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Win98 freezes on cold boot, but not warm boot.

Last response: in Windows 95/98/ME
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July 14, 2006 7:12:26 PM

I have added 512MB memory to an existing systemrunning W98. There was 128MB in slot one, the 512 is in slot 2, and the BIOS finds it and tests it during POST. It now also has a second hard drive also appropriately recognized by the BIOS. Drive C: has Win 98 and D: has Ubuntu (which Windows can't see since its formatted ext3). I can't remember the sequence of the various hardware installs.

The system now uses GRUB to dual-boot. Linux boots flawlessly every time and finds all the resources available. Windows consistently freezes after the logon "music" but before the video card changes the display brightness. Basically it's just before the system tray gets populated.

If I wait for a while, and press Ctr-Alt-Del a number of times, the system will reboot, go back to GRUB, you then select Win98 again, and then Windows reboots perfectly. Next time I cold boot, the same freeze occurs at the same place.

I have used MSCONFIG to limit the amount of memory Windows uses to 509MB. I used that number because it was previously reading 637 - ie 640 minus 3, so I used 512 minus 3. I did this based on but I was not getting either of the two error messages described in that article. That did not fix the problem. I have also checked the harddrive, did a deep defrag in fact. I have also tested the installed memory. Both were tested using using On-track's Fix-it Utilities. No errors were reported for either the memory or HD. I've speculated that I might be pushing the power supply, but I can't unplug the second HD to test the speculation as that is where the GRUB boot script lies. However, since Linnux boots flawlessly and finds all the same resources that Windows is supposed to find (and does eventually) I'm not really convinced that it is a power supply inadequacy.

I'm stumped and Googleing the problem has produced no usable results. I'm either using the wrong search strings or no-one has discussed the problem.

Any one with suggestions?

The issue is obviously not mission critical, since I can do everything I want using Ubuntu which can read fat32 drives as well as ext3, and the machine is networked to my Laptop which has XP running. But its JUST INFURIATING.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
July 17, 2006 4:01:36 PM

Well, I figured it out for my self. Turns out, Windows 98 was sensitive to the order the DIMM chips were installed. I removed them all, and then re-installed them. They are now in the order Socket 1 - 512MB (the new one), Sockets 2 and 3 have 64MB each (the original DIMMs - previously in Sockets 1 and 2). Windows is now happy and cold boots properly. Linux of course is happy either way!

Go figure
July 18, 2006 6:45:36 AM

That's Windows for you... especially 9x.
!