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Help ! win98se stuck on windows boot up screen

I have been struggling to get my 98se machine back to working after seeing a message
this morning along the lines windows has found an error in the registry and has corrected it.

The system now boots, then gets to the windows splash screen, some evidence that
something is happening as the bottom strip of the splash screen is moving, then after 30-40s all hard drive activity stops and the splash screen stays... only way out a reboot,
i have been able to start into safe mode, and have tried a few attempts to fix it, but
here are some clues on what may have happened before the problem:

I installed a new printer driver (Lexmark x5470 multifunction printer), this was not what i would call a clean install with several hiccups, messages such as windows has found new hardware appearing during the install, and i had to uninstall and re install a couple
of times (my feeling with the Lexmark driver is its a rather large program that maybe
wasnt meant for 98se? but aparently they say it should be ok). After finally getting
the printer working, i deleted an epson printer that i no longer use from settings > printers (C86).

Things i have tried ...

Running system file checker, this resulted in one file eEBRsvc.dll flagged as incorrect,
and the prompt to restore it (which i was unnable to, as i dont have the file), i think this is from an Epson C86 printer utility? see above I do have the printer CD though.

Using scanreg, i managed to load the registry with an older version, but this didnt make any difference.

Used msconfig and unticked almost everything in the win.ini tab, then re-booted in
normal mode ...again no difference after doing this.

As im unnable to access the cd on the laptop in safe mode, i dont have an easy way to get any files or utilities on it, although its on a network, starting safe mode with
network support didnt seem to show any network connections.

So im stuck, in desperate need of a solution other than completely reloading windows,
which i hope to avoid as i will then have to spend a day re installing programs some
of which i may not have, so im hoping someone might be able to give me an idea
on how to get this one sorted without resorting to that.

Hope someone can help !
1 Solution

Tap F( at bootup and try a step by step selective startup.

You will have to confirm Y/N to run the bootup commands.

Try playing with those options and see if you ca locate the entry that causes the freeze.

Suggest you start by skipping AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS (type N).

Try also starting in Safe Mode and go Control Panel > System > Device Manager and delete ALL entries under Display Adapter.

Reboot letting Windows reinstall the drivers.

Post back your findings.

Good luck.

Sorry, should be ... Tap F8 at bootup...
BenbobenAuthor Commented:

Thanks for coming to the rescue!.. very much appreciated, well i tried your suggestion, and did no to justabout everything, even the windows gui, ended up with a dos like prompt, i then re started from this, and i have no
idea why but the next pass it booted successfully, and seems now to be working as usual.

Im a bit puzzled as to how it got fixed, could it be running it through the thing you tried somehow cleared a problem?

The hard drive is partitioned as 2 drives, the d drive being almost 99% full, although the C was being used under
windows control for the swapdisc thing, one theory i was persuing was perhaps the lack of free space on the D
drive was causing the problem (only 250mb ish).

Any suggestions for checks to make sure i clear any gremlins now its running ok?


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Well,  and honestly, I'm puzzled too, unless there was a hanging winini.ini file that got cleared somehow, but that's wild guessing.

These files are usually run once on reboot and should auto-delete. But, again, it probably was something totally different.

Regarding your current status, you should free some space on that second partition, just for good order sake.

Run some cleanup tools like CCleaner:


Download, install and launch. Tick ALL options under "Cleaner Settings" and hit the "Run Cleaner" button.

Reboot (this is a MUST) immediately after the cleanup.

Defragging should also be regularly performed. Be aware that with little space available on the secondary partition, defragging may be difficult to complete.

I am sure you are running updated AV software, as well as spyware/malware scanners.

If you need help with these, do post back and I will post a selection of tools for you.

Hopefully your PC will now run as you expect.

Good luck,


Well, I have to log off, so will leave my standard reply regarding sypware/malware scanners:

Download Ad-Aware (FREE) from here:
Install, UPDATE and run.
You may need to reboot and run again to clean all the nasties that cannot be deleted at once ('in use').

Also excellent is SpyBot Search & Destroy (FREE) available here:
Install, UPDATE and run.
You may need to reboot and run again to clean all the nasties that cannot be deleted at once ('in use').
You should also apply the 'immunize' function, since it blocks roughly 14050 known 'bad' runs/apis/apps.

Even if Ad-Aware and SpyBot S&D are similar, they do clean different things. You should have both of them and use REGULARLY.

An excellent anti-trojan scanner is a2 (a-squared) FREE:
Install, UPDATE and run.

You can also install 'preventive' software that will help you control these nasties:

SpywareBlaster (FREE):
Prevents the installation of Active-X based spyware, malware, dialers, etc
Currently protects you against about 6937 nasties.
Advantage: no system resources used!!!
Just download, install and UPDATE.

All of them extremely useful but you must keep them UPDATED.

Suggestion: Make sure you can see all files and folders and run Ad-aware and Spybot S&D in Safe Mode.

i would make some room on the disk - delete all tmp files, uninstall unused or old programs.
then uninstall the Epson printer software.
running a disk scan for errors can help too; and do a defragmentation of the disk (in safe mode)
Jeff PerkinsOwnerCommented:
Wouldn't hurt to run diagnostics on the hard drive, you can download the tools for the hard drive manufacturer's website. It's relatively easy to do and doesn't take that much time. Might prevent you from having a headache in the future.
BenbobenAuthor Commented:

Thanks for the advice on ccleaner, i will try it, is there much risk of deleting something you actually need?
or is it safe to just delete all of the things it finds?

Your help very much appreciated, great answers to others who posted.


CCleaner is safe.

If you follow the instructions posted, nothing that you need will be deleted.

Do not forget to reboot as soon as CCleaner finishes its work.

You accepted my answer http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/Q_22073241.html#18024081.

Was that on purpose?

It seems your problem isn't yet solved, is it?



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