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  1. #1
    Android's Avatar

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    It's 3:00 AM here and I'm working the .....

    night shift. Not too busy here.
    I'm having a problem with my old computer. Let me tell you all about it:
    It's a 4Mhz Pentium 2 with 160 Meg RAM and 4G HD running Win 98SE. It's actually my wife's computer an she's doesn't like me even suggesting upgrades. She likes '98 and all the current software and doesn't see why she should upgrade. (To tell you the truth, neither do I!) The only thing I've changed hardware wise is the memory (yea) and it worked like a charm until a virus started gnawing away at the resources a few months back. Due to the infection, I'm resigned to reformat and reinstall Windows 98 and having quite a time doing it. Incidentally, I took it in for a tuneup a couple of weeks ago, and they ran it through several virus scanning utilities and found nada.
    (I got a new 'puter last week. I'm hoping on setting up a home peer/peer network with this one used for mostly web designing and maintenance as well as flight simulation.)
    When I reformatted and re-installed '98, it seems to go ok until it comes to the installed hardware and driver installation for it. It can't find any of the drivers it thinks it should have and it keeps asking me where they are. I have another disk that came with the computer that has "utilities and drivers" on it. I had assumed that all I would have to do is format, reinstall windows, and run the utility on the disk to install the required drivers for the motherboard setup......but NOOOOOO. I have yet to get the sound to work (not even the icon in systray for volume appears, and no CD plays. (I only have two CD players in the house...both computers!) and the modem doesn't work (something about the port being open. What does that mean?)
    I don't mean to ramble, but I've yet to approach anybody professionally about this as I'm really cheap. (Er, I mean my wife's cheap. Yeah, that's the ticket. My wife's cheap.)
    I've done a bit of web searching at Microsoft and other tech support type of sites and there alot of information on the topic of reformatting and reinstalling windows. I know lotsa people who've done it with no problem. Why am I having so much trouble? All I want is a computer set to factory condition.
    Thanks for the sounding board. Any ideas on what I could try next?

  2. #2
    HTML's Avatar
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    Sounds like a Packard Bell?

    Dave

  3. #3
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    I installed Windows 95 several times over a one month period a couple years back and can't find the notes file I created back then on this different Windows 98 computer. But, here is what I can remember:

    The whole damn process is easier when PartitionMagic is used to separate the Hard Drive into varying pseudo-drives. On my 20Gb drive (always half empty), I reserved 2Gb for the C:\ to contain Windows and all the usually crappy Windows related programs. I keep all my good programs in the E:\ drive (partition) and even keep my icon files in the E:\windows\system\icons folder so that the damn .pif and .lnk files don't have to be changed.

    Reformatting the C:\ drive is best but then requires one have the 5.25 floppy disks needed to reinstall the CD driver so that the Windows 98 CD can then be read. Once that's done, then the CD install usually works.

    I always got those damn "couldn't find" error messages, too, EVEN WHEN THE DAMN FILES "WINDOWS 98" COULDN'T FIND were right there in the installation CD!!! I got around some of that by cloning those files to the E:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS folder "before" reformatting the C:\ drive and then pointing the pop-up screen to that folder - most of the time it found the file in the appropriate .cab file.

    I think the only reason Windows keeps selling so well is that most users have so much money they just upgrade to another computer rather than attempt to get the one they have upgraded to work more efficiently - Microsoft apparently never giving the (re)installation process much thought or effort -- those initial installations being done in factories by "highly" trained individuals who know the ins and outs of all the glitches involved therewith.


    (One last thought, once re-installed from scratch on a newly formatted hard drive, without all those damn extras installed by the vendors with their names on the machines, the Windows OS operated much more efficiently.)
    Last edited by benzden; 02-18-2003 at 01:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Android's Avatar

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    Originally posted by benzden
    I think the only reason Windows keeps selling so well is that most users have so much money they just upgrade to another computer rather than attempt to get the one they have upgraded to work more efficiently - Microsoft apparently never giving the (re)installation process much thought or effort -- those initial installations being done in factories by "highly" trained individuals who know the ins and outs of all the glitches involved therewith.


    (One last thought, once re-installed from scratch on a newly formatted hard drive, without all those damn extras installed by the vendors with their names on the machines, the Windows OS operated much more efficiently.)
    I've had to re-install DOS and Windows 3.1 plenty of times on other machines with no trouble. I've tried clean installs and re-installs and different things. I'm wondering if there's an outside chance (hope not.....it's cold there) that the Windows 98 CD is a proprietary kind for only my computer and there's something I'm missing that has to do with my BIOS (?).
    We're not power users by any means. We have hobbies not computer related that take up a good bit of our leisure. I suppose we resent the time it takes to keep a simple and perfectly good tool in working order. We rarely add any software ( I think the last thing was a memory cleaner (End-It-All) about 1 1/2 years ago that was recommended by other flight simulators and it didn't seem to affect anything.

    I don't want to buy a new computer, and I won't. I agree with you. People upgrade rather than fix.
    Manufacturer? Hmmmmm......got it at a computer show. The front says NuFactur, the CDrom says Tatung. Can't find alot of info about these companies now.
    Well....... back at it. If I can get the modem to work and get the sound to work, I'd be very happy, but I'd rather just have a clean running factory condition machine to start with (of course).
    I'm thinking that I might call a few shops and see what they would charge to do an install for me. I might be willing to pay for that. Do you think that they would run into the same problems? And would their level of expertise and fountain of resources be able to solve it? I'd hate to think that I'm stuck with a 3 1/2 year old boat anchor.
    What about Linux. Would it run that? Can Linux peer/peer network with a '98 machine?
    Fishing for alternatives here.

  5. #5
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    just make sure that u have all those diskettes and cds that came with the hardware u bought, those will have all your drivers. if not, then all u gotta do is look for the name / manufacturer of the hardware (it'll be on the chip or somewhere on pci cards, on the front of cd-roms etc) and look for the drivers on the internet. 99% of hardware vendors have websites that allow u to download drivers of the hardware they sell. i reformat and reinstall windows for my entire family, including aunties, uncles, parents, siblings, cousins etc and i don't run into many problems. all u have to do is keep the drivers and installation notes. burn them onto a CD-RW and label it drivers.

    btw bendzen, partitioning doesnt do anything except to ensure that if a virus wipes out your data or something happens to the partition containing windows, the rest of your data is safe. if that happens a reinstall of windows in C: (20 minutes tops) would mean a working computer

  6. #6
    Android's Avatar

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    I KEEP EVERYTHING!

    Receipts, disks, manuals (I'm a manual freak.....I even kept the manual for my WeedEater (tm). Makes for alot of clutter, though.
    My new 'puter has a burner and I'm already planning how and what to back up. Just gotta learn how to use it. I know you can burn your drivers and utilities onto CD-Rs, but has anybody ever tried to just straight copy their HD to it? Then you could just copy it back if you have to? Can it be done? I'm thinking about my wife. My job takes my all over the country sometimes for weeks on end. If the HD ever failed or had another virus, that's probably the simplest way for her to recover.
    I've now got the old computer where it knows it has a modem installed and finally found the right driver for it. When I try to dial though, I'm back to getting the "port is open" message. I have a local guru coming over on the weekend for refreshments and the Tournament of Hearts playoffs; he's offered to get me up and running.
    I guess I'm having alot of fun with it. Good thing books on Windows 98 are cheap right now
    Anybody recommend any good 'get into the guts of Windows 98' and good 'peer/peer networking with Windows '98' kind of books?

  7. #7
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    ... , partitioning doesnt do anything except to ensure that if a virus wipes out your data or something happens to the partition containing windows, the rest of your data is safe
    EXACTLY! I don't keep ANY data or anything of importance on the C:\ partition/drive except all that Windows crap - losing it doesn't make me lose any sleep.

    (Most of the programs I run merely need to have their registry entries reinstalled in the newly formatted C:\ drive (& registry) so I've saved those all in the E:\ drive and reinstall from their.
    I just wish we could get an updated, latest debugged version of the Windows 98 OS so that all the upgrades to it don't have to be reinstalled - or, does the Windows Update site do that?!)

  8. #8
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    I believe you can take care of it at the windows update site. then again I am on meds and I believe I saw a purple elephant flying by.

    Dave

  9. #9
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    Do the devices work in Safe Mode? If not, might be a clash somewhere.

    Right-click on My Computer, choos properties. Then choose device manager. Do the devices show in there? Are they enabled or disabled? And does win98 say anything about them in there?

    driver-wise, win98 is prob one of the best windoze versions.
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  10. #10
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    I've got a few yellow exclamation marks in device manager all right! I can't figure out why the drivers are even being installed. I've disabled them with no difference. I've removed them as well, and Windows keeps saying that it's found new hardware and asking for the '98 CD. Then it says that it can't find the drivers on it. I'm a bit foggy on removing the hardware after the device has been disabled. Everything's on the motherboard. I've run the MB CD and it seems to install everything OK except for something called AC97 for audio. All I get is a popup box with a red X in a white circle. No info.
    Also, if I remember correctly, the manual on the CD says that the utility and drivers application program have to be be run before the operating system is installed. It's windows based. Kind of a catch 22 situation. How do I run a windows based application without windows? Or am I missing something?

    This is a great learning experience. Thanks for the dialogue. Keep it up! Maybe when it's done, I'll print it out for my personal archives
    I just wish we could get an updated, latest debugged version of the Windows 98 OS so that all the upgrades to it don't have to be reinstalled
    As for windows update, that's why I was wondering if it was possible to just copy my c:\ to a CD after I completed the updates and other app installations (procomm plus, photoshop, works, etc.) Then in the event of a crash, I would have Windows SE, IE6, Outlook Express 6, and current patches and updates for the apps without having to go through all that download time again. (I've only got one phone line.)

  11. #11
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    So far as I'm aware the only drivers that must be installed before the Windows CD can be read are the CD drivers on the floppy disk(s) that allow CDs to be read. Once that's done, then placing the CD in the drive should be enough to begin the install process - but, I think with Windows 95 I had to actually type-in "setup" or "install" or "start" or some of phrase from the DOS prompt once the DOS "choices screen" was arrived at.
    (I think with Windows 98, that DOS "choices screen" had the option that installed Windows 98 with CD drivers installed already option, which worked. Windows 95 required me to break out of the batch file being run and type directly into the DOS prompt screen, I think.)


    Don't take any shortcuts - that's what got me in trouble for the first couple reformats. By the 4th one, I had it running pretty good but can't remember it all, now. C'est lavie.

  12. #12
    Android's Avatar

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    I did run across something today that said to make a directory on C: (ie. Win98), then copy the Win98 CD to that directory (after formatting) and then after the (control-alt-delete to reboot to the A:bootdisk), choose 'without CD-ROM support', change to c:\Win98, and enter "setup".
    Do you think that using the "CD-ROM support" sets up Win98 differently rather than using support? Maybe it doesn't load some utilities.
    I also read that it isn't a good idea to have it load drivers until windows was fully set up. It would then do a proper search for the right drivers, rather than load incorrect ones and have to replace them with the OEM drivers after. Hmmmmm........makes sense to me.

  13. #13
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    Yes, what you stated is sounds exactly like what I did. And, NO you can't wait for Win98 to install the CD drivers because the Win98 CD CAN'T BE READ WITHOUT THOSE DRIVERS BEING INSTALLED, FIRST! Windows98 moves those drivers to where it needs (to hide) them AFTER A SETUP. You can see by looking at the config.sys files created during each stage of the process. The folder used during the pre-CD setup is never referenced again after the full Win98 install.

    (I tried all the shortcuts I could think of before learning to just do it from scratch the way the first part of your last post states.)

  14. #14
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    or you could just hire someone to do all that for u. <i>i'm</i> cheap!

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Doorknob
    or you could just hire someone to do all that for u. <i>i'm</i> cheap!
    :grin: I'm sure you could do it cheap :grin:
    I'm not looking for someone to do it cheap. I want to be able to do it myself and understand what's happening.
    Any moron can insert a CD and follow the instructions. Troubleshooting is my occupation. I WANNA KNOW!!



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