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W98SE boot fail, Msgsrv32, after BIOS update


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#1
IPreferMyMac

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This computer was very messed up so I finally reformatted both drives (but forgot to format the MBR) and clean installed Windows 98SE Upgrade. Had to insert the original Windows 95 CD as well, to verify ownership.

Worked, but seemed awful slow refreshing the screen so maybe a boot virus still inside?

Installed Norton SystemWorks 2003 with difficulty. Keeps interrupting to tell me the virus definitions aren't up to date (duh) and asking to go on the Net to update. Didn't find anything wrong.

Trying to get on the Net to download cleanup software, but it has an external USB modem and I can't get the USB port to work. BUT I remember that at some point prior to re-formatting everything the power light DID light up on the modem, and it was recognized as a device. So the modem is operable. I might have been running Win95 at the time, can't recall.

Somewhere in the 1st Mainboard site I read that this board needed a patch to make the USB controller work with Win98 (it was manufactured when Win95 was current). Board is named "VA-503+" with an AMD K6-2/450 processor.

I figured the patch might be on the CD that came with the board, so I ran its Install and it put several things onto the BIOS.

Then I started getting the Msgsrv32 error on boot, followed by Fatal Exceptions. It appears to Shut Down normally from Ctl-Alt-Del.

Even though I can startup into DOS from the Startup Floppy, and choose "start with CDRom Support" the system will not recognize the CD drives. There is a CD and a R/W CD.

I have a floppy to install the CD drivers from one of the CD drives, but doesn't seem to be written to work from DOS mode.

I've reset the BIOs to Defaults, and tried starting up with the "USB Support" toggled on and off.

Reading the MS tech files indicates that Win98 actually needs some Win95 parts, and sometimes doesn't correctly update the ones it needs to change. Typical kludgy design... So did the BIOS update cause something incompatible to revert to the Win95 code or what? I don't really care, I just want it to startup and run normally. In the amount of time I've spent messing with this POS I could have made enough cash to buy another Macintosh !!!!!

Oh, and the clean install took about 6 hours. Is that normal or is there a virus in the MBR ?
***
EDIT
Found your link to Bud's Win 98 troubleshooting page on another question:
http://wintrouble.net/
I've found lots of the Microsoft references he lists, but Bud puts them in almost comprehensible order.

I started in Safe Mode, but it crashed while I was clicking around in MSConfig.

Restarted, and its crashing in Explorer, followed by Fatal Exceptions; at the moment saying Explorer executed an invalid instruction in VGA.DRV. This is familiar; I saw this sort of behavior before I re-installed the OS.
***
EDIT
Now it gives endless Fatal Exceptions right after Safe Mode is bypassing Windows Startup Files.

Tried again, now the FEs come after a quick blink of the screen after HiMem test.

It just gets better & better, doesn't it?

I can't fathom why anyone would willingly purchase this POS operating system.

Edited by IPreferMyMac, 04 August 2005 - 06:17 PM.

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#2
makai

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I wouldn't even attempt to fix this installation. Just wipe the drive with zeros (low level format), repartition, reformat, and reinstall the OS.

Win95 and Win98 require motherboard drivers to be loaded. These are motherboard chipset drivers. If you have the motherboard drivers, you have to load them right after loading the OS.

And no, it should only take about 30 mins to load the OS... not 6 hours.

makai
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#3
IPreferMyMac

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I came to that conclusion too.

But I need to know
1) How do I low-level format the drive?
3) How do I format the Master Boot Record? I tried format\MBR but it didn't recognize it. Just in case a virus is hiding there.

I know how to use fdisk to create partitions and then FORMAT (using the floppy).

The "newest" tech reference book I have is DOS 6.2, and I don't have DOS on disk or a bootable DOS disk, except the Startup disk I made when reinstalling the OS, but I don't trust it not to be infected with anything that might be hiding in the hard drive.

Do I need to get a trusted "clean" startup floppy from someone? Will a floppy made for a later version of Windows work for setting up the hard drives?

The machine seemed to work fine at first without loading any extra chipset drivers, which I don't have anyway - and I'm sure I have everything that came with the motherboard., consisting of a manual and a CD titled "VIA service pack 9.02."

I had a lot of trouble installing Norton Systemworks. I'm wondering if the Startup Disk expects to find Norton on the hard drives to recover old system states. OR if there's malware which attacks Norton.
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#4
makai

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Find out the manufacture of the hard disk, go to their website, and download their hard disk utility. Most manufactures have the utility to wipe the drive. This will also wipe the mbr and return the drive to a like new condition... well, blank state, that is.

Do I need to get a trusted "clean" startup floppy from someone? Will a floppy made for a later version of Windows work for setting up the hard drives?

You can download the Win98 boot floppy from bootdisk.com if you don't trust the one you have.

The machine seemed to work fine at first without loading any extra chipset drivers, which I don't have anyway - and I'm sure I have everything that came with the motherboard., consisting of a manual and a CD titled "VIA service pack 9.02."

Your Cd probably already has the drivers... and the VIA service pack is probably it, as VIA is a chipset manufacture. You need to load the chipset drivers directly after installing the OS... before anything else. Don't even install the vid drivers until after you install the mb drivers.

I had a lot of trouble installing Norton Systemworks. I'm wondering if the Startup Disk expects to find Norton on the hard drives to recover old system states. OR if there's malware which attacks Norton.

I don't know what you mean by this. The OS knows nothing about Norton until you install Norton, so why would the Startup disk "expect" anything?

makai
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#5
IPreferMyMac

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load Video drivers? Nothing other than whatever Windows uses. I just make sure the BIOS is set to use the AGP card.

WRT Norton, it makes no sense to me either. Just confused.

To load the motherboard CD drivers, what mode should I start in? IIRC the CD only runs under Windows. BUT this machine blew up immediately AFTER I had installed the items on the CD.

I wonder if Norton's Roxio GoBack is a problem when BIOS level changes are being installed?

The problem with downloading anything is that I'd have to do it on the Mac which doesn't have a floppy. And the PC won't support a CD until after Windows is loaded, so burning a CD isn't useful. Aside from that, do I put the utility onto the Startup disk and run it under DOS?

I thought there was a switch for the Format command which would do the MBR?

How long does a 40MB drive take to zero?
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#6
makai

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load Video drivers? Nothing other than whatever Windows uses.

You could use the default drivers found in Win98, but they are not optimized for the vid card. 98 is not known to carry many drivers... much less for AGP cards.

To load the motherboard CD drivers, what mode should I start in?

I don't understand your question. To make it absolutely clear... Once you are finished installing the OS, windows will boot to the desktop and throw up the blah, blah, blah welcome take a tour screen. You can take the tour, or cancel it out. But whatever you do, it is right after that, that you should install the mb chipset drivers.

I wonder if Norton's Roxio GoBack is a problem when BIOS level changes are being installed?

I'm getting more and more confused as to why you keep bringing up Norton. All you're trying to do is install win98, correct? Or is there something else you're trying to do that I somehow missed? Norton has absolutely nothing to do with bios, or win98 setup.

The problem with downloading anything is that I'd have to do it on the Mac which doesn't have a floppy. And the PC won't support a CD until after Windows is loaded, so burning a CD isn't useful. Aside from that, do I put the utility onto the Startup disk and run it under DOS?

Then just use the original win98 floppy you have. It really shouldn't be messed up if you just created it. I doubt very much anything transfered from the hard drive to the floppy during it's creation.

I thought there was a switch for the Format command which would do the MBR?

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Once you write zeros to the drive, the MBR will be wiped out because the disc will then be basically blank. The next step is for you to partition (if desired) and then format the drive using fdisk. You don't even have to worry about the MBR.

How long does a 40MB drive take to zero?

Zeroing the entire drive would take all night. If you start it before you go to bed, it shoud be done before you wake up. HOWEVER, you don't need to zero the entire drive. Win98 typically takes less than 1gig of room on a hardrive... more like 650 megs in fact. You just need to write zeros to perhaps 20% of the drive... which comes to about 8gig. If you do that, you can be fairly certain that along with windows being wiped, you probably will wipe any other data that may have resided on the machine.

So the summary is this...

Dowload the manufactures hd utility and wipe the drive... 20%
Partition/format the hd using fdisk
Install windows os
Install mb chipset drivers

Then you can go where ever you wish from there with other driver installations.

makai

Edited by makai, 05 August 2005 - 11:45 PM.

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#7
IPreferMyMac

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I only mention Norton as an indication that something is wrong. It was difficult to install, and seemed to interefere with the chipset driver installation.

Downloading the HD utility software & then putting it onto a floppy in order to zero the drive would be a major effort, and I'd rather try just reformatting the MBR first, if that can be done using the tools I have.

And if I could get Norton working, I could do a Security Wipe on the drive. Which is not the same as zeroing, but better than nothing.

I don't have any driver software for the AGP card.
TIA
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#8
makai

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Downloading the HD utility software & then putting it onto a floppy in order to zero the drive would be a major effort

The manufacture website will also probably have an .iso image you can burn to a cd that will be bootable.

and I'd rather try just reformatting the MBR first, if that can be done using the tools I have.

Ok, heres a Link.

I don't have any driver software for the AGP card.

Just go to the video card manufacture's website and download the drivers.

makai

Edited by makai, 06 August 2005 - 01:19 AM.

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#9
IPreferMyMac

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The big chip on the AGP card says Cirrus Logic and a sticker says V3.0. Is that enough data to find the driver?

But why do I need to bother - the display works fine, AFAIK?

MBR- oh, its an fdisk command. The source I read said it was a FORMAT command. But it only does the System hard disk, so a virus could still hid on the slave disk. So zeroing is the only way to totally wipe the slave disk?

How come none of the MS tech sheets mention the word Virus? Is it taboo? Their explanations of how to work with things like disk logic structures and BIOS firmware should talk about how malware can be detected and removed.
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#10
IPreferMyMac

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Here's what I just did:
fdisk/mbr
format D:
format C:
fdisk/mbr again a couple times
startup using existing startup disk
attempted to install Win 95 via SETUP,
error, some kind of device problem. Told to run Setup again and choose whatever they call it, the 'try again' mode.

Apparently successful; created startup disk

Upon initial startup,
WHILE INTITIALIZING DEVICE IOS:
WINDOWS PROTECTION ERROR. RESTART YOUR COMPUTER

restart -> same error msg

Since I forgot to delete & recreate the Primary DOS Partitions, I'm going to fdisk them and start again...

TRIVIA: fdisk politely warns me to shutdown & format the drives. But why does it tell me to "exit Windows before shutting down" when I'm not in Windows to begin with? I'm in the Command Line. All I can do is use the power key, unless it wants me to invoke Windows and then shutdown via the Start key. Which seems to be a pointless process.
***

Ok; now I have nothing...

When I set the BIOS to boot from the CDRom, it tells me that the Win95 disk isn't recognized as a boot disk.

When I boot from the Win 95 Startup floppy,and try to run SETUP from the CD, the CD drive letters are not recognized as valid drives.

I have a floppy with the CD driver installer "CD-ROM DRIVE IDE/ATAPI INTERFACE"
however the readme file indicates it wants to modify MSCDEX.EXE; which of course does not exist yet.

MSCDEDX.EXE will apparently assign the drive letter to "Driver MSCD001 unit 1"

Could I add the following to the config.sys file on the floppy-- but I don't know what to specify in the P parameter:

Device = A: actcd.sys /F:mscd001 P: xxx, yy where xxx = IO port in Hex and yy = IRQ number

***

OK, tried adding the Device line to Config.Sys but it kept telling me there was a syntax error in the line.

So I gave up & tried installing from the Win98 startup disk and the Win98SE CD. Process was good until the point where it said it would take about 26 minutes and the advertising splash screen was up. When I came back some time later, there had been a Fatal Exception.

Power off, power on -> back to the Setup screen with a Msgsrv32 error box on top. Close the error msg box -> Fatal Exception.

Back to where I started...

***

OK, tried it with the BIOS "USB support" toggled OFF

Same FE. It occurs in the Setup sequence right after it says its looking for hardware. But there ISN'T any hardware to find. The monitor didn't come with any driver software, the USB modem is not plugged in.

Edited by IPreferMyMac, 06 August 2005 - 05:45 PM.

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