Windows Support Menu
System Configuration Utility
System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe) replaces Sysedit from previous Windows versions and automates the routine troubleshooting steps that Microsoft Technical Support engineers use when diagnosing issues with the Windows 98 configuration. This tool permits you to modify the system configuration through a process of elimination with check boxes, reducing the risk of typing errors associated with Notepad and Sysedit.
The System Configuration Utility provides a graphical interface for configuring the Windows 98 startup environment. System Configuration Utility lets you troubleshoot by creating a clean environment to test against. If a problem is not reproducible after performing a Diagnostic startup, a process of elimination can be used to identify the source of the issue.
System Configuration Utility also can create a backup copy of your system files before you begin a troubleshooting session. Create backup copies of your system files to ensure that the modifications made during your troubleshooting session can be reversed.
After visiting MSInfo to identify support issues, try using Safe Mode to isolate the problem. From here you can go to MSConfig to remove any variables involved.
Tip:Launch the System Configuration Utility from MSInfo Tools menu.
To start System Configuration Utility click System Configuration Utility on the Tools menu in MSInfo. The following pages describe the purpose of the tabs displayed in System Configuration Utility.
Enables or prevents the loading of all or specific device drivers and software. The default setting is Normal startup. All device drivers and software are loaded.
To create a clean environment for troubleshooting click Diagnostic startup. After clicking OK, click Yes to restart your computer.
The Windows 98 Startup Menu appears when your machine restarts. Select Step-by-step confirmation from the menu option, and process all but the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files. If this option causes your computer to stop responding, restart the computer, select Step-by-step confirmation again, and process all but the Autoexec.bat file. Some computers will not start properly without processing the Config.sys file.
After Windows 98 starts, determine whether the symptoms are still present. Selecting Diagnostic startup will temporarily change your monitor's Color palette setting to 16 colors and your Desktop area setting to 640 by 480 pixels. If the OK button in System Configuration Utility is no longer visible, click the File menu and then click Close to save any changes you make.
Selective Startup processes a file based on your selecting it. If an option is not available it is because it does not exist.
You can also backup or restore the Config.sys, Autoexec.bat, System.ini and Winstart.bat files.
Tip:When clicking Selective startup the original files are renamed with the extension *.TSH.
Creating a Clean Environment
Establishing a baseline configuration ensures that the modifications you make during your troubleshooting session are reversible.
To create a clean environment for troubleshooting
Click the Diagnostic startup option, click OK, and then restart the computer as prompted.
On the Windows 98 Startup menu now enabled, click Step-by-Step, and then choose to process all but the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files.
If the system stops responding while it is bypassing these files, restart the computer and step through the files line by line, choosing to load all drive overlay and compression software required to access your startup disk.
Determine whether the issue occurs in this environment. If the issue occurs with the normal startup disabled, investigate the following:
If the issue does not occur with normal startup disabled, isolate the source of the issue by using the selective startup options.
To use the selective startup options to isolate the source of the issue
Using a process of elimination, enable options until the issue occurs. Once the issue reappears, isolate it by narrowing the Selective startup options down to one source.
To determine the source of the problem
The Advanced Troubleshooting Settings dialog box provides further options to narrow the scope of configuration issues with Windows 98. These options will invoke many of the diagnostic switches for Windows 98 (equivalent to WIN.COM /D:<switch>). Note that the Use SCSI Double-buffering option will not be available if the system requires Dblbuff.sys to gain access to the drive.
Disable Fast Shutdown
When placing a checkmark in this box, it disables Windows 98 shutdown performance enhancements. Shutdown enhancements in Windows 98 include no longer asking the network for permission to close open shares, or asking programs for permission to shutdown. Windows simply sends a message stating it is shutting down. (If a program has a file open that has changed, it will stop the shutdown with a dialog asking the user to save the changes.)
Disable UDF file system
Disables support for Universal Disk Format (UDF) file system. Use this to troubleshoot problems encountered with proprietary DVD movie players that are incompatible with UDF.
Enable Pentium F0 (Lock CmpXchg) workaround
This setting provides a method to work around an erratum in the Intel P5 series of processors (Pentium and Pentium MMX). The processor stops responding (hangs) if a particular illegal instruction sequence is issued. This issue should not occur with a normal program, it would have to be generated maliciously. If this setting is enabled, Windows 98 enables a protection routine to avoid hanging. This setting can interfere with some kernel mode applications (such as debuggers), so it should not be used while debugging programs.
Config.sys and Autoexec.bat
With the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files, uncheck the lines you don't want to run. Unchecking a line edits the file and adds REM TSHOOT: to remark out the line. To edit a line, click it and then click Edit.
Items that contain the Windows logo (flag) are considered safe. However, use your best judgement, as some parameters may be excessive.
You can also change the order of items loaded by clicking a line and selecting the Move Up or Move Down buttons. To add a line click New.
System.ini and Win.ini
With the System.ini and Win.ini files, uncheck the lines you don't want to run. Unchecking a line edits the file and adds ; REM TSHOOT: to remark out the line. To edit a line, click it and then click Edit.
Items that contain the Windows logo (flag) are using a default setting.
The Startup tab allows you to enable and disable items loaded at startup. If you've ever installed a third-party utility and it places an icon in the Systray, the Startup tab is the place to keep it from loading.
Deactivated Startup Items
In the registry items are moved to run- or runservices- in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\.
Items loaded in the startup group are moved to Programs, Disabled Startup Items.
Chronological Steps for Using MSConfig
Select Diagnostic startup to create a clean software environment for troubleshooting and click OK to restart the computer.
The Windows 98 Startup menu will be presented. Select Step-by-Step from the menu options, choosing to process all but the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files. If the system hangs bypassing these files, restart the computer and step through them line by line, choosing to load all drive overlay and compression software the drive requires.
The CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT tabs intelligently identifies settings and minimizes the risks inherent in editing configuration files using the following conventions:
Points to Remember: