that I don't think I need or want, some earthlink stuff from the last owner, I don't use earthlink, anyway can I safely remove or delete these things or should I at this point of the game.  Bye again
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 18109840
>> And, on my ststem tray bar, I have some icons,

Somebody gave me their cold, and I am not tracking too good tonight, but if you are talking about the LEFT side of the BAR (next to the START button), anything you Delete from there just takes it off the QUICK LAUNCH section (that just means you only need to click it once to get it to run).

>> America online 4.0, (not using)
OK to delete

>> launch outlook express, (I don't know how to use this)
This is for the E-mail program. Leave it for now.

>> my spy protector, (I don't know how to start this or know if it is active, when I try to open this, it goes to notepad),
This is a mal-ware scanner. I don't know why it opens notepad, unless it is for reading a .log file of some kind. Delete it if you want.
task scheduler,

>> ATI desktop help, (don't know what this is),
Help file for using an ATI videocard setting program (a fast way to change resolution/refresh rates, without doing the Right-click an empty spot on the desktop and digging down several layers)

>> real player, (don't know what this is)
This is a music/video player. It doesn't need to be there, unless you play a lot of these. And even then, it doesn't need to be there. Delete it.
>> Intellipoint, something to do with the mouse, I think.
Usually a mouse. Could either be a Help file (like the ATI one), or a opens quick setting menu. For changing the way the mouse works. Scroll speed, cursor shapes, click speed, etc.

If these are on the Right side of the BAR (next to the Time/Date), these are programs that are RUNNING.
You can usually turn them OFF, but to get rid of them means going through one of the START UP Menus. Most of which is posted above, and can be gone through with you later.

>> lot of things listed in the links, favorites and desktop...
Where are these located? Under the START button?
Anyway, these can probably be deleted with no problem.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 18109846
Whoops. Missed this one.

>> task scheduler
Leave it for right now
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Expert Comment

ID: 18110257

Before you go deleting things manually there are several things that you MUST know about.

Items in your Start Menu are generally SHORTCUTS to programs or files.  That is to say that you can delete the shortcut file, but it will not delete or affect the program or file that it is pointing to.  In fact, all a shortcut file contains is a command to launch the program or file which is referred to as its "Target".

A Shortcut file which appears on your Desktop or in some other folder normally has a tiny black arrow in its icon to indicate this.  Although your Start Menu is actually a Folder, and the separate groups that open when you go to the Start Menu's "Programs" section and across to the right are SUB-Folders of the Start menu Folder, the shortcuts in them do not show the small black arrow in the icons.

You DON'T want to go deleting FILES, because there would be no way to reinstate them if you emptied your Recycle Bin., so check FIRST.

The easiest way to determine if a file on your Desktop or some other folder is a SHORTCUT TO ANOTHER FILE or if it is an actual FILE, is to RIGHT-CLICK on it and choose "Properties".  If it is a Shortcut, then you will see a "Shortcut" tab in the properties dialog that does not exist for files that are not shortcuts.

The "General" tab of a shortcut's Properties tells you where the shortcut is (you know that anyway, cause you just right-clicked on it), while the "Shortcut" tab tells you where the TARGET is located ie. what the shortcut is pointing to.  You will always see a "TARGET" (or "Command" for a DOS program shortcut) and "START IN" field containing details of the program that is run or the file that is launched when you double-click on a Shortcut.

BEFORE deleting what you think may be a superfluous shortcut left over after you may have uninstalled a program, you should ALWAYS take note of the TARGET and then open Windows Explorer to find out if the Target File (or any others) are still there.

For instance, you say that there are remnants of "Earthlink" left from the previous owner's use.  That should have been uninstallable from Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs.  If there are still any "Earthlink" icons showing in the "Quick Launch Toolbar" (that is the section to the RIGHT of your Start Button as stated by coral47), then Right-Click > Properties on each shortcut and investigate to see if the "target" still exists.  You can still dete a shortcut without deleting the Target file, but shortcuts are a very good indicator of programs that either have not uninstalled properly OR (in the case of some persistent pest programs) have reinstalled themselves.

The SYSTEM TRAY (ie. the section at the bottom right containing your clock) DOES NOT contain Shortcuts that can be deleted.  It is an indicator of live programs or processes that have been launched (usually at startup) and are running.  Right or Left clicking on them usually gives you quick access to their related configuration settings or the means to temporarily kill the program or process until the next reboot.  The presence of these icons is the best indicator that a program has not uninstalled properly or has been deliberately reinstated.

From your description of the program icons that you are asking about, they are showing in your "Quick Launch Toolbar" and NOT your System Tray, although it is possible that you are referring to icons in BOTH areas.

OK, so you say that: "internet boost is still listed in my scheduled task window".
That's easy enough to fix.
Open Scheduled Tasks and Right-Click on the "Internet Boost" task.
Choose "Delete" and confirm your intentions when prompted.
Do the same for any other Scheduled Tasks that are showing there for other programs that you have uninstalled.
Now go to the "Advanced" Menu and choose "Stop using Task Scheduler".
Its icon will disappear from the Syatem Tray when you close Scheduled Tasks, and it will not run when you next reboot.

I concur with coral47's advice about your icons and add my own observations about them:

"ATI desktop help".  Right-Click on the icon and choose "Properties".
What is set as its Target, and what happens when you click on it.
You have an ATi Graphics card, and this is most likely a shortcut to the Windows Help File installed by its drivers files telling you what all the settings are for the graphics configuration.  You don't want to be messing with that anyway, so take a note of its Target and then delete the shortcut to your Recycle Bin for now.

"Real Player" is a program that allows you to play certain types of multimedia content over the Internet, some of which cannot be played with Windows media Player. You have two versions of "Real Player" installed.  RealPlayer Basic and RealNetworks RealPlayer 6.0.  In the instructions I uploaded, I suggested uninstalling RealNetworks RealPlayer 6.0 and leaving RealPlayer Basic installed.  You can safely delete the shortcut, because you can access this program and its settings from the Control Panel or from its shortcut in your Start menu.

"Intellipoint".  There are Drivers installed for your "Intellipoint" Mouse which are essential, but as coral47 has stated you should be able to delete the shortcut from your Quick launch Toolbar.  If the icon is in your System Tray, then DON'T MESS with it!!

"America Online 4.0"
Have you uninstalled this from the Add/Remove Programs?
If not, then do so and then delete the icon (as suggested by coral47) if it remains after uninstallation of AOL.

"My Spy Protector"
From what I have seen of your installed programs, you DO NOT have an Anti-Spyware program running, and this COULD be an icon placed there by one or more of the pest-type programs that have been installed (eg. BonziBuddy).  It is known that certain popups appear when you are browsing the Internet which are intended to alarm you by telling you that you may have spyware.  Clicking on these popups can install annoying "trial versions" of very badly written AntiSpyware programs which frighten you into paying for a full version.

I suggest that you Right-Click on this icon and choose "Properties" to ascertain EXACTLY what the shortcut's Target is.  It may well point to some persistent and pesky programs that keep reinstalling themselves, or could just be a link to a web page that would pretend to find malware on your system.  Either way you want to know what it is BEFORE deleting this shortcut.  The fact that the link opens in Notepad could either be a problem with associated actions for certain file types (amongst all the other current problems on your computer), or may indicate that the program intended to open a left-over file is no longer on your system.

To delete Favorites that you are unlikely to need, the easiest way to delete them is by opeing Internet Explorer, clicking on the Favorites toolbar button to show them in the Left Pane.  Click the "Organize" button at the top of the Favorites pane and then select and delete them from there.  If deleting them directly from the Favorites pane, first hold the mouse over each WITHOUT clicking and it will show you the web address for each.  If you want to delete the link, then use the RIGHT-CLICK > Delete option so it doesn't open up the web page.

Going back to your previous queries about the System File Checker (SFC).  When Windows was first installed on that computer, it will have created a database of all system files installed.  This contains details of where they were installed from, where they were copied to, the file versions and dates, and the file sizes.  When you install Microsoft Updates it SHOULD update this database with details of the new file versions, but it normally does not.  The results are that SFC will notify you that the updated files have been changed.  It's not easy for a non-technical person to know whether a notified "changed" file is expected or not, so it's impossible to know what to do in those situations.  You have probably done the right thing by choosing the "update verification data" option.  This will mean that SFC will not notify you about these files again, unless they are replaced or updated again.

The main intention was to repair your system by reinstating any files that were damaged or missing, but there can occasionally be problems with WRONG file versions causing problems and conflicts.  One or more of those notifications about "changed" files COULD have been about such a problem file, but I wouldn't worry about that for now.  For any files notified as Missing or Damaged, then use the option to create a backup (in the case of a damaged file) and then REPLACE that file.

Did you have the Windows CD in the CD-Rom Drive when you ran SFC?
If you didn't, then that would account for the "file not found" errors.
Run SFC again with the Win98 CD in the drive.
If you DID, then I can only guess that the files in question may have been installed from another CD or perhaps by something like an updated version of Internet Explorer that was later installed, and therefore would not be found on that Windows CD in the drive.

It would be interesting to know the names of the files in question, because they could be contributing to your current problems.


Author Comment

ID: 18110553
OK lets see if I can make my way thru this.  First of all, the icons I talked about above are all over to the left of the clock, not close to the start tab. The first one going towards the clock is AOL, when I click open, it doesn't. It has a shortcut tab, its not in add\remove programs, not in windows explorer, target is c:\windows\HWINFO.EXE.

Next is Launch internet explorer browser, which I use
Next is Launch outlook express, I haven't learned this yet
Next is my spy protector, opens to notepad, does have shortcut tab, is listed in win expl, its also in the recycle bin, which I have not emptied yet, target is program files\myspyprotector\spyware remover.ini, start in c:\programfiles\myspyprotector, msdos: MYSPYP~1.LNK
Next is ATI, when I right click, it opens a window listing ATI Programs, Settings, Help and troublshooting, each with subfolders, Icon settings, display and device settings, ATI desktop and television display. When I open it a window, help topics: ATI desktop help.
Next is intellipoint
Next is real player, no properties tab, opens to what looks like a radio, telling me it is out of date and needs to be updated.  The 6.0 version was not listed in add remove progs, only basic when I right click, no delete option, only close start center.
Next is accelelerator, then at&t connection icon and of course the infamous clock.
Oh yeah and just to the left of this I have tabs to links, desktop and address bar.

On the sfc stuff, it was really late, and I was tired, I started to make a list, but it was stopping so many times, I probably should have asked what to do first.  I did list some of the changed files, mapisrvr.exe, Dr.Watson.VXD, msisys.vxd, hwinfod.vxd, ebap1.dll (deleted), epwrun01.exe, eusbsm.sys, stv680sg.drv and stv680u.dll.  There were no missing or damaged files that came up.  Sorry if I messed up.  I did run sfc with the win cd per your instructions, but it would not restore any of the above, it kept saying file not found.

I deleted internetboost from schedule tasks and got the icon off the bottom, but oddly enough Acobat Reader 4.0 is also listed there.

Gotta get in bed, thanx again for all your help even if I don't do things just right, Becky

Author Comment

ID: 18111438
Good morning, I woke up feeling a little ignorant about the sfc screwup.  After all the time you've spent trying to educate me on this, I didn't do it right.  But if I had already made a floppy boot disk before add/remove stuff, would it still be on there?  I don't want to try anything else on my own without checking with you first, sometimes I start thinking I know what I'm doing, but obviously not.

We had a rain last night, and once again the lines out here are really bad, it knocked out our power, which shut down PC, the power kept coming on and shutting off, so I finally just unplugged the PC, so of course it was all messed up this morning, lots of static on the phone line, so lots of disconnects, and PC running slower than usual.  I ran the internet explorer repair, and when it said to shut down, I got a fatal exception error, I clicked a key to continue, and I got the usual black screen with small white dots and freeze up, so I had to shut down manually again.  The one good thing about this is that I don't panic anymore, so once again I'm back here, so I didn't kill it, YET!!  I complain to our phone and ISP on a daily basis, hoping they will upgrade our lines, but so far, no good, later, Becky
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 18111824
Becky, can you right click on the Task Bar and select Toolbars and make sure None are actually selected? Does this make those AOL, MyspyProtector and Launch Internet Explorer and Launch Outlook Express disappear?

If Yes, great, but If No, then see below.

Both hwinfo.exe and myspyprotector seem to be virus/malware so be cautious.  I sure wish you could get an AV and Spybot Search and Destroy  downloaded for this machine.

At the least, try this.

Start -> Run and in the run box type msconfig and hit Enter.  Under the Startup tab uncheck the boxes next to AOL, with the target of c:\windows\HWINFO.EXE
And also the myspyprotector check box

Also the Launch Internet Explorer and the Launch Outlook Express.
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ID: 18112826
Hi Becky.  I hope I didn't sound as though I was criticising you when I explained how SFC works.  It was just so you had some idea why the suggestion had been made.  I'm a believer in giving people an idea why certain suggestions have been made by trying to explain the process a bit.  You have done exceptionally well at getting into the nitty gritty of all these things, and many seasoned computer users have never delved into its guts to the extent we have been asking you to do.  Well done so far, and don't be hard on yourself.

I agree with mtz1of4 regarding the AOL (America Online) shortcut's target being C:\Windows\HWINFO.EXE.  Although "hwinfo.exe" IS a legitimate Windows 98 program file, I am deeply suspicious of why the shortcut would be set to run hwinfo because that program is used for gathering information about your computer's hardware (hence the name HardWare info).  It is a very common thing for Viruses and other Malware to either infect an existing Windows program file, or to completely replace it with an evil version.

To be sure, I suggest that you do as follows:
1. Run SFC with the Windows CD inserted
2. Instead of "scanning" the system, choose to option to "Extract ONE FILE from Installation Disk"
3. Type the file name HWINFO.EXE into the filed for the name of the file to restore
4. Click the "Start" button and a new dialog will appear
5. There will be two fields in the new dialog:
    Restore FROM, and Copy TO.
    It should already have completed C:\Windows in the "Copy To" field.
    If not, then click the "Browse" button and navigate through to the
    C:\Windows folder to select it, or just type C:\Windows into the field.
    In the "Restore From" field, you want it to read D:\WIN98 (ie. the
    "win98" folder on your Windows CD.  Either type D:\WIN98 or click the
    "Browse" button and navigate to that folder on the CD to select it.
6. I can't recall the name of the button you click to start the extraction of the file from the CD.  Something like "Start", but it will be obvious when you see it.  
7. You will be notified when it finishes and SFC should close.
8. Restart the computer.

This will ensure that you have an original copy of HWINFO.EXE in place, just in case you currently do have a rogue copy.

The MySpyProtector purports to be a Spyware detection and protection utility program, but it is described in the following review as a "parasite itself":
Not only does it install advertising-supported programs of its own that are probably parasitic or annoying, but it is more than useless.

The fact that the shortcut is pointing to the file "C:\Program Files\myspyprotector\spyware remover.INI" probably means that the actual program file is no longer there, having been uninstalled.  Open Windows Explorer and go to that folder to see if there are any other files in it apart from one with a notepad-type icon bearing a small yellow/brass cog in the middle of the icon.  That would be the INI file, which is just a file from which a program takes its settings when it runs.  The INI file in itself is most likely one of the harmless left-over files that wasn't removed when the program was uninstalled.

I will try and find out where the other files mentioned by SFC would have been installed from, and why SFC is not able to extract them from your Windows 98 CD
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 18112983
Hi again Becky.
If those are the ONLY files which SFC is reporting as missing or changed, then just forget about them.  I've had a chance to check up on them.

mapisrvr.exe - file installed by the old Windows 95 "windows messaging service" and is needed if Windows Fax (winfax) was installed from the CD.  It is NOT in the "win98" folder of the CD, but is packaged inside the file:
which is the installer package for Windows Messaging.
In SFC just "update verification database" so it won't be flagged again.

The following files are CREATED by running either the Microsoft Systems Information Utility (MSINFO32) and accessing the related utilities from the "Tools" menu, and/or by running them separately.  If they have been deleted, then they will be recreated when you run the separate utilities again.
See here:

DrWatson.VXD - created by DrWatson - deleted when you exit DrWatson
msisys.vxd - Created by running MSINFO32
hwinfod.vxd - Created by running MSINFO32 or HWDIAG (msinfo32 uses hwinfo to fetch the hardware settings).
Just IGNORE these when SFC flags them up.
Note: These files CANNOT be extracted from the Windows 98 CD, because they are CREATED by programs as they run.

ebap1.dll (deleted) C:\Windows\System - Epson Status Monitor file
epwrun01.exe - C:\ESM2 - Epson Status Monitor 2 file
You DON'T have an Epson Printer, and part of my advice was to uninstall Epson Drivers and Epson Status Monitor 2, so this change is EXPECTED.
In SFC just "update verification database" so it won't be flagged again.

eusbsm.sys - Olympus USB Driver file
One of my suggestions was to uninstall the following from your Add/Remove Programs if you had no such hardware:
"Olympus USB Reader Ver 3.11"
having done so, then this SFC Notification is EXPECTED, and you can update the verification table or just ignore it.

The following two files are usually installed by various Scanner or Webcam drivers, but can also be installed as part of Audio Driver packages for on-board audio chips:
Both would have been in the folder C:\Windows\System.

I previously suggested uninstalling the following from Add/Remove Programs if you had no such hardware:
USB Scanner v1.0
Aiptek Pen Cam Manager

It is likely that uninstalling either of these has led to SFC flagging the files up, however these files MAY have been shared by your Audio Chip's Drivers and could be the reason for your lack of sound.
FORGET about these two files for now.  We can get your Audio functional LATER.

So, unless there are other files notified as missing or changed by SFC, I would forget about running it again because it hasn't found any files that would be causing so many errors on your system.


Author Comment

ID: 18118661
Hi mtz1of4, thanx for your input, but I had already deleted the icons to recycle bin per bills instructions, because they were all shortcuts and I'm hoping that doing this didn't create other problems.  

As has been addressed before I tried to install AV stuff and because of slow dial up service it would disconnect before finishing.  Also, some months ago, before finding this site, I tried to install spybot search and destroy, and I got the message error starting program, a required .dll file OLEACC.dll was not found, so I clicked OK and another window came up, spyware running a registry backup, which kept running and running, and the only way I could stop it was to hit alt, ctrl, delete and restart the PC.  When things start to get really messed up, like on several ocassions, when I close out a window, the window will start popping up all over the screen, over and over again until I hit alt ctrl, delete to stop it  and restart PC, this also is probably some virus, I don't know. So once a week I run the AV tools that bill gave me.  Also, AT&T and Yahoo mail supposedly has AV stuff for incoming and outgoing mail.

bill I will start working on your stuff soon
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 18120255
Hi Becky
To get rid of the "oleacc.dll not found" error so that you can install Spybot Search and Destroy, you can try doing this:

1. Insert Windows 98 CD and keep Shift key pressed to stop it autorunning
2. Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > "Windows Setup" tab
3. Wait a moment for it to load and you will see a list that looks like the LEFT-hand image here (right-click link and choose "open in new window" to see image):


4. Click on "Accessibility Options" and then click the "Details" button
You will now see the options that appear in the RIGHT-hand image in the link above
5. UNTICK "Accessibility Tools", but TICK "Accessibility Options"
6. Click the OK button to go back to the Windows Setup tab of Add/Remove Programs
7. Click the "Apply" button and it will install accessibility options

This SHOULD also install the file oleacc.dll.

The same instructions and the image mentioned above can be viewed online here:
(but just ignore step 9 where it tells you to tick the "accessibility tools" box, and ignore the section about configuring accessibility options and everything below it).


Author Comment

ID: 18120377
Hi bill, well I think I managed to restore the hwinfo.exe file, but before I go any further with the oleacc.dll, I followed all the instructions but the final window, version conflict,  came up said that this file is older than the one currently on the computer, recommended you keep your current file, with option yes or no to procede. I aborted thinking I could redo this after I hear from you.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 18120438
What does it say about the 2 files?
Version numbers, dates, Author, size
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Expert Comment

ID: 18120469
My current file says

Author: Microsoft
Version: 4.2.2209.0
Size: 168 kb
Date: April 23 1999

Author Comment

ID: 18120532
The version conflict window says, OLEACC.DLL, description>Active Accessibility Core Component, version>4.02.2209, thats all I got
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 18120617
OK. Open My Computer > C drive > and go to Windows\System.
Scroll down to OLEACC.DLL > right-click on it and left-click Properties.
This should open a 2 tab window, and between the both of them the info should be there.

If it matches what I posted, then it most likely is just one of the updates you did, and should be fine to click OK.

I am not sure if Bill wants you to revert to the older one for testing or not, so give him a chance to post.

I got to go crash. My head is starting to spin again.  : /
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 18120795
Hmmm.  I'm afarid that I'm not really sure about this one.

It sounds to me as though Spybot Search and Destroy was looking for a more recent version of oleacc.dll than the one that is installed by the Win98 Accessibility Options.  The strange thing is that Spybot S&D prompted the error message "file not found" at runtime, but the Version Conflict Manager clearly states that the file DOES exist on the system, and as a newer version.

Microsoft tells us that reinstalling Windows will "update" the currently installed version of oleacc.dll with an older version, and that it can then cause problems with programs and functions that need a newer version than the older one that replaced it:
I assume that they mean a dirty reinstall doesn't respect the presence of the newer version as it should.

There seem to be a lot of newer programs around that need a newer version of OLEACC.DLL than is installed by Windows 98, like Nero 7:

I can only assume that Spybot S&D uses one or more of the available accessibility functions without the need for Accessibility Options to be enabled.  Maybe it uses the Magnifier component or something like that for popup details of items that are found.  Who knows, but it seems that there are a lot of handy functions in it being tapped into by programmers who aren't using it for the intended "disability-type" functionality.

*** Becky ***

Try and reinstall Accessibility Options again, and when the Version Conflict Manager steps in, tell it to KEEP the EXISTING NEWER version of OLEACC.DLL and allow the process of installing accessibility options to complete.
This is just to ensure that all the require