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Help! Just got my dsl connection and now I'm crashing



1:58 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So I got my dsl connection finally up and running and low and behold I'm crashing every couple minutes. The dsl provider cannot provide tech. support at this pt. and I dont blame them.

I realize it's probably a virus since I keep trying to upgrade Norton utilities and I keep crashing at the same pt. in the upgrade. ( I am also crashing repeatedly trying to download video clips, even jpegs are crashing me).

I am not really looking for technical support from this forum, at this, but here's my choices:

should I try to do a clean install of windows 98 or just put the machine in the car and head for the tech people? Or upgrade to windows 2000 or ME?

My feeling is, the install would be a waste of time and I'm going to have to take it downtown anyhow but...

What do you guys think? It's a windows 98, an old pentium chip 256 MG ram, 133 GHz, I just added an ethernet card from Netgear. Maybe someone else had the same problem and has a feeling of what is best.

Like I said I'm not looking for a technical walk through at this pt. but if this helps any: I did a critical upgrade for MS winsdows and it added 2 critical upgrades. The second upgrade said that it had removed files from either MyDoom virus, Zindos or Doom juice worm.

Like I said, I dont expect technical answers just what is the most effective solution at this pt? A new operating system? Get technical people to clean up this mess. Or try to do a clean install on my own?



2:24 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Windows 2000 needs a minimum of a 200Mhz Processor from memory. XP recommends a 300Mhz with a minimum of a 233Mhz.

Whilst Windows 2000 / XP is many many times more stable than Windows 98, you don't have the hardware to run it.

I would suggest spending a few hundred dollars to upgrade your machine (if your budget allows it) but replacing the entire "box" i.e. get a new PC but use your old monitor, keyboard and mouse (assuming that you can is they are PS/2 with many motherboards no longer accepting PS/2 as it is all USB).


2:36 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree with Warren about not upgrading your OS, if you can't get a new pc and you dont want to do a format now, can you take the hard drive out and virus scan it on someone elses computer? This should remove all the viruses if it is a virus problem.



5:00 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well okay, that sounds like good advice and do-able, but what are you saying exactly?

SHould I upgrade to windows 2000, AND get a new processor that will support this? It sounds like that is what you are saying, but when you say "upgrade the PC" it sounds like you are saying something in contrast to upgrading the operating system.

Not clear in my head. Can you specify what you mean by upgrade the PC? Do you recommend windows 2000? or ME? or XP or whatever it is?

Also what about the immediate situation is doing a clean install worth it? What about defragging the HD? I have never done that. How much of a pain in the necs that?

It is almost certain to be a virus, I would think. THe windows upgrade said that it had removed either mydoom or doomjuice and the problems with norton seem to confirm this...


5:01 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

See what confusing me is Warren says "upgrade the PC" and the next guy says "yeah I agree, dont upgrade the OS." That is where its not clear.

Thanks guys.


5:27 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Your current specificiation hardware will not support a newer (and more advanced) Windows Opperating System.

So you can not use your exisiting hardware which is currently running Windows 98 and put Windows 2000 or XP on it. Do not even consider ME.

Therefore, in order to run the better version of Windows, you need to upgrade your hardware. By upgrade, I essentially mean replace it. Buy a totally new "box" which includes CPU, RAM, harddrive and motherboard (which will probably have built in Video, LAN, Modem). Buy a shiny new case to put it all in as well.

Then you will a totally new computer, a much more stable OS and be free of the nasty problems you are experiencing.

Oh, and don't forget a good quality Anti-Virus and Firewall with a regular scan for Spy Ware.


12:19 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Windows XP or 2000 will run on a 133 mghz box, it just won't run very fast, it's the memory that matters more, and you have pleny of memory.

It's not possible to say what the problem is, it could be norton, it's a resource hog, windows 98 is prone to crashing anyway.

You could also have cheap memory, which when you load a large file into it, crashes your system.

Lot's of possibilities and really no way to figure out which one is the real one.

One easy solution is to pick up a used system, don't upgrade your box, it's too old and slow, you can get a 500-1000 mghz box for under $200 used if you look around, maybe even less.


10:29 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

No kidding? That's interesting, I just got back from a trip so now I have time to figure this out...


11:19 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Have you tried to update Nortons with dial-up? Yank the ethernet card and see if it's still crashing.
I would also safe-mode boot and run Nortons, adaware and spybot to see if that helps.



11:59 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Check for viruses...


6:54 am on Sep 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's crashing on the dial up, however I did not remove the card. I do get the feeling that it started with the card (FA311 from netgear) so that suggestion is my next thing.

Q1: How do I do a safe start?

Q2 how do I check for viruses? thnx


9:14 am on Sep 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Okay I pulled out the ethernet card and now it seems to be stable. Perhaps it is more of a memory problem but what do you think?

It was crashing earlier this evening just playing on the chess site. You know, you play a move, the other guy plays a move. ANd after about 2 games, the cursor starts to lock up.

Is that a memory problem? Intuition says yes, but...

So what now? It's still sat. and I cant get to a tech guy till monday anyhow.

I checked out the memory under my computer..properties..performance and it says it has 56% free (of RAM I guess). Is that good? I think it said about the same thing when the ethernet card was in there. Does that mean anything or is it just bells and whistles?



9:55 am on Sep 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Oh also I checked Norton for viruses and came out clean. If that is how you check for viruses then...


10:57 am on Sep 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It might not be a virus/trojan inside your PC, it might be someone trying to get one in and overflowing your TCP/IP stack.

Block the following ports in your personal firewall or router/hub and the problem might go away
(even if it doesn't solve this problem its a good idea anyway for future protection).

port / traffic type / in or out / why

135 UDP NetBios - Both Net Send Spam/Pop-ups, Worms;  
135 TCP NetBios - Incoming Net Send Spam/Pop-ups, Worms;
136-139 UDP, TCP NetBios - Both Worms, Network Neighhood;
445 TCP MS-DS/NetBios - Both Worms, Network Neighhood;
1433 TCP MS-SQL - Inbound Worms, Trojans;
1434 UDP MS-SQL - Inbound Worms, SQLslammer;
1900 UDP MS-DS/NetBios - Both Worms, Network.
3127 UDP,TCP


7:57 pm on Sep 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

A few points I missed: if you install ME, you are not upgrading, you are downgrading from 98, that's the worst windows OS written so far.

I wouldn't spend any money taking this thing to a tech, since that's money that could better be put towards buying a new/used computer, the amount you'd end up paying most techs would pay for at least half a new computer.

This kind of crashing is why I stopped using windows 98 a long time ago, although I'd tend to believe it's the memory, especially if you upgraded the memory by adding more and accidentally mixing memory types or speeds, that's going to kill it almost for sure, also cheap no name memory, ie not samsung, micron/crucial, kingston, corsair or a few others can have this exact result. With the processor speed you have your memory is being used a lot, so errors are going to be amplified I suspect.

While I would bet Windows 2000 would fix your stability problems, it would run very slowly, probably annoyingly so. And again, if you go out and buy a windows 2000 disk, that's almost as much as you'd spend on a used pc with the OS already installed.


8:43 pm on Sep 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Okay that sounds like good advice. Should I go windows 2000 or windows XP? Assuming I buy a used system.

I changed the card into different slots. I went back to MS and downloaded other, non crtical upgrades. I also was able to upgrade Norton from the dial up connection. Checked w/ Netgear and the card is running fine.

Check for viruses and Norton shows nothing.

So I reconfigure dsl an turn it on and again more crashes. Actually, whats happening is my cursor movement is slowing down to standstill.

PLayed 2 games on the chess site before it starts to go bad. OTOH I did win a french defense and a Philidors after the guy played e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6 3 c3 Bg4!? 4 Qb3! b6 5 Bb5+...1-0

I mean 4...Bg4 what is that all about?


3:34 am on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

the dsl and chess crashing your system just sounds like your processor / memory can't handle anything more than what it handles, my guess is it runs fine on dialup maybe?

the game probably loads something that takes up more memory, it's a safe bet it's bad memory so when you start using a lot of memory, more memory with faster dsl connections, the system just fails.

I'm not the person to ask about xp or 2000, I hate xp, it makes me ill to see it, but I think 2000 was and is probably the best OS microsoft will ever make, it's totally stable. But on a used box you're not going to get much choice, xp is fine if you make it act more like 2000, which you can do by turning off all the xp junk, but it takes a long time, xp is really just 2000 with some consumer junk added to it.


3:51 pm on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, Isitreal, it does sound like that, although that's my guess. And yes, it is running fine on the dial up connection.

I had to clean up some driver files left over after all the ethernet card pulling and plugging but the dial up technical people helped with that. So yes, the dial up connection is once again fine and running normal.


6:44 pm on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

OH also, one final question. How did we get started on this used computer idea? My buddy says just buy a new one. I knew someone mentioned it upthread about buying used as I suggested I didnt want to spend a lot of money but for say $400, why not new? ANy thoughts on this?

Also any thoughts on windows 2000 vs XP.

THanks for all the suggestions here, I cant wait to use the durn dsl service I have.


8:24 pm on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You can get a good new one for about $400, tigerdirect is a really good site for getting good quality machines, I don't know of any others, or just look locally.

You won't be able to buy a new machine with windows 2000 installed anymore, but you can buy a new machine with no os and buy the 2000 disk separately, it costs about $135 or so if you get the right website, then install. Or just get the xp machine, that will be cheaper I think.


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