Windows 98 freezing during boot up, but eventually does boot and work.

By scotiawhiskers ยท 5 replies
Oct 31, 2004
  1. A friend's computer has been misbehaving since a thunderstorm lat week, even though she has a surge protector on it. Once booted up it is fine, except that going through system tools reports the HDD as 2Gb with none used, but properties on C: via my computer says 6Gb with 1.65Gb used which is actually correct. :confused:

    When booting up it goes completely normally until the second time the Win98 splash screen comes up, at which point it then goes to a DOS window. The cursor is at the top of the screen, but not flashing, the prompt line is 2 lins down from there, below are some messages about a system which is running (can't remember the system (it was late after work and I've lost the bit of paper :zzz: )) then an entry saying DOSKEY initiallized.

    The PC then freezes at that point for about half an hour before Win98 starts to run normally. Keyboard and mouse are frozen out and there is no HDD activity indicated or audible.

    I'm used to XP and don't have much (read barely any) DOS knowlege so I am stuck. Can anyone provide some clues?

    The PC is a 5 year old Packard Bell (slow but user likes it and it's fine for her surfing/email needs), I ran scandisk and that didn't report any errors, ran defrag (45 minutes) and there was only 1 bad cluster shown on the whole scan.
  2. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    That sounds like the application understands only FAT16 (limited to 2 GB usually), is this Win98 the first edition?

    Hit F8 when booting, select boot logging and check c:\bootlog.txt when it has booted to see if anything failed to load.
  3. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Can you post the contents of her autoexec.bat and config.sys files here? (probably not that much).

    Sounds like it's loading a driver and going nuts. On the surface this sounds like the computer is mounting a network drive and taking its sweet time doing so, but usually I only see it do things like that for 30 seconds, not 30 minutes (if at all.)

    you may also have a hardware problem if it's not detecting the drive properly- perhaps a controller. Go into the bios and be sure the settings look proper. Have it redetect the drives and so forth. Windows 98 never has been good with data beyond 2gb. I almost think there was a limitation in the OS about that, but I'm having fuzzy brain problems at the second.

    A scandisk of course isn't a bad idea.

    Can you give us any more details about what you see on the screen? that might help some.

    Let us know, we'll see what we can advise.
  4. scotiawhiskers

    scotiawhiskers TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Had another bash tonight. The messages which were coming up were

    MODE prepare code page function complete

    MODE select code page function complete
    DOSKEY installed

    followed by a 30 minute delay before windows started.

    After replacing the modem and lead (which had been checked by the phone engineer and declared as "crispy fried") none of these messages appeared but the delay was still present.

    I tried booting before replacing the parts, so I could get the files copied but it would have none of it. My computer wouldn't accept it was being clicked on, something (it didn't say what) crashed and then refused to clear off the screen, just left the usual windows message about illegal operations and restart your machine. Wasn't able to access autoexec.bat or config.sys to copy to floppy, or to run chkdsk /f as a friend suggested to reinitialise FAT (?). Was able to get to c:\bootlog.txt but not get it to copy to floppy. I did scroll through it though and everything except 2 entries said that it was successful.
    The 2 which said failed were ndis2sup.vxd and SDVXD, whatever they are.

    I'm very tempted to tell her just to take it to a local PC shop which has more idea of 98 than I do, ask them to back up all her email/IE favourites/etc and then do a reinstall of the OS. It'll save me tearing my hair out!
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    In your AUTOEXEC.BAT (open with Notepad) you need only 1 line:
    keyb uk,,C:\WIN98\COMMAND\keyboard.sys

    this loads the UK keyboard driver. You don't need all this crap about Mode and code pages etc. This will be sorted by the content of the next file.
    The DOSKEY is only useful if you do anything in DOS itself. It retains all the last 10 commans you typed in. Useless if you are in IE or email, or anywhere in Windows for that matter. Remove it.
    Any line with "rem " or "REM " in front is not needed either.

    In your CONFIG.SYS (also open with Notepad) you also need only 1 line:

    The 044 says you live in the UK and the 850 gives you the extra characters on your keyboard.
    If there are references about Soundblaster etc., unless you play DOS-games you don't need them either.

    If you don't want to delete lines immediately, you can REM them out, e.g. change:
    REM command=doskey
    Do this with all other lines you find in these files, except the lines that I indicated, then reboot. Should go fast(er) now.
    Let us know the results or copy/paste the contents here, as asked before.
  6. scotiawhiskers

    scotiawhiskers TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Thanks for all the help guys, but she has decided to take the PC to a local shop and get them to sort it for her. Have a feeling she may be ripped off a bit, but but not as bad as PCworld would have done. I'm still learning, hopefully I'll be posting more answers than questions before too much longer! :haha:
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