My Win98 hangs frequently

I have this recurring problem with my PC for some time..
After booting my Win98 for some time (30 mins to 1 hour), my computer will hang when I try to open/explore the My Computer folder. This is very frustrating, especially when I've just finish my report and want to save to another disk only to have the computer hanging on me. There's no hardware conflicts detected in the control panel and I'm running an updated Norton Antivirus so there shouldn't be any virus.
My hardware config. is as follows (in case there's any driver conflicts):
128MB Kingston SDRAM
500MHZ Pentium!!! on ABIT BE6-II
IBM Deskstar 34GXP 20.7Gb
Diamond Viper Ultra
Creative SoundBlaster Live! Player

Thanks in advance for your help!
8 answers Last reply
More about win98 hangs frequently
  1. If your crashing is not due to a recent software/hardware installation. The more common cause for the random crashings for me is a poor case aeration. Try to run your computer without the panes or the cover, you can also point a domestic fan on it. See if it still crash. If it's the problem, add some fans in your case.
  2. That's right, to be more simple, heat is the problem.
    Check hardware site that talk about overclocking, get some clue about solving heat problem.
  3. Along those lines, you may want to eject your cd-rom drives...sometimes a faulty CD-ROM/DVD/CD-RW can cause freezes when using Windows explorer or 'My Computer'. Ejecting the drawer prevents Windows from searching for a disk while still seeing a drive letter. Also, run a thorough scandisk and defrag your drive just to be safe.
  4. I would suggest that you download and install the latest Microsoft Virtual Machine. This can be obtained from the Updates section at It's not unusual for the Virtual Machine to become corrupted, and this causes the computer to lock up if the My Computer icon or the Control Panel icon is clicked. If this doesn't work ... THEN you might be talking about heat-related issues.

    If you think the problem is a driver (and you are the one looking at the machine, you'll have to be the judge) reinstalling the Operating System might be a good idea.

    You'll have to add more information to your post for anyone to accurately diagnose the problem. Vague in ... vague out.

    Good luck ... Toejam31
  5. Thanks for all the responses :)
    It's been a great help, I'm going to be trying to see if it's overheating (though I doubt it as I didn't overclock the system and on my first installation, things were so bad that sometimes it'll hang soon after I start my computer) and the Virtual Machine thing :)

    Actually, I had already reinstalled win98 3 times already and still face the same problem.
    At first it was quite bad and constant and the harddisk light will light up continuously prior to the hang even though I'm using any intensive applications. On advice of my friend, I upgraded to IE 5.0 since it's an explorer problem and the hangs occur less frequently.
    Toejam31, is the above enough? What other information do you need? I really hoped to solve this problem.... Thanks! :)
  6. I have said it before and I will say it again, its probably your SBLive card and the drivers for it. Download the latest drivers for it and don't install Liveware (any version, it just plain sucks). And make sure you sound card is not sharing IRQs with any other device in both the bios and the device manager. The same goes for your video card.
  7. RedAsh, I would suggest that you take your computer to a certified technician. Describe or write down any error messages that you see, and elaborate on the machine's behavior when you take it in. No detail is too small. My reasoning?

    There are dozens of things that can cause a computer to crash. It could be anything from a corrupted virtual device driver or a hardware conflict ... to a boot sector virus, even if you are running an updated anti-virus program. It could be a corrupted software program, an installed/uninstalled older program that requires a 16-bit environment. Etc, etc. Nearly anything ... and I'd either have to talk you through all the various areas in the system, or see the computer myself.

    A technician can check for heat-related problems, issues with drivers, conflicts with installed peripherals, etc.

    I would suggest that you upgrade to Win 98SE for stability and the latest bug fixes from Microsoft.

    I appreciate that you have attempted to explain your problem, but this is a matter of knowing just what information is pertinent so that a technician can diagnose the difficulty ... and I can tell that are you not yet experienced enough to narrow down the problem. This is something we all go through at one time.

    I wish I could help you more, but this could become an extremely long, and technical set of messages, while a repair technician could probably nail down the source of the problem in a matter of hours.

    I hope you take my advice and allow an experienced technician to get you up and running.

    Note: It's doubtful that this is related to your Creative Labs Sound card. And there's nothing wrong with the software that comes with the card, especially if you are running the latest version. I have installed dozens of the these cards, and I have not as yet seen any difficulty. However, older cards with protected-mode drivers do have problems with Win Me ... but this is not applicable in your case.

    Good luck ... and feel free to let me know how it turns out. I'm always interesting in things like this.

    ... Toejam31
  8. Hey, Red, did you ever get a resolution to this prob? It is very close to my current situation: run for a while its great, then after running, the system hangs when requested to access a 'spun down' disk.
    The system drive is still kicking and seems to be operating fine from drive C:.
    IOW, after running good for a while and the drives D, E have timed-out (10, 15, 30, 60 min, however long they are APM-programmed to save power) and spun down, the system starts them up, they spin up, but the system hangs, seemingly unable to read them.

    What's up with that? Fooling around with the APM times seems track. Yikes, can't keep awake all the time.

    Microsoft Windows 98 4.10.2222 A
    Asus A7V, Duron o/c
    Award Medallion BIOS v6.0
    Ultra 100 IDE disk controller i/f lurking within the SCSI system device.
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