Packard Bell PC Hanging Problems


Old 01-11-01, 06:10 PM
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I bought a Packard Bell PC from the flea market for my daughter. I don't have the model number with me just now, but it is the model that has the small desktop case (not a tower or mini tower). It is the low-end model designed for the home user who will not be trying to install any upgraded hardware. It's a 233MZ with 16MB Ram running Windows 95. It was cheap, I have computer knowledge so I thought, "what the heck".

The problem is this computer starting hanging periodically right off the bat. It initially started hanging with IE version 3.0. I attempted to upgrade IE and it really started hanging. It would freeze to the point that reboot was the only way out. This continued to the point that I couldn't do anything on the machine before it would hang again. I thought that windows driver files were probably corrupt by now, so I reinstalled windows. It hung on the install. Since the machine was fairly new to us and we had no personal files on it, I decided to use the Packard Bell option to reformat the disk and reload windows. All went well until it got to the portion of setup for Network dialup adaptor. The install routine reported an error opening a CAB file but would not say which CAB file. I tried the install again only to get the same message. I ignored the message and the system really freezes now. I tried running Packard Bell diagnostic programs. No problems were reported. I ordered another Master Disk from Packard Bell thinking that there might be a problem with the disk giving the CAB error message. The same thing happened with the new disk. It errored at the same location with the same error message regarding not being able to open a CAB file. I proceeded with the install. However, the system is very flaky.

What could be causing this? Hardware, Software????

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Most of my knowledge is with DOS. I am a Windows users but never took the time to understand the "behind the scenes" things that go on with setup of Windows. Could there be problems with the motherboard (if so how can I test)? Could there be problems with the memory or the disk drive? I don't know how thorough the Packard Bell diagnostic software is, and the system is too flaky to load any other diagnostic software onto the C drive.

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Old 01-11-01, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: ottawa canada
Posts: 1,165
Memory could be on the low side, although microsoft states that windows 95 will run on as little as 8 meg, but I wouldn't want to do it. 16 meg is very low, and upgrading anything above the basic system could cause a problem.
It is possible that someone removed much of the memory before selling it. I would recommend 32 meg min on any system today running basic software, sometimes even 64 meg or up would be required. 233 mhz cpu is still avery good cpu and will do just fine for your daughter.

Like anything else, it helps to know what works and what doesn't ?

There is diagnostic software that has its own boot and can check for hardware problems. Email me at : [email protected]
for more info on that. This software checks your harddrive, cpu, conrollers, memory and other things. Email me concerning this.

Have you tried booting up on a boot floppy ? Does it boot ok with the floppy ?

Since it is used , We first want to elliminate any hardware problems.

Old 01-19-01, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: ottawa canada
Posts: 1,165
I got your email and replied in a message with attachments that may haev gotton truched by hotmail, I sent a single short message today let me know if you have recieved it. And if so how did it turn out.

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