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scrapser

Win98 Installation Trouble (Slow Splash Screen)

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I'm resurrecting my old Win98 box (hardware) so I can play games that do not run in WinXP in compatibility mode and/or are too much for DOSBOX to handle. The quick way to describe this is I have all the hardware I used before and the installation disk. The only thing I changed was a new case, power supply, keyboard, mouse, and monitor. I'm using the exact same mobo, CPU, RAM, hard drive, CDROM, floppy, graphics and sound card that I used back in 2002. I also have the Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition Updates CD which I bought from Microsoft for something like $15 (can't really remember). The important thing is this CD is not an upgrade CD but an UPDATE CD. Between the time I last had Win98 installed and now, the computer was used by a friend of mine with WinXP installed on it. I should also say this is a computer I built using parts bought from NewEgg.

I can provide a detailed list of all hardware if it comes to that but I just wanted to get the ball rolling by describing the problem. During the installation process the computer reboots three times. Each time it reboots and reaches the point where the Windows 98 splash screen appears, the computer bogs down and it takes roughly 15 minutes for it to get past the splash screen. There's a progress bar of sorts that scrolls across the bottom of the splash screen from left to right and it moves to the right maybe two times a second during the entire time the splash screen is visible. This is the only evidence the computer is not completely frozen.

This same behavior also repeats once the installation is complete and I am simply booting the computer. It runs fine once the boot is finished and the shutdown is quick and smooth.

A second issue I have is running the Update CD. It may be related to the slow splash screen problem but that's just a guess. When I start the update CD, it analyzes my computer and stops with a message that I need to free up more conventional memory. I never had this happen either.

The computer has 1 gig of RAM (two 512 sticks). I tried installing with just one stick but it makes no difference. I should also add that I never had trouble before using all the RAM to install Win98 so I'm not sure if this is the problem or not.

I looked in the Device Manager and saw two "!" next to motherboard resources listings. That may be a clue as well.

I did not clear CMOS when I rebuilt the computer so that may also be something to look into. I thought I would start by stating some basic information and going from there. I'm hoping this is not an unheard of issue.

Lastly, I have a high end NEC 24" LCD monitor that has no Win98 drivers. I'm hoping there's a workaround for that as well but am saving it for once I solve the installation issues.

This is my first post on this forum so a big hello to all that read it.

Thanks

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I think some info on the Motherboard is the minimum someone would need to be of assistance.

BTW, to stop the Boot Logo open a Dos Prompt and type

"attrib -r -s -h c:\msdos.sys"

(without quotes), press Enter

type "notepad c:\msdos.sys"

(again no quotes)

Look for "Logo=1"

Change it to Logo=0

if the line's not there just add Logo=0

and, of course, save the file in notepad.

Making a backup of the file before modifying it might not be a bad idea either.

Oh yeah, it occurs to me that it may not be the logo that's slowing things down, might be what's happening in the background.

Edited by Steven W
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I can think about three possible things that may slow down boot time considerably, faulty hardware, not properly installed, wrong, corrupted or conflicting drivers or boot drive with a bunch of very slow sectors where files required for boot are located.

By the looks of it, it seems more likely it is a driver issue and you should fiddle around to try to get those exclamation marks to go away in the device manager.

Also, enabling boot log and analyzing this with boot log analyzer might prove useful to figure out what's going on..

http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Miscellaneous/Boot-Log-Analyzer.shtml

You should be able to rule out faulty hardware if successfully booting from a live XP or Linux CD at acceptable speed.

As for possible slow sectors you may want to test your drive with Victoria, either with the DOS version from some emergency/rescue boot CD or the Windows version from within Windows (unlike stated in the link it runs on Win 98, it just cannot use API mode but PIO mode only).

http://www.x-drivers.com/catalog/benchmarking/hdd_ssd_flash/companies/hdd-911/models/victoria/10903.html

Edited by loblo
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Okay, here are important hardware details. I have included links to NewEgg that give full technical details even though the items are no longer available (nice touch on NewEgg's part I must say).

MOBO = DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D 939

DFI Motherboard

CPU = AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 San Diego 2.6GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket 939

AMD CPU

RAM = OCZ Gold Series 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 500 (PC 4000) Dual Channel Kit

OCZ RAM

Hard Drive = Western Digital Caviar SE WD1200JBRTL 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 3.5" Hard Drive

WD Hard Drive

Graphics = BFG Tech BFGR78256GTXOC GeForce 7800GTX 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Support Video Card

BFG Graphics Card

Sound Card = Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! MP3 + 5.1 PCI

This is actually a brand new (box never opened) card I bought off eBay to replace my old Sound Blaster Live! Value which I had discarded years ago. The box indicates it is compatible with Win9X/2K/ME OS's.

Power Supply = SILVERSTONE DA1000 1000W ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Silverstone PSU

As to removing the splash screen from startup...I'm not sure how this would be holding up the boot process for 15+ minutes but what do I know?

I overclocked the RAM and CPU when this was my WinXP/Win98SE dual boot system. I then gave it to a friend who had their own copy of WinXP installed on the hard drive by a local computer shop. I do not know if they fooled with the BIOS during that time and I have not reset the BIOS since getting it back. Perhaps loading optimized defaults would be something to try. Just a thought.

I know the power supply is overkill. I replaced the PSU on my Win7/WinXP dual boot system with a 1200W Silverstone and thought I may as well use the DA1000 for this box.

Like I said earlier, I never experienced these issues back in the day and assumed reinstalling would be a snap. I still have the utilities disk that came with the motherboard (chipset drivers and such) but have not tried to install anything since I have this problem. Right now all I have is Win98 installed. I will be copying drivers (i.e., graphics card) for Win98 to my second hard drive so they will be available when the time comes. When I installed Win98 I did not select anything from Network, Online Services, Communications, or Accessibility categories so it does not recognize onboard LAN or Internet hardware.

I have to disconnect my primary computer and connect my Win98 box to try things out. I will do that and copy information from the Device Manager so I can include them here later on.

Thanks and I hope this helps get things started.

Edited by scrapser
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Thanks and I hope this helps get things started.

You've got everything you need to get started in the post I wrote above, if you don't understand something or need more details, then ask and someone will answer you.

As for the rest of what you wrote in your last post, yeah I think resetting the BIOS to default settings is certainly something to try.

Btw, are you sure you had chipset drivers installed on this board in the past? I am not aware there are any Win 9x compatible drivers in existence for nForce 4 boards.

Also, try to boot your system with the minimum possible hardware, eg, motherboard, graphic card, 1 RAM stick and the boot drive only and making sure everything is properly connected and see if the problem is still there.

Edited by loblo
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Thanks and I hope this helps get things started.

You've got everything you need to get started in the post I wrote above, if you don't understand something or need more details, then ask and someone will answer you.

As for the rest of what you wrote in your last post, yeah I think resetting the BIOS to default settings is certainly something to try.

Btw, are you sure you had chipset drivers installed on this board in the past? I am not aware there are any Win 9x compatible drivers in existence for nForce 4 boards.

Also, try to boot your system with the minimum possible hardware, eg, motherboard, graphic card, 1 RAM stick and the boot drive only and making sure everything is properly connected and see if the problem is still there.

I plan on doing all that you suggested but wanted to respond with details about my hardware first.

You're right to ask about the chipset drivers. It's been so long I can't remember what I did for the Win98 installation I had. I do remember downloading nForce drivers a few times. Perhaps it was for the XP installation I had (computer was set to dual boot using v-Com System Commander 7).

Another observation I made last night...in the Device Driver list I do not see anything for the monitor...not even the category. In the past I believe it would have the category with "Default Monitor" inside until I installed a monitor driver. I'm wondering if the monitor I have is causing this lagging issue. I turned off all the power saving features so the monitor/hard drives do not go to sleep...also no screen saver. Even so, once the computer has booted up and I let it sit for roughly 15 minutes, the screen goes black with just a blinking cursor. When I move the mouse it jumps to the hardware installation wizard to begin looking for a driver for the monitor.

The monitor is an NEC MultiSync LCD2490WUXi-BK. It's a high-end 24" monitor ($1100 two years ago). Of course I can get another monitor but was hoping I could tie the two boxes together and share the monitor, keyboard, and mouse (plus USB peripherals) using a KVM switch.

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Your monitor might well be the cause then, perhaps you should try to connect another one more standard if you've got got one and see how it fares.

Anyway good luck with sorting this out. :hello:

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When you have a LAN card installed but no cable connected you get about 30 seconds longer boot becuase windows waits for IP form DHCP and waits until timeout which seems to be 30 seconds. IF you are not going to use internet etc. then disable LAN card for significantly faster boot.

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When you have a LAN card installed but no cable connected you get about 30 seconds longer boot becuase windows waits for IP form DHCP and waits until timeout which seems to be 30 seconds. IF you are not going to use internet etc. then disable LAN card for significantly faster boot.

Won't setting it to manual IP addresses solve the problem as well? :unsure:

jaclaz

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I will be disabling unused hardware in BIOS. Right now I'm working on getting an old CRT monitor to test the theory that this behavior is stemming from trying to use my modern LCD monitor. Last night I tried a few things. I discovered if I go through the Add New Hardware wizard for monitors, it finally installs the Windows Default Monitor which you normally see right away after installing the OS. Once I installed it however, instead of seeing the standard VGA monitor listed, I see my monitor by name. But it still takes a little over 15 minutes to boot. I contacted NEC about a Win98 solution but they replied they only have modern drivers going back to 2006 for WinXP and above. I tried installing that hoping it would work. The installation reported success but upon reboot the lag was still there plus the Add New Hardware wizard kicked off automatically asking for the installation disk for my monitor. I tried installing the same driver again and ended up with two listings for it in Device Manager.

With nothing to lose I tried installing my graphics card driver (I saved several release from the early 2000's). Some of them reported they were unable to detect any nVidia devices...others reported being unable to find certain DLL files and aborted the install.

I'm working on getting an old CRT monitor to test whether all this trouble is due to the modern LCD monitor. It seems like the best first thing to work on. I hope to have one today or by the weekend. I'll report my findings.

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15 minutes... that makes me think of bad sectors on the HDD. Does SMART say anything around reallocated sectors etc. ? Have you tried Scandisking the drive (works wonders on XP machines with slow/no boot) ?

That GFX card works fine in some other machine ?

Won't setting it to manual IP addresses solve the problem as well? :unsure:

It should solve that part, but if you're not going to have network / internet you're better off with no drivers active... less drivers, more RAM, faster boot

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15 minutes... that makes me think of bad sectors on the HDD. Does SMART say anything around reallocated sectors etc. ? Have you tried Scandisking the drive (works wonders on XP machines with slow/no boot) ?

That GFX card works fine in some other machine ?

Won't setting it to manual IP addresses solve the problem as well? :unsure:

It should solve that part, but if you're not going to have network / internet you're better off with no drivers active... less drivers, more RAM, faster boot

The 15 minute lag occurs with three different hard drives that I have tried (2 IDE, 1 SATA). The graphics card was working fine when I dismantled the old computer that had WinXP installed. I'm pretty sure it's still working okay. If necessary, I can replace it off eBay...there are actually two brand new cards on sale there now.

Today I was given a brand new, never opened, 15" color CRT monitor. I will test tonight and if everything works...I will buy a larger CRT monitor and be happy that's all the trouble was.

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Well, the monitor didn't make any difference. Win98 recognized it and I installed the driver in the hardware wizard but no joy. Now I will proceed to try the other suggestions to help identify the problem.

A few things I can report....

1. There are two "motherboard resources" with exclamation point tags. One says there is either a missing driver or it cannot be found. The other says there's a conflict and is described as a PNP infrared device. The only thing I can think of that has infrared is my CD drive. It is not from my original setup but is IDE (Sony CDRW/DVDR that I had kicking around). I just now realized this. Perhaps this is the problem. I don't think DVD was available for Win98.

2. I tried to install the graphics card driver but it reports it cannot find a certain DLL and terminates. I will document the exact message the next time I have it booted up. Maybe there's a problem with the graphics card and Windows does not install the DLL as a result. Just a guess.

I will set up the bootlog and hopefully that will be able to shed more light on this whole thing.

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I don't think DVD was available for Win98.

Think again. From what reading I've done, the Nforce4 ultra chipset is supposedly incompatible with Win98. I'm not saying that it's impossible to get working with 98, but I find it difficult to believe that, in the past, you simply ran the installation and it just worked. That said, I note some of the specs match the Nforce3, and drivers are available for Windows 98:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_udp_win9x_4.27

I recommend downloading and extracting with 7-zip (Right-click and choose 'Extract Files') and using the device manager to update drivers pointing it to the various folders (there's 6 in the extracted contents).

Pasted below are the content of Readme.txt from the extracted file:

This nForce Win9x driver package contains the below components:

Audio driver version 4.42

Audio utility version 4.44

Ethernet driver version 4.33

GART driver version 3.77 (WHQL)

Memory controller driver version 3.38 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files

SMBus driver version 4.04 (WHQL) with updated uninstaller files

Installer version 4.45

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A few things I can report....

1. There are two "motherboard resources" with exclamation point tags. One says there is either a missing driver or it cannot be found. The other says there's a conflict and is described as a PNP infrared device. The only thing I can think of that has infrared is my CD drive. It is not from my original setup but is IDE (Sony CDRW/DVDR that I had kicking around). I just now realized this. Perhaps this is the problem. I don't think DVD was available for Win98.

First of all, 98 recognizes DVD drives just fine.

I would be willing to bet one of those "motherboard resources" is for USB 2.0 for which there are unofficial drivers.

If you are using an IDE hard drive I would suggest disabling SATA support in the BIOS.

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