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Win98 crashes when searching the web

brabason
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: 09-08-2007

Win98 crashes when searching the web

When I search the web using Google or any other search engine, my Win98 PC crashes hard (no blue screen, reboots without closing windows, causes scandisk to run on reboot). This is a new problem that did not happen before.

My configuration is broadband access through a SAR130 on my network hub. Access to PlusNet is good. Network access to my other XP systems is good. The SAR130 is set up as the DHCP server, NAT is active. Win98 is updated regularly. Firewall is Norton Internet Security 2001.

Can you give any idea what might be causing this? Sad
8 REPLIES
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Win98 crashes when searching the web

Two main possibilities are a virus (MSBlaster would cause reboots) or a hardware fault such as overheating CPU or faulty memory, hard disk, video card etc.

First, make sure you have a virus scanner installed with tha latest definition files and run a system wide scan.
Secondly, if .chk files are created by scandisk, check them out with notepad/wordpad and see if they appear to be the same file. This could indicate a hard disk fault.

The fact it happens when using a search engine could be pure coincidence.
brabason
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: 09-08-2007

Win98 crashes when searching the web

Thanks for the prompt reply!

NIS (Norton anti-virus) is fully up to date (LiveUpdate) and I ran a virus scan this evening without problems. So perhaps this is OK?

Every crash includes a reboot with automatic DOS Scandisk, no errors reported. What directory are the scandisk .chk files in?

I installed Spybot S&D on this machine and ran it tonight (after online update). Not much found by way of spyware etc. Full immunise options selected.

Norton SystemWorks used to check the system including WinDoctor, DiskDoctor and Cleansweep check on ActiveX, cookies etc. , no problems to report.

Tried the Google search on the PlusNet portal: just clicking GO caused the system to crash. All other web based activity is OK. ALL search engines cause a crash.

Do you know any other tools I might use to search for the cause of the problem?
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Win98 crashes when searching the web

.chk files are only created if unclosed files are found by scandisk. They will be in the root directory of the drive. You may need to choose "view all files" in view options for folders.
Your problem indeed seems strange. From your explanation, I do not now think it could be hardware. However, I cannot think what else to try apart from other spyware and trojan killers. Try Lavasofts Adaware http://www.lavasoft.nu/
also try on of the online free Virus scanners such as http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
Look in task manager to see if anything strange is running in the background.
brabason
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: 09-08-2007

Win98 crashes whrn searching the web

The problem is between my SAR130 and my Win98 PC (my XP systems are OK).

I used my 56Kbps dialup modem to connect form my Win98 PC and used all the search engines possible: everything went OK. I switched back to broadband access through the SAR130 and the problem returned with a vengence.

This makes me think that there is a compatibility problem between the Win98 PC and the SAR130. This was not always the case: when I first set the system up, everything was OK. I then started to tweak my SAR130 configuration to make full use of its features.

I have chosen DHCP with NAT because ICS is no longer available to link my PCs together. DNS is also provided by the SAR130. Firewall Attack Protection and DOS Protection are enabled. Unless I goofed, everything else is at the default settings (apart from the PlusNet connection stuff).

Can you give me a clue where to look in my SAR130 or my Win98 configuration?
N/A

Win98 crashes when searching the web

The router should not cause a crash to the operating system. It is its own stand alone system.
Latest guess, and it is a guess as I have never heard of this sort of problem before, is your Firewall, the data rate is too high for the software/CPU speed to cope.
I have never been a fan of Norton and will have no Norton stuff on my PC due to incompatability problems in the past.
Turning off the Norton firewall may not prove anything, as Norton has the habit of becoming so tightly integrated with the OS as to still be active (Look for symantec processes running).
If you feel like trying, uninstall Norton and remove any trace, then install Zone Alarm (free version, not plus or pro)
http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp?lid=pdb_za1
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Win98 crashes when searching the web

I've seen reports of ZoneAlarm still hanging around when uninstalled but found Norton (Internet Security 2002 anyway) does as directed without problems. Norton Antivirus on Win98 did seem to insist on dialing out on startup, but I assumed it felt a need to be registered.

Having Norton and ZA installed at the same time would be a bad idea though.
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Win98 crashes when searching the web

Zone Alarm leaves lots of history files around when it is uninstalled. The main programme files and the hook dll are all uninstalled.
Similarly, Norton leaves bits of Symantec and live update files about, but none are accessed.
There is absolutely no point in having two software firewalls installed. Similar goes for Virus scanners, it'll only slow your system down and could cause crashes as both systems compete for the file and processor time.
brabason
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: 09-08-2007

Win98 crashes when searching the web

Good news and thanks Honda for your help!

It was indeed Norton Internet Security (2002) that was the problem. When I uninstalled it, searches were OK again. I must have set something up wrong when tuning the firewall for always-on broadband.

Agreed, Norton has higher overheads than other firewalls, but better the devil you know and all that. I prefer the integrated nature of Norton's features and I know how it works (most of the time!).

By the way, if like me you don't like automatic LiveUpdate running every four hours, switch it off and run LiveUpdate manually once a day when convenient.

FIY I tried to install NIS 2004 on my Win98 PC, an aging but beautiful Pentium II machine with stacks of RAM. It ground almost to a stop, NIS 2004 is definitely designed for the fast breed of new kit on the block.

I am now running NIS 2003 and all is well :lol: