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Problems with used PC runnin win98


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#1
ladymalice

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A friend gave me this PC today and i'm hoping to get it working for my 4yr old son. Before I can do anything to it I'd like to find out exactly what hardware is in it. I can turn it on and it will boot to windows, but once window boots there is nothing. No icons, no start menu, no taskbar, just a windows background and the mouse cursor. I can ctrl-alt-del and one prog comes up on the list (no idea what it is), and if it sits for a few minutes I get a mcafee popup saying it cannot check for updates cuz it isnt connected to the net. Other than that there is nothing I can do. Keyboard shortcuts wont open anything (not even winhelp). Upon boot it will prompt for a password, and it will detect the monitor as new hardware which I can go thru to install drivers for and such. Beyond that I cant access anything, not even in safe mode. Tried a command prompt restore and that didnt help either.

Any suggestions on what I can try? Or would it be easier to just reformat now since i'll have to do that anyway. Only thing I know for sure is it has a pentium 3 600mhz...can xp even run on that?

Thanx for any help!
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#2
makai

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I wouldn't waste time troubleshooting it. Just reformat and reinstall an OS. If after installation it still doesn't act right, then you know why your friend got rid of it! :tazz: By the way, did your friend say if it was a working computer?

XP will run on it... how well... well that's another question. Just try it. Just remember that XP is ram intensive and it takes up much more hard drive room than Win98.

Since it's for your 4yr old son, I'm sure win98 will be just fine.

makai
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#3
ladymalice

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Actually she was under the impression it was broken, but she is also totally computer illiterate, and I have learned over the years there is way too much to these things to write them off so easily ;) Besides, I can always part it out if it can't be saved. I had already started to build my son one with spare parts but was missing a monitor and mobo, if nothing else I got a nice free monitor.

The next issue now would be that I dont have any win98 disks. I know how to reformat using my xp disc, but in cmos this pc isnt registering the cdrom, only the floppy. Im pretty sure I still have an ME cd floating around tho. So how do I go about formatting and loading a new OS if it doesnt see the cdrom?
Normally my husband, my resident pc nerd, would take care of all this for me instead of me bugging yall, but he just got a promotion at work and is barely home long enough to sleep. So I appreciate any help I can get...I know enough about computers to keep mine running, but once you take away windows i'm kinda clueless :tazz:

~Malice
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#4
ladymalice

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By the way, while playing around in DOS just now I found that scandisk is clean and it's running win98SE, if that makes ANY difference I dunno, but thought i'd add just in case.
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#5
makai

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Go to bootdisk.com and download the win98se OEM boot disk.

Place a blank floppy in your drive and execute the downloaded file.

Boot the computer in question with the floppy and after you get to the a: prompt, you can run fdisk to create/delete partitions.

When you launch fdisk, you will be asked to enable large disk support, confirm yes.
Once in fdisk, you can look at the options there and create/delete partitions as needed.

If the hard drive will only have one partition, exit fdisk.

Restart the computer and get back to the a: prompt then type c:

At the c: prompt, type format c: /s and the confirm yes to all prompts.

The format sequence will intitiate and once completed, you will be asked for a name for the drive. If you leave it blank, then your C: drive will just be named C: when viewed in My Computer.

As for you CD problem. Do you know if it's just a bad Cdrom? Can you swap another Cdrom into the computer and see if bios will detect it.

makai
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#6
ladymalice

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Yes I can certainly try it, we do have several cdroms between our 2 working pc's. I thought about the bootdisk, but neither of my pc's have a floppy drive. But I guess I can pull the floppy out of the used one and hook it up to mine long enough to create a bootdisk.

I'm gonna go work on all this and I'll be back if something goes wrong :tazz:

Thanx again for the help!

~Malice
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#7
makai

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By the way, check the jumper on the "suspected" bad CDrom when you pull it out and ensure the CDrom you are going to use as a replacement has it's jumper set in the same place.

Yah... that's the problem with new computers nowadays... they never come with a floppy! I hate that! :tazz:

makai
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#8
ladymalice

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Well I built my pc from scratch, and a floppy was an optional couple of bucks saved ya know. And until now I never needed one *shrugs*:tazz:
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#9
makai

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Well, good luck and have fun! Please post back on your progress and let me know how it goes.

makai
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#10
Tyger

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Maiki is helping you and doing a good job but there is one thing I'd like to put in here. Many computers with 98 already have all the files they need for a reinstallation on the hard drive. They are of course the cabinet files. They will generally be either in a folder in C: called win98, or Install, or in C:\windows\options\cabs. Sometimes the cabs folder is just used for minimum repair files. You may be able to navigate to those locations in DOS and see if you have the cabinets there. The other item you need is your product key which is generally on the Getting Started book or the computer case. If you can get it to work in safe mod you can find the PK in the registry too.

Good luck, have fun.
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#11
ladymalice

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It seems the CDrom was no good. Once I got a good one hooked up and installed some more ram I had laying around, I was able to format and install xp. For a p3 600mhz it runs very nicely and my son is so excited! Not bad for a free computer :tazz:

Thanx for the help, you guys rock!

~Malice
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