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New DSL, old Windows computer running ME-long

by MMRudy / May 6, 2004 1:09 PM PDT

Recently I replaced the dial up modem on my late- 1998 Dell Deminsion XPS 450R with 128 MB on the mother board. The operating system is fully updated ME. I have up-to-date spam and virus protection (software) and the hardware firewall the modem supplies. The modem is an Actiontec DSL Gateway, GT701-WG, supplied by Quest.

It worked well the first evening. The next day, the icons for My Documents, My Computer, Trash, My Network Places, and Internet Explorer (6.0, the most recent update) failed to open, but MS Outlook worked. Settings, run, and search on the start menu did not work . Software (Word, Excel, etc.) worked. At this point the computer was running in safe mode.

I removed the DSL modem and could access everything. Of course, I tried to set up the modem again, but the results were the same. I eliminated software that I rarely use hoping to free memory. No luck. I ran SpyBot, no problems there.

Subsequently, I set the modem up on my DH's iMac (a couple of years old, 256 MB, OS 10.1.5.) It is working fine.

However, I need DSL on the PC. I don't want to spend $$ on an older computer that is going to be replaced in mid-June. Is this an ME problem or some other incompatibility? Can I make the iMac the "master" computer and add an USB wireless adapter to the PC with any assurance of re-establishing internet access on the PC? TIA

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Re:New DSL, old Windows computer running ME-long
by Mark G / May 6, 2004 8:57 PM PDT

1 question do you have an up to date virus program as you didnt mention that?
plus all critical updates?

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Just FYI. Safe Mode is unusable for your Internet needs.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2004 3:44 AM PDT

In safe mode, USB and many other things do not work. This is not a mode to do much else than fix something and reboot.


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Re:Just FYI. Safe Mode is unusable for your Internet needs.
by MMRudy / May 7, 2004 9:59 AM PDT

Thank you, I did not know that. I have been rebooting regularly and each time the computer reboots into safe mode. I am assuming (always an unsafe proposition) that ME is the culprit. Any suggestions on getting out of safe mode?

Answer to Q. 1: Yes, the virus application is up-to-date. It is supplied by my ISP. In addition, I continue to subscribe to McAfee which, as you know, is updated almost daily. I've continued with the double protection because I am uncertain that the ISP application will catch something that arrives via a download.

Thanks again.

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Getting out of safe mode.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2004 12:21 PM PDT

The problem is trying to find the cause. While you may have the virus protection, other malware can cause issues. Just for information and not that it's the cause of the safe mode issue, read


Ok, safe mode troubles. The most common issue is what's in the MSDOS.SYS file. A directive in that file can cause Windows ME to always boot Safe Mode. Review and note that "BootSafe=Boolean
Default: 0
Purpose: A setting of 1 forces your computer to boot in Safe mode." passage.

Next, review


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Re:Getting out of safe mode.
by MMRudy / May 9, 2004 10:15 AM PDT

Thanks for the information. I found the time this afternoon to read the microsoft help sheets, and explore mssys. It was easy to change the safe mode check box and restore normal boot. My computer appears to be operating normally again...and somewhat more speedily as well.

Tomorrow I shall try to set up the broadband modem.

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Re: New DSL, old Windows computer running ME-long
by ereedks / June 11, 2004 1:11 AM PDT

As a tech, I must warn you. Be prepared for more problems in the future due to the fact that you are using ME. With ME, what works today may not work tomorrow. ME is a very unstable system (Microsoft no longer even offers it at stores). Don't be surprised to find "Safe Mode" being a frequently visited status. You will end up there because it will suddenly "quit playing nice" with other components or software. It's just a matter of time.

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