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Shutdown problems with Win98 SE

by gruff / March 28, 2004 8:56 PM PST

I was having severe shutdown problems for quite a while. My machine would lockup during shutdown and I'd have to turn it off which of course led to a Scandisk of both hard drives when I would turn the machine back on again with the ubiquitous and annoying message from Microsoft to the effect that if I had shut down Windows properly, this wouldn't have happened.

During the time I was having shutdown problems, I was running two different firewalls at different times (Sygate and Zone Alarm -- both free versions). I eventually uninstalled both and as soon as I did, not only did my shutdown problems disappear, but the time it took to both boot up AND shut down decreased dramatically.

I tried contacting support for both firewalls, but received no assistance. Consequently I am currently working without a firewall. However, I have disabled all networking functions which keep all 65,536 ports closed (though not stealthed).

I'd like to once again use a firewall. Can anyone shed any light on this problem?

Thank you.


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Re:Shutdown problems with Win98 SE
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 28, 2004 11:10 PM PST

The issue here is rather complex in that there is no known exploit of Windows 9x/ME in that an outsider can't gain control of said OS without you doing something to help the attacker out.

That is, you would have to install a trojan or share your file system.

Regardless, the firewall is good to find what "calls home" so you can fix or remove said software.

For now, fixes for this shutdown issue rest with you or the software that causes the issue.

You would read and the Shutdown link.

They may never fix the issue since there are no new users of this old OS. It's not on the horizon that an uptick in a new user base will appear or that Microsoft will issue some "fix" for the issues that exist in this OS.

Right or wrong, you have to deal with the issues with help from others where you can find it.

--> What I would do?

Use HPGURU's HOSTS file to stop most easy/bad things from working.

Eject any pest found with Adaware, Spybot, Cwshredder and Housecall.

Best of luck,


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Shutdown problems with Win98 SE
by CWCasper / March 29, 2004 7:12 PM PST

First off, your firewalls were probably conflicting with each other. I run Norton Internet Security. I also run Norton AV with it. These have to be configured as the default settings are irritating. Norton is infamous for hanging up on shutdown too. Now, if you want safe, fast access without a firewall on your computer, try a router. Or the best standalone firewall I know of is Zonealarm. With it you don't need to worry about being hacked. Make sure you configure it for your taste.

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What hack?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 29, 2004 7:31 PM PST

For some years, I've asked for the documented exploit of a Windows 98/ME box with just the windows update and no file sharing.

There are virus and trojans that a firewall won't stop, but I've actively looked for a documented exploit that would require one to install a firewall on these older OSes.

Can you share one?


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Re:What hack?
by Tokyopete / April 22, 2004 9:32 PM PDT
In reply to: What hack?

first of all, M$ does have a fix for Win98Se shutdown problems. If you go to their site and check through their download list you will find it. Download and install it later. That way you can re-install if the problem comes back.
If you use Zone Labs free firewall only together with a good anti-virus programme it should work correctly. But don't use Norton anti-virus with Zone Alarm as they are probably incompatible. Trend Micro works well with Zone Alarm. I've been using the Trend Micro and Zone alarm comby for a long time with no ill effects.

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Re:Shutdown problems with Win98 SE
by genedelorenzo / April 23, 2004 12:30 AM PDT

Check for an extensive troubleshooting procedure for Win98 Shutdown Problems.

ZoneAlarm is a pretty good firewall, but is known to create as many problems as it solves, particularly if you want to uninstall or update it. It leaves a lot of stuff behind in it's uninstall routine, which can create havoc with installing another version or even another vendor's firewall. If you've already tried it, go into Regedit and remove EVERY reference to ZoneAlarm in your registry. You may have to contact Zone Alarm's technical support personel to get it cleaned off entirely.

You are better off if you use an integrated anti-virus/firewall program from the same vendor. I use Trend Micro's Internet Security program without any problems, and it is automatically updated as necessary. There are others out there, but I like Trend Micro's. Good Luck.

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Re:Re:Shutdown problems with Win98 SE
by CharleyO / April 23, 2004 10:55 AM PDT

Your problem started with using more than one firewall at the same time. These programs will conflict with each other as will more than one anti-virus program running at the same time. Do not do this!

Many firewalls, anti-virus programs, etc leave behind registry entries as well as files and folders that can interfer with the next installed product of a similar type. So, don't blame just ZoneAlarm & Norton for this. Un-install programs are notorious for not removing all that they should.

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