This document is a collection of specific solutions for various issues with Windows 98 and Windows Millennium (ME) including lockups, shutdown problems, and slow response. You should not have to read all of this document. The sections are numbered so that you can easily find the solution that applies to your particular problem.

The Table of Contents is split into two sections. The first section lists symptoms and refers you to the portion of the second section that deals with your symptoms.

Click any underlined link to go to that section. The (Return to TOC) link will take you back to the Table of Contents.


[Symptoms]

1t. System is slow.

2t. Won't shut down.

3t. Reboots when you try to shut down.

4t. Locks up.

5t. Computer with Windows Millennium (ME) locks up before loading desktop.


[Troubleshooting Steps]

1w. New software and hardware can cause conflicts with your existing configuration.

2w. Programs running in the background can cause many Windows problems including slowness.

3w. Tips for improving the performance of Windows Millennium (ME) and Windows 98.

4w. Your AntiVirus program will often cause your computer to lockup when shutting down.

5w. Disable fast shutdown (Windows 98 only).

6w. If you are running screensaver and power management you could have a conflict.

7w. Running Dell Diagnostics will tell you if hardware is causing the problem.

8w. Microsoft Patch and Added Network Cards.

9w. Helpful Websites.

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Symptoms
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1t. System is slow.

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Many slow-computer problems can be solved by removing items from startup. Try removing recently installed software as described in step 1w below and then try using the MSCONFIG utility as described in step 2w . Check out section 3w for tips on improving system performance and section 9w for tips from selected Websites. If this doesn't work you can run Dell Diagnostics as outlined in step 7w to check for hardware failure.

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2t. Won't shut down.

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The first thing to try for shutdown problems is Scandisk.
Click [Start] and Run and type Scandisk in the Open box and click [OK].
Put a check in Automatically fix errors
Click [Advanced]
In the Cross linked files section, choose Delete
In the Lost file fragments section choose Free
Put a check in all 5 squares under Check files for (3 in Win95). Click [OK]
Click [Start]| Shutdown| Restart.
See if you can shut down normally.

Many shutdown problems are caused by the inability of Windows to shut down a program that is running in the background. If Scandisk doesn't fix your problem follow all of the steps in the troubleshooting section in order. They are listed in order of most to least-common cause of shutdown problems.

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3t. Reboots when you try to shut down.

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This is usually the result of Fast Shutdown being enabled. To disable it follow the instructions in section 5w .

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4t. Locks up.

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Lock up problems are usually caused by software conflicts. To trouble shoot try running Scanreg /Restore (for Windows 98) or System Restore (for Windows Millennium) as explained in step 1w . You might also be having problems because of software that is running in the background so try using MSCONFIG as illustrated in step 2w . Screensaver and power management will sometimes conflict and cause lock ups so try step 6w . You can refer to the links at the end of this document in step 9w for more troubleshooting ideas and graphics demonstrating some of the steps described in this document.

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5t. Computer with Windows Millennium (ME) locks up before loading desktop.

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If Windows Millennium (ME) locks up while booting just before the icons and [Start] button load on your desktop you might have problems with your registry.

You can remove unwanted entries in you registry by using the Regedit command.

WARNING: Making changes to the registry can seriously impact the operation of the Windows Operating System. Back up your registry before making changes to prevent disaster! See Windows Help if you need assistance backing up your registry.

1. Click the [Start] button, click Run, and then type regedit in the Open box and click [OK] to open the Registry Editor.
2. Click the plus (+) sign next to each of the following keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Software
Microsoft
Windows
CurrentVersion

3. Click the RunServices folder.
4. In the right window pane, right-click the MachineDebugManager key.
5. Click Delete on the pop-up menu and a Confirm Value Delete window appears. Click Yes.

Restart your computer and it should boot normally.

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Troubleshooting Steps
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1w. New software and hardware can cause conflicts with your existing configuration.

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When your computer shipped from Dell it was tested for hardware and software problems, and it did not have any of the symptoms addressed in this document. As you add hardware and software to a new system you increase the chances that Windows will run slowly, lock up, or fail to shut down. If the problem has just started recently try to think of any software or hardware that you have added lately. Use Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel to uninstall new applications one at a time and test your computer to see if removing them solves the problem. Do the same for added hardware and drivers. Sometimes it is necessary to contact the technical support department for your new hardware or software to enlist their expertise to help you resolve conflicts and configuration problems with non-Dell products.

You should understand that system hang-ups at shut down are simply an annoyance, not anything serious. The only purpose of the shutdown procedure is to write information back to the hard drive. Watch the hard drive access light on the front of your system console. If it has stopped flickering, it is safe to turn off your computer no matter what the screen message may say. You will not have damaged anything when you reboot and can press [Esc] to cancel the ensuing Scandisk. You can also set Scandisk so it won't run after forced shutdowns, if you wish. To do this:

1. Click [Start]| Programs| Accessories| System Tools| System Information.
2. On the Tools menu, click System Configuration Utility and click the General Tab to the front.
3. Click the [Advanced] button.
4. Click a check into Disable Scandisk after bad shutdown; click [OK] [OK].
5. On the File menu click Exit.

PLEASE NOTE: If your computer is locking up randomly during operations, especially if the operating system does not generate any error message and the system has to be forced off with the power button, you may have a more serious problem than those associated with hanging on startup or shutdown. To begin with, you will lose any work you have not yet saved to the hard drive. To prevent data loss save your work frequently while working.

If your computer locks you might be able to use [Ctrl] [Alt] [Delete] to close programs and unfreeze Windows (If you don't know how to use this feature see section 2w ). If this does not work or if your system is not responding to the mouse or keyboard you may have no choice but to shut down with the power button and risk losing some data.

If the problem has started recently and you have Windows 98 try running Scanreg/Restore to set your system registry back to a previous date when your computer was running correctly.

1. Boot the computer and hold down the [Ctrl] key on your keyboard.
2. At the Microsoft Startup Menu select Safe mode command prompt only. This will take you to the C:
3. Type in SCANREG /RESTORE and hit [Enter].
4. Highlight a date using the arrow keys on your keyboard and hit [Enter] to restore a registry that is dated before your problem started.

NOTE: Any programs you have installed since the date of the restored registry may have to be reinstalled.

If you have Windows Millennium (ME) the procedure is a little different. There is a new program called System Restore that can reset your Windows registry to the settings it had before you started having problems. If you use this program you will need to reinstall any software that you have installed since the date you select for your restore.

Click [Start]| Run. In the Run window there will be one white box labeled Open. In this box type: MSCONFIG and click [OK]. When the System Configuration Utility opens click the [Launch System Restore] button in the lower left corner of the window. Pick a date for the restoration that is prior to the start of your problem. When you finish running the program you will be prompted to reboot the system. If you have problems booting after your restoration you can boot to your Windows Millennium (ME) Startup disk and you will get an option to undo your restoration.

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2w. Programs running in the background can cause many Windows problems including slowness.

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Windows 98 and Millennium (ME) automatically load programs when you boot your computer. These programs, which run in the background, will often cause problems. To see a list of programs that are running hold down the [Ctrl] and [Alt] keys on your keyboard and hit the [Delete] key once. You can [End Task] on all of these programs except Systray and Explorer and see if the system performance improves. Please be aware that all of these programs will reload the next time you start your computer unless you make some changes to your Startup folder. This is easily done with the Microsoft System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG).

To troubleshoot Windows using MSCONFIG:

1. Click [Start]| Run and type MSCONFIG then click [OK].
2. On the General tab, click Selective Startup and remove the check marks from all of the boxes below. Note: Some items under Selective Startup may be grayed out so that you cannot select them. This indicates that the corresponding files do not exist.
3. Click [OK] and then click [Yes] to reboot.
4. If the system reboots normally and the problem you were troubleshooting has been resolved you know that one of these items was the cause.
5. Put a check mark back into the check boxes one at a time and reboot. When the problem recurs you have found the source of your trouble.

Note: Slowness problems are very often the result of MSDOS-type real mode device drivers loading from the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files. Most devices do not require these drivers to run and Windows runs better and faster without them. If you have no problems when you uncheck these two files, leave them unchecked.

Once you have identified which item is causing the problem select Normal Startup and then select the tab that corresponds to the file that is causing the problem (e.g. System.ini). On the tab for the specific file you should see a number of check boxes corresponding to the items that are loaded by this file. By removing the check mark for an item and rebooting, you can determine exactly which item is causing the problem.

NOTE: The entries on the System.ini and Win.ini tabs each have a + next to them. By clicking on the + sign you can see what is loading in each section of the file. Lines that have a small Windows98 symbol beside them are necessary for the system to boot correctly. Removing the check mark from one of these lines will load the default value for that line.

Once you have determined which line is causing your problem you can leave it unchecked as long as it doesn't cause other problems. If you notice problems with software after this you can put the check marks back but at least you will be aware of which of your programs is causing the problems. Please be aware that removing items using MSCONFIG may cause some programs not to function so it is best to isolate the one that is causing the problem and recheck everything else except Config.sys and Autoexec.bat (See Note above). If you are, however, trying to shorten your boot up time you should leave as many items unchecked on the Startup tab as possible so you will not have to wait for numerous processes to load. ScanRegistry, System Tray, and LoadPowerProfile should always be checked but most other items can be left unchecked with little negative affect on your computer.

Go to this link for more help with MSCONFIG: http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/document.asp?DN=HO1014939

You can also access this information from the Dell Knowledge Base at http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/

Go to the bottom of the page and click a check next to Specific Document Number and type in HO1014939 and click [Go].

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3w. Tips for improving the performance of Windows Millennium (ME) and Windows 98.

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Your System speed will improve if you don't view it as a Web page. This is controlled in Display properties on the Web tab. Click on [Start] | Settings | Control Panel | Display | Web.

The VCache section of the SYSTEM.INI file is empty in a new Dell, but the section header is there. This state of affairs will allow the VCache to grow very large. To limit its growth, click [Start]| Run and type MSCONFIG in the Open box and click [OK]. Click the System.ini tab to the front and click [Edit]. Add the following to the empty Vcache section:

MinFileSize=16384
MaxFileSize=16384

This limits VCache to 16 MB of system RAM and minimizes slowdown problems due to exhausted System Resources. It will also solve most 'Out of Memory' errors.

MS Internet Explorer (MSIE) generates huge 'temporary' files that are not temporary at all unless you get rid of them manually from time to time. These should be deleted frequently so that Windows does not have to allocate resources to manage them. Click Tools| Internet Options at the top of the MSIE window. On the first page, delete both the Temporary and History files. You may hear the hard drive running for quite some time if you have not been doing this regularly.

Find the Cookies folder and delete the contents from time to time. You can also do this with the Occache folder. If you have very large downloaded files parked on the hard drive and not in use, it is good practice to save them off to Zip disks or CD-R disks and delete them from the drive.

Empty the Deleted Items folders in Internet Explorer (and Windows and Outlook, too)

A drive partition begins to slow down when it is about half full. When it is two-thirds full it may become unstable; you should weed it at this point, and you should certainly not add more applications or data. Once you have made some additional space by deleting unused files and overgrown caches, you can improve access speed by running a thorough Scandisk and Defrag.

PLEASE NOTE: You should not attempt scandisk or defrag until you have made at least a third of your hard drive partition space available by deleting files and moving applications.

To run scandisk and defrag successfully, be sure that there are no processes running in the background. Bring up the End Task menu by pressing [Ctrl] [Alt] [Del]. Highlight each process on that menu and click [End Task]. You may have to do so several times on some processes. End everything but Explorer, which is Windows itself.

Click [Start]| Run| and type scandisk in the Open box. Select Thorough. This may take some time to run. When Scandisk is complete, use the same path to run defrag. Over-ride any advice about not needing to do it and run a COMPLETE defrag.

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4w. Your AntiVirus program will often cause your computer to lockup when shutting down.

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McAfee and Norton AntiVirus scan the floppy drive for viruses when Windows is shutting down. This type of scan can interfere with the Windows shutdown process. Perform the following steps to keep the virus scan software from scanning your floppy drive on shutdown:

When running McAfee AntiVirus:

Right-click the McAfee icon located in the system tray (icons next to the time).
Click Properties and then click System Scan.
The System Scan Properties window appears.
Click Scan Floppies on Shutdown (remove the check).

When running Norton AntiVirus:

Right-click the Norton icon in the system tray (icons next to the time).
Click Configure Norton AntiVirus.
Click the Plus (+) next to Auto protect, and then click Advanced.
Click the box Scan floppies for boot viruses when shutting down Windows (remove the check).
Close all applications and restart the computer.
NOTE: If you are going to boot the system from a floppy disk it is advised prior to doing so to check the disk for viruses.

For an alternate way to disable floppy scan in Norton AntiVirus
Go to this link: http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/document.asp?DN=TT1030679


You can also access this information from the Dell Knowledge Base at http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/

Go to the bottom of the page and click a check next to Specific Document Number and type in TT1030679 and click [Go].

The Norton AntiVirus Website has an update that will fix many of the shutdown problems that it causes. To read more go to the link below or visit http://symantec.com and click on Service and Support and then Shortcut to MySupport Page and search for "Shutdown."

http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nav.nsf/c9193164d07a9a0f8525667a0055a1f1/93182855d99ebe0dc125688700516280?OpenDocument&Highlight=0,shutdown'

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5w. Disable fast shutdown (Windows 98 only).

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With Fast Shutdown disabled, Windows will un-initialize all drivers before shutting down. With Fast Shutdown enabled, Windows will not un-initialize the drivers, resulting in a faster shutdown. The unfortunate side effect of this is that it might cause Windows to hang or restart when you select Shut Down.
You can use MSCONFIG to enable/disable fast shutdown. We recommend trying it both ways. Open MSCONFIG ( See section 2w ) and click the [Advanced] button to access the Fast Shutdown option. NOTE: If Windows 98 Second Edition has the shutdown supplement installed, fast shutdown is disabled by default, and you will not have a listing for this in the System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG).

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6w. If you are running screensaver and power management you could have a conflict.

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You should not have power management and a screensaver enabled at the same time; they invariably conflict. You can turn off power management as follows:
Click [Start]| Settings| Control Panel and open the POWER icon. Set every Turn Off and Standby/Hibernate option to Never on the Power Schemes tab.

To turn off screensavers:
Click [Start] |Settings |Control Panel and open the Display icon.
Click the Screensaver tab to the front and choose None from the drop down list.

Whichever process you choose to disable, reboot the computer to set your new configuration.

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7w. Running Dell Diagnostics will tell you if hardware is causing the problem.

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The vast majority of lockup, shutdown, and slow performance problems are caused by software conflicts. However, if you want to make sure hardware is not the cause run your Dell Diagnostics as described in your computer documentation. If your Dell system shipped with a Resource CD, the diagnostics will be found in the Diags folder.

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8w. Microsoft Patch and Added Network Cards.

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If you have added a Network Interface Card (NIC) to access cable modem services or a home networking system, and removing the card and its drivers solves a Shut Down problem, there is a patch to Windows 98 that will solve this particular problem almost all the time. You can apply the patch and then reinstall your NIC and its drivers. Microsoft also offers several other methods for solving shutdown problems.

Download and install the Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Supplement at this URL:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows98/downloads/contents/WURecommended/S_WUFeatured/Win98SE/Default.asp

You can also access this information from the Microsoft Knowledge Base at http://www.microsoft.com/ms.htm

Go to the Search box in the top left corner of the page and type "shutdown supplement" and click [GO].

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9w. Helpful Websites.

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Troubleshooting Shutdown Problems in Microsoft® Windows® 95 and 98:
http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/document.asp?DN=TT1034155
http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/document.asp?DN=FA1011455

You can also access this information from the Dell Knowledge Base at http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/
Go to the bottom of the page and click a check next to Specific Document Number and type in TT1034155 or FA1011455 and click [Go].


Search the Dell Knowledge Base Documents for keywords such as shutdown, lockup, freeze, slow, etc. To access these documents go to:
http://www.dell.com
Click on support.dell.com and then pick the region you are in.
Enter your Service Tag or Express Service Code and it will give you a listing of useful Dell troubleshooting tools and downloads tailored to your computer.


Microsoft has a wealth of articles about troubleshooting Windows. Go to http://support.microsoft.com/support/search/c.asp and reference articles Q192926 (Clean boot trouble shooting) and Q188867 (Startup problems)
You can also search their knowledge base and find numerous articles on Windows problems


Microsoft has an on-line Startup/Shutdown Troubleshooting Wizard at:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/tshoot/default.asp

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