Win ME restarts itself

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Good luck -- yep -- that's probably where I would have ended up too.
  • jeannepo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You thought you had heard the last from me.

I just formatted the hard drive and installed 98SE. The install 'appeared' to go perfect. I was coming up into Windows, for the first time, everything began loading, finding my monitor, ect. loading the desktop, and THE COMPUTER RESTARTED ITSELF !!!!! ARGH !! I unplugged the CD-ROM, thinking maybe that was the culprit... no, now, my problem is bigger than I suspected... my suspicions are on the hard drive, now... but too weird... it let me fdisk it, format it, and load 98SE, with NO problems... just coming up into windows... it bombs... now with 98SE! I think I need to put this thing away for the night, and look at it tomorrow.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Wow--you do have problems... Sleep well...now you have me clueless.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

A very sick computer came to me, with ME for an OS, it would restart itself. I formatted the hard drive and loaded Win98SE, successfully. It would never load in normal mode, from install. It will go into safe mode. Suspecting a bad HD I ran a surface scan for 3 hours, and it completed that task, no errors. It will run along in DOS just fine. Never restarts using it that way. I edited the system.ini "display fallback" to =1. It still won't load 98SE in normal mode. I have reseated what I can and used compressed air to clean out the CPU. Does anyone have any ideas as to why this computer hates Windows? Now, both ME and 98SE! I'm not a fan of buying components to throw at something, not really knowing what the problem is. It's a IBM NetVista, 900mz, 20GB, 65MB. I'm suspecting video... it has onboard video. What next? help !
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Post 3+ Months Ago

From reading this I would suggest maybe a power supply problem?? Or something deeper then that. The motherboard could be starting to take its last breaths of life or maybe even the processor. Looks like a new PC may be in order. Do you have any PC repair shops in your area that you could take to diagnose it or IBM maybe?
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Hi Grinch, actually I started a new topic, in this same forum, with this same PC, different version of Win. (I started it today)... I'm fearing you are correct, and this problem is hardware. I'm suspecting video, which it sports onboard video, soooo... I see $$ in my client's future, unforturnately. It will step into Safe Mode, but NaDa on Normal. Seems like when it begins loading drivers, (even from a new install of Win98SE, so we're talkin' pretty minimal drivers here) it restarts. I had a computer come to me with this problem in the past, and I found a little trick from Knowledge Base, to change the "display fallback" line in the system.ini from 0 to 1. I tried this, on this PC, and still NaDa. I'm bummed.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Do you have a spare video card lying about? Install it and see what happens. You may have to disable the onboard video in the BIOS though.
  • jeannepo
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I'm sorry if this is going to sound ignorant, but... I can put a video card in, and disable the onboard in the BIOS settings? hmmm... that sounds likea plan... would be less expensive buying a video card vs. new MB, eh? I'll look and see. I'm in the process of putting a known good hard drive in, to see if the computer restarts this hard drive, too. To me, that will prove the hard drive is good, and the problem is elsewhere.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Two operating systems railed to run normally on this computer. Suspecting a hardware fault is a reasonable assumption. However, you have not provided any information to support your suspicions that the hard drive, surface mount chips, or CPU. In fact, it appears you're just guessing.

Remove all unnecesary components, set your BIOS to standard settings and restart. If the computer operates normally, start adding pieces until the problem returns. Without specific error messages, you can only resort to the process of elimination; removing hardware is almost the number one step.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

jeannepo - I merged your separate post about Windows 98se with this original one since it is simply a continuation of this subject. Please, do not start new posts on the same topic. Thanks.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Are you a PC repair person??? Or just helping someone out? First you said you suspect the on board video now you are talking about hard drives?? Personally I have never heard of a hard drive causing continuous reboots. Bad power supply yes. Bad video drivers yes. The only thing I could find in the MS knowledge base was a reference to having over a gig and a half of RAM which you don't so that is not the problem. RAM will also cause reboots if it is bad but you usually get an error with that. Hopefully putting a new hard drive in fixes you problem.
  • ModernDestroyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

jeannepo after the post hit F8 and pick the option that lets you confirm what is being processes are being loaded and maybe that will help nail down the bad startup file. Watch for himem.sys ;)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I decided against trying a different hard drive. I've convinced myself the HD isn't the culprit. I've put this HD through it's paces, did a 3 hour surface scan, ran around in DOS and installed (now TWICE) windows 98se, and it hasn't hiccuped one bit... When I F8, when starting Windows, I've done the step-by-step, and tried every combo there, I could think of, which it loads, (w/o anything) into safe mode. You mentioned watching himem.sys ? Can you tell me why?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

himem.sys has been the culpurt more than once for me, usually just copy it over with a good working himem.sys file from a win98se boot disk. himem.sys loads parts of windows and dos into the High memory area, so if it is corrupt then it is having trouble loading stuff to the high memory area which would reboot the system. Also safe mode is minumal drivers loaded and the command prompt is just command.com loaded into memory. Hope this helps you out some.
  • ATNO/TW
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jeannepo - now that you can get into safe mode, in addition to the hardware/driver ideas, have you checked out msconfig to see what runs at startup? Also are you getting as far as you did with ME where you can see the desktop start to display before it craps out on you? If you are getting as far as you did with ME, then something is running at startup that you should probably solve by elliminating it. So for software troubleshooting, you could elliminate most everything from startup except for explorer.exe, rundll32, and taskmon (I think you could get away with just those three for now) - if that allows Windows to load, then start adding in startup programs one at a time until you find your culpret.

When you do the step-by-step confirmation do you get to where you can confirm the drivers? If so, say yes to the first one, and no for all the rest. If that gets you in, then start adding them back one at a time until you find the one that nails you.

Those are the easiest two ways I can think of to narrow down software or driver issues.
  • ModernDestroyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

also just startup in safe mode and click start -> run -> regedit
then go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVerison -> Run -> this is where windows loads all of your programs that have icons in the bottom rt. hand corner, some of the programs will not put on icon in the corner thou ;)

p.s. make a back up of your registry before you modify it :D

p.s.s. also on a side note this registry area is where most virues write there startup too :twisted:
  • jeannepo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi Guys,

I've been out most of the afternoon, and just got back home. I'm still pondering what in the heck is going on with my PC... to answer a few of your questions:

1. No, the 98SE does NOT get as far as the ME was, before it would restart.
2. The ME would NOT run in safe mode, 98SE will.

I am going to try this now:

1. Coping the himem.sys from my known good start up disk.
2. Checking out that I only have explorer.exe, rundll.32 and taskmon at startup,.
3. Try step-by-step startup with only first windows driver
4. And then, try the regedit to see what happens there.

I'll be back, with my results. Thanks so much for your advice. Good stuff ! :D
  • jeannepo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here's what I just came up with:

1. I did a "you pick it" at startup, and choose just the rundll32 and taskmon (there was no explorer.exe option) Nada... still restarted as 98SE was trying to load the system settings (remember it's never started 98SE successfully)
2. I did a step-by-step at startup, chose load win drivers, and chose "yes" for first one (netsup.vxd), and no for all the others and got a blue screen error "VFAT device Initialization Failure" and it said VFAT is not present or unavailable.
3. So, I moved on to the regedit... and I think I missed something from one of the suggestions... once I get into the ..........currentversion -> run... then what should I change/do ? So, I didn't make any changes to that.

Is anyone suspecting the onboard video might be dying? I'm trying to dig up a known-good video card to plug in, to see if that might help me, but... I haven't got my hands on one yet... (all my pc's have onboard video) :(
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Post 3+ Months Ago

a quick update to exactly what I did in the step-by-step start:

1. process system registry - yes
2. create startup log - no
3. process startup device drivers (config.sys) - no
4. device=c:\windows\himem.sys - yes
5. device=c:\windows\dblbuff.sys - yes
6. devicehigh=c:\windows\ifshlp.sys - yes
NOTE: a quick tour of knowledge base told me my blue screen error of the VFAT failure was because ifshlp.sys wasn't present
7. load the windows graphical user interface - no
8. win - yes
9. load all windows drivers - yes
a. loaded the first one - vnetsup.vxd and NO on all the other ones

the dang thang restarted.

:x
  • ModernDestroyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

post what is in the registry at run so somebody can take a look and give you some suggestions on what is alright and what might be the culprit, also you said it has never fully started after you installed win98se?
  • jeannepo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

okay, I'll post the reg. Give me a few...

Yes, I did a new install of 98SE, and it loaded all of the CD, and 'attempted' to load 98SE, when a new install loads... you get the little message saying updating system files... well... that's when it restarts. It's really never loaded in a normal mode... I can get it to start in safe mode, but when it attempts to load in normal mode... poof.

I'll post the registry in a few...
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Interesting. A Google search of vnetsup.vxd shows quite a few with problems with it. I can't look in more detail at the moment, but might be worth a look
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm back, with not good news. I cannot get my registry file zipped small enough to get it off this sick pc, so I can post it.

I'm afraid I'm admitting defeat, where this pc is conerned. I put a known good video card in it, thinking it might be the video going... and it still restarts itself, going into 98SE in normal mode.

My suspicions are now at the RAM, but I have no way to test that. It runs the BIOS test and tests 64MB, and in safe mode, shows 64MB. But, I guess there could be a million other things wrong, processor, motherboard, whatever, that I cannot test for.

Thanks for your suggestions. Good stuff to tuck away for the next sickie.

~jp
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Post 3+ Months Ago

well I don't think it is the RAM or any of the PCI cards, because if it was the RAM or PCI cards then the POST either wouldn't happen or would look weird. That is what I have observed with bad RAM modules and Bad PCI cards :D I still think it is an issue with win98se, Boot from a floppy disk and wipe out the partition and format the C: drive and start clean again. http://www.bootdisk.com has some pretty good boot disk images go with the win98se OEM disk that way you can have CD-ROM support in DOS to load win98se :D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Tip on the registry - don't try to do the whole thing. Just export the run key to a floppy or simply write down and post the values and the name of the executable, for example:

HotKeysCmds hkcmd.exe
vptray vptray.exe
WinampAgent Winampa.exe

etc....

In theory, there shouldn't be that many *lol

Actually the more I think about it, it's probably a waste of time. I doubt that's the cause anymore, based on a clean install.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes you can test the RAM. I would just in case because you never know. I am not doubting ModernDestroyer in any way, I just think it wouldn't hurt to test. Go here http://www.memtest86.com/ and download the latest version. I have never used it myself but I have heard it is an awesome test. Good luck.
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Okay... I went to the memtest86 website (awesome resource :!: ) and downloaded their RAM test program... that was about 5 hours ago, and this thing is still testing the RAM in this beast... I need to take a good look at their readme, as well as their website, but I believe this testing is couging up some badness in this pc's RAM! yippee... am I getting somewhere ?! My strong point is NOT RAM, and reading the addressing, ect. of RAM... so that's why I said I need to study what I've got, when this finishes, to see if I can determine if I've got something substantial here.

Could this be it ?! Wouldn't I be a happy girl ?! :)
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes, memtest86 is outstanding. However, 5 hours on 64MB RAM is probably not a good thing -- or in your case if it identifies RAM as the problem maybe it is a good thing! At least you'll know what the problem is. I hope it is -- this post is making me tired! (or maybe it's just the fact that it's midnight! *lol)
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:D I hear what your saying ! It's only 10:00pm here, but I feel like I've been beat, by this PC. At least, with this memory test... I can take the mem stick down to the shop, and "hopefully" see if they can get me another good one, maybe two ?! ;-) (I couldn't function on 64mb!) I'm really hoping that this explains why the computer won't lift itself up into normal mode... it would go into safe, but not normal... maybe it just taxed the RAM just enough to make it restart ?! sounds likea good idea, eh?? :lol:
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I hope that is your problem, RAM is cheap and easy to replace. If you have some RAM lying around or know someone who does, it would be easy to swap and test.

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