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Windows 98 > Troubleshooting Windows 98

Problems with Hard Disk Controller After Upgrading to Windows 98

By: Arie Slob

To solve problems with your hard disk controller after upgrading to Windows 98, see Microsoft's Knowledge Base Article No. 189518.

If your computer contains a PCI-IDE hard disk controller that employs serialization between the two IDE channels, you may experience the following problems:

  • 32-bit file system access and 32-bit virtual memory are not available
  • Device Manager displays an exclamation point in a yellow circle for the primary and secondary IDE channels

Removing and reinstalling the hard disk controller does not resolve the problem.

This can occur if the protected-mode driver for the hard disk controller was not properly initialized when you started Windows 98 previously. When this occurs, a noide entry is placed in the registry, preventing Windows 98 from making future attempts to initialize the protected-mode driver.

This problem can occur with an IDE controller that requires serialization between the primary and secondary IDE channels. The protected-mode drivers for these IDE controllers can fail to be initialized if one of the following situations occurs:

  1. One IDE channel has a supported hard disk, and the second channel has a CD-ROM or other type of drive that requires real-mode drivers to be loaded. Because of the serialization between the two IDE channels, it is impossible to access the hard disk in protected mode and use the other device in real mode. This causes the protected-mode driver to fail initialization, and the noide switch is placed in the registry to prevent future errors. Both disk devices then operate in real-mode
  2. The driver for the IDE controller is manually removed from Device Manager and then reinstalled, or the protected-mode driver is disabled and then re-enabled. Some PCI controller drivers are not designed for dynamic enabling and disabling, and can cause the protected-mode driver to fail initialization. To force Windows 98 to attempt to reinitialize the protected-mode IDE driver you'll have to remove the noide entry from the registry:

    1. Select Noide.inf found in the \ tools \ mtsutil folder on the Windows 98 CD
    2. Right-Click noide.inf or hold down the Shift key and press the F10 function key
    3. Choose Install from the context menu to remove the noide entry

After you update the registry, restart Windows 98. Windows 98 will then attempt to initialize the protected-mode driver for the controller. If no problems are encountered, the file system and virtual memory will operate in 32-bit mode, and Device Manager will not display an exclamation point in a yellow circle for the IDE channels.

If the protected-mode driver is not initialized properly, an error message will be displayed and the NOIDE registry entry will be re-created. Windows 98 will use the MS-DOS compatibility mode file system the next time you start the computer.

When your hard disk(s) are running in MS-DOS Compatibility Mode, see this HelpWithWindows TechFile for more details.