A hard disk with bad sectors should be thrown away and replaced. After that, a fresh install of Windows 98 might do wonders. If you do it before July 11, you'll have a fully functioning Windows Update.
A prerequisite is that the built-in CD-ROM drive is working if you boot from a boot diskette with CD-ROM support. Or did the machine come with a recovery CD? Then use that.
Things to try if you don't like that idea:
1. Install of Windows 98 on top of the existing version from your USB-CD drive, or
2. Copy a Windows 98 CD to your hard disk, delete \windows and \program file folders and run setup from the hard disk.
Hardware: IBM Aptiva 216516J, OS W98 Japanese. Bought 1999. 8GB HDD has about 1.5MB in bad sectors. Built-in CDROM drive is ''missing''. Presently using CD Burner via USB1.1. (I know I should give up and buy a new system, but that is difficult at present. - I also have an eOne but the CRT went blank with a burnt resistor smell a couple of days ago.)
The immediate problem seems to be Explorer.exe. At the end of the boot-up, I get a warning notice that ''Explorer is corrupted and will be stopped.'' It goes on to say If it doesn't stop, contact the preduct maker. - This is all in Japanese so I am not real sure. When I click OK the icons disappear but come back immediately.
Icons on the right end of the Task bar, in OE and the check boxes in Start Up of msconfig are blacked out. Other icons on the desktop and the left end on the task bar are OK. Some icons on the right end of the task bar are missing (speaker, IME etc.). Outlook Express wasn't working but after I was able to run ScanDisk and Defrag in SAFE mode it is OK although it lost all the messages in the In Box. Other mail boxes were OK. I am sure there are other things that are not working correctly. Photoshop Elements 2 quits when I try to save a new image in JPEG.
I looked in MKB but couldn't find anything. I have an idea I have one or more corrupted *.dll files.
Has anybody got any ideas?