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Gape

98 SE SP 3.32

2,361 posts in this topic

Ooops, I was about to forget... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Thanks for all the effort you've put into this project! You deserve the best in life and I hope you get it! Cheers! :)

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Happy Birthday PROBLEMCHYLD! clapping.gif

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Happy Birthday PROBLEMCHYLD!

I've been using SP3.1 for a month or so now, with no upsets of any kind. Everything is working as I would have it!

Keep up your wonderfull and most excellent work!

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Happy Birthday PROBLEMCHYLD! Thanks for the update.

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Happy Birthday PROBLEMCHYLD! clapping.gif

+1 :lol:

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Thanks guys. I really appreciate it :thumbup Enjoy the new update.

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The SP3.4 update was installed on my test machine with no installation problems. There was a single red "error" screen that was displayed at the end of the install having to do with "INF Tool Failure", but the exact message escapes me at the moment. The message contents weren't written down, but the remaining process seemed to work fine. For a novice lots of the options during the initial selection process were a mystery. More explanations and pop-up notes would be helpful.

The instructions were followed, and as far as functionality it appears the machine is working fine. The first thing I tested was the ability for the machine to recognize and then install the drivers for a number of USB memory sticks. Every one I tried worked, and all of them were correctly identified during the install process. I have USB drives from 128Mb to 16Gb in size. As I said before, all of them were recognized and installed to a drive letter just fine. Hooray!!!

The only glitch I had was during the attempt to install an external 1.5Tb USB drive. The system recognized the drive name, type, and model, and attempted to install the correct driver, but Windows Explorer (file manager) did not display any additional drive letters nor the files on that drive. The USB icon came up on the lower right command bar, and I was able to "see" a USB device there, but no drive letter was associated with it when I clicked to do a "safe remove" of that drive. The drive letter field name actually came up blank, but otherwise allowed me to safely disconnect the USB device. It wasn't until I tried a second external drive (same size) that I realized the problem might be because at least one of them was partitioned NTFS, so I booted my WinXP laptop and connected to the drives. Sure enough ... both drives were originally partitioned NTFS, so Win98SE will never see them. Funny that the USB icon recognized the drive, though, and allowed me to safely remove something that hadn't been assigned a drive letter.

Observations:

The boot time is now quite a bit longer than before the SP3.4 install. I was under the impression the boot time would be less, because all of the old registry sections dealing with streaming tape drives and other not-installed functions and features wouldn't be called.

The boot process also makes my hard drive sound like it's thrashing around a LOT more than it did before. There have been a few times when I thought the machine was going to either hang or explode because of so much thrashing around of the head mechanism. The machine did hang once during a reboot with a message on a black screen that read, "Windows is rebooting." The only way around this, and after ten minutes of absolutely no activity, was to do a cold boot and then boot into safe mode so the machine could get its head straight again. After that the machine seems to really be struggling to boot, and it takes quite a bit longer than before.

I ran defrag using the existing Win98SE utility, and for the longest time it sounded like I'd brought my washing machine into the room. There was a constant ka-CHUNK, ka-CHUNK, ka-CHUNK for quite a while until well past 15%. I recognized the first part of the process was going to relocate lots of O/S specific files toward the lower end of the drive, so it had to do the bits in smaller pieces, and I wasn't disappointed. Larger and larger chunks of data were shifted around until eventually it looked and sounded more typical. I ran the process a second time, just to be sure everything worked fine, and rather than just whip through the defrag it stopped somewhere around 25% and began to relocate some smaller files akin to the low-end O/S files. Eventually even that was overcome, and the process performed as I remembered prior to SP3.4 installation.

Until I understand why it's taking so much longer to boot, and has such a hard time during the IPL process, I'll be reluctant to install the update on any of my many other machines. There are benefits to using larger USB devices without having to break up data onto smaller devices, but with all the noise the drive is making during boot, and the extended boot time, I'll wait a little bit longer.

I know I don't understand what's going on under the covers. To be honest that's a tremendous understatement. But it almost seems as if the original and updated files are now at opposite ends of the drive, and the machine is struggling to go back and forth to load the original then the new files to accomplish the kernel install.

I'll probably look for or start a thread related to just what's going on during the boot process, file-by-file, so I can get a grip on why the drive is trying so hard to seek from the inner to outer cylinders so much and so fast. Any input would be appreciated there.

I hope these observations are helpful, and I'd sure love to see all the benefits without the slower boot and hard drive thrashing.

For the record I used to do manufacturing installation, field service, and documentation evaluation testing at a corporate facility many years ago. I'm quite familiar with how to test an install routine, and I was responsible for helping engineers and manufacturing technicians improve their processes. Just thought that might be helpful.

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I don't have any hard thrashing. You are the first to report this. Maybe someone can look into this.

It might be hardware problem.

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I don't have any hard thrashing. You are the first to report this. Maybe someone can look into this.

It might be hardware problem.

The thrashing sounds only began after SP3.4 was installed, and the boot process "appears" to have somehow affected this. Of course, I could be mistaken. I'm only going on what I can see and hear, since I don't have any specific O/S tools to see what's going on under the covers during IPL (boot). The specific sounds aren't just the drive accessing the files, but what sounds like a repetitive search for about ten or fifteen seconds after the first minute has elapsed. It's definitely unusual.

For the record the boot (just completed for testing a minute ago) took 2:07 in time (min:sec) until the "Welcome to Windows 98" screen appears. It used to take about 0:48. Am I mistaken in believing the boot process should be quicker after SP3.4?

As I posted over a week ago I'm still willing to do an extensive analysis of the SP3.4 install process, including benchmarks before and after, but I need direction and guidance from experienced and intelligent Win98SE experts. I have a working "original" Win98SE (4.10.2222) install that works just fine on a machine that is fast, and I've also got a few more machines exactly like that to use for testing. I've got the machines, drives, licenses, time, and willingness to help make this an even better product than it already is, but I need help.

I may sound like an eager beaver, but I truly love using '98SE, and I want to see it continue to be used as a friendly and more "trimmed" O/S than others. As was reported in other threads or sites, there are millions of '98SE licenses and machines out there around the world. If I can help, in some small way, to keep them alive and make their owners even happier, then I'm willing to invest some effort.

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As I said, you are the only one reporting slower boot time and hard drive thrashing.

I have read every single post in the SP3 thread. I have not seen the complaints or issues.

If they have occured in the past, they would have been fix by now.

I have even fix the few bugs that was in 98 SE SP 3.0 BETA 4.

I do this sh!+ for the love. If you have a problem I will fix it.

If myself or others can't reproduce the problems then its on you.

Edited by PROBLEMCHYLD
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I do this sh!+ for the love. If you have a problem I will fix it.

Problemchyld, before I continue I want to be sure to express my thanks for all of your hard work to date. Nobody could be happier than I am to see someone like you, and others, working so diligently to keep this O/S alive. I truly appreciate what you've done, and what you potentially may do.

The problems are NOT catastrophic. They are anomalies, and could very well be specific to the motherboard, chipset, drivers, and hard drive I have installed. I am NOT laying blame on the SP3.4 update -- all I'm doing is [hopefully] providing feedback and observations. If I come off as pushy or arrogant, then please accept my most humble apologies. I want only to make use of your (and other's) hard work to keep my O/S's and machines running.

If there is something I can do to aid in an analysis of why things are happening I'm perfectly willing to do the work. As you said, " ... If myself or others can't reproduce the problems then its on you," so I understand I'm just an end-user out in virtual land. Unless someone has an A-Open XCcube EZ65 to test with, then all I can do is offer what I see and report what I find. If eventually I learn that I'm completely alone in these problems, then it wouldn't be the first time I've marched down the street without a crowd around me.

Again -- thank you for all your hard work, the SP3.4 update, and any recommendations you, and others, can make.

With respect --------

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I do appreciate your testing. I will do my best to find a solution for you.

Please list your hardware specs so I can research it. Sorry if I'm aggressive, but thats my character.

I don't mean to be a PROBLEM although I am a CHYLD. Thank you! :angel

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Just to be on the safe side, try to check your hard drive(s) with HDAT2, HDD Regenerator or any other similar tool that can find and fix bad sectors. The thrashing may be the result of such hardware failure.

Additionally, any errors encountered during SP installation may well lead to incomplete installation of a feature or system file(s), thus forcing the system to search for the missing file(s) elsewhere or to gather information over and over again. If we knew exactly what the error message was, we might be able to correct the problem or at least fix it for the next release.

One reason for a slightly longer boot time is the network card loading its drivers, logging onto the network and performing whatever functions it has to. A vanilla installation without network drivers will usually boot faster.

Oh and the failed warm reboot is fairly common (black screen reading "Windows will now restart" or similar). I remember there is a setting somewhere in the registry that disables fast reboot but don't know its exact location off the top of my head. Some tweaking tools have it though. I've done it long ago and still, in certain circumstances (installations/uninstallations/updates/etc) some application may force a warm reboot, leaving the machine in a hung state. That's bad programming, nothing we can do.

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I do appreciate your testing. I will do my best to find a solution for you.

Please list your hardware specs so I can research it. Sorry if I'm aggressive, but thats my character.

I don't mean to be a PROBLEM although I am a CHYLD. Thank you! :angel

No worries. People think I'm a pompous, know-it-all, arrogant jerk most of the time, but they're just being nice. :blushing:

Hardware Specs:

Aopen XCcube EZ65 "shoebox" computer

-- looks like my sig-pic

-- I have 5 @

Motherboard ID: 10/15/2003-Springdale-G-6A79AAB9C-00

Motherboard Name UX4SG-1394 (EZ65)

Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG

EZ65 R1.1 Oct.15.2003 AOpen Inc.

Max System Bus = 800Mhz (according to manual)

Max FSB Clock = 200Mhz (according to manual)

Max CPU Core Freq = 3200Mhz (according to manual)

-- Intel Pentium-4 478-pin CPU slot

-- Celeron 2.4Ghz installed

-- Intel P-4 3.4 Ghz, 800 SB, 512 cache, SL793 CPU on shelf

-- for future use after testing is complete

Intel 865 Chipset + ICH5

2Gb DDR266/333/400 max

-- 2 slots total

-- 2 @ 512Mb 400 Mhz FSB RAM installed

AGP 8X slot

-- Asus V7100Pro64 add-on AGP video card installed

-- nVidia NV11 GeForce2 MX-400 drivers installed

1 @ PCI slot

3.5" floppy capable (installed)

2 @ PATA (ATA33/66/100)

-- 1 @ ST32140A drive installed (for testing)

2 @ SATA

-- 0 drives installed

1 @ Integrated SVGA

-- not used

PS/2 keyboard & mouse

-- both used rather than USB devices

Parallel printer port (DB25)

Serial port (DB9)

Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit LAN (RJ-45) 10/100/1000

3 @ IEEE 1394 (Firewire) Interface ports (2 Front, 1 Rear)

RCA coax port

S/PDIF (fibre optic TOSLINK connectors) IN (Rear) OUT (Front)

AC'97 Codec & H/W supports 5.1 channel sound output

Did a complete, successful, fresh, and easy install of Win98SE 4.10.2222-A without errors.

Then I loaded each of the device drivers in this order:

  1. Chipset
  2. VGA
  3. Audio
  4. USB
  5. LAN

All Win98SE drivers from AOpen site loaded fine.

AGP card installed next, then nVidia drivers.

All okay, and runs very smoothly -- and fast!!!

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What options did you check? This might help.

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Just to be on the safe side, try to check your hard drive(s) with HDAT2, HDD Regenerator or any other similar tool that can find and fix bad sectors. The thrashing may be the result of such hardware failure.

Oh and the failed warm reboot is fairly common (black screen reading "Windows will now restart" or similar). I remember there is a setting somewhere in the registry that disables fast reboot but don't know its exact location off the top of my head. Some tweaking tools have it though. I've done it long ago and still, in certain circumstances (installations/uninstallations/updates/etc) some application may force a warm reboot, leaving the machine in a hung state. That's bad programming, nothing we can do.

One reason for a slightly longer boot time is the network card loading its drivers, logging onto the network and performing whatever functions it has to. A vanilla installation without network drivers will usually boot faster.

Thanks, Drugwash. I've located the HDAT2 ISO files. I'm going to create the CD in a few minutes and then run the tests.

Very well. I'll have to live with the warm boot problem if it comes up again.

I knew the network card slows the boot down considerably, and I'm seriously thinking about removing the drivers and device from my installation unless the longer boot time is understood and resolved. I may just forget using the LAN altogether and rely upon my USB sticks and external USB drive to move files back and forth. That would reduce the boot time somewhat.

Additionally, any errors encountered during SP installation may well lead to incomplete installation of a feature or system file(s), thus forcing the system to search for the missing file(s) elsewhere or to gather information over and over again. If we knew exactly what the error message was, we might be able to correct the problem or at least fix it for the next release.

This is where I think it might be wise for me to consider a completely new reinstallation with all the options identified and documented and then any errors carefully noted. I've got a mirror of the drive just before I did the SP3.4 update, so barring any hand-waving and people jumping up and down I might just wipe the drive after I test it and start all over again. That won't happen until either later tomorrow or Friday.

It wasn't until about an hour after I made this post that I thought of more questions.

-- Is it possible for me or others to check the installation on my machine to see if or how much of the original SP3.4 update was successful?

-- If the machine is thrashing around trying to search for missing file(s) or gather information over and over again, then isn't there a map to determine just how many files got installed, or which ones didn't?

What options did you check? This might help.

It's always better to have a solid basis to establish repeatable results, and I should have written all this down anyway. Bad decision on my part, and I should have been more careful when I clicked on the "Run" dialog box "OK" button.

Thanks, Problemchyld.

The more I think about this, the more certain I am I should punt, huddle up, and then start a whole new set of downs after I get the ball back.

For now here's the plan:

-- test the drive for errors and let HDAT2 fix them if found

-- report results of the test

New questions asked (above) after reconsidering Drugwash's comments.

Will delay the following until absolutely required to eliminate uncertainty.

-- wipe the drive (if okay)

-- push the original 4.10.2222 files back onto the drive

-- install SP3.4 with lots of note-taking

-- report results and errors, if any

Edited by Laser98IX
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Ideally, the SP should implement its own installation log system, but that would require quite a fair amount of work. Tracking down each selected option and acknowledging its (un)succesful installation would easily allow for debugging. If I remember correctly, the defunct UBCD Autopatcher project (thanks Dave-H for reminding me) used to have such logging system, to some extent.

Otherwise I'm afraid it's hard to impossible finding exactly what went wrong and why. A simple failed registration on a dll, ocx or other kind of file may screw a lot of things up, not to mention failed file copy and a possible dll-hell raised as a consequence. Hard to perform file/version comparison as it all depends on the options selected at launch time.

Edited by Drugwash
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For now here's the plan:

-- test the drive for errors and let HDAT2 fix them if found

-- report results of the test

New questions asked (above) after reconsidering Drugwash's comments.

Will delay the following until absolutely required to eliminate uncertainty.

-- wipe the drive (if okay)

-- push the original 4.10.2222 files back onto the drive

-- install SP3.4 with lots of note-taking

-- report results and errors, if any

Your plan is solid. So, let's do the once-over on the hardware, to be able to take it out of our minds.

I'd say:

-- test the drive for errors and let HDAT2 fix them if found

-- report results of the test

then

-- perform a 24h memtest86+

-- report results of the test

if both find no issue, let's move on to a controlled reinstall, with detailed notes taken.

It's a great thing you've made an image of the plain-vanilla install beforehand, so you may just redeploy it, instead of installing from scratch. Besides being much faster, it ensures all repetitions will be from the exact same starting point! :thumbup

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Oh and the failed warm reboot is fairly common (black screen reading "Windows will now restart" or similar). I remember there is a setting somewhere in the registry that disables fast reboot but don't know its exact location off the top of my head. Some tweaking tools have it though.

Yeah, that rings a bell.

Maybe the SP should make the necessary registry setting to fix this? Else I think there was a patch from MS that did the same thing.

Joe.

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Here's an article that includes several links to useful tips related to the reboot/shutdown issue: link

Here is the MS KB 187607 explaining how to disable fast reboot in registry: link

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Maybe the SP should make the necessary registry setting to fix this? Else I think there was

a patch from MS that did the same thing.

Joe.

Here's an article that includes several links to useful tips related to the reboot/shutdown issue: link

Here is the MS KB 187607 explaining how to disable fast reboot in registry: link

Thanks for the links, but it is already included in the main updates in SP3.x.

This is probably why others haven't witnessed it.

Ideally, the SP should implement its own installation log system

What do you suggest? Edited by PROBLEMCHYLD
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The only possible way I see to log the full installation would be a main batch file that launches everything and writes the progress to a text file. This way, we may find which package (or file) failed to install, which file failed to register and at which point during the installation the machine may have hung.

I realize this could be a tedious process, requiring many changes in the SP architecture and unfortunately I am not familiar with the complex syntax that would be required. Unless someone comes up with a better idea.

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lets hope one of these batch Gurus are watching. I don't mind trying make SP simple as possible.

Thanks again Drugwash :yes:

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soporific's Autopatcher produces very comprehensive logs of its actions, and that is based completely on batch files of course.

:)

Edited by Dave-H
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Do Microsoft have some type of snapshot tool. If so, I can include it to take a snapshot before installation.

It will probably slow down installation etc.... Unless there is a better way, I have no ideas :}

Edited by PROBLEMCHYLD
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