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straka01
02-07-2006, 09:12 PM
I've accepted the challenge to repair an old friends PC. It's a Pentium 200mhz with just 64mb SDRAM.
Anyway, I've loaded win98 onto the 4Gb drive and this works well - especially as I haven't yet installed a virus scanner.
However, when booting up and sucessfully detecting the drives I get a message saying
"Conflict I/O : 2F8
Press F1 to continue"
I haven't added any cards or hardware to the PC since I got it - I simply replaced the old Seagate HDD that had bad sectors and would no longer boot up at all. The replacement drive runs well without any bad sectors or problems. What is the conflict between and how do I eliminate the problem?

Next issue is:
It looks for the sound card driver THREE times!
If I don't cancel each one it creates 3 entries in the device manager.
I don't seem to have a sound card driver from my friend but I'm sure I can download one from the net - really I just wondered why it would look for the driver 3x?

The last issue - which I find particularly annoying is with the floppy drive.
It sees it and loads it into the device manager but 'no matter' how I try to open a floppy in the drive it doesn't open it or explore it but rather it keeps coming up with "Do you want to format the drive?"
I have more floppy drives I can install but I wondered whether this is a hardware or software fault?

Any help appreciated.

TGoddard
02-07-2006, 10:10 PM
Why are you fixing it? Work out the value of your time and, unless you're particularly masochistic and gain pleasure from the sufferance that is Windows 98, it's probably a pointless exercise.

Even if you get it working, it will be trashed by numerous worms within an hour of being connected to the internet as security updates are no longer produced for it. A virus scanner will not fully protect you from this, even if it works with 64Mb of memory minus whatever Windows uses.

P.S. many diverse hardware failures may indicate a motherboard problem or corrupted memory.

Jen
02-07-2006, 10:19 PM
Have you considered replacing the BIOS battery seeing the PC is rather old?

tweak'e
02-07-2006, 10:31 PM
Why are you fixing it? Work out the value of your time and, unless you're particularly masochistic and gain pleasure from the sufferance that is Windows 98, it's probably a pointless exercise.

Even if you get it working, it will be trashed by numerous worms within an hour of being connected to the internet as security updates are no longer produced for it. A virus scanner will not fully protect you from this, even if it works with 64Mb of memory minus whatever Windows uses.

P.S. many diverse hardware failures may indicate a motherboard problem or corrupted memory.

bah ! !

sicuritys updates are stil advailable. considering most worms are w2k/XP only 98 is quite safe for some time yet.

64meg.....98 and AV (which you can still get) will run......slowly. upgrade ram if you can.

have a look to see if they have any non-pnp modems, lan cards, sound cards etc (usually isa cards).

it may have reset bios back to defaults, so you may have to check the port settings etc.

sound card can often be 3 different devices. install the drivers.

TGoddard
02-07-2006, 11:26 PM
bah ! !

sicuritys updates are stil advailable. considering most worms are w2k/XP only 98 is quite safe for some time yet.

64meg.....98 and AV (which you can still get) will run......slowly. upgrade ram if you can.



Safety in old systems is unfortunately a myth. It's true that most worms can't affect it, but you have no defence against the ones that can. Updates are available for old vulnerabilities but the OS is no longer supported by MS so they don't produce new ones. Even the best antivirus systems are often too little, too late by the time you run a scan.




have a look to see if they have any non-pnp modems, lan cards, sound cards etc (usually isa cards).

it may have reset bios back to defaults, so you may have to check the port settings etc.

sound card can often be 3 different devices. install the drivers.

Again, is this worthwhile when a better system costs less than the value of your time?

tweak'e
02-07-2006, 11:43 PM
Again, is this worthwhile when a better system costs less than the value of your time? judging from the post the cost is properly FREE. if you can find a pc cheaper than that then i will have a few, cheers :D

worms themselves are easy, firewall fixes most of those, AV will do the job for a home pc. while their may not be new fixes there simply isn't that many people looking to exploit the old systems. its just like a mac, plenty of unfixed exploits around but know one bothers with such a small number of users. there are a few people here who are using 98 in stock form without being infected.

98 is quite safe with the current tools, until such time as a highly critical exploit is found and USED in a common manner. mind you you will proberly third parties will come to the rescue :)

TGoddard
02-07-2006, 11:52 PM
judging from the post the cost is properly FREE. if you can find a pc cheaper than that then i will have a few, cheers :D

I was talking about cost of time. Not all costs are measured in dollars.




worms themselves are easy, firewall fixes most of those

Firewalls fix practically nothing. They provide a means for administrators to control access to unprivileged users' services. On a home PC they are all but useless.


, AV will do the job for a home pc. while their may not be new fixes there simply isn't that many people looking to exploit the old systems. its just like a mac, plenty of unfixed exploits around but know one bothers with such a small number of users. there are a few people here who are using 98 in stock form without being infected.

98 is quite safe with the current tools, until such time as a highly critical exploit is found and USED in a common manner. mind you you will proberly third parties will come to the rescue :)

You may be right that users of 98 gain some security benefits from obscurity, but I've had a Windows ME box turn zombie on me before. Security concerns should be a factor in deciding whether to bother fixing a defunct old machine.

tweak'e
03-07-2006, 12:01 AM
i think your forgetting its a mates pc. ie done for the fun of it.


Firewalls fix practically nothing. They provide a means for administrators to control access to unprivileged users' services. On a home PC they are all but useless. o god .....don't tell me your another one of these IT gits i have to kick with my steel caps again. that attidude is so old its not funny its so disapointing that some IT pro's are still years behind the ball game. i'll be kind and leave the rant till another day.

mantermite
03-07-2006, 12:20 AM
I've accepted the challenge to repair an old friends PC. It's a Pentium 200mhz with just 64mb SDRAM.
I must say you are quite mad as I would get frustrated at a computer that ran well with those specs.


"Conflict I/O : 2F8 Press F1 to continue"
Well "2F8" refers to the onboard serial port 2 address so may be it is causing a conflict with some other hardware. I would have thought unlikely as nothing else has that address, but saying it is an I/O could mean that that it may be conflicting with an internal modem. Do you have a serial mouse plugged in to the other port? If you have an internal modem you should be able to get into BIOS and disable Com Port 2. This may resolve that issue.


It looks for the sound card driver THREE times!
How old is the sound card? Did it come with the computer or is it a new one(well later than the computer). May be a BIOS update could be in order butfrom what I guess (big guess) it may be trying to recognise the audio, midi and game controller but not doing it correctly thus giving three of the same entries. MY old SB Live took a bit of coaxing in an old system and a good look for alternative drivers.


It sees it and loads it into the device manager but 'no matter' how I try to open a floppy in the drive it doesn't open it or explore it but rather it keeps coming up with "Do you want to format the drive?"
I had this problem on a laptop and it was purely connectivity, but on a desktop it could be anything. CMOS setting, physical hardware (cable or FDD)
possibly the controller could be just giving up the ghost. Check the BIOS battery (I would put in a new one anyway, save a lot of probs), and if it is the drive, throw it buy a new one. They are so annoying when broken and so cheap to get new. But do that last it could be a software config after all.

Hope some of that helps. :)

straka01
03-07-2006, 09:01 AM
Thank you mantermite for your comprehensive reply.
I'm fixing this PC for an old friend who only uses it for emails I think. And Yes, my time & labour is free - I doing it in my spare time.
Just out of interest - I have six other PCs for all the members of the family and they all are different - from a 3.1gHz running Oblivion smoothly on XP down to this 333mHz PC running win98.
I have proven that, a well configured win98 system, kept clean and with up-to-date Virus definitions, runs every bit as well as XP on the internet - in fact - I prefer it for everyday use. Plenty of RAM is a must and keeping adware 'at bay' is essential.
I now have a policy of only running win98 on the internet rather than XP as it attracts much less unwanted problems.
Again, I thank you for your valuable advice.

pctek
03-07-2006, 09:36 AM
I'd say the floppy problem is likely to be a hardware problem. One thing to try before swapping a new FDD in - loosen the screws holding it in, so that the drive is just sitting loose in its bay, then try another floppy. Sounds looney but it sometimes is the cause (not in the bay right).

As for this nutcase that thinks firewalls are pointless and the only virus and spyware defenses are Microsofts Updates, ignore him, I'd hate to see the state of PCs hes set up.

Theres plenty of antivirus and antispyware protection around for Win98 PCs.

If you rely on MS for it you deserve the results.

TGoddard
03-07-2006, 10:49 AM
i think your forgetting its a mates pc. ie done for the fun of it.


If he finds it fun, then by all means go ahead! I'm just saying that the investment isn't worth the result unless he does actually gain pleasure from patching up an old Win98 system.



o god .....don't tell me your another one of these IT gits i have to kick with my steel caps again. that attidude is so old its not funny its so disapointing that some IT pro's are still years behind the ball game. i'll be kind and leave the rant till another day.

Please, PM it to me. I would like to hear why you like firewalls quite that much. I should tell you in advance that my only firewall is called iptables and is focussed on what can be done rather than what can't. I'm firmly of the view that firewalls on individual PCs where users run as administrators (who came up with that idea?) are completely and utterly useless. On a large network it's a completely different matter as you want to prevent users from running potentially vulnerable services.

TGoddard
03-07-2006, 10:56 AM
I'd say the floppy problem is likely to be a hardware problem. One thing to try before swapping a new FDD in - loosen the screws holding it in, so that the drive is just sitting loose in its bay, then try another floppy. Sounds looney but it sometimes is the cause (not in the bay right).

As for this nutcase that thinks firewalls are pointless and the only virus and spyware defenses are Microsofts Updates, ignore him, I'd hate to see the state of PCs hes set up.


I said firewalls on home PCs are useless and an antivirus won't fully protect you. This is far from radical once you step out of cotton candy land and face the harsh reality of managing security. Antivirus software and anti-spyware tools are essential for Windows desktops - they're just not perfect and certainly not good enough to keep an outdated and no longer patched system working for long.




Theres plenty of antivirus and antispyware protection around for Win98 PCs.

If you rely on MS for it you deserve the results.

Good luck. I don't believe you can rely on anybody to keep you safe on an old system, but you can always try. Just keep an eye on it and don't let your computer become a zombie or spam relay.

TGoddard
03-07-2006, 11:16 AM
Hmm, this is very interesting. It seems that although they publicly stated several years back (2003 I think) that they were discontinuing support for Windows 98, it looks like they're still patching the most critical problems. It's odd that updates were never available for our old Windows ME computer (also discontinued) but there are some patched flaws for 98 from this year listed on the FRSIRT site.

It may in fact be almost as secure as XP, not that this is saying much. Sorry for the incorrect info on the point of updates.

TGoddard
03-07-2006, 11:20 AM
OK, I was completely wrong about the patches. Support is still present but ends on July 11 (8 days from now). There is already at least one serious vulnerability which MS have stated they simply will not patch:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS06-015.mspx

EDIT: Apparently support was extended:


http://www.betanews.com/article/No_Fix_for_Critical_Windows_98_Me_Flaw/1149873723:
"It's surprising how many consumers or businesses still use these older versions, particularly Windows 98. Their continued use partly accounts for an extension of support for about an additional 18 months--from January 2004 to July 2006," Jupiter Research senior analyst Joe Wilcox told BetaNews.

pctek
03-07-2006, 05:28 PM
I said firewalls on home PCs are useless

Just keep an eye on it and don't let your computer become a zombie or spam relay.
And how many years experience do you have in PC security?

I guess I must be doing something right as my PC is, has and I expect it to continue to be malware free. On the other hand the huge number of MS updated things packed with malware I clean up all the time......

FoxyMX
03-07-2006, 06:54 PM
I said firewalls on home PCs are useless and an antivirus won't fully protect you.
I would be interested to know exactly why you think firewalls on home PCs are useless. Please explain in depth.

tweak'e
03-07-2006, 08:18 PM
sorry no PM's. rant can wait till later.

lets just say i've worked on IT industrys peoples home pc's from time to time. one classic case had a firewall but had turned application control off. it had fully updated AV etc. turned application control and what should try to access the net....a trojen.

firewalls are not perfect but they sure help with 99.99% of infections home pc's have.

the only people that complain about them are those you can't use pc's (they are thee type of people who seriously NEED a firewall, gamers who don't like and slowdowns and IT industry people who set home pc uses up for an expensive repair bill.

BIFF
03-07-2006, 09:02 PM
Heh heh, TGoddard, you should watch out for The Swarm (http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/swarm.htm) when it comes to personal firewalls round here. They do give people a comforting icon in the system tray though....

tweak'e
03-07-2006, 09:15 PM
LMAO biff :D very ironic concidering what i now do for a living !

dolby digital
03-07-2006, 09:15 PM
There are lots of people out there who can't afford a computer and a P200 (albeit old), would introduce them to computers and the internet (with a firewall on of course, iptables ain't no use to Windows users). Its a shame that so many working pc's end up at the tip because people want late model pc's.

TGoddard
03-07-2006, 10:04 PM
I would be interested to know exactly why you think firewalls on home PCs are useless. Please explain in depth.

A conventional firewall is useless on a home PC for three main reasons:

1. Attempting to access a port only works if that port is open. Assuming that you have the ability to disable unnecessary services, firewalls will not help you to prevent access to nonexistant services. OK, the ping of death might be prevented by a firewall, but faults at the application level are the real problem.

2. Any administrator user (i.e. software running as that user) can bypass any software controls installed on the PC. Period. Since it is the default in Windows and most home users have only administrator level accounts, software running on the local machine cannot prevent malicious software from using the network.

3. In any single user situation the services required for that user to operate must be running. Any applications the user doesn't need can be enabled and disabled just as easily as opening and closing ports in a firewall - there's no real difference. A firewall blocks access to services which shouldn't be running at all. In a large network it is sensible to do this kind of filtering at the bottlenecks to control methods of access into the network but on a home PC the same effect can be had simply by enabling and disabling services listening on those ports.

I have to confess that home desktop firewalls have one practical use: they force users to be a bit more aware that services are exposed to the internet, even if very few of them have any idea why that can be a risk at all. As a technical measure for security though, they serve no real purpose.

For those who have inquired, I don't work in the security industry at all. My one advantage is that I enjoy pulling systems apart and have been teaching myself computer concepts including programming and networking since childhood.

I don't want to make a fuss of it or people will start crying "zealot", but I prefer to avoid the Windows scene altogether. I run a Suse linux desktop, never conduct everyday business as an administrator, use protective jails to further restrict the privileges of running services, and have never been exposed to any serious security threat. Hopefully with Windows Vista we will see users running with restricted privileges in the same manner as MS have promised they will. Maybe then not every worm can come along and simply open up the port of its choice and listen for commands.

Perhaps I'm missing something. Perhaps somebody can come up with a reason why a device designed for controlling access to private networks is useful tacked on to a home PC. If there is a valid reason, it's a mystery to me.

tweak'e
03-07-2006, 10:30 PM
firewalls... very quickly,

1st, hide the pc off the net. if your not easily found less chance of being targeted.

2nd, block those unnecessary connections to services that you have to have running.

3rd, block unnecessary service's that is installed by default but the user has no idea how to turn off.

4th, most important one, some form of identification and control of what access the net from their own pc.

the real problem is security doesn't sell an OS, ease of use and features do. even some linux distro's are becoming 'flawed' and running everything in admin account by default. vista should be an improvement but really XP should have been like that. the big problem is that the pc industry has it head the sand, takes a long time to realise there is a problem and even longer to do anything about it.

people are not geeks and have no idea of what is running on their pc's hence the need for tools that help them.

the catch is the pc industry has a whole lot of people promoting unsafe practises, no doubt for their own gain. eg it used to be "you don't need AV" ,then "spyware isn't a problem", then "you don't need firewalls" and no doubt it will be "you don't need to run user accounts, running in admin is ok"

dolby digital
03-07-2006, 10:34 PM
The reality is you need a firewall on Windows unless you have XP with SP2; even then its fairly basic in its operation. Even Linux operate firewalls even though you may not (ever heard of lokkit). It is NOT good advice to tell people not to run a firewall.

Actually the reverse is true to what you say, people need to run firewalls on home pc's connected directly to the internet, most corporate pc's don't run a firewall, they are protected by software or hardware firewalls on the network.

TGoddard
03-07-2006, 11:37 PM
All those four points are valid, although perhaps a more user-friendly service manager would solve the problem more thoroughly. I guess these problems will be with us for as long as computers remain 'magical'.

To clarify this dolby, I was talking about 'hardware' firewalls for the large networks. I was saying that these dedicated boxes do perform a useful role at the multi-computer network level but that software firewalls on home PCs aren't useful.

Billy T
03-07-2006, 11:56 PM
Oh, some of you are wicked wicked people! I have just put my poor "Old Faithful" P166 W98 (original) computer to bed crying her poor eyes out over the nasty things that have been said about her family and friends.

She has given faithful service for nearly 10 years now, protected by her faithful friends ZoneAlarm and NAV, and never once a virus or trojan or worm or any other infection. She has been online 12-16 hours a day 7 days a week over that time, starting on dial up but she went onto that new fangled Jetstream as soon as it arrived and still hasn't had a problem. A few nasties have tried to get through, but none ever got past the gatekeepers.

Maybe some of your younger computers hang out with the wrong crowd, or leave their doors & windows open at night!

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :(

pctek
04-07-2006, 08:26 AM
Assuming that you have the ability to disable unnecessary services, firewalls will not help you to prevent access to nonexistant services.

2. Any administrator user can bypass any software controls installed on the PC. Period. Since it is the default in Windows and most home users have only administrator level accounts, software running on the local machine cannot prevent malicious software from using the network.

Any applications the user doesn't need can be enabled and disabled just as easily as opening and closing ports in a firewall - there's no real difference.


For those who have inquired, I don't work in the security industry at all. My one advantage is that I enjoy pulling systems apart and have been teaching myself computer concepts including programming and networking since childhood.
As if we are surprised you don't work in security. If you did you'd know better.
Every man and his dog has taught himself at home. A little knowledge is dangerous, because you think you know what you are talking about.

What you have said is rubbish. For instance my own PC has a firewall, I have most services disabled but there are some things I use but don't wish them to access the interent.

Like:
MS Word
MS Excel
Acrobat Reader
MS Help Hosting Center
Nero
PowerDVD
Windows Explorer
Among other components of Windows itself.

Its been very effective an disallowing access.

The software firewall is not my only firewall, nor is it my only defense.
I always recommend home users run:
An AV
At least 2 antispywares
A firewall other than XPs
As a minimum.
And I show them how to use them too, especially the firewall. A firewall incorrectly configured is useless but set up right it is part of their defenses.

Greg
04-07-2006, 09:34 AM
Without a firewall I'd have to wonder how to block inadvertant dialers or trojans calling out - what 'service' would you disable to prevent them doing malicious stuff?

mantermite
04-07-2006, 10:11 AM
And back to the main purpose of this thread, has there been any resolution in the WIN98 computer in question? Or has it been drowned out by the firewall conversation that erupted midway?
I regard nearly everyone's opinion and you have all been helpful in my own pc repairs but move to a new thread guys (any gals?) and let this one focus.
:illogical

Thank you.

pctek
04-07-2006, 12:39 PM
Have a look at this webpage:

http://www.millbury.k12.ma.us/hs/techrepair/IRQ.html

Are you using the serial ports on the PC? If not I'd disable them in the BIOS. Especially COM2. COM1 should be ok.

Try what I said before with the floppy.

As for the sound driver, its doing it because it can't find the right driver. Download the correct one and install it and Windows will stop trying. Make sure you remove any incorrect ones its tried first.

TGoddard
04-07-2006, 02:44 PM
As if we are surprised you don't work in security. If you did you'd know better.
Every man and his dog has taught himself at home. A little knowledge is dangerous, because you think you know what you are talking about.

What you have said is rubbish. For instance my own PC has a firewall, I have most services disabled but there are some things I use but don't wish them to access the interent.

Like:
MS Word
MS Excel
Acrobat Reader
MS Help Hosting Center
Nero
PowerDVD
Windows Explorer
Among other components of Windows itself.

Its been very effective an disallowing access.

The software firewall is not my only firewall, nor is it my only defense.
I always recommend home users run:
An AV
At least 2 antispywares
A firewall other than XPs
As a minimum.
And I show them how to use them too, especially the firewall. A firewall incorrectly configured is useless but set up right it is part of their defenses.

A little knowledge is very dangerous. Do you run as an administrator on your local PC? If you do, perhaps you should do your research on exactly what this entails. The only way to truly block these services from dialing out is to run a firewall independent of the PC (i.e. on your router or a separate 'hardware' firewall). Any programs running as an administrator user have total access to everything - no software on the local machine is safe from tampering.

pctek
04-07-2006, 04:03 PM
A little knowledge is very dangerous. Do you run as an administrator on your local PC? If you do, perhaps you should do your research on exactly what this entails. The only way to truly block these services from dialing out is to run a firewall independent of the PC (i.e. on your router or a separate 'hardware' firewall). Any programs running as an administrator user have total access to everything - no software on the local machine is safe from tampering.
Really? Funny, having bloced Excel from net access if I click one of the links in my suppliers spreadsheets it, oh dear, gives me an error saying can't access the net. Shock, horror!

TGoddard
04-07-2006, 05:36 PM
Because Excel isn't malicious it makes no attempt to bypass the firewall. A worm or trojan can bypass it with only minimal coding required. Just today I read this article:

http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/rss/CFB900C4CB9AD8BBCC2571A00016ED70

Note the part:


Cuebot-K can disable other software, shut off the Windows firewall, download new malicious programs, perform basic DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks, scan local files and spawn a command prompt, Sophos says.

Any firewall implemented in software can be disabled equally easily by any administrator-privileged program, usually simply by deleting files or changing registry keys. Come on, this is authentication and security 101. It isn't complicated - administrators can change anything.

This is the last time I reiterate this in this thread. My initial post was simply a query into why the OP wanted to do this but it has become a separate discussion clogging the thread. I've stated my point and just ask that you think about the real value of the products the security industry is selling you in the future.

straka01
04-07-2006, 07:27 PM
Thank you all for your input.
I've been flat out recently but I'm hoping to get back to this PC tomorrow.
I'll let you know how it goes when I try your fixes.
Thanks again.

tweak'e
04-07-2006, 09:17 PM
apologies for the hijacked thread.

software firewalls are not that easy to disable. sure they are plenty of AV and firewall killing malware around but av and firewalls do have defences against this. there are ways around firewalls fortunately they are not common and generally have fixes for that released not long after they have been found.

2ndly hardware firewalls cannot stop any process running on a remote pc, simple as that. they have done and never will. they can't even stop malicious traffic going through them, after all how does a remote hardware firewall tell what program generates the traffic and if its malicious or not. its up to PEOPLE to decide whats malicious or not.

3rd, a hardware firewall is nothing more than software firewall running on hardware. they can be hacked, exploited and bypassed just like pc's.

TGoddard
04-07-2006, 11:02 PM
I've started a new thread at http://forums.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?p=467976 for the firewall discussion and will answer there.

straka01
05-07-2006, 01:26 PM
Thanks to all - I now have the OLD PC running very well.
I replaced the floppy, the battery, turned off COM2 and loaded the Sound Card driver. And it's running sweetly.

I have even installed the old HDD that died as a SLAVE and the BIOS sees it OK however I can't explore it at all.
Question....
Is there any program or facility that I can download that will enable me to correct any corrupted FAT files etc just so I can get the data off the OLD HDD?

pctek
05-07-2006, 03:33 PM
Terrific.

Scandisk should fix FAT errors.

Graham L
05-07-2006, 06:31 PM
But fixing the FAT doesn't necessarily help you get the data back. Scandisk won't restore directory entries. It will make the disk usable by Windows. Windows doesn't care about your data. :(

Look for a data recovery utility before using Scandisk on it. It writes to the disk, which is the first NO NO NO NO thing in data recovery.

straka01
05-07-2006, 08:29 PM
I tried Scandisk but it doesn't want to know me!
Before I got the PC my friend took the PC to a PC repair shop and they seem to have left the OLD 4gB HDD locked up - don't know what they did.
I've seen that there's quite a few HDD Repair & Recovery progarms on the internet and PC Mechanic is toted everywhere. I don't mind buying a program that will do the job - as long as it does 'do the job'.
Does anyone know of reliable software that can crack this HDD so I can release it's data? There's a lot around but I don't want to buy one and then find out it doesn't do the job. After all, the program will be worth more than the PC probably - but if I can use it in future - then it's OK.
Thanks to all of you for helping me.