This is typical if one didn't install from Dell's restore or driver CDs. A stock install of a retail Windows 98 can do this.
Look at what drivers Dell supplies for said system.
Look at the shutdown article at http://www.aumha.org/articles.htm
I have a dell notebook, it's a windows 98
evertime the computer goes on standby, it won't repond or turn back on unless I turn it off and reboot it
can anyone tell me what's wrong?