Windows 98 keeps locking up intermittently.

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Graphical User Interfaces
Hardware
Microsoft Windows
I have just upgraded my motherboard to an ASUS motherboard running a Sempron 2400 CPU. I have a PCI GeoForce Mad Dog Video card, 256 MB of memory, Sound BLaster Live card and a 40GB hdd. When I boot Windows 98 SE up, it's locking up sometimes before everything is up. Other times I can be working on something and mouse will just freeze up and now move. I then have to power the system off and on again. Why is my system locking up? It never locks up in the same spot.

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You mentioned that you just upgraded your motherboard? Was this the ONLY hardware change or are there other ‘new’ components in this system?

Is this a new (clean) installation of Win98SE after the motherboard upgrade? If not, I would suggest you start there — troubleshoot the OS first. Do a clean boot, nothing running from the STARTUP or REGISTRY –> RUN KEYS, see if it’s a device driver causing these lockups. Boot into SAFE MODE and get rid of all ORPHANED/UNKNOWN device objects. You may also want to go to all plain (default) BIOS settings while troubleshooting the OS install… once you are satisfied it’s not the OS, you can begin to tweak your BIOS settings back up to performance specs.

Also did you do this H/W upgrade yourself? Check all connections on the motherboard, and reseat the connectors and memory.

This is just a start to the troubleshooting required… but IMHO it is a good place to start.

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  • Eikelmt
    Hi... First check out your device manager and see if win98 has loaded all drivers correctly. It looks like a device driver problem. Make sure all drivers are made for win98. Also post modell of your motherboard.
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  • Bobkberg
    When you say that the system never locks up in the same spot, that sounds like an intermittent hardware problem. Previous posters have indicated the need to check all connections and seating. Other possibilities are: Win98 may be an OEM version rather than a generic version, although those installs tend to fail the same way repeatedly. You may have "dirty" electrical power, and this system is more sensitive to it. Are you using a UPS? Or at least a good quality surge suppressor ($25-40 typically). Power strips claiming to be surge suppressors rarely do a decent job. There may be some component in the system for which Win98 drivers were never written - possibly except by the manufacturer. Have you checked the CD-ROM that came with the motherboard? That's my $.02 worth. Bob
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  • Itspec
    Another step you can do to rule out hardware, and/or power issues is to boot with a PE type CD and let your machine run. Do a GOOGLE search for KNOPPIX, it's a bootable LINUX distro that'll boot and run entirely from a CD. You can also get a SUSE flavor, and probably others, from what I've used, KNOPPIX seems to be very popular. Boot from that and test run your new hardware, you should be able to surf, and do some other desktop things... run some downloads, FTP sessions, online virus scans just to let your machine go thru its paces...NO LOCKUPS most likely rules out any HARDWARE ISSUES...and points to a Win98SE installation problem, driver issue, or software conflict.
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  • Joelsplace
    I've had lots of trouble with DDR RAM (assuming that's what you have) try running Memtest 3.2 (free) at least overnight and see if you get any errors. I've had trouble even with high quality RAM like Corsair, OCZ and Crucial.
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  • Sonotsky
    A few people have hit the source of the problem squarely on the head. If we are understanding the issue, ktwinatl, you upgraded the mobo without reinstalling Windows. This is a major no-no; Windows does NOT like to change systems. Microsoft *claims* that all versions of Windows will simply renumerate hardware at boot time, but I've yet to see it work properly, completely, from Win95 and on. If you replaced your motherboard simply to get better performance or any other reason except for hardware problems, I would strongly recommend putting the old mobo back into your case, and back up all data that you do not want to lose; then wipe the Windows partition clean, swap mobos, and reinstall Windows fresh. There is no difference between OEM and retail versions of Windows, except for a nice pretty box and manuals (and perhaps some software goodies). No drivers are missing on the OEM CD. Of course, I could be wrong, but the symptoms sound too consistent with Windows not renumerating hardware properly. Best of luck!
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  • ITeacher
    Previous posters have provided excellent instructions for resolving the problem. I'm simply curious. 1. Did you indeed simply install a new mobo and reboot? 2. If so, have you installed the drivers off the mobo CD?
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  • Poppaman
    I believe sonotsky is correct... As an alternative, you might try (after making sure, of course, that you have a current, valid backup of all your data) stripping ALL device drivers from the OS (through Device Manager), being sure to strip the video controller last, and then rebooting and letting Win98SE re-discover devices. I emphasize ALL, even though most/many components are the same between the two systems, because Win98SE does like to detect devices on its' own, so to speak, and not rely upon previous installations. I have used this technique successfully when preparing a drive for imaging (using Ghost) where the target machine(s) are a different hardware configuration or brand from the source computer. If it does not work, a clean install is indicated. Of course, and as previously posted or at least implied, just because the new motherboard is just that (new) does not necessarily mean it's trouble free. Booting from a CD (Knoppix, Troubleshooter, CheckIt, etc...) and running a 24 hour "burn in" test will server to eliminate your hardware as the cause of your problems. Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress!
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