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98SE - msgsrv32.exe problems


HoppaLong
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Here's the story from a friend who backed up everything

on a USB 1.1 external hard drive, before he wiped out

the partition and created a new one.

If the external drive is running, Windows 98SE will not

start. All you see is the "Windows is Starting" logo screen.

It does start normally, if the drive is off.

After several startup attempts, I got past the splash screen.

When the desktop appeared it was almost completely

frozen. The Task Manager lists msgsrv32 as "not responding."

Before I abandoned this system years ago, I can vividly

recall that these kind of conflicts are usually never

resolved, because the possible causes are endless.

I removed all the drivers and other files related to this

external drive. When I put fresh copies back, it didn't help.

I extracted a new copy of msgsrv32, just to safe. The

System File Checker applet didn't find any corrupt files.

My friend tells me that once or twice the system completely

loaded with the external drive running. The Device Manager

showed no problems. Unfortunately, the other 99% of the

time the system will not start if this external drive is running.

I started 98SE normally, with the drive off. I waited several

minutes and turned the drive on. Almost immediately, the

system froze up because of msgsrv32.

Finally, I tried installing some different USB mass storage

generic drivers that are suppose to be compatible with 98SE.

The system will not let me install these drivers. I haven't tried

copying them manually into the proper directories. I doubt

if the system would load them anyway.

Is there a solution?

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Here's the story from a friend who backed up everything

on a USB 1.1 external hard drive, before he wiped out

the partition and created a new one.

If the external drive is running, Windows 98SE will not

start. All you see is the "Windows is Starting" logo screen.

It does start normally, if the drive is off.

... (BIG SNIP) ...

I re-read this several times and am still unsure what you are trying to accomplish. Do you plan to restore the backup from the external USB 1.1 drive to this computer? Other useful informaton would be whether the computer itself is limited to USB 1.1. Are you going to try to save this current Win9x installation or are you willing to re-install. Is there a anti-virus program running?

I think the current install is likely FUBAR (considering the buggy USB and the fact that your friend partitioned/installed the system). The msgsrv32 *usually* hangs from stray 3rd party apps and/or drivers. It really could be anything: spyware or viruses or anti-viruses or printer/scanner drivers or some un-necessary 'driver' intended for the external hard-drive. If you must preserve this installation use Startup Control Panel from HERE (get the EXE standalone version. Then get System Internals AutoRuns (but you'll need to Google for the last Win9x version). Use them to disable everything except your Soundcard CPL (if present) and maybe SystemTray.

But ...

If this was in my shop I would take the system drive (or grab another HDD) and CLEAN install after FDISK/Format to be sure. Don't forget the INF and Video drivers. Then install the wonderful NUSB drivers (and read the thread here at MSFN). Then test the installation with a flashdrive. Then worry about the external HDD.

An even bigger But ...

This is a USB 1.1 drive you say? That really means the enclosure contains electronics for 1.1. This is most likely a 3.5" PATA drive that itself has no idea what cabling is connected. I would yank the drive from the enclosure, check the jumpers (Google the model) and slave it to the primary (or master or slave on the secondary) and grab the data from within windows. USB is not needed. This is the quickest route and I have done this countless times. You could even drop the drive into a USB 2.0 enclosure later if that computer supports it. Using another computer is also a possibility.

If you had said that the system is year 2004 or newer (approx USB 2.0) and it was mission critical (important data), the steps would be different. Debugging the USB registry entries against a parallel fresh install would be my guess.

P.S. definitely don't attach USB devices in Win9x for startup/restart/shutdown. I feel that is also good advice in WinXP. Eliminate variables, do not create them. But Win9x has often shown power management difficulties here with hangs as the obvious symptom.

One thing for sure, with the amount of folks using an external USB HDD as their one and only backup these days, people like us will never run out of work!

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