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Win 98 startup problem

by eelnavi / January 22, 2006 11:57 PM PST

Have Win 98. Was running scandisk but someone turned off the power bar thinking that i forgot to turned off the power since monitor was off. This may be source of problem. Now when i power on, one of the following has happened:

-only the green background desktop appears; red light still appears on tower for a long time so reset
-only the taskbar at bottom
-asked for boot diskette (put in Win 98 startup disk; turned off bc i don't know how to format computer
-appears normal with all the icons on desktop
-when normal, couldn't access floppy disk; A drive just made several click like sounds


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by the_real_martian / January 23, 2006 1:47 AM PST
In reply to: Win 98 startup problem

I can't imagine ScanDisk causing this problem, it sounds more like a problem with a Static VXD. Try starting in Safe Mode (Press F8 just before Windows 98 logo appears during boot up), and in the "Run" dialog box (Start > Run), type "msconfig" without quotes. Choose selective startup, click OK, and restart your computer. Try different combinations of startup items until you get it to work. Note: if you have ZoneAlarm Firewall, try removing VSDATA95 from the startup items. This file has caused a lot of problems for me.

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Please clarify
by eelnavi / January 24, 2006 9:45 AM PST
In reply to: ScanDisk?

Thanks martian. I'll try it. What do u mean by different combinations? You mean keep checking and unchecking different boxes? How do i know what i essential that i shouldn't uncheck?

Not sure if i should start another post. Can anyone tell me why when i pressed F8, i hear a sound (quick click sound)? Also happens when try to access floppy.

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Floppy drive
by eelnavi / January 24, 2006 11:51 PM PST
In reply to: Please clarify

Was reading what i wrote and i was just wondering how do i check if my floppy drive is not defective?

When i try to access floppy, hourglass appears for a long time and then monitor goes black. have to press reset.

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One suggestion
by Glenda / January 25, 2006 11:31 AM PST
In reply to: Floppy drive

unless you want to lose all of your data you don't want to format:(

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What your describing is something else:(
by Glenda / January 25, 2006 11:29 AM PST
In reply to: Please clarify

All that should have happened when you rebooted was that your PC would tell you it shutdown improperly an dgone thru a scandisk:( I think you have another problem:(

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There is no Static VXD
by eelnavi / January 26, 2006 12:28 AM PST
In reply to: ScanDisk?

In Safe Mode, i didn't see a Static VXD tab.

In selective startup, the following are checked:
-Process Autoexec.bat file
-Process System.ini file
-Process Win.ini file
-Load startup group items

There is no VSDATA95 in the startup items.

I disabled the unnecessary startup items as suggested in the "How To Shut Down Unnecessary Start Up Programs" post.

If helpful, there's a red X on an item under USB in device manager.
(My bro used his portable storage device to help back up some files a while ago.)

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No config.sys
by eelnavi / January 30, 2006 12:50 AM PST
In reply to: ScanDisk?

I tried the different combinations but i noticed that the "config.sys" box cannot be checked. Is the Config tab in msconfig supposed to be blank?

After reading the troubleshooting help, i ran a diagnostic startup. In the step by step confirmation, i said Yes to all except for 1) Autoexec and Config.sys and 2)Autoexec the second time. However, both times, computer froze after i said Yes to last question/confirmation.

One time I tried Normal startup and it started okay. But when i had to restart computer (after disabling some startup items), it didn't start up properly.


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For Windows 98se, config.sys is optional.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2006 12:56 AM PST
In reply to: No config.sys

It's not a required file for this OS.

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by Cursorcowboy / January 30, 2006 9:13 PM PST
In reply to: No config.sys

A. From your very first message it appears that when you boot the computer that it will either start normally or fail and when it fails you just keep trying until it actually functions and that it functions normally until you access the floppy drive?

B. You mean keep checking and unchecking different boxes? How do i know what i essential that i shouldn't uncheck?

When the computer has started normally, you can use the follow scenario to check what starts or what should not start by using the MSCONFIG utility.

1. "How to Troubleshoot Using the Msconfig Utility with Windows 98 (Q281965)"

2. The System Configuration Utility (SCU - Msconfig.exe) provides a graphical interface for configuring the Microsoft Windows startup environment. The SCU lets you troubleshoot by creating a clean environment to test against. If a problem is not reproducible after performing a Diagnostic startup, a process of elimination can be used to identify the source.

a. The SCU lets you edit lines of configuration files such as Config.sys or System.ini and provides the ability to "remark" individual lines in a files preventing the lines from executing or processing on subsequent boots of the computer.

Note: The Config.sys, Autoexec.bat, System.ini, and Win.ini tabs intelligently identify settings and minimize the risks inherent in editing configuration files. These tabs use the following conventions:

? Unavailable check boxes indicate lines temporarily removed by System Configuration Utility.

? Settings used when the file?s Selective startup option is disabled are identified with a Windows logo.

? Previously removed lines are listed without a check box.

? Lines edited from within the tool are identified by a yellow pencil.

b. The SCU also lets you enable/disable items in your "Startup" group, (Click to see an example screenshot) and the RUN/RUN SERVICES keys of the registry.

c. The troubleshooting options available in the "Advanced Troubleshooting Settings" (click to see an example screenshot) dialog allow you to make extreme configuration changes and should only be used in special situations when nothing else seems to work, "Understanding the ATS". This MSDN article goes through and describe each of the eleven options on the ATS dialog and explains the types of situations where each setting will come in handy.

3. MSCONFIG Caveats:

a. WARNING: If the box labeled "ScanRegistry" is disabled by removing the check mark, the System Registry will not be backed up during the first daily boot [Q198864].

b. The article [Q187307] states that when viewing the Startup tab, [Microsoft System Configuration Utility (msconfig) tool] the seven default (six, if the initial Welcome screen is disabled) entries as show below that are installed by Windows Setup are missing or incomplete in the below registry address (separated in two sections). Additional entries may also appear on the Startup tab having installed other programs and applications.

? TaskMonitor -- C:\Windows\Taskmon.exe

? SystemTray -- SysTray.Exe

? ScanRegistry -- C:\Windows\Scanregw.exe /Autorun

? Welcome -- C:\Windows\Welcome.exe /R

? LoadPowerProfile -- Rundll32.exe Powrprof.dll,LoadCurrentPwrScheme - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

? LoadPowerProfile -- Rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,LoadCurrentPwrScheme

Note: LoadPowerProfile appears identically in both registry keys and on the Startup tab. The article [Q187611] states the reason LoadPowerProfile is started twice by design is to provide a power management profile before and after Windows loads. SchedulingAgent and LoadPowerProfile are machine services and LoadPowerProfile loads so that the default power management settings are available when Windows starts. It is loaded again after logging onto Windows to process preferences for individual users of the computer. If its use is not required, the entries for LoadPowerProfile is not necessary. Be advised however, there may be instances where an error message similar to the following is rendered even if LoadPowerProfile is not used, and can occur if the files Powrprof.dll in the Windows\System folder is missing or damaged:

? SchedulingAgent -- C:\Windows\System\Mstask.exe - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

RUNDLL - Error loading powrprof.dll.
The system cannot find the file specified.

Error Starting Program
A required .DLL file, POWRPROF.DLL was not found.

c. If SystemTray is turned off, certain icons such as "Battery Meter", "PC Card Status", "Volume Control", "Quickres", "Task Scheduler", and perhaps others are simply not seen (ready accessible). It does not mean they are not loaded and/or running in the background. The fact is, they are simply not shown in the SystemTray if it has been turned off, [Q128129] and [Q245692]. Regardless, SystemTray is not a resident program and does not in any way interfere with running a ScanDisk or Defragmenter session.

d. The article [Q185564] states that when the check box next to a startup file (such as the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat file) is cleared, Apply is clicked, the check mark may subsequently reappear in the check box. This issue can occur if all of the lines in a startup file have already been disabled or if all of the lines in a startup file had been deleted. There must be at least one line (or one line that is not disabled) in the startup file for the System Configuration tool to process when performing this operation. The scenario that takes place:

Note: If a startup file exists, SCU will rename the file with a troubleshoot (.TSH) extension whether it contains processing information, or it was blank. SCU will then creates a placeholder (consists of no meaningful or information to process) startup file in its place similar to the following, and may experience an anomaly during boot where an MS-DOS blank screen (black) appears displaying information similar to:

C:\ T REm Shoot..... (perhaps with a path and program name)

rem *** DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE! ***
rem This file was created by the System Configuration Utility as
rem a placeholder for your CONFIG.SYS. Your actual CONFIG.SYS
rem file has been saved under the name CONFIG.TSH

e. The article [Q191547] states that when attempting to disable startup files, some or all of the files may still load and can occur if files have the read-only attribute set.

f. The article [Q177285] discusses the situation that when viewing the Startup tab, duplicate check box entries may be found and occurs when reinstalling or upgrading Windows while items on the Startup tab have been disabled. The "after-the-fact solution" is to click each check box to select it before performing this operation. The solution is to edit the system registry directly to remove duplicate items.

g. The article [Q194181] states that when a user clears the Load= or Run= check box on the Win.ini tab or the Load Startup Group Items check box on the General tab in the System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe), programs may still be run when Windows starts and may occur if the Win.ini file contains multiple entries for these lines. Edit the file manually, check and remove multiple lines as applicable.

h. When the computer is restarted after using SCU to disable the "System.ini" file, you may be prompted for a Windows password, or to change an existing Windows password. By Design, this occurs because of a possible [Password Lists] section in the System.ini file, [Q218630].

i. If you click "Selective Startup" on the "General" tab to clear, and then click to select the same check box and then click OK, you are prompted to restart your computer. When your computer restarts, "Selective Startup" may no longer be selected in SCU. Instead, "Normal Startup" may be selected. This behavior occurs because leaving all the check boxes under "Selective Startup" selected is the same as clicking "Normal Startup", [Q195042].

j. "Some System Configuration Utility Tools Do Not Work (Q192723)"

? Diagnostic Startup - Interactively Load Device Drivers And Software

? Enable Startup Menu

? Disable Scandisk After bad shutdown

? Disable SCSI Double-Buffering

Note: This behavior can occur if you use any version of the DriveSpace disk compression software to compress your hard disk in place (meaning that you compressed the entire hard disk). When you compress a hard disk in place, DriveSpace swaps hard disk letters after the initialization of the compressed volume file (CVF). Because the SCU is not aware of the drive letter swap, it edits the Msdos.sys file on the CVF instead of the Msdos.sys file on the host drive.

4. "How to Perform Clean-Boot Troubleshooting for Windows 98 (Q192926)", under the topic, "How to Use System Configuration Utility".

5. What are those dumb "Startup" tab items or those strange one which keep coming back?

Note: Some Ensoniq sound cards and perhaps some other devices, may have options in their properties which may circumvent any attempt to turn them off through the use of MSCONFIG or any other utility. Check their properties thought Device Manager and see if you can locate any settings which will cause their reiteration to be restored when trying to turn them off unconventionally. Options of this sort are simply reinstated if the program (software) finds that it isn't resident.

a. The "Fee" based "Startup Cop", PC Magazine's utility, version 1.01, provides a pretty comprehensive path to where items reside.

b. Written by Mike Lin, the utility "Startup Control Panel" is well worth investigating.

c. "Starter" is yet another free startup manager that allows you to view and manage all the programs that are starting automatically whenever Windows boots. It lists all the hidden registry entries, as well as the common Startup Folder items. You can choose to safely disable selected entries by removing the checkmark, edit them or delete them altogether (if you know what you're doing). Expert users can even add their own entries.

d. The following sites give a pretty conclusive view of what items are and you can use their recommendations at your own risk:

(1) ""

(2) ""

(3) "AnswersThatWork"

(4) "Pacs-Porta"

6. For additional information, the TechNet article "Troubleshooting MS Windows 98."

C. After reading the troubleshooting help, i ran a diagnostic startup. In the step by step confirmation, i said Yes to all except for 1) Autoexec and Config.sys and 2)Autoexec the second time. However, both times, computer froze after i said Yes to last question/confirmation.

In a nutshell, I'm not sure whether we on the forum would have any idea of what the existing startup process is compared to the original since you're deactivating or activating certain things with the MSCONFIG utility and then running the Step-by-Step Configuration Mode as well. It is a fact that neither the Autoexec.bat nor the Config.sys file would stop a computer dead in its track by themselves, either singularly or in combination, when deactivated.

7. The "Step-by-Step Confirmation Mode" explained in this article is similar to using Safe Mode since it permits the stepping through of various stages of the boot process to allow what can or what is allowed to load and becomes very useful to isolate which particular stage/step is causing the problem -- you keep a written record of each iteration. The process is time consuming but allows the selection of only certain items (1 to 4 at a time) that when loaded causes or does not cause the anomaly. If a stage succeeded, process another group until a group cause or eliminates the problem -- then isolate from those four items (one at a time) to find the culprit.

PART II: -- when a computer boots however.

1. Create a Bootlog.txt (hidden in root of C:\) file each time the system boots.

Warning: "FWIW", users should ensure their system is set to show all file extensions (Explorer/My Computer, View, Folder Options, View), and place a dot in the radio button for Show all files. If a check mark exist in the box for Hide file extension for known file types, remove it. Click the box near the top of the applet labeled, "Like Current Folder" (Click to see an example screenshot), click Apply, and then click OK to Exit.

Note: When examining this file in any text editor -- Notepad in Windows, or simply typing the following command at the MS-DOS prompt (boot there by continually tapping the F8 key during startup) and then pressing Enter (clicking the icon in front of MS_DOS Prompt in the top colored bar provides MS-DOS commands), look for all lines ending in LoadFailure which may indicate either a device or software problem.

edit bootlog.txt

2. The article [Q127970] discusses the hidden Bootlog.txt file located in the root folder, describes content, and explains certain items that may be indicated as a Load Failed which does not necessarily indicate a problem.

3. The article [Q118579] explains the root folder text file Msdos.sys set with Read-Only, System, and Hidden attributes, that this file is set to be at least 1,024 bytes in length, and describes the [Options] section that contain the settings and their meaning. Instructions are contained which allows a user to set certain options which creates the Bootlog.txt file during boot.

4. The purpose of creating a Bootlog.txt file is to catch and identify abnormalities. When starting the computer, either use the Startup Menu to create a one-time Bootlog.txt file or change the MSDOS.SYS file for Windows which will need adjustment to the line BootMenu=0. Please be advised that Windows will boot much slower each time a Bootlog.txt file is processed. Once troubleshooting elapses, undo the changes.

a. BootMenu=Boolean
Default: 0

Purpose: A setting of 1 enables the Startup menu. If this setting is 0, then you must press the F8 key when "Starting Windows 95" appears, (or press and hold the CTRL key when your Windows 98-based computer restarts) to invoke the Startup menu.

Note: If this line is missing, then add it to the MSDOS.SYS file following the entry of BootMenuDefault=?

b. BootMenuDefault=(a number)

Default: 1 if the system is running correctly; 3 if the system hung in the previous instance

Purpose: Use this setting to set the default menu item for startup.

c. If either or both entries are missing, add them.

Note: For the Number to be entered as the parameter for BootMenuDefault, the specific numeric character from your system Start menu will have to be entered. Simply boot the computer and hold the Ctrl key until it's displayed and note the number for use.

5. Otherwise from the Windows interface if possible, click Start, Run, type msconfig, and then press Enter. Click the Advanced button, and select the item Enable Startup Menu where you may select to create a Bootlog.txt file during a certain boot, and you have to contend with a selection each time the system is booted or until it is removed sometime later.

6. "Boot Log Analyser, Vision 4 Ltd" can be downloaded from this link and is highly recommended.

a. It is very small tool which can be used to help ascertain what may be causing boot delays and device activation problems during boot when used for viewing a Bootlog.txt file (boot root) which lists item tasked and includes the time and duration required for each event processed.

b. Better yet, from the time and duration an event takes, a user can determine which may be the specific cause for slowing the booting process.

c. There are different options available for the displayed items, it's fast, it's easy to use, and -- best of all, offered free.

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