Couldn't boot w/ a fw; system problem or try another?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by semiclue, Jul 16, 2005.

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  1. semiclue

    semiclue Registered Member

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    Hello! I was given a Toshiba Satellite 1735 from about 2000 or 2001 with Win98SE and 64 MB RAM. Hadn't been well maintained but for expediency let's just say I am confident I have used all the approved methods of scanning and cleaning it of any nasties (short of probing with hijackthis); updated Windows and manufacturer components; did routine maintenance; pared down startup processes; tested the memory with memtest86 v 3.2...

    So. I installed Tiny 2.1.5 on it (it had never had any fw), but when I restarted, I couldn't boot to Windows. Got the error "Windows failed to load, etc..." and was taken to the DOS startup menu, from which I went to safe mode (would be taken there automatically if I didn't make a choice) and removed Tiny through Add/Remove programs. Viola, I could boot to Windows. Removed all other traces of Tiny and tried it again with a fresh download of it, same thing. Then tried putting Kerio 2.1.5. on it, which I know is basically the same program. Same thing.

    Any ideas why? I'm wondering if this sounds more like an underlying issue that will keep happening with any firewall I try, because I don't want to push my luck assuming I'll always recover by being able to get to safe mode and easily remove through Add/Remove progs. And of the other suitable, Win98SE-compatible free fws I've looked into (want the usual: inbound/outbound, very small, not too complex to learn), it seems they are either known to be treacherous to uninstall even without an existing problem; or are only "small" in the opinion of a minority; or are seriously "rules based." (I had Tiny on other computers but looking back I'm sure I was hardly protected at all, not knowing rules or how to set it up right.)

    Aside from being worried about trying another fw period, I just put FireFox on, which requires 64 MB RAM but recommends 128. So I don't even know if I'll be able to keep running it successfully, much less try any fw that isn't agreed across the board to be low on resources. So far it looks like to suit all I want and fear, filsecab might be best, but if I DID have an unresolvable boot prob with it there'd be no English support.

    Since my worst nightmare would be to end up having to reformat, maybe I should just gamble that I'm safe enough, between my dialup connection; having firefox, AVG, spywareblaster, spywareguard, spybot, and adaware; my safe online behavior (not clicking unknown email links, surfing any questionable web sites or topics; don't do games, chat or file sharing)...

    Sorry, this turned into two questions:

    1. Does it sound like I have some incompatibility or system issue that if not solved first, will happen with any fw I try?

    2. Under my circumstances do I really need a fw in addition to what I already have? I could ditch FF and use the space for a bigger fw if that would be better (but remember the part about being afraid under the circumstances of using any of the ones known to screw up many systems and/OR be hard to cleanly uninstall)?

    Thanks so much for any insight! :)
     
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    if im correct when u get the error "Windows failed to load, etc..." u can still continue booting to win98. or at least a similar message appears in winxp when u do an improper shutdown. u dont have to use a firewall but if ur connected to the internet then it would at least be a wise thing to do. for a firewall have u tried zonealarm? secondly there could be some problem with the software on the laptop but if u dont want to reformat it could require a lot of troubleshooting. and lastly u may want to glance over at this thread for windows 98 security.
     
  3. semiclue

    semiclue Registered Member

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    Hi! Nope, not as simple as any of that, this is definitely not a garden variety issue (but for clarity I should have stuck to just bringing up one at a time, the main one being the boot issue and whether all fws are likely to cause it. Every techie I've asked so far has been stumped on the whole thing). Anyway no, I absolutely couldn't continue to boot to Windows normally until I removed Tiny, from safe mode. I could get into safe mode, get a command line, etc. (any of the options on the DOS startup menu besides "Normal" boot), but that was all, I was totally trapped.

    ZA is my very definition of something I don't think I should try, old version or new, because of its known uninstall issues. If it turns out I have some kind of problem that will conflict with attempted install of _any_ fw, I'm afraid that one wouldn't come back out easy enough in safe mode for me to be confident I can just remove and then be able to boot to windows, as I was lucky enough to do with Tiny and Kerio. (And most ZA versions wouldn't fit requirement of easy on resources either.)

    I don't think anything relevant to this issue could be covered in that win98 thread. I didn't mean that I don't understand how to keep my machine secure or that I don't know what combo is good to do that. I meant that under these particular, strange circumstances, what's my best plan of action: it seems trying a diff fw might risk causing an even worse boot problem; but even if I try, many of the truly small ones that fit my stated requirements are also known to be horrific to uninstall; and I only have 64 MB RAM so I don't have room for just any fw AND firefox (hardly even for ff alone, which I put on in response to being stuck without a fw for now).

    But thank you, I do appreciate it!
     
  4. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i sometimes go without a firewall so i guess it couldnt be that severe, in the meantime tho may u should save up money to buy more memory or just use the laptop offline for basic tasks like using wordpad or something. neways glad i could help.
     
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