|Win 9x locks at Desktop
Here's what I did:
TROUBLESHOOTING FIRST: The way to troubleshoot this is to go into Safe Mode, by hitting the F8 key at "Starting Windows..., Find Device Manager in the Control Panel, and Disable some of the Devices, like Sound, Network, Video, etc. What you are looking at here, is "software" for running "hardware" AKA "drivers", which is different from "software applications". As you will see, when you restart in Normal Mode, it will be "like" Safe Mode - no 32-bit fancy Virtual Drivers will be running, so no sound, Video will be "Standard" 16-bit VGA. Then enable one at a time, until you find the culprit. THAT'S HOW YOU TROUBLESHOOT HARDWARE/DRIVER PROBLEMS.
Now my problem turned out to be my Ensoniq, everything worked fine as long as it was disabled. I was almost going to return the card, but it worked at first and I had a hunch it was software, Tech Suppt where I bought it couldn't help. I thought I'd sleuth it eventually. I bought a book, Windows 95 (now 98) Secrets. One chapter discussed Upper Memory, which some Drivers use, and Upper Memory conflicts. Briefly, old DOS used the first 640K for programs incl itself, and the next 380 something up to 1000K (1MB RAM) was used for Devices. Windows, after loading some basic DOS stuff, uses HIGH (not upper) Memory, which is everything ABOVE 1MB up to 32MB, 64 whatever you got, for all it's stuff. So the book suggested some Driver was hosing my Upper Memory, stepping on something Windows or the PC needed to use for more basic Devices, like it's motherbd or something. Two things using the same memory address is a no-no. Crash city. (Funny thing, my sound card worked at first, then one day, possibly after installing Office, it stopped working, and locked at a blank Desktop.) So they had a whole bunch of instructions for troubleshooting this, to figure out exactly which address range to "exclude" from use, but here's what I did instead.
First I re-enabled the Sound Card in Device Manager, then I rebooted
into Safe Mode, and Removed the Sound Card. Of course, on Reboot, Windows
would automatically Detect it and put me back in the S**T again. But instead,
I hit the F8 key when it said "Starting Windows..." and picked Command
prompt only. So the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat ran, and I got a DOS C:
prompt. Now, in DOS and old Windows 3.x, before 95, the only way to get
to Windows was to type WIN at the prompt to run the file Win.com. Instead,
following my book, I typed
Conclusion: Windows had used Plug-and-Pray to configure the Sound card OK when I first ran it, then Windows Dynamically re-Allocated it's memory resources on the fly, by itself, for NO KNOWN REASON, screwing it up. When I FORCED Windows and P-n-P to set it up and allocate resources BUT use NO UPPER MEMORY at all (the /D:X thing) it gave it "good" resources, locked those settings in the Windows registry, and used them thereafter. I did check Device Manager after, and the displayed Memory Address range, which had been 220, was now 6000.
NOTE: Yours might not be the Sound Card, or could be some other Hardware or some other software starting up, or possibly a hosed installation of Internet Explorer, or basically ANYTHING, exp if you have other software installed.
If it works in Safe Mode but not in Normal Mode, several things are
eliminated, all the AutoStartup Routines in various locations, but mostly
the 32-bit virtual Hardware Drivers. I'm betting that's it.
OR just hit BACK button on your browser