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Computer freezes after clean install

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I have an older Windows ME machine that was brought to me that had a bunch of viruses/spyware and would freeze up all the time. So I just reformatted it and put Windows 98SE on it. When it loads, it freezes within 5 minutes. The only way it doesn't freeze is if I boot to Safe Mode. I even tried the "diagnostic startup" under msconfig but still no luck. Some of the devices (video and network) are coming up as "Unknown" in the System properties but even when I disable them it still freezes. I try to update the drivers to the necessary ones but everytime I try to it I can't make it in time before it freezes up. So I reformat again and this time I try to use Windows ME and it still freezes. I am all out of ideas.
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I would start by cleaning out the inside of the computer. Heat can be a real issue with computers making them unstable. When you open the case turn the power on for a few moments and check to see that all the fans are running. On that old of a computer you will probably only have a power supply, CPU, and case fan. If it is a Dell or Compaq the case fan may serve double duty as the processor fan also. Check the heat-sink on the processor and make sure it is not matted with trash. If you do not have to do not remove the heat-sink from the processor. If you do remove it be sure to apply a thin coat of thermal paste, available at most computer stores.
You will also want to replace the BIOS (motherboard) battery. These fail every 2 to 5 years and also can cause erratic behavior with in your PC. About $4 at Walmart.
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