Win ME restarts itself

  • jeannepo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

HELP! My Win ME restarts automatically. It does it in both Safe and NOrmal mode, as it completes startup, it will just restart itself, which causes it to run scandisk, which it does, then when it comes up in Windows, it'll restart. HELP ! :(
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Do you have an anti-virus program? If so, insert the emergency boot disk and boot to your virus scan and run it.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Tx, good idea... I'll give that a try. Does this sound like a characteristic of a virus?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Possibly. Another possibility is a bad driver, although it still should let you get into safe mode. Safe mode loads a minimal set of drivers so you can troubleshoot. But you still could have a bad driver. If the virus scan doesn't work, you might need to load your Windows OS disc and run a repair on Windows.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Another thing to try is to press F8 like your going to access Safe mode and select Step by Step Confirmation. This lets you see what its loading up and it will ask you if you want to load it. Hence you can take note of the last one before it restarts and possibly narrow it down to that item(depending on what it is).

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Post 3+ Months Ago

AlkatrOz good idea. I forgot she said she was on ME. Along those lines there's the option to create a bootlog. This could be viewed in DOS mode to trouble shoot the problem. Personally, I feel it's a driver that's corrupt.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I totally agree, I think it's a driver problem, too. At first, when this PC came to me, I was really thinking it was a hardware problem. But... more and more I'm thinking it's software. Can you tell me how I troubleshoot the problem in DOS mode? It seems DOS is the only thing I can move around in... Safe Mode isn't safe either. Your suggestions are GREATLY appreciated! tx in advance.
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Hit F8 like AlkaTr0z suggested. That will take you to your Windows startup menu. Off the top of my head I can't remember what option it is, but there should be one that says to create bootlog. After Windows tries to load and crashes, on reboot get into DOS mode. There should be a bootlog.txt file in the root of C: You can read it, by typing edit bootlog.txt at the command prompt. It gives you a detailed rundown of everything that happens during the boot process. Whatever was the last thing that failed to load is most likely what's causing the problem.

Here is some additional info to help you understand what's in the bootlog file

http://securityresponse.symantec.com/av ... virus.html
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... us;127970&
http://www.tafe.sa.edu.au/institutes/to ... ootlog.htm
http://www.geocities.com/~budallen/bootboot.html

A google search for bootlog will provide plenty of additional reading.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Doesn't the Blaster virus cause this problem? I know it did on my buddy's PC.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

grinch2171 wrote:
Doesn't the Blaster virus cause this problem? I know it did on my buddy's PC.


Blaster exploited the NT codebase (which includes XP, but not 98 or ME).
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well... I think this computer might be a lost cause. I'm really trying anything but to format the hard drive... I can not get it to even write to a bootlog.txt file... I tried the step-by-step confirmation, and that didn't work. I can't get it to stay in Windows at the Safe Mode, it restarts itself there, also. When it starts windows, either in safe mode or normal, it will (run scan disk, obviously), then proceed to bring up the desktop, then load the system tray... after that the hd light keeps crankin' away, then "POOF" the restart. I tried shutting down windows from the menu, and restarting it, which it doesn't run scan disk, but then, it boots exactly like I just said... loads up the desktop, sys tray, and hd bangs away, then poof... both in safe mode, and normal. What da ya think, guys... is it a lost cause and should I reformat ? :(
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Do you get any "beeps" coming out of the computer when it crashes? If so descibe the sequence of the beeps, in "long" and "short" terms - i.e one long, 3 short. Also, what is the BIOS brand (first thing that appears on the screen when your computer is turned on)?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Kind of curious, how much RAM do you have?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Funny you should ask that about the RAM -- I was thinking she might have a failing RAM chip. That's why I asked for the BIOS error beeps. It should identify a failing/failed hardware device.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If she has over 1.5GB of RAM, WINME will reboot continuously just because ME was not built to handle that much RAM as with 98, however, there is a fix for it.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The computer is an IBM Netvista... came preloaded with all the IBM bells n' whistles... for the life of me I can't figure out how to can the ME/IBM commercial on boot to see the BIOS run... after going into many different "menus" offered... This is what I come up with... 640kb base memory, 63361kb extended and 61249kb xms. So, what is that 128kb memory? (the pc's about 2.5 years old) All the diagnostic tests on all the hardware run clean (for what that's worth... there again, all packaged up nicely from IBM) Sooo... does that help? I'm actually trying to get this thing to boot from a 98 startup disk, AND IT WON'T ! I was fixin' to install 98SE... HELP.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

OH! I forgot to add in my last post... it makes no beeps when it restarts. Silent but deadly... :D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

No Beeps!!!! That is not good. Your PC should make some sort of a POST(Power On Self Test) which is the beeps.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Okay, I just restarted it again, and yep... NO beeps, at all when it restarts. no joke...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

To see the post results, just hit escape when you start. That should elliminate the IBM splash screen.

IBM BIOS errors differ by machine. You'll need to find your model from these links and check out any error info:

http://www-1.ibm.com/support/search.wss ... tf-8&cc=us

The fact that you don't get any beep is not normally a good sign, but I've never looked that closely at IBM's stuff since I've moestly only ever worked with AMI BIOS.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've been checking out the IBM support website, and what is your opion about updating the BIOS on this monster? Think that would get me anywhere ?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I can't offer any opinions on whether or not it would help. My first thought is probably not. When you do the step by step confirmation, what exactly is the last thing that comes up before it craps out on you?
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When I did the step-by-step... I chose to basically NOT load anything, and it comes up, runs scan disk, starts to load the desktop, loads the system tray, everything looks hunky dory, but all the while the hard drive light is cranking away... then... poof... restart. It does this both in safe mode and normal. Also, I've been trying to create a bootlog.txt file, and I cannot for the life of me figure out where it's "putting" the dang thang... not in the root directory, not in the windows directory... ? ? ?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

OK --now that makes a difference! - You just gave me some info I can work with. Give me a couple moments, and at least get you the location of the bootlog.txt, although with what you just told me, I know longer think you'll need it. I think you have a program set to run at start up that's causing you grief, or you may possibly have too many fonts on your computer. More than likely the former. Let me check some things and I'll get back with ya. (Now that I know how far you get, I'm inclined to rule out hardware problems.)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I can guarantee it's not fonts. I'll wait for your post.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Let's start with this. Did this just start today? if not, when?
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It started 'intermittently' a few weeks ago... it would restart a few times, then would be fine... gradually the 'restarts' got more and more frequent. Now, it won't "NOT" restart itself. Can you tell me how I might disable whats in startup by editing one of the system files in DOS, it will boot off a bootable floppy, and I can move around the hd that way...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is one thing you could do first -- however before you do it, give me a moment to see if I can remember how to edit your existing registery in DOS to elliminate the programs set to run at startup.

This is how to restore your registery to an earlier date in ME:
Reboot and get to a DOS prompt. Type in: scanreg /restore

It will take a couple moments to scan system files and then bring you to a screen where it says Microsoft Registry Checker and ask you to select a cab to restore from. Scroll up and down and find the earliest date listed. Then hit entore to begin the registery restore. Try rebooting to Windows and see if you get any further.

Back in a few.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I just got my 98se startup disk to work, and I've formatted the hard drive. I'm attempting to install 98se, now. I've got more problems, and I'm really starting to suspect my hard drive... I've got more problems, now, without my ME problems. Thanks for your help, anyway. Wish me luck !
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Sorry that took so long. I found a Windows 95 variation of what I remembered, but my info is burried in notes that are about a year old. And from what I just saw, I don't think I'd even attempt editing my registery in DOS. If I was sitting in your shoes, I think I'd try the registery restore method I listed above and see if I could at least get into safe mode.

You're pretty much stuck in the mud as it is, but without access to edit the registery, I'm not sure you can remove the programs set to run at startup from DOS. If you can at least get into safe mode then you could run MSCONFIG and elliminate the garbage from startup.

You might want to see if anyone else has an opinion, but I'd be so frustrated right now if I was in your shoes I'd just run scanreg and see what happens. If that didn't fix it my next step would be to format the computer and start from scratch with a clean operating system.
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Good luck -- yep -- that's probably where I would have ended up too.
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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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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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Post 3+ Months Ago

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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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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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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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.
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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.
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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:
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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
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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
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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?
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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...
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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 ?! :)
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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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Post 3+ Months Ago

: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:
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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.
  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Is your CPU overheating?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

From reading all five pages, Id plug the power supply into a tester first, eliminate that, then test and/or replace the memory. Generally (but not always) constant restarts lead to a hardware failure, especially with older machines.
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Well... you all were probably wondering what I did with this sick PC. Very interesting, where this trip has taken me, but ! I replaced the RAM today... I was totally convinced it was failing RAM, as I had downloaded a very nice ram checker from mem66.com and upon running those tests... it did show a bad address. Replacing the RAM did nothing... still failing. So... I'm now wondering if it is, in fact, the power supply. ? ? ?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

you said you got this machine from someone? was it running when they last used it?
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It came to be broke. It's lived a hard life, with novice users, who for much of the PC's life, hit the power button, to shut down Windows... seriously. When I started looking at it, it had ME installed, and I was convinced (as you can read throughout my post on the subject) it was software related. NOT. I formatted and installed 98SE... and it displays the same exact problem, with a fresh known-good installation of 98SE. It will boot into Safe Mode (which it wouldn't in ME), but as it tries to come up into normal mode... it restarts itself before it places any icons on the desktop.
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Id say your problem is most certainly hardware related then, and again my two primary suspects are the power supply, and second ram memory. A failing power supply will most definately make the machine continuously restart as it is overtaxed by the harddrive and cd-rom spinning up, as well as the motherboards demands. I believe you said you tested the hard drive, there are utilities available to boot the machine from a cd-rom and diagnose the hard drive's condition.....I doubt it is the hard drive though, as it took your data when you re-installed the o/s. You could also have a failed video card or chip, modem, sound card or possibly the motherboard itself. If there is a small fan over the processor to cool it, make sure it is running. You have to have some kind of video obviously, but you could try eliminating all unnecessary hardware.
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Well... I just tried removing the modem, and unplugging the CD and even the floppy (for what that's worth), and it still restarted. I put a known-good video card in it, and disabled the onboard, and that didn't help anything. Yes, I have pretty much banged away on the hard drive, and the processor, for that matter, and I'm convinced it's now the PS, or ghosts.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

dont forget gremlins. :D

search on http://www.newegg.com for a power supply tester if you plan on working on computers, either this machine or in the future, theyre a handy inexpensive device that puts a load on the power supply to see if it withstands it, rather than just using a voltmeter to check dc voltage from the leads.
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I will have to agree that this is a power supply problem or over heating. Could you switch out the power supply with a know good if you don't have a PS tester? Maybe even a bigger heatsink and fan for the proc?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

it maybe the power supply, but I have a PC running in a dryer up on a hillside just on the edge of the mojave desert and it hasn't shut down in the middle of the summer yet (hottest time of the year here). If the power supply goes bad my experience has been, they will not power up at all. I still think it is software related, and everybody is diving to deep to answer the problem. I have had PC's do what you are saying, and it always seems to be software related. Just format the hard drive and start over again with win98, or format and load linux on it :twisted:
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A reformat has already been done on this puter. So software is ruled out. Has to be hardware.
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A couple weeks ago, I got 6 new Dells for the company and went to prep them for the network. Instead of using the monitors I got with the computer, I already had an old one near by and just hooked 'em up to that. I went through three of the computers and all three had the same problem. Everytime Windows would go to load, the monitor would click and go black. I thought the computer was shutting down, but actually I had to physically reboot it. Turned out that the older monitor I was using was a plain old VGA and couldn't handle the graphics accelerator. Once I put a modern monitor on them, they were fine.

I doubt that your problem is the same, but it might be worth looking at.
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I have formatted the drive 3 times now, and reloaded 98SE three times. It will go into Safe Mode, but not normal. I've tried all the different combinations of startup I can imagine, and nothing has helped. I'm fairly confident, at this point, that this isn't software related. Also, this computer has done this with two different monitor's, so I don't think it's monitor related, either. If it is a bad pS, it's totally freaky, cuz the dang thang runs likea champ, otherwise.. in DOS, and I ran a mem test on the RAM for 71 hours continuously, and it never hiccupped. I ran a 3 hour surface scan, and there again... nothing... but, I'm wondering ... something is causing it to restart when it feels the load of 98SE in normal mode ? ? ? I don't think the problem is heat related... the cover's off and I'm working in a basement, and I live in Colorado, which is NOT the Mojave Desert :wink: I, actually, have not done anything to test the PS, at this point. I'm at wits end, and offer beers or soda to anyone who gives me the winning answer :P
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Post 3+ Months Ago

rjmthezonenet wrote:
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.


This may be a PITA, but it is an efficient way to rule out may hardware components (but not your CPU, motherboard, or power supply). If you are using a graphics accelerator, try using the on-board device.

If this does work, you would have saved yourself seven days, 34 unnecessary posts, and at least two reinstallations and a format or two.
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This PC was using the onboard video... I installed a known good video card, and disabled the onboard. Nada. I purchased new RAM, Nada. I removed the modem (for what that's worth), Nada. I unplugged the CD and floppy (there again... for what that's worth), Nada. I'd think, by now, the only thing left I haven't tried are PS, MB or processor. Because the thing works, all expect for normal mode... I'm having a hard time thinking it's the MB or processor.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'll stick by my offering, without having the benefit of looking at the machine personally. I'll also put a couple of beer mugs in the freezer, one for me and one for ModernDestroyer in case he gets overheated out there in the desert. :wink:
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok, lets review.

You've removed or substitued all the major components except the motherboard, CPU, hard disk and power supply. The hard disk has been formatted at least once and they symptoms are the same for two different operating systems.

Have you reset the BIOS to factory settings?
What happens if you boot to a DOS prompt and start Windows with 'win /d:fsvx'?

The only big differece between normal and safe mode is the display resolution/depth, and networking support. You did mention switching video cards, but it on-board card may still be probed if you BIOS doesn't disable it.

What happens if you boot in safe mode, set your display and resolution to 640x480x16 and reboot in normal mode?
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Okay, I just restored the BIOS to default, nada... still restarted. I went into safe mode, and the display was set at 640x480x16, so I could make no changes there, I booted from a floppy and started on win /d: fsvx and ! (I hope this gives you something to go off of) I got a blue screen of death wtih the error "VFAT DEVICE INITIALIZATION FAILED" A device or resource required by VFAT is not present or is unavail. VFAT cannot continue loading - system halted. I don't know if this has anything to do with that, or not... but since I reloaded 98SE, I have not got this pig to start in normal mode, so as it "tries" it's continually trying to detect my monitor, and load the drivers for that... it never get's beyond that, no desktop icons, task bar, etc. just a very clean RESTART.
  • grinch2171
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So the only thing left is PS, mobo and proc? Do you have any idea the mobo manufacturer, proc speed, type of proc, BIOS version or any other system info that we can research?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://www5.pc.ibm.com/us/products.nsf/$wwwPartNumLookup/_2254G04

Without tearing it apart, I cannot answer all your questions regarding exact type of mobo, etc. This link to the IBM site, is pretty informative, but does not give the BIOS info, either. I'm SURE the BIOS is old. It's got that very generic type of BIOS.

I'm not sure I've given you enough to go on... sorry. :cry: [/url]
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BIOS... scratch. Ok. Some progress... more to go. :-)

Display... these gotta be a way to reduce your resolution such that the next boot into Normal Mode is in 640x480x16. I thought that was it (bear with me, the last time I used Windows 98 was probably in '98. haha!).

Boot to a DOS prompt and use F8 to select Command Prompt Only Mode. (What you did technically works... this is just easier.) This time use 'win /d:fsx'. (Based on your mention of the monitor probing, I'm leaning away from this test... but, what the heck, do it just to rule it out. What's one more reboot on a rebooting computer eh?

Ah, so it is attempting to detect your monitor in Normal Mode. That's another difference between Normal and Safe - hardware scanning. Did I miss this (big thread)? Do you have a different monitor to test?

The problem as I know understand it: a boot loop following an unsuccessful probe of your monitor. Correct?

Just for giggles... start the machine in normal mode. As soon as the Starting Windows 98..." 320x480 image displays, disconnect the monitor and wait long enough to be certain Windows is loaded. Re-connect and what do you have???
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I loved your suggestion to start the computer up, and unplug the monitor, while it's starting windows... cool idea... I tried it, but... NADA. :(

I believe this computer IS starting in normal mode in the 640x480x16... that's what comes up in safe mode... I'm not trying to change that.

Did you see my post about what happened when I started it with win /d: fsvx ? I got a nasty VFAT blue screen of death message.

This computer has had this problem with TWO different monitor's, one at least I know is good.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

> ...suggestion to start the computer up, and unplug the monitor...
Dam! I had my fingers crossed. An old rule of thumb with diagnosing computers: try the simple things first, even if they are very unlikely.

> ...640x480x16... that's what comes up in safe mode...
Safe mode is restricted to 640...

Normal mode may be (is likely to be) different. When it boots in Normal Mode, is the wallpaper (you have no icons at this point) at the same resolution and colour depth? If not, can somebody please post how to use Safe Mode to Change screen settings in Normal Mode. Thanks!

> ...started it with win /d: fsvx ? I got a nasty VFAT blue...
Yes, I did. Boot with win /d:fsx (no "v").

> ...with TWO different monitor's
...and with two different video cards.
...and with two different operating systems.
This problem is as weird as it gets.

Do you have another computer? lol, it may be easier to start subbing parts into a working machine. ha (kidding)

The motherboard, power supply, CPU, hard drive and Normal Mode are the only common denominators to this problem. Can you substitute any of these parts? Maybe yanking a working motherboard (with CPU and RAM) from another computer for a quick test.

Hey, just for hoots. Try booting a Knoppic CD. That's a full graphical environment with lots of hardware probing on boot. Just curious (give it a go if you have the bandwidth, time and burner).
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have the exact same problem. I even installed Win2k, but I can't get to Safe Mode as I did when I installed Win98 in this box. My computer is an IBM Netvista A21i, 64MB RAM, 20 GB, 850Mhz PIII (I think)

I found this other forum with a similar issue, looks like a motherboard problem. My capacitors look exactly like the ones in the picture.

http://forums.techguy.org/t182983/s57fa ... 80784.html
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am having the same problem too... or very similar. The system is a NetVista- not exactly sure what model (I'm not near it right now, I can get more info on it tomorrow). It is running Windows Me. I don't know when the problem started, because I haven't used the computer for months. I'm not sure if anyone else has (it is at my business, but it is rarely used). But I just found out about the problem today. Anyway, the system restarts before it gets anywhere in a normal boot (just when the Windows Me splash screen comes up). In a safe boot, it will ocassionally reach the desktop, load the system tray, and start to load help... at this point it will restart. Sometimes it restarts sooner than this, sometimes it doesn't even get past the Windows Me splash screen in safe mode.

I created a emergency boot disk from a laptop running Windows 98... and the Netvista has the same problem when started from this disk. It won't even boot into Safe Mode using this disk, although I can get it to boot if I try command prompt only safe mode (however, normal command prompt only does not work). I have also had success doing a step-by-step boot from the Windows 98 emergency boot floppy... if I say yes to every step, it will drop me at the command line, but I have tried running both scandisk and scanreg from here and both end up causing the system to either reboot or freeze. So basically, I can get to the command line, but can't run anything useful. When I reach the command line through command prompt only safe mode, I can't run anything useful because himem.sys isn't loaded.

I have tried going in to the IBM diagnostic tools (pressing F11). This will load, and present a menu with options to either to reformat the hard drive and relaod the operating system from the restore CD (or something like that, I am trying to recall from memory) or to display a list of utilities. If I select to show the utilities, it will show another menu with three options- show system information, show diagnostic utilities, or create a floppy disk to restore access to the diagnostic utilities. Most of the time, selecting to show the diagnostic utilities (2nd option) will cause a reboot. Other times I have been able to access the utilities and run them... alhtough haven't run all of them. I can also access the command line from these utilities, when I am able to load them. Tried running scandisk from here- if I run the scan disk on the C: drive (the IBM service partition) everything is fine. If I run it on the D: drive (the IBM_Preinstalled partition, which would be the C: drive on a normal boot and contains the Win Me install), the system reboots after scandisk runs for a few seconds. If I run scanreg /fix from the D: drive (the one that has Win Me installed) it will say that it couldn't repair the registry and that I should try deleting some files to free up space on the disk. If I run scanreg /restore, it says there is nothing to restore from.

Anyway, it seems exactly what is described in this threat, although I obviously haven't gotten as far as reformatting, swapping ram, or testing other hardware components. I also haven't had a chance to look at the capicitors around the processor as suggested on the thread linked to in the last post, but I honestly can't tell from that picture what I'm supposed to be looking for. I was surprised when I looked at the dates on this thread becasue they are just in the last week or so- and this happened to me today. The capacitor thread isn't that old either... and they're all Netvistas. Wonder if it's an issue with the Netvista motherboard. Anway, any help would be much appreciated and I will be following this thread with much interest. Thanks!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

AH HA !!! With the last two posts... I *think* we might be getting somewhere !! I hit the link ocanas included in their post... and there is a photo someone has included of a MB with leaky caps ! Well, guess what :?: :!: I looked closely at the mb in my pc... LEAKY CAPS around the processor !! I understand leaky caps don't guarantee failure... BUT... I'm a bettin' girl, and whatdaya wanna bet this is my problemo :?: :!: Unfortunately... I think this PC is out of warrantee.

This is an AWESOME forum... TONS of great info has come my way. Tx :!:
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

A mobo shouldn't be very expensive to replace. i remember reading about IBM's and their mobos having this problem. Wish I would have remembered sooner.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I just had to post, one last time, to this thread to update everyone on my Netvista problem. Because of the prior two posts, that took me to IBM, regarding the problem with this machine, and SURE ENOUGH... there has been a ECA issued on the motherboard in this exact machine type/model. IBM is sending a tech to my house to replace the mobo n/c !! This machine is out of warrantee, but they are standing behind the defective caps on the mobo... they were fully aware of the problem.

However, you can bet, the first time I see this machine start up Windows... I'll be holding my breath :wink:

Thanks for the great posts, this forum is awesome.

~jp
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Post 3+ Months Ago

jeannepo, thanks so much for the final post! I was hoping you would let us know what the final outcome was. Maybe I missed this in the thread, but exactly which machine type/model do you have? Since I'm having the same problem (I opened up my case today and sure enough, leaky caps!!), I'm hoping my out-of-warranty system will be covered as well- hopefully it's a model where they are already aware of the issue, like yours. The model mentioned on the other thread with the picture is not the same as mine, so I hope they are aware that this problem spans several NetVista models. Anyway, any info you could provide would be helpful when I call IBM later today. Thanks again!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey Swarm!

No problemo... here's everything I can give you:

IBM: 1-800-426-7378
Netvista
type: 2254
model: G04

They'll tell you there has been an ECA issued on this machine... hopefully your type/model uses the same mobo! They'll also want your serial number, too.

GOOD LUCK !!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Excellent! Thanks for the update. I think you had about half of OZZU wanting to see you get this fixed!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Glad to hear you are getting it fixed free of charge.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If I had known this before!!! ... AAGGGHH! I went and bought a cheap refurbished box to replace this Netvista one...and just called IBM and they confirmed they'll change my Mother Board for free (ECA 062 and/or ECA 064 in case anyone needs the ECA #)..... I guess I'll try to find a home for the cheap one I just bought.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just wanted to let everyone know that my motherboard was just replaced for free today (only two days after I originally called IBM!) and the system is running great now... my system is a NetVista, machine type 6336, model G20. So the ECA covers this model too.

I also found an interesting article about the capacitor problem here-
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=10115

Thanks for the great forum! I don't know where I'd be troubleshooting this problem if I hadn't come across this thread!!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

On my side, I also have good news, Mother Board replaced for free on friday, and now have a stable win2000 Netvista - Type 2254 Model G01,

I'm also being able to return the cheap box I got to replace this one that I thought was dead.
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Wow! This is great! 3 motherboards replaced all from one post!
  • jeannepo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ozzu is a GREAT forum. I've passed it along to all my techie buddies.

Thanks, again.

~jeannepo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

try scanreg/restore in the command prompt ..and start from a previous date...thats a wonderful command...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

zigman, I think you missed the problem and the resolution.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

:P

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