Why does Windows 98 SE confound me?

mal

Member
It should be so simple...

-freshly formatted disk

-clean install of Win98 SE

-a few additional installations (direct X, newer IE, Detonators etc)

Nothing outrageous. Basic stuff.

But I end up with programs randomly crashing and the odd BSOD. :angry:

Sure, I'll start again... any ideas why it might have all gone pear shaped? :huh
 

racketboy

Member
IE = Bad

:p

actually that probably isn't the problem.

did you do anything with components?

Is everything in place?

Is anything overheating?
 

mal

Member
I don't think there's anything physically wrong.

I'm not overclocking (although the board is running at it's upper limit) and it all ran fine with another HD with a Win95 installation.

At the moment I'm resigned to try again from scratch, but I was wondering if there might be something I'm overlooking...
 

mal

Member
At this point in time I'm considering plain old Win98 rather than SE.

I'm up to install number 5. :damn:
 

Curtis

Member
What are your exact system specs? I know from practical experience that the various flavours of Windows can be very flaky if you have a RAM chip that is on it's way out.
 

mtxblau

Mid Boss
Just to insult your intelligence, but VIA drivers and all those motherboard specific drivers are also installed? On occassion (and depending on the board, frequently) that causes issues as well.
 

mal

Member
Don't worry about insulting me, I'm pretty new to this sort of thing. :)

I don't have any specific driver discs for the board, but Windows appears to set it up OK. I've also recently done a Win98 SE install on another PC with the same mobo and it's working fine. :huh

Gigabyte GA-5SG100

AMD K6-2 533 (running at 550 - 5.5 x 100)

256MB PC133 RAM (I was assured it would work on a 100MHz bus)

GeForce2 MX 400 AGP 64MB

Soundblaster 16 ISA

Intel EtherExpress 16 ISA

Seagate ST310014ACE ATA/100 10GB drive partitioned to 4GB, 4GB, 1.5GB

Liteon 52x24x52x CDRW (forget the model ATM)

It's running fine right now with it's old HD and a Windows 95 installation. Any more questions, just ask.
 

Tindo@heart

New Member
Originally posted by mal@Jul 27, 2003 @ 10:02 PM

Don't worry about insulting me, I'm pretty new to this sort of thing. :)

I don't have any specific driver discs for the board, but Windows appears to set it up OK. I've also recently done a Win98 SE install on another PC with the same mobo and it's working fine. :huh

Gigabyte GA-5SG100

AMD K6-2 533 (running at 550 - 5.5 x 100)

256MB PC133 RAM (I was assured it would work on a 100MHz bus)

GeForce2 MX 400 AGP 64MB

Soundblaster 16 ISA

Intel EtherExpress 16 ISA

Seagate ST310014ACE ATA/100 10GB drive partitioned to 4GB, 4GB, 1.5GB

Liteon 52x24x52x CDRW (forget the model ATM)

It's running fine right now with it's old HD and a Windows 95 installation. Any more questions, just ask.
I agree with Curtis. Check your RAM.

Do you run Win95 with the 256MB RAM installed?

and it runs fine?

Is it 1 stick(256MB) or 2 (128MB) sticks?

It could be that Win95 doesn't even try yet to access the higher parts of the RAM that causes crashes. However, I've noticed that each version of Windows is picky with flacky RAM. . . some Windows ignores it and others are crippled by them. For example; I could use a bad 64MB stick and use 32MB of it on Win98, but with Win98SE it wouldn't even boot.

I installed 98SE on a K6-2 550mhz underclocked to 500Mhz because the board only supported 500Mhz. It was a very generic mobo but I got it to run at it's fastest speed and used 98SE. This board was very picky about RAM, especially 128MB sticks. It's almost impossible to find a 128MB that would work, so I just got 2 64MB instead. It works pretty great!

. . . also, it was one of the first boards to have a 75Mhz FSB. So I think having it run at 75Mhz helped to cause problems with memory running at PC66/66mhz, 100mhz, or PC133/133mhz . . respectfully

Since you are using 100Mhz FSB, using RAM with a faster mhz(PC133) than the FSB(PC100) is not going to give any benefits. . . besides cost since 133 can be cheaper than 100.

I'd check your boards limits and recomendations for RAM and follow that exactly.
 

mal

Member
Yes, I'm running with the full 256MB in Win 95 and it's one stick.

The ram certainly passes the test at boot up... is there any other software way of testing it?
 

Curtis

Member
I don't know that running the chip at 550Mhz is helping the situation either. Not so much because of what the overclocking does to the chip, but because of what it is doing to the ISA/PCI bus.

IIRC, using that configuration you are actually overclocking the two busses. Various cards handle this differently, but I would suspect that none of the divices of that vintage would handle it well.
 

mal

Member
According to the .pdf of the manual that I found, running the bus at 100MHz should be running the PCI bus at 33MHz and the AGP at 66MHz. AFAIK the ISA bus remains the same at all settings.

I'll give the RAM tester a go.
 

Tindo@heart

New Member
Originally posted by mal@Jul 28, 2003 @ 12:37 AM

According to the .pdf of the manual that I found, running the bus at 100MHz should be running the PCI bus at 33MHz and the AGP at 66MHz. AFAIK the ISA bus remains the same at all settings.

I'll give the RAM tester a go.
I think you are right. I don't think the ISA bus is affected as much as the PCI. BTW, do you run any PCI cards? if any, what?

I would say it's a 95% chance it is 1 of these 2 mentioned problems: Bad or incompatible RAM, or funky voltage or timing issues due to overclocking.

The prog gameboy900 recommended should clear up any doubt on the RAM idea. I've used and recommend that program myself. It's nice to see a CD ISO you can download to make a bootable CD. That's cool if I want use only use 1MB of my 700MB CDs :p

I agree with Curtis again. If it's not the RAM, check the CPU/FSB settings.
 

mal

Member
There are no PCI cards in ATM.

RAM testing is currently underway.

CPU voltage, bus speed and multiplier are all set by jumpers and I believe are all correct. I will, however, check them again.

I'm thinking of dragging back the CPU speed to 266/66 (the pre upgrade speeds)and trying the Win98 install again to see if it is just 98 being a bit more sensitive than 95.
 

mal

Member
RAM testing hasn't brought any answers. I ran it for nearly two hours in which time it registered no errors. :huh
 

Curtis

Member
Well I don't know about anyone else, but I'm running out of ideas...

Try running the CPU at it's native FSB setting - it should be on a 66Mhz FSB. It may help stability. I don't know if that chip supports temperature monitoring, but it could be an incorrectly fitted heatsink/fan, thus an overheating CPU.

Another far fetched idea of mine is that the HD you are using is failing and has bad sectors that are causing the seemingly random behaviour - I've had a 98SE install go pear shaped for a similar reason...maybe.

Final far fetched idea - the power supply you are using is not very good. The difference in power consumption between the old setup and the new is enough to tip it over the edge. I dunno...try removing the CDRW from the equation and see if that helps at all. You could actually do this for all the components, remove them all (except bare essentials), see if that makes any difference, and gradually re-add them to the box.
 

antime

Extra Hard Mid Boss
Try ripping out the EtherExpress, they're reportedly not too good. If that doesn't help things, remove all cards and install them one by one, testing for stability between each.
 

mal

Member
I'll give that a go. I'm also going to try running it a bit slower while I try to track the problem down.

Thanks for the advice guys, I really appreciate it. :)
 
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