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IE or Netscape performing illegal operations


Niranjan's Avatar
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12-29-00, 05:10 PM   #1  
Niranjan
When using either IE or Netscape - especially when trying to access my Netscape Webmail - I get an error that "(IE or Netscape) has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down." Looking at the details says that the program (IE or Netscape) has caused a stack fault in WSOCK32.DLL file and gives a bunch of codes. This problem also happens on a few other random sites, but otherwise I can browse without too much trouble

Sometimes when I first log on, I get a "illegal operation" but from a program called "MTX_.exe" or something like that. I noticed that this file was created about the same time that this problem started, but query on the file said that windows was using it, so I'm afraid to delete it.

Also a funny thing is that when I restart my computer, I automatically get the Dial-up window to connect to my ISP, but it looks different than the normal Dial-up connection that pops up when I first launch IE or Netscape.

I'm using Windows 98 SE on a Celeron 500 MHz processor.
Any ideas? Thanks.



 
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12-29-00, 06:50 PM   #2  
mikejmerritt

Niranjan, There are so many things that can cause dynamic link library faults because "dll" files are used by different programs to operate. The first thing I would do is run the IE repair tool....Start,Run, type "msinfo32" (without the quotes), tools, IE repair tool, check repair. If that doesn't help I suspect a background program clash. To find out which one.....Run, type "msconfig" without the quotes, click STARTUP tab, uncheck all but
a. ScanRegistry
b. SystemTray
c. LoadPowerProfile (Usually twice)
d. TaskMonitor
Restart at the promt, surf and see if you get any faults. If all is well add the Startup Items back one at a time, restarting at the promt each time, surfing, until the faults appear again if they do....If they recur you will have found your clash...Mike








Start,Run,<msinfo32,tools,IE repair tool,check repair


 
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12-30-00, 09:10 AM   #3  
Niranjan
Thanks for the help Mike. I had actually just completed the thing you said about "msconfig" to uncheck the "MTX_" system backup and that fixed the problem of the "MTX_ has performed an illegal operation..." Although I have no I idea why it suddenly started causing a problem!

I will try out the steps you suggested. One thing I forgot to mention is that I had not done any downloads or new program installations between the time the computer was fine and the time I started getting these problems, so I'm a little confused why I suddenly all this started happening.

Also, I wasn't able to find the IE repair tools under the tools menu in "msinfo32" - did I miss something?

Another funny thing I noticed was that I tried to print out your instructions, but I kept getting the "IE has performed an illegal operation..." every time I tried to print.

Overall, Windows 98 SE has bugged me so much compared with Windows 95. I'm considering going to either Windows ME or Windows 2000 for a more stable OS.

Thanks again for your help & time.

 
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12-30-00, 09:13 AM   #4  
Relieved to see your getting help, whew!

Hi Niranjan,

I am certainly glad to see Mike jump in there to help you. I don't like to stick my neck out all alone. I always bite off more than I can chew when it comes to pc problem solving. I am no expert, so don't be misguided by anything I might say. In fact, I didn't even know the neat stuff that Mike has mentioned! By the way, I am never on the right track when it comes to troubleshooting problems like you have and that is why I try to not fish much in the computing forum.

But if you feel like reading, I will mention my thoughts for whatever it may be worth. lol. From reading your symptoms, I might assume that your problem started suddenly, and not gradually over time. Two things you said caught my eye. Your MTX file's recent creation date, which suggests that you installed a product recently,(big red flag!) and your wsock32.dll file is involved. I am wondering if you recently installed an application, which is creating your problem. If not, then you can stop reading the rest of this message right now. It won't surprise me to hear that you have installed several things lately since downloading/installing applets and plugins are common place. However, I am thinking of something you installed from a floppy, etc, or something you bought several years ago, or some freeware/shareware.

My thinking is this: In the past, a couple of years or more back, many products were packaged with their own Socket file, wsock32.dll in your case. When you later opened and ran 2 applications, (for example Netscape and IE) that used a socket file, each application would use "it's own" socket file instead of the same socket file...which is bad. If this happens, you will have problems with those applications and your tcp stack (your socket file). Vendors have since corrected this nasty situation and now-a-days all applications share the windows directory (not sure exactly where it is) tcp stack, which is good. Loosely speaking, your "stack", "socket file", "wsock32.dll", are all the same thing, and are needed for internet applications such as mail,browsers,ftp.

If you installed something to create this problem, then uninstall it. There is a catch! Windows will not know how to uninstall (delete) the extra sockets file because it generally knows that you need one. Your ability to remove the application might depend on knowing what was installed and where, and what is safe to remove and what isn't. Just for the fun of it, scan your hard drive (F3 key) for all wsock32.dll files and see if you have more than one. If so, notice what directory they are installed in. The real McCoy will be in a Windows/system type of directory somewhere. The other will likely be in a product directory and will be the one causing you grief. On the other hand, if you are confident that you seached all directories and sub-directories and only have 1 socket file, then I have wasted your time.

I could be wrong, but that dialup problem you mention, only further suggests that another product in now running on your machine that is running its own version of internet connectivity programs, i.e, dialer and stack, etc. To summarize, it looks like you have installed a product that is causing your problem.

Having said all this, I should mention that this is the way it was once upon a time. Maybe I have not kept up on these things. If so, I hope someone (Mike) can straighen me out or at least ask me to keep quiet.

Mark

 
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12-30-00, 09:25 AM   #5  
ophhs!



...having posted my wrong answer 3 minutes AFTER you found the right answer.... confirms why I should stay away from replying to this forum. I feel kinda... whats the word I'm looking for...oh yeah....stupid. lol

Really, I'm just glad Mike's a pro and that you are fixed!

Happy New Year

Mark

P.S. Don't tell anyone bout this, huh?

 
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12-30-00, 10:18 AM   #6  
Niranjan
I'm still baffled! :(

Okay, Mike, I did "msconfig" and unchecked everything except what you said, and I'm still getting the problem. I also did a system file check on IE and it came up without any problems.

Mark, don't call yourself stupid! I appreciate your help here. I did a search for wsock32.dll files and it found only one - in the /windows/system directory, so that seems okay. This is really strange because it started happening last Sunday. For this reason, I kinda like the Windows ME feature that will let you go "back in time" to a previous day's setting.


 
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12-30-00, 10:40 AM   #7  
mikejmerritt
Niranjan, It is odd the IE Repair Tool is not at the top of the list under TOOLS. I also have Win98se and I just looked and I have it. I'll dig around to see if it is possible the repair tool may have to be installed or extracted. I have used mine to cure several things similar to the troubles you are having. I don't know if it would help at any rate but one has to narrow the problem every way possible. I believe the dialup box you are getting is the one you would see if you connected through dial up networking manualy and does appear different from the IE auto dial box with passwords and such. I'll also see if I can find out what would cause this to happen... Mike

 
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01-01-01, 04:59 AM   #8  
mikejmerritt
Niranjan, I found that the IE Repair Tool is installed by some vendors and not by others. If you have a full Win98se disc it can be installed from it. I don't know if you want to pursue the IE Repair Tool but even if it doesn't help at this time it is very useful. Here are a few links that should help:

The Repair Internet Explorer Tool Is Missing
http://support.microsoft.com/support.../Q236/5/79.ASP

Description of the Internet Explorer Repair Tool
http://support.microsoft.com/support.../Q194/1/77.ASP


Err Msg: Internet Explorer 5 Could Not Be Repaired
http://support.microsoft.com/support.../Q222/4/91.ASP


Hope this helps......Mike

 
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01-01-01, 09:39 AM   #9  
Niranjan
Thanks Mike. I looked at your first link, and it said that Windows 98 Second Edition was designed NOT to use the IE repair tool. So that explains why I don't have it.

I'm still not sure what to do. Apparantly, my computer (HP Pavilion) came with a recovery CD, but not a separate Windows 98 SE CD. I was hoping to try and replace the WSOCK32.DLL file which gets the stack fault from IE or Netscape. I'll be receiving a laptop soon with Windows 98 SE loaded; maybe I can copy it and replace mine and see if that works.

 
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01-01-01, 09:49 AM   #10  
spike
Hi Niranjan,

I don't know if this applies to your situation or not. Your mention of an .MTX file set off a light bulb (possibly a dim one lol) above my head. There is a virus/trojan out there called W95.MTX. It comes in by email and infects the winsock32.dll file among others. If it gets a foothold, it apparently will prevent you from accessing your antivirus vendors web site for definition updates. It is a complicated virus to remove by the accounts that I've read. All I know about it is what I've already stated, but here is a link to Symantec with alot more information. Hopefully this is not what's wrong, Good Luck.

http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w95.mtx.html

 
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01-01-01, 05:34 PM   #11  
Niranjan
Spike, I was actually able to stop the MTX problem simply by going to my startup programs and disabling that option.

But the W95.MTX virus notice was interesting. When I tried to go to your link, it also bombed with the same error message. But I can't find any W95.MTX file in my machine nor does my virus scan find any problems.

Do you know if I could just replace the WSOCK32.DLL file with a different copy and have it work?

Thanks.


 
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01-01-01, 07:26 PM   #12  
spike
Niranjan,

From what I've read, I doubt that just replacing the wsock32.dll file would do it. If you have Norton, you need September 5, 2000 virus definitions or later. McAfee needs DAT 4095 or later. Norton does state that before you do anything, you should create or obtain a startup disk in case something goes amiss with the repair procedure and things crash. The MTX virus does block access to certain web sites, especially antivirus sites, to prevent you from easily getting help that way. Unfortunately, the information on and instructions for removing this infection are quite complicated and lengthy. You may need to get access to an uninfected computer to read the info and download any required tools, instructions, etc. Maybe this isn't the trouble, but your problems accessing some sites sounds suspicious. And, McAfee does state that the presence of MTX.exe is one indication of the virus.

 
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01-01-01, 07:34 PM   #13  
mikejmerritt
Niranjan, The IE Repair Tool will run on Win98se like many of M/Soft Powertoys that are designed for Win95 but run well on 98se.
If you want a WSOCK32.dll get it here: http://solo.abac.com/dllarchive/S.html

Scroll down to bottom and click on "W".

Are you getting a stack overflow or does the message say stack fault?
Mike

 
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01-01-01, 08:01 PM   #14  
Niranjan
I'm okay for now!

Mike, the details of the illegal operation error message say that there the program had a stack fault in wsock32.dll

Well, after no luck with anything else, I decided to do a recover from my original recovery CD. Fortunately, it has an option to recover original software without reformatting the hard drive. So I was able to go through that procedure with only a minimal pain (I had to redo my ISP connection and install some hardware drivers again). Fortunately I didn't have to reinstall ALL my added software. And so far everything is working again!

Thanks again for everyone's help in this problem!

Niranjan

 
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