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IBM WIN 98 PROBLEMS, PLEASE HELP ME

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June 12, 2011 3:22:34 PM

I have an old 1999 IBM desktop computer , Machine Type 2158, Model #30 S/N AM75NHD, MFG Date AK917 running Windows 98 that upon turning on the computer, the monitor has all these colorful blocks covering the entire screen on monitor and wont let the system come up so I can use it. I tried another monitor but the same thing happened. You can hear the desktop modem working, fans working okay, just cant get anything up on the screen? I have replace the hard drive back in 2005 and everything was working fine until just a few days ago. Also this computer wasnt ever used online since the new hard drive was placed in it. We just used it for invoices and work repair orders for our auto repair garage. Only new software updated on this machine was Mitchlin on Demand but it was just a demo CD, just enuff to teach us how to make work orders, invoices, calculate expenses, etc. If this computer is shot I need info on how to extract my business files off this computer as this is Extremely Important. I did try a Belkin easy tranfer cable for Windows 7 that a guy at Staples told me would work and tried to upload files to hubby's WIN XP but NO LUCK and now out $40 !! PLEASE HELP ME as I am desperate to get these files ASAP. Thank you for any info you can give me !!

More about : ibm win problems

June 14, 2011 2:18:07 PM

You can return the cable :) 

As far as the PC goes, I would guess a fan died and the video card failed. You will need to open the case, power the system on, and check for any fans not spinning.

The next step would be to go to your local mom and pop store and ask for a replacement video card. They should have one in the back that will work for your system.
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June 21, 2011 3:31:21 PM

CompTIA_Rep said:
You can return the cable :) 

As far as the PC goes, I would guess a fan died and the video card failed. You will need to open the case, power the system on, and check for any fans not spinning.

The next step would be to go to your local mom and pop store and ask for a replacement video card. They should have one in the back that will work for your system.


I have opened the computer both fans are working properly, nothing out of the ordinary inside, no spider webs, dirt, etc that I thought might've made the machine malfunction, I went to Staples and they told me WIN 98 is extinct and good luck finding parts and also refused to work on this machine or even help me find a retail store that will...I will NEVER buy from them again as I have bought all my tech and office supplies from them for yeeeears and spent ALOT of money (thousands) there and they just LOST a GOOD CUSTOMER !! Went to IBM website and no help there either as my machine is too old !! There has to be some kind of machine/software/hardware out in this big ole world to extract these files but I just cant seem to find one...guess I'll keep on looking, but Thanks for all your help and replying !!
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June 21, 2011 4:19:31 PM

I think that your best bet is to find a small computer shop locally - not one of the chains; they are only interested in the latest equipment and hope to sell you more. A small guy will have the knowlege, the software, and the parts to make a diagnosis of your problem. You could waste a lot of time and money trying various things yourself.

It'll cost you, although it shouldn't be outrageous but, as you say, your files are important to you. Whislt you're there, ask him for a bit of advice about backups so that if something does go wrong in the future you have the means to recover your data.
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June 21, 2011 6:36:11 PM

In all honesty, windows 98 is quite old. Its 14 years old! It isn't reasonable to expect help from a baseline center like Staples or Best Buy. Specialized shops like mom-pop shops employ people who should be knowledgeable people and have the ability to help.

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June 27, 2011 3:51:10 PM

You should purchase an IDE to USB dongle so that you can connect the old hard drive to a newer computer and transfer any files you need that way. As for the old computer, look for bulged or leaking capacitors on the motherboard or on the video card (if the machine has a separate video card). Bad caps can be replaced if you're comfortable doing a little soldering... just make sure you get ones with the exact same specs.

If you do have a separate card (or even if you don't), you can still buy an old video card and throw it in... even a PCI card will do since you're likely not doing anything graphically intensive on that machine. Believe it or not, you can still find PCI graphics cards on sites like New Egg or Tiger Direct. Still, you should make sure you copy any files you need to a newer computer... as you never know when the computer will completely fail and you won't have access to those files anymore.
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June 30, 2011 3:13:23 AM

Zoron said:
You should purchase an IDE to USB dongle so that you can connect the old hard drive to a newer computer and transfer any files you need that way. As for the old computer, look for bulged or leaking capacitors on the motherboard or on the video card (if the machine has a separate video card). Bad caps can be replaced if you're comfortable doing a little soldering... just make sure you get ones with the exact same specs.

If you do have a separate card (or even if you don't), you can still buy an old video card and throw it in... even a PCI card will do since you're likely not doing anything graphically intensive on that machine. Believe it or not, you can still find PCI graphics cards on sites like New Egg or Tiger Direct. Still, you should make sure you copy any files you need to a newer computer... as you never know when the computer will completely fail and you won't have access to those files anymore.



Hello,
With all due respect, PCI is a reasonable guess for the graphics card. But a machine that old might have an ISA bus. If it has an ISA bus it still might have a slot for an AGP board.

I agree that this problem sounds like a problem with the graphics circuitry. But it is generally a mistake to throw parts at a problem with out a definitive diagnosis. Without further information, buying a graphics card, even one documented as WIN98 compatible, in PCI or ISA or AGP form is just a wild guess.

A competent small computer shop ought to be able to remove the drive, temporarily install in in another machine and access the important files. A decision regarding repair or replacement of the machine can be made at a later date with more information.

My gut feeling is that repairing a machine this old for business critical files is just asking for trouble. I would say that you got your moneys worth from this machine - time to give it to the kids or donate it.
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June 30, 2011 1:41:09 PM

*ISA or VLB :)  wouldn't that be fun. But probably not.
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July 11, 2011 9:54:48 PM

Looks like a K6/2 processor in that unit... it should have at least one PCI slot... heck it may even have an AGP slot. Any Pentium II / K6/2 era computers will definately have at least one PCI slot.

Ok... just had a look at the specs and that unit has integrated AGP graphics and at least one PCI slot (used by that horrible modem/sound card combo that IBM tried to shove down everyone's throat at the time). So, a PCI graphics card is an option. Seeing as it's an integrated card though, it wouldn't hurt to run Memtest to check the RAM.
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September 1, 2011 2:31:46 AM

Thank you all for responding to my post but unfortunately there is no small mom n pops computer stores located around me and we just gave up, went and bought hand written repair orders for our business. I then bought a brand new HP Laptop just last weekend and have to start all over again but this time I DEFINITELY will have a back up drive for all important documents in the future. Does nayone know where I can donate this old Windows 98 computer as all it will be doing is collecting dust in my gameroom now..also have 2 monitors that are in working condition,just themodem is corrupted I guess? But THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR ADVICE !!
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September 13, 2011 6:11:08 PM

Usually you cant donate computers, because they are really hard to give away especially with newer 2005+ computers getting donated all the time. They might charge a $30+ fee for disposal of the computer at a recycling facility or goodwill.

As of your data I would buy a USB to IDE connector found here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then you should be able to recover all of the data on your hard drive, just because your graphics adapter failed doesnt mean your computers data is toast you know.
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