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w98se setup -- Bad Fault in MS-DOS Extender
diletante May-15-00 08:28 PM
I am rebuilding a computer, and while I was at it, I decided to upgrade to W'98se. Setup crashes giving me the cryptic "Bad Fault in MS-DOS Extender" message. I have tried a few things suggested in the setup.txt file and tried some other things that seemed either reasonable or futile.

The thing that has bugged me from the start is that the instructions say to make a W'98 startup disk from W'98se, and then run setup to install W'98se. Hello? The best I could do was a startup disk made with W'98 (not second edition). So I am using that bootable floppy and the upgrade CD.

Anyway, here is the hardware configuration:
-new Epox MVP3C2 motherboard
-old K6-2/300 CPU
-new 64 MB DIMM
-old nvidia Mach 64 video board
-new WD 13GB hard drive
old Mitsumi CDROM drive

Software situation is this:
-nothing installed
-hard drive partitioned with Partition Magic
-FAT32 and Ext2 partitions for W'98 and Linux

I have tried:
- enabling double buffering
- using EMM386 and not using it (per setup.txt instructions)
- creating W98Flat and copying the files to the hard drive, then running setup from there
- writing my own, very plain config.sys and autoexec files
- cursing
- changing parameters in the BIOS including DIMM speed, HDD S.M.A.R.T., and A20 control
- booting from the CD (it's the upgrade and so not bootable apparently)

I have some more ideas to try, like repartitioning and formatting under DOS, but if someone could save me a few hours, I would be most grateful.

Thanks in advance.

1. RE: w98se setup -- Bad Fault in MS-DOS Extender
lbyard May-15-00 09:02 PM
In response to message 0
LAST EDITED ON May-15-00 AT 09:10 PM (GMT)

I would start over. Larry

2. RE: w98se setup -- Bad Fault in MS-DOS Extender
lbyard May-15-00 09:20 PM
In response to message 0
I would also not use PM to part the hard disk. To be sure that you have removed all of the garbage, you may wish to write all zeros to the drive with WD’s Data Lifeguard Online Diagnostics from http://www.wdc.com/service/lifeguard/dlg_welcome.html. Don't work too late; I'm going home and garden. Larry

3. That worked! Next question . . .
diletante May-16-00 05:48 PM
In response to message 2
I downloaded the Western Digital tools and wiped the hard drive. After reformatting entirely in FAT32, I used a W'98se startup disk to run setup from. It worked very smoothly. If I wasn't in a hurry, I would have tried it with the W'98se boot disk first, without reformatting, to see if that was the real problem, but I was much more suspicious of the hard drive, so I just did the whole thing.

I was just getting ready to put in some of the hardware and load drivers, but Windows won't shut down. It goes to the shutting down screen and hangs every time. It will do a restart. Got any ideas about this? My machine at work does the same thing intermittantly.


4. RE: That worked! Next question . . .
lbyard May-16-00 07:52 PM
In response to message 3
Click Start Help>Web Help and go to Microsoft's site and get the shutdown fix for Win 98SE. The problem usually results when you do not have Power Management Enabled in CMOS, but there is a long list of other things which can cause it. Microsoft fixed this problem in Win 98 and removed the fix in Win 98 SE??? Larry

5. RE: That worked! Next question . . .
diletante May-17-00 03:18 PM
In response to message 4
OK. I found the web site, but now I run into another snag. I decided it was time to install some boards, starting with the modem (so I could do downloads). It wouldn't fit! The motherboard is too close to the chassis. It was luck that the video board fit, and it must be under some stress. This is the Epox board in the old Gateway case. Unfortunately the case is built like a fortress, so I can't do anything short of drilling out some rivets and re-engineering the frame. I could drill or file the holes in the motherboard, but that gives me chills. I also have another case that isn't so nice, but the drive cages will interfere with the DIMMs. I wonder how long it would take me to cut off the corner of the cage?

I am home sick today, so I have some time if I feel like getting into this. Right now I'm just going to think about it. I'll probably start a new thread in a more appropriate place if (when) I have more problems.

Thanks for the help,

6. RE: That worked! Next question . . .
lbyard May-17-00 04:31 PM
In response to message 5
Rob, I've seen this problem many times, but don't know how severe it is in your situation or what kind of case you have besides the brand name (I would guess it is a desktop if it is an old Gateway 2000 “built like a fortress”). First, I have found no flaws in EpoX motherboards conforming to the generally accepted Baby AT form factor and would guess the problem is a bent case or motherboard alignment. Is the motherboard screwed to standoffs? Some times a motherboard is installed so it is not entirely parallel to the back of the case. If so, the obvious thing to do is loosen all of the screws (with power off, of course) and see if you can align the motherboard/move it forward. (You are fortunate to be using an Epox board. Those large donuts allow ample play for adjustments.) If it uses plastic standoffs, one of them may not be properly positioned in its hole in the case. Look at the other side, if you can, to see which one is not seated correctly. I have also seen where the problem is caused by the expansion board. Often the bracket on the offending board is attached with screws and loosening the screws will allow you to move the bracket forward enough to seat the board. Quite a few times the back of the case is bent inward. That requires a gorilla tactic to fix. With desktops one can usually bend the back, back with some muscle. And finally, the expansion may not have been cut correctly when it was made; but that is probably not the case if the board was installed in the same case with a different motherboard. I have made them fit by trimming them with a file. Try another slot; there maybe a motherboard component under the expansion board. Wiggle the board into place. Many cases have a slot behind the motherboard that the expansion board bracket must go into. Be careful, I have broken the front of bus sockets (shame on me) by putting too much pressure on an expansion board. ISA slots are particularly vulnerable. Larry

7. RE: That worked! Next question . . .
diletante May-17-00 06:47 PM
In response to message 6
Thanks for the advice. It is nice to know I am not the only one to have this trouble. The case is a full tower, and it uses lots of steel. It is actually quite well made, so I was not expecting this. In the past, a little flexing of the case has been all that was necessary, but this case is rigid with angles added along the edges of things to make them rigid.

I got a good look at the mismatch. The the ISA card edge connections are lined up so the last contact is right over the end of the connector. If I force it, it will break the plastic.

There are only 2 ISA slots at the bottom of the board, as you know, and I tried them both. I also tried another ISA board. The modem is riveted to its bracket, so no adjustment is available. The other board, a NIC, uses screws for the bracket, but the board edge is already flush against the metal.

I pulled all the motherboard screws, and let the daughter boards determine how it would sit on the metal standoffs. It looks like they all need to move 1/16th of an inch or more. The metal standoffs are either screwed into hex nuts press-fitted into the chassis or into tapped holes. I did have to move one of the original standoffs a couple of inches to accomodate the Epox board. tha wasn't hard, but to move them 1/16th" will be difficult.

I'll have a look at again it in a bit. I am considering drilling out the rivets and putting the thing back togethre with screws and nuts with washers added as spacers. Of course, I will have to remove all the electronics to do this. Not a stealthy thing to do.


8. RE: That worked! Next question . . .
lbyard May-17-00 07:14 PM
In response to message 7
I would not drill into a four-layer board... If you can get away with removing some of the metal standoffs, you could use a pair diags to cut the ends off the bottoms of some plastic standoffs to prevent the motherboard from touching the chassis. If you haven't got plastic standoffs, you could probably beg some from a local computer shop. I pull them off motherboards from junked machines. I have some rubber, stick-on feet from AOpen cases, but they don't stay in place as well as the plastic standoffs. There are threaded plastic standoffs which may give 1/16.” You could use a couple layers of electrician’s tape. That’s a rather sloppy solution, but it is better than drilling holes in a motherboard. Buy a new case? Larry

9. RE: That worked! Next question . . .
diletante May-18-00 03:51 AM
In response to message 8
Yeah, I couldn't stomach doing anything to the motherboard. I finally accepted my fate this afternoon and stripped the chassis. I used a Dremel, flat file, nibbling tool, and 2 sets of channel locks to show that case who was The Boss. Then a miracle occurred! I put everything back together, plus the modem, and it worked! The new sound card installed nicely too. Only the network card gave me any trouble.

I thought about your suggestions with the plastic standoffs (after the big operation). I had not considered that because I thought the grounds at the screw holes were important. It never occurred to me that I could mount the board on plastic standoffs.

The NIC problem is as far as I got before I had to turn into a Spanish tutor and math professor. Windows says the card isn't working or isn't installed. I can't find a better driver, and the resources don't seem to be in conflict. Everything seems OK. There is always the possibility that the board isn't seated properly. It didn't fit in the bottom slot as well as the modem, and it had to go there because it had a BNC jack that interfered with the USB connector on the motherboard. The USB header is the only real complaint I have about the Epox board.

Anyway, it is creeping up on midnight, and I don't trust myself this late.


PS If this wasn't a stealth job, I would have bought a new ATX case for sure. I was sure wishing I had that option.

10. RE: That worked! Next question . . .
lbyard May-18-00 12:48 PM
In response to message 9
Oh, yes, as a last restort, I have fastened motherboards down with as little as one screw. Quality motherboards have ample ground planes, and the power supply and expansion boards provide paths to chassis ground and fairly good protection against static electricity. The expansion boards provide some mechanical support, but screws into standoffs are the best way to secure a motherboard and reduce the possibility of ground loops. Those donuts are there for a purpose. Larry

11. Sleep does wonders
diletante May-19-00 12:16 PM
In response to message 10
I was rewarded for quitting and going to bed again. After a nights rest I remembered that I had forgotten to run the NIC's setup program, which is necessary to tell it what IRQ and address to use. Since I had set up the Bios as your How To suggests, with a couple of IRQs set aside for old ISA boards, all I had to do was set the NIC for IRQ 10 and away she went.

Now all I have to do is load up applications, and then I can tackle Linux, and try to get my network to work with my daughter's iBook on it, and my son wants his Pentium upgraded too, and this machine needs more RAM and a new video board, and they all need to share internet access, and . . . .

Thanks for all the help.


12. RE: Sleep does wonders
lbyard May-19-00 02:26 PM
In response to message 11
Rob, see "Old Network Adpaters" in the Networking and Internet Sharing Forum, posted 5/19/00. Larry

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