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WINDOWS TROUBLESHOOTING

Disclaimer - The actions to perform the hints in these documents reflect the steps you would take to accomplish the action in Microsoft Windows 98. The steps vary slightly for Windows 95, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Microsoft seems to change the location of these tools with each operating system.

Editing the registry is for those that KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Guardian Geek takes no responsibility should you decide to edit the registry and screw things up.

WINDOWS 98 DRIVERS BUG
Windows '9x / ME does not install some vxd files in your system directory by default, adding them manually has proven to help for a healthy setup with less crashes. To resolve  20 to 50% of the system errors in any Win9x build, extract these vxd files manually from cab 47 and 48 into c:\windows\system\vmm32 and c:\windows\system\ The following files should be extracted: vcomm.vxd, vdmad.vxd, configmg.vxd, vdd.vxd, vmouse.vxd, ntkern.vxd, vflatd.vxd. Extract these files and reboot. Your system will love you for it.

Note: In Windows 98SE, the files are located in CABs 53 and 54.

This bug in the installation of Windows '98 is not reported or confirmed by Microsoft, and there seems to be some controversy on whether extracting the vxds really improves anything. Judging by the hundreds of positive replies we're getting, it fixes numerous problems in the operation of Windows.

VMM32.VXD is a generic, slower MS driver, build at Windows installation. Some of the drivers needed on your system, including these vxd's are supposed to be part of VMM32. As it turns out, however, it generates quite a few problems with many systems. Extracting the vxd's to the \vmm32 directory provides for loading the drivers separately. It has been proven to fix lockups, error messages at start-up, VMM errors, erratic/slow mouse movement and many others.

To check if you need the vxd's yourself, look in the Driver File Details tabs in your Device Manager (Control Panel > System > Device Manager). If you find entries containing 'vmm32', there's a good chance you need to extract these manually. For example, in my Modem Driver details, I had C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VCOMM.VXD (VMM32) before, and just C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VCOMM.VXD after I extracted the vxd's.

Note: if you're upgrading, rather than doing a clean install of Windows '98, you might have the old, Windows '95 vxd's in your system. You can check the file versions (they should be 4.10.1998) if you want to find out whether you need the vxd's

DLLS REPLACED BY WINDOWS '98
Microsoft's new OS seems to disable third party, newer DLLs in favor of older, baseline MS versions. The Windows setup routine detects newer DLLs (which usually originate with MS and are distributed to competitors for use with its products), and moves them to another folder, installing earlier MS versions.

To fix some of your programs, relying on the newer DLLs, after upgrading check  the Version Conflict Manager, which is buried deep into Windows, and usually not found by users. The Setup does not mention the replaced DLLs either. To find the replaced DLLs, click Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Information, Tools, Version Conflict Manager

Note: To my knowledge, the Version Conflict Manager will not detect any replaced DLLs after the initial Setup of Windows.

Some of the replaced shared files are:

DLL Win'98 ver. Replaced Ver.
cabinet.dll 1.0.601.4 1.0.603.0
comcat.dll 5.0.1600.1 5.0.1601.1
dllhost.dll 4.71.1718.0 4.71.2612.0
msconv97.dll 1997.3.12.0 1997.4.2.0
ole32.dll 4.71.1719.0 4.71.2612.0
twain, twain32.dll 1.6.0.1 1.6.0.3
W95inf32.dll 4.71.16 4.71.17

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