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Registry / Startup Problems, Possibly...

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Hardware » ...All the Rest » Registry / Startup Problems, Possibly Bad Motherboard?? « Previous Next »

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Damon Williams
Posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 11:54 am:   

Sorry if this post is in the wrong area but it is neither-here-nor-there kind of topic......!

Okay, the problem started a few days ago after my computer crashed and shut down with an illegal operation. So I shut it down and decided to take the chance to install some RAM I obtained off a friend of mine. (2 X 8MB SIMMS to 4 X 16MB SIMMS)

So I formatted and re-installed Windows 98 to start off fresh again.

After installing minimal software that I had no problems with before, the computer would shut down with an illegal operation after a few restarts of the computer.

I immediately thought that it could be a bad stick of RAM so I removed the new RAM and re-installed the old RAM to fix the problem.

But the problem persisted. No matter if I install Windows 95 or 98, it keeps on giving an illegal operation and if i do finally get it started, most of the time it crashes in Win95 saying it has got a illegal operation in Explorer.exe, or in Win98 it goes to the desktop and says there is problems with the registry, fixes it on reboot, then crashes, unable to be recovered.

Even after I format and restart with a boot disk, re-plug IDE cables etc, the problem eventuates again after a few restarts.

I "googled" these keywords but had no real sucess and checked out other sites, including this one for similar symptoms but with no success.

My only thoughts are that it HAS to be hardware related as the computer has had all this software installed before with no problem until the last few days.

My thoughts are that the motherboard has worn out, but interestingly, it seems to work fine when playing DOS games in a pure DOS environment.

So this is a real pickle I'm in without any money to purchase another motherboard at the moment but I need my computer as it is nearly exam time for me!

It is also possible, I guess, that the hard disk or another component is at fault. I have defragmented and scandisk surface scanned it but no result. I'm sure that you can imagine that not knowing the actual cause is almost as annoying as the problem itself!

Thanks for your time and patience and any help/advice anyone can send my way will be greatly appreciated.

Yours Sincerely,

Damon Williams
Pentium 120 mHz
16MB RAM (trying for 64mb RAM)
1.2 GB HDD
Posted on Friday, October 17, 2003 - 10:24 pm:   

Registry errors are often related to memory or incorrect memory timings. Check your cmos setup for items directly related to memory and timings and CAS and RAS delays. Set them to conservative values (higher numbers = slower settings).
With a system as old as yours you might want to consider getting a can of compressed air and blowing out all the memory slots, you mave have accumalated alot of dust and debris over time, which can impair memory contacts.
Damon Williams
Posted on Sunday, October 19, 2003 - 10:11 am:   

Thanks for your helpful reply E.S.

Knowing little about bios/cmos settings I will now attempt to set more conservative levels, but I was reluctant to do it by myself until now, as I was afraid of burning out the RAM if I set it to unsuitable settings.

And also, you are right, it is a dusty little spider hole in there. I have cleaned the slots with a fine brush now, but if I can get my hands on some compressed air I will do that as well.

Thanks again for your help here, it is much appreciated.

Yours gratefully,

Damon Williams.
Damon Williams
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 11:19 am:   

Okay, seems to be working after a little house keeping inside the box.

Still makes me wonder, even if the RAM connections were dodgy, why that would result in registry corruption??

Anyway, problem solved, now to tinker with the RAM settings again to see what I can do....
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 12:25 am:   

In windows operating systems everything that can be cached in ram will be until it needs to move to the virtual memory (hard drive)If good data is moved to the memory and than the memory has issues and botches the data up than when data is moved back to the hard drive and stored basically it's garbage in garbage out.

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