Troubleshooting nVidia and Windows 98 Lockups

By: Ron Merts

Troubleshooting the nVidia/Windows 98/VIA boot-screen lockup:

There are times with some older nVidia video cards (i.e. the TNT2, Vanta,
Vanta-LT and M64) video cards installed on certain VIA chipset motherboards
(particularly the KT266 and before) with Windows 98 that the system will halt
either at or just before the logon screen or desktop with lots of small green
lines at the top of the screen (looks sort of like grass). This is caused by
a conflict between the Windows Plug-n-Play tape drive detection, the VIA
driver and the nVidia driver. We have not experienced this with GeForce
video cards or with the newer KT400 and later motherboards; however, it seems
particularly prevalent in the KT133 and KT266 boards with TNT2 and Vanta
video cards. The solution to this is to remove the offending INF and virtual
device driver (.VXD) files from Windows. We recommend renaming them as
opposed to removing them entirely just in case you ever need them in the
future – they are only needed if you have or are planning to use a tape-
backup device.

First make sure you are able to view invisible files and folders:
Open My Computer then the Hard Drive
Select “Folder Options" in the View menu
Click on the “View" tab at the top of the window
Check the radio button next to “Show hidden files and folders"
Uncheck the checkbox labeled “Hide extensions for known file types"
Click the Apply button then close the window

Now open the Windows folder and the Inf folder
Locate the following files and change their extension from .inf to .old
Use the “Back" button and go back to the Windows folder and open the System
Locate and open the iosubsys folder (it is hidden and should appear
Locate the following files and change their extension from .vxd to .old
Close the window and restart your system.

The lockup should be resolved.

What this does is prevents Windows from actually seeing the conflicting
component (driver) and thus eliminating the lockups. The necessary files
are still there; only Windows won't see them.

Should you find that you indeed need the files for use with your tape backup,
you can open the SYSTEM.INI file inside C:WINDOWS and append the following
to the “[386Enh]" section:

Once again, save and close the SYSTEM.INI file and restart. You only need
to perform this if you need these files because you have a tape drive you
are going to use on the systemFind Article, otherwise it is recommended that you rename
the above files to eliminate the problem.

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