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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger miladytn's Avatar
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    Loss of communication (Win98SE)

    First, yeah I know its Win98 which is probably the whole problem, but maybe someone can guide me in the right direction. I have a cable connection. A few weeks ago, activity would slow to a crawl, slower than dialup! At times it just would not do anything, even though the activity light on the modem was VERY active. Due to some errors from scandisk and other weird stuff, I thought the hard drive was bad (still do, but thats another story). Replaced the hard drive and for a few days thought the problem was gone. Discovered that the cable from teh modem to the computer was lose and replaced that. But now its doing it again. Now, however, I can restart the computer and all is fine until it takes another fit. I'm using Norton AV and do an update weekly. When Norton does its scan, I get a message telling me the master boot record has changed. I tell it to repair it and go from there. No idea what program might be doing that. Sorry I cannot give more details, but I quite honestly don't know what to ask!! Any ideas are appreciated. Maybe someone asking questions will help guide me to the problem.

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    Re: Loss of communication (Win98SE)

    Where to start? First of all, I don't think it's because you're using Win98. I still have Win98SE & that shouldn't cause the problem you mention.

    You say that rebooting makes a difference. Perhaps you have so much running that you run out of resources. You could run Rsrcmtr.exe to see if that's happening. Did you install anything 3 weeks ago? Perhaps something is interfering.

    Here's a few things in general that you can do.
    1. First, go to start/run & type msconfig & press enter. Go to the startup tab & see what's loading at startup. You may have something that's zapping your resources. I try to load as little as possible. If you're not sure what's loading, go to http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup...artup_full.htm & check out your startup programs. Your master boot record should not change every time you reboot.

    2. What browser are you using? Clean out your TIF (temporary internet files). If you do a search on the Internet Explorer forum, you'll find theads telling you how to delet Index.dat.

    3. Do you have a host file (no extension)? If so, see if you have web sites listed that you are trying to load. You may have incorrect information. Rename your host file temporarily.

    4. Do you have a pop-up stopper? If so, try disabling it & see if there's any change.

    5. Search the software forum for Ad-Aware & Spybot Search & Destroy. These utilities can help destroy spyware that could be causing problems.

    6. Do a defrag on your system.

    7. From Start/Run, type sfc & run the system file checker to see if there are any corrupt files that are causing problems.

    8. There are a number of tweaks for cable that you can find at http://www.speedguide.net/Cable_mode..._patches.shtml. These might improve your internet speed. You might also search the Internet Explorer forum for speed or DSL. I think that R2 has mentioned a couple of tweaks that might improve cable speed.

    9. Oh, also do a search on your hard drive for

    *.tmp;~*.*
    in the "named" box & search. If you have old temp files, it would behoove you to delete them.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger miladytn's Avatar
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    Re: Loss of communication (Win98SE)

    Phil, thanks for your help. I am a cleaner, so I get rid of those .tmp, do defrags, empty caches, etc. Ran the sfc and it found a dll file that I repaired but made no difference. The resource meter was fun to find and run, but its running above 75, even with bunches of programs open and running. Msconfig shows nothing unusual. Like you, I load only whats necessary. No pop-up stoppers, no host file. I have IE 5.0 and Netscape 4.79. I will check out the pacs-portal site and the tweaks you mentioned. I have ZoneAlarm 3.0, turned that off, still the same problem. Turned off Norton, still the same. *sigh* Thanks for your help and info.

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    Re: Loss of communication (Win98SE)

    As a test, I would completely remove ZoneAlarm. I've had it interfere, active or not - and the same goes for other firewalls and software that plugs into your networking. Even though it's not active, it's still hooked in.
    -Mark

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    2 Star Lounger miladytn's Avatar
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    Re: Loss of communication (Win98SE)

    Well, the strange thing about all this is, is that the dang thing worked fine for months. As for a newly installed program, we don't think so. The programs had been here all along. Unless they gradually developed some problem. This is sooo exasperating! But a lot of it is moot now. Today it just "quit." Meaning nothing we could do would get us back on the Internet and scandisk kept reporting an error on the master boot record. After several attempts at troubleshooting, etc. we did a reformat. So now we are adding stuff one by one by one and testing all the way. Waiting to see if/ what/ when a problem shows up.

    But I now have another quuestion. Could this be a hardware problem? This computer was built about 2 years ago and until the recent new hard drive is the original build. During at least the last six months, it has gotten finicky about recognizing CD drive, even the A drive at times! We have 2 CD drives in here..one a burner, one not. At times, the Windows Explorer will not read a CD, or will not read all the files on the CD. And sometimes the same CD will work in one but not the other and then vice versa. Could it be a motherboard problem? CMOS problem? (we reset that back to "normal" or "optimized" or whatever the term is). ROFL, could it be something as simple as the battery? or a fan? Had a fan go bad on an older computer, files just disappeared, slowly, but surely. Techs checked it out, couldn't find anything wrong. We put a $15 fan on the power supply and *magic* it worked again!

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    Re: Loss of communication (Win98SE)

    Corrupt files on the hard drive? That could lead to the problems you're experiencing. If you can't correct the errors, it's time to get a new disk.

    It certainly could be a hardware problem - but finding it could prove to be a challenge, because failing hardware that manifests its symptoms through software problems is extremely misleading. Heat problems tend to start slowly as the machine rises in temperature from a cold boot. Slowly, in this case, is usually a matter of minutes. Once the hardware component fails completely (instead of flaking out) it's much easier to find.

    If you suspect hardware, disconnect everything except for the hard drive, one stick of memory, and the video card. See how the system runs. Add hardware one piece at a time until the machine fails. And, for visual, make sure all the fans are running by peeking with the cover off....it can never hurt.
    -Mark

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