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Old 03-18-2005, 01:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
yatzr's Avatar
does this sound like a RAM problem to you?

my parents computer (with win98) is having some issues. If it does boot up and work, it'll work for awhile. At some point, it will crash and restart. I don't know what it says, cause I haven't seen it, but it crashes and restarts. On the restart, it is unable to load windows saying the himem.sys file is missing. If they try rebooting it again, it continues saying this. If they leave it off for awhile and try again, it'll boot fine and then work until it crashes again.

I searched for the himem.sys error and found a page saying it's either the file itself or it's the ram. To me, I would think it's the ram because if it were the file itself, it would never be able to boot up. Any second opinions?
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Old 03-18-2005, 02:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: West Linn, OR
have you checked to see if your CPU fan is working? it sounds like a similar problem one of my roommates back in college had, and it turned out his CPU was overheating because the fan was broken.
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Old 03-18-2005, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
Not so great lurker
Location: NY
I came across the same pages you came across saying that the problem is either the file or the physical ram.

This said tho, you should also try running a scan disk. (prefereably on a diff machine if possible). If when you run a scandisk, you get a LOT of hd errors reported you probably have a RAM problem... especially if you do a 2nd scandisk and get the errors in a different spot (assuming you didn't fix errors).

I think that the best thing for you to do is run memtest86 (http://www.memtest86.com/) to check if the ram is ok. If that checks out then try replacing the himem.sys file.

note: I have prevously seen where a hd has a bad block on part of a system file and it will randomly work/not work depending on how windows loaded up that day.
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
I cant remember if windows 98 had a system repair, where you put in the win 98 cd and say repair instead of install. I think I recall my parents having this same problem and this is how they fixed it. Before you go buying new hardware, I would at least try formatting your computer and seing if it fixes the problem.
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
Not so great lurker
Location: NY
Windows 98 does have a system file checker (sfc.exe) that might work for restoring a corrupted win98, but I think that yatzr is trying to fix this without needing to do a format.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
Very Insignificant Pawn
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Clean the computer. remove dust. reseat the memory, cards, and cables.
see that the fans are working. if lots of hardware has been added to the machine over the years, the power supply may not supply enough current.

about dust. the pins on ICs can be very close together. "dust" may bridge adjacent pins. I use a paint brush and a hose vacumn cleaner to remove dust. I have not static zapped anything yet in over twenty years :-) Some PC cards that had dust and cigarette tars I have cleaned with dish soap and water. They get real clean and shiny. This has fixed a few boards that were dead. A few modems and soundcards.

good luck.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
Location: Omaha, NE
1) Like the above poster said, clean the dust.
2) Make sure the fans are working (*especially* the fan on the power supply)
3) Run MemTest86 for a while. This will tell you if it's bad ram.
4) If the problem still occurs, it is most likely a bad power supply. Do *not* replace it with a cheapo though, get Fortron, Antec, OCZ, or Zalman (there's a couple of others..). A bad PSU can fry the rest of your components or even worse - start a house fire.

This happened to my mother's computer (Running win98, heh). The fan on her PSU burnt out and 4 months later the PSU burped up a cloud of dust and died. Even if you clean out the case the PSU is probably filled with dust.. (I wouldn't recommend taking it apart though)
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Old 03-27-2005, 03:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
Very Insignificant Pawn
Location: Amsterdam, NL
For testing memory and hard disk reliability, what works for me, is to make a very large RAR file. Then test it for CRC errors. If ok, move it to another drive and test again.
If only one hd is installed, copy and test it.
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