Slow boot WIN 98 SEII

Ok... lets see if I can accurately describe the symptoms and if some kind soul knows how or where to start with this.

Seems like one of my wife's sons has a small machine:

500Mhz processor
128Mb memory
40Gb HDD
Old Nividia vidio card

OS is WIN 98 SE II.


From a cold boot; power on; or OS restart it takes the system some 30 minutes to come to the point where you can actually use the machine!

Here's what I've done:

1) installed Norton and found 5 viruses ( DUH! )
2) obtained VoptXP and put up a 500 MB Fixed swap file at the begining of the drive.

No change, however I did notice on one of Vopt's restarts the system was up in about 2 minutes... I suspect it was when the program had taken out all the startup links.

I've been wondering if there is some software on this system that wants to access a network and tries and tries and tries for say 20-30 minutes before a timeout occurs, yet I can't seem to find anywhere that has an INI type file that has any timeout setting's I can adjust.

Anyone got any ideas on how to deal with this or where to start?

Thanks in advance for any and all assistance.

<font color=red>When you smoke your CPU, what kind of papers do you use? :eek:
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  1. <A HREF="" target="_new">Slow Windows 98</A>

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Ways to Keep your Windows Computer Running Optimally</A>

    My suggestion would be to obtain a disk utility from the hard drive manufacturer's website and Low Level Format (or Erase) the disk. This will remove all data, and mark any bad sectors that may exist on the hard drive. If there is a boot sector virus in the computer, this procedure will also remove the virus.

    Then re-partition the hard drive with a Win98SE <A HREF="" target="_new">boot disk</A> and the included <A HREF="" target="_new">FDISK</A> utility, formatting the partitions, and reinstalling the operating system. I would suggest a 10GB, active, primary DOS partition for the operating system, and a 30GB logical drive for all other personal files and documents, such as games. This will allow you to isolate the system partition that contains the operating system, and back it up much more easily.

    It is my personal opinion that an operating system should be installed in the first, active partition on a hard drive, and that having a partition set aside for nothing but the swap file on a single disk Win9x system is not necessary ... especially with a size of 500MB. Very few programs will ever require that much virtual memory. The system would benefit far more from upgrading to an operating system such as Window XP, and adding another 128MB of RAM or more.

    Note: Microsoft recommends a swap file size that is 1.5 times the size of the physical memory in the system. However, I think it is better to manually determine the size needed for particular system, as described in this link:

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Optimizing Windows 98/Me</A>

    A computer like this one can really benefit from a clean installation of the operating system, at least every other year. This removes orphaned files, compacts the Registry, and eliminates nearly all problems that are software-based.

    Backing up the system partition is an easy task with a program like <A HREF="" target="_new">Drive Image 2002</A>. With this program in hand, after the operating system has been reinstalled; all the updates from Windows Update applied, the newest drivers for the hardware and mainboard chipset downloaded and installed, and finally, with all the personal settings and preferences restored, you can create an image and place it on CD-R disks. Afterwards, you can use the image to reinstall the operating system, with a minimum of effort. The image can also be stored on the second partition created on the hard drive, for yet another way to restore the system.

    If the computer does not have a CD-RW optical drive, I'd recommend making the purchase. These devices are not that expensive ... in most cases, under $50.00 ... and that's for a top-of-the-line component.

    This might seem like much more work than you had planned to fix the issue with the computer, and I can appreciate that. But if the operating system has been on the computer for a couple of years or more ... with this slow boot problem, and after finding several viruses, it appears to me that the best solution, for the absolute best results, would be to start over from scratch. Plus, the disk utility can test the disk, and discover if there are any problems that can be corrected.

    Here is a link to an article I have written about the use of Drive Image 2002:

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Imaging FAQ - Drive Image 2002</A>

    And another link that will help you get the most performance out of the system, if you wish to continue using Win9x:

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Tweaking your System Memory</A>

    This website can help you identify many problems with a system:

    <A HREF="" target="_new">PC Pitstop</A>

    I can direct you towards the disk utility if you know the brand of the hard drive.

    Final Comments:

    1.) If you choose use the FDISK utility to remove the partitions on the hard drive, the removal sequence <i>must</i> be:

    Logical, Extended, Primary DOS.

    2.) The best command for formatting a system partition with Win9x is FORMAT x: /s. (With "x" being the drive letter, and a space between the colon and the slash.) The "/s" switch will transfer needed system files onto the partition from the floppy disk. It is not necessary for extended partitions or logical drives ... or 32-bit operating systems like Win2K or WinXP.

    3.) The easiest way to choose the size of a partition when running FDISK is by typing in a number and a percent sign, such as 25%. That's just a tip.


    <font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
    <font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>

    <font color=purple>"Some push the envelope. Some just lick it. And some can't find the flap."</font color=purple>
  2. if your going to do what the above person said, make sure you fdisk the mbr (master boot record.)
    in the dos prompt type: fdisk /mbr

    this will clean the virus out of your boot record. :smile:

    <font color=red>name:magic birthday:6/11/84 death:24/12/06 </font color=red>
  3. so would low level formatting :wink:

    <font color=blue> If it ain't broke, don't fix it...tweak it.</font color=blue>
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