Strange win98 problem...
Here I am on my grandmother's crusty old computer (P2 400 Mhz with 128 megs of SDRAM, Win98se) when all of the sudden it starts acting very strangely. If I try to browse folders through My Computer or otherwise opening them, Explorer crashes, then the screen redraws and I end up back where I started. Any idea as to how to fix this? I've tried restarting a few times, but that hasn't helped.
if you're up to it, there's always a reinstall. what i mean isn't reformatting and reinstalling, but rather an upgrade to the same operating system. I have NOT tried doing this with win98SE, but i know it works on 2k and xp (they actually have a "repair" option). but an upgrade does the same thing. I'm just not sure if windows 98 will allow you to upgrade from the same version of windows. i'd boot from the install cd, choose install and if it asks for the install type tell it upgrade, not clean install. if it doesn't let you choose then quit the installation. but be careful like i said i've never tried it and i'm not sure how far you are allowed to go in the 98 install process before overwriting stuff.
Other than that i have had the same exact problem with windows 98SE and what I did to fix it was format and reinstall, which i might guess is not an option in your case. some windows problems are too difficult to figure out so i'm always prepared to reformat and reinstall, and if you upgrade to 2k it has that repair option to reinstall the core OS files while keeping all your other files safe and even keeping all your programs installed and user accounts intact. and despite what people say about 2k accessing the hard drive slower, i've compared fresh installs of each on the same system and 2k is definitely a whole lot faster than 98 in my opinion
The reinstall over 98 works just the same... just pop the cd in and run the install program, it'll overwrite some of your system settings, but it'll restore anything that's messed up. I'd check for viruses/spyware first tho.
I ran gwscan on it monday night, zeroed the hard disk and started over. It was a pain finding some of the drivers, since I had absolutely no documentation to work with, but I managed. It seems to work now. In fact it works better now that some of the odd background processes are gone and I told Norton Internet Security to STFU. I guess it just needed a good cleaning.