February 08, 2006

Furious George. Win98 problem -- I tried to keep from posting here.

I'm running Win98 on a Compaq Armada PII 128ram laptop. I recently had some headaches with a PXE-E05 error, but I got that all fixed up. Now, however, I have a new problem: When I try to open "My Computer" (or any folder), I must wait 3-4 minutes. I can open programs lickety-split, but "MC" takes forever. I've run 2 kinds of antivirals. I've pared down the startup items. (In fact, as you'll see in the first link there, I've had the same problem when starting up with ALL items unchecked -- and yet when in Safe Mode, the window opens right away.) I generally hate when people post Windoze problems here, since there are other more appropriate forums. But I've tried them, and I can't seem to get any help. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer.

  • I *hate* Compaqs. You may save time and effort by simply reformatting now (after backing up the important stuff in safe mode). By the time you spend two hours trying to diagnose something, you're almost better off just getting the format and reinstall over with. Theres might be a device driver, maybe even one of those "make sure the CD isn't pirated things" thats silently been installed. They are terrible to remove. Or perhaps a DLL conflict. Regardless, I can't, and I doubt most people can diagnose a problem like this remotely, unless its a common problem they've seen before.
  • Get a mac. Well. someone had to say it. it's like a law, right?
  • Could there be something funny with your drives? I know that on my (quite old) XP machine takes forever for My Computer to come up if there are any disks in the CD-ROM drives. Are all your "removable media" drives empty?
  • Hey, Nick - should I take the bus to get that Mac?
  • I'm running win98 also but never seen this problem. I agree with Mord, it's time for the big Format.
  • I just realized: I've been running win98 for 8 years now. How about that?
  • scartol, I just bought a used Compaq laptop and I was planning on putting 98se on it, I hope I'm not heading for the same thing... I've seen this kind of behavior on laptops before, and chimaera touched on it. If you have the type of laptop where you can swap out the CD drive for a floppy drive, when you open the "My computer" level folder, it tries to load each of the drives on your PC. If it has seen both the floppy and the CD before, it tries to load both of them, but one of them doesn't exist, and Windows will try for a long time before giving up on the drive and finally displaying the folder. You would probably see this same behavior when you tried to save a file from an application and in the file dialog box, tried to navigate to the "my computer" folder. It was a long time ago, but I think my solution was, since I didn't use the floppy very often, I left the CD drive in the laptop and then in the device manager, disabled the floppy drive for the profile. Then if I needed the floppy, I'd have to go in and uncheck that box and disable the CD-ROM. There's probably a more elegant solution, but I think that worked for me.
  • Because it's so helpful, what Nick said... (and I mean that without a lick of sarcasm) Scream it from the mountain tops!!!!
  • Do you have any network drives in the My Computer folder?
  • Good call, if that fixes it rjd. Man I hate compaqs.
  • and 98
  • Pretty much what has been said - the only difference between My Computer and any program / folder is that it's looking for any attached drives and seems to be unhappy about what it's seeing. If it's been awhile, maybe a format is the way to go. Besides you don't know what you've got til it's gone, right? Otherwise, you may just want to focus on device manager or maybe BIOS and try turning off things until it's happy again. Any advice is strictly given on a fuck-if-I-know basis and may not be the property of the author, or even very sensible, but my dog thinks I'm cool.
  • "I'm very new to Windows, so I don't feel at all comfortable playing with such things, especially since I'm running 98SE." I hear you. Hot-swappable items and 98 don't play well. You're not in XP territory though, not with the age of the hardware. Any possibility of putting 2000 on the thing, perhaps? Odds are you know someone who has upgraded and doesn't need that old Win2k OS disk any more. Not that trading your software is condoned by Microsoft, but if you can obtain a copy by reasonably legal means try doing a dual boot to see if it fixes things. So long as 2000 works fine, you can then uninstall 98 and still run Windows on the laptop. 2000 also has the advantage of properly supporting USB, newer drivers, and better networking, especially if you need to share resources with XP machines. If that isn't an option, I'm assuming that you have a laptop that came with 98 installed, and probably has someone else's cruft remnants scattered about. In which case back up your own data and then wipe the drive, then do a clean install. If at all possible download some sort of software firewall (like ZoneAlarm or anything else free - ZoneAlarm is a major resource hog so see if you can find an alternative) before you wipe the computer. Install the firewall before plugging it into the network for the first time post-reinstall, then do all your relevant security patches and updates.
  • Cruft is a good word.