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Troubleshooting Win98

Windows 98 Starts in Safe Mode

Q: My Win98 machine will not boot except in safe mode?

SYMPTOMS
When you start your computer, it may always start in Safe mode. This may be the case even when you select Normal on the Startup menu, or when you click Normal startup on the General tab of the System Configuration utility.

 


CAUSE

This behavior can occur if the [Options] section of the Msdos.sys file contains the following line:
BootSafe=1

This setting forces your computer to start in Safe mode.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, edit the Msdos.sys file by doing one of the following:
Remove the BootSafe=1 line from the Msdos.sys file.

-or-
Change the BootSafe=1 line to BootSafe=0.

To do this, follow these steps:
Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.
In the Named box, type msdos.sys.
In the Look In box, click the drive on which Windows is installed (usually drive C), and then click Find Now.
Right-click the Msdos.sys file, and then click Properties.
Click to clear the Read-Only and Hidden check boxes to remove these attributes from the Msdos.sys file, and then click OK.
Right-click the Msdos.sys file, and then click Open With.
In the Choose the program you want to use box, click WordPad, and then click OK.
Do one of the following:
Delete the BootSafe=1 line.

-or-
Change the value in the BootSafe=1 line to BootSafe=0.
On the File menu, click Save.
Right-click the Msdos.sys file, and then click Properties.
Click to select the Read-Only and Hidden check boxes to set the attributes for the file, and then click OK.
Restart your computer.


Well, seems like several things could be the problem.

1. Windows 98 could be corrupted.
2. A Driver for Win98 could be corrupted or incorrect.
3. Could be a bad or failed piece of hardware on the laptop.

RESOLUTION

If it is 1. I would suggest reinstalling on top of itself. (back up your data or lose the risk of losing data, but most likely if you install over the top usually it does not overwrite any data.)
2. Find out which driver is causing the issue and reinstall the drivers or remove the bad ones via Safemode.
3. Replace the bad part or get a new laptop if it cost too much to replace.


A:

1st, the quick fix:
When errors occur a file called Wnbootng.sts is created in C:\Windows, when restarting computer Win95/98 searches for this file, if found it will boot in the safemode.

I made a batch file, if you call it then it will delete Wnbootng.sts file.

deltree c:\windows\wnbootng.sts

Use Windows Explorer or My Computer to delete the Wnbootng.sts file in the Windows folder, and then restart your computer.


A very structural approach to the problem:

If Windows 98 starts in Safe mode, step through the startup process to see if any devices do not load properly. To do so, follow these steps:

1.Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.Click Selective Startup.

3.Try different boot options. The following table lists several startup options. The options are labeled Boot A, Boot B, Boot C. To use a boot option, click the appropriate check boxes to select or clear them. Follow the instructions below the table to determine the cause of your problem.

                                       Boot A Boot B Boot C 
   ------------------------------------------------------------ 
   Process Config.sys file             Yes    No     Yes 
   Process Autoexec.bat file           Yes    No     Yes 
   Process Winstart.bat (if available) Yes    Yes    No 
   Process System.ini file             No     Yes    Yes 
   Process Win.ini file                No     Yes    Yes 
   Load Startup Group items            Yes    Yes    No 

NOTE: The Msconfig tool cannot disable a file that has the read-only attribute, although it behaves as though it can. To determine if the Msconfig tool has replaced the file you are attempting to disable with a copy of the file, text similar to the following text should appear at the beginning of the file:

rem
rem *** DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE! ***
rem
rem This file was created by the System Configuration Utility as
rem a placeholder for your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Your actual
rem AUTOEXEC.BAT file has been saved under the name AUTOEXEC.TSH.
rem

NOTE: If Windows 98 does not start normally under any of the following scenarios, see the "Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems" section later in this article.

First, try the Boot A option. If Windows 98 does not start normally under these conditions, try the Boot B option. If Windows 98 does start normally using the Boot A option, there is a problem in the System.ini or Win.ini file. To find which line in the System.ini or Win.ini file is causing the problem, follow these steps:

a.Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box type, and then click OK.

b.Click the Win.ini tab.

c.Double-click the Windows folder.

d.Click the load= and run= check boxes to remove the check marks.

e.Click OK.

f.When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Yes.

If Windows 98 starts normally using the Boot B option, there is a problem with a driver or terminate-and-stay-resident (TSR) program being loaded from the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat file.

If Windows 98 does not start normally with the Boot A or Boot B options, try the Boot C option. If Windows 98 starts normally using the Boot C option, there is a problem with a program that is run during startup.

If you are still unable to start Windows 98 normally, use the System File Checker tool to check for damaged or replaced system files. To start System File Checker, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, click System Information, and then click System File Checker on the Tools menu.

 

Troubleshooting StartUp Folder Problems:

The problem may be a result of a program that is run during startup. To determine which program is causing the problem, follow these steps:

1.Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.Click the Startup tab, and then click each check box to clear it.

3.Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so.

If the problem is resolved, follow these steps:

1.Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.On the Startup tab, click the first check box in the list to select it.

3.Click OK. and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so.

If the problem is still resolved, repeat steps 1-3, but click the next check box in the list to select it. When the problem returns, the last check box you selected is loading a program that is preventing Windows 98 to start normally. Contact the program's manufacturer for further assistance.

 

There may also be a problem with a TSR being loaded in the Winstart.bat file (if the Winstart.bat file exists). If the Process Winstart.bat File check box is available on the General tab in System Configuration Utility, click the check box to clear it, click OK, and then restart your computer.

The Winstart.bat file is usually located in the Windows folder, and is used to load TSRs that are required only by Windows-based programs.

Troubleshooting TSR Problems:

The problem may be a driver or TSR being loaded from the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat file. To determine if this is the case, follow these steps:

1.Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.Click Selective Startup, and then click the Process Autoexec.bat File check box to clear it.

3.Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so.

If the problem is resolved, the problem driver or TSR is being loaded from the Autoexec.bat file. If the problem is not resolved, the problem driver or TSR is being loaded from the Config.sys file. To determine which line in the Autoexec.bat or Config.sys file is loading the driver or TSR, follow these steps:

1.Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.Click the Autoexec.bat or Config.sys tab, and then click the check boxes for all non-essential drivers and programs to clear them.

3.Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so.

If the problem is resolved, follow these steps:

1.Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.On the Autoexec.bat or Config.sys tab, click the first check box in the list to select it.

3.Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so.

If the problem is still resolved, repeat steps 1-3, but click the next check box in the list to select it. When the problem returns, the last check box you selected is loading the driver or TSR that is causing the problem.

 

 

If the problem is not resolved, run the Windows Registry Checker as there may be a problem with the system registry. To start Windows Registry Checker, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, click System Information, and then click Registry Checker on the Tools menu.

 

OR:

Go to the Win98 machine and start it up to a Command Prompt Only.

To do so, perform the following:

While starting the computer begin tapping on the F8 key, do so until you see the Windows StartUp Menu.

From the menu, select Command Prompt Only.

You will now be taken to a C:\> prompt.

At C:\>type cd windows

At C:\Windows\>type cd command

At C:\Windows\Command\>type scanreg /restore

Choose a date prior to the problem and click on OK.

 

 

Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems:

The problem may be a Windows 98 protected-mode driver. To determine if this is the case, follow these steps:

1.Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.On the General Tab, click Advanced.

3.Under Settings, click a check box to select it.

4.Click OK, click OK again, and then restart your computer.

If the problem is not resolved, repeat steps 1-4, but click a different check box to select it in step 3. When the problem is resolved, the last check box you selected is causing the problem.

 

If the problem is not resolved, disable PCI bus IRQ steering in Windows.

 

If the problem is not resolved, follow these steps to disable devices in Device Manager:

1.Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

2.Double-click System.

3.On the Device Manager tab, disable all devices under the following branches:

Display adapters

Floppy disk controllers

Hard disk controllers

Keyboard

Mouse

Network adapters

Ports

PCMCIA socket

SCSI controllers

Sound, video, and game controllers

To disable a device in Device Manager, follow these steps:

a.Double-click the branch containing the device you want, click the device, and then click Properties.

b.On the General tab, click the Disable In This Hardware Profile check box to select it, and then click OK.

c.Restart your computer.

4.If the problem is resolved, enable the devices you disabled in step 3, and then verify that no devices are conflicting.

NOTE: Enable devices in the following order:

COM ports

Hard disk controllers

Floppy disk controllers

Other devices

To enable a device and check for possible conflicts, follow these steps:

a.Double-click the branch containing the device you want, click the device, and then click Properties.

b.On the General tab, click the Disable In This Hardware Profile check box to clear it.

c.Click the Resources tab and verify that there are no conflicts listed under Conflicting Device List. Note that the Resources tab does not appear for each device.

d.Click OK, and then restart your computer.

 

If the problem is not resolved, run the Automatic Skip Driver Agent tool to enable any device that has been disabled. To start Automatic Skip Driver Agent, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, click System Information, and then click Automatic Skip Driver Agent on the Tools menu.

If the problem is not resolved, check for a damaged static virtual device driver (VxD) by following these steps:

1.Restart your computer, press and hold down the CTRL key until the Windows 98 Startup menu appears, and then choose Step-By-Step Confirmation.

2.Press Y at each prompt up to and including the "Load all Windows drivers?" prompt, and then press N to everything else. Note that you should make a list of all the items trying to load after this point. This prevents VxDs from loading and VxDs in the Windows\System\Vmm32 folder from overriding Windows internal VxDs (VxDs built into the Vmm32.vxd file).

For information about known hardware issues, see the Hardware.txt file in the Windows folder.

For additional troubleshooting assistance, view the Bootlog.txt file in the root folder. The Bootlog.txt file lists the loading status of all real- mode and protected-mode drivers. If Windows 98 does not start properly, the Bootlog.txt file lists the last driver that loaded successfully, and lists a "LoadFail" entry for each driver that failed to load before the problem occurred.

NOTE: Some "LoadFail" entries in the Bootlog.txt file are normal entries.

Last Update: 17 October 2002