Windows ME -- HELP!!

I recently installed an upgrade to Windows ME (against the advice of some on this board). Some things appear to be better than my previous OS (Windows 98, First Edition), but there are also many problems. The system seems to lock up, give various error messages, and the BSOD much more frequently than it used to. I have some specific questions I hope somebody can shed some light on.

  1. Is there a service pack available that might fix some of the problems? I have looked on the MS site, but can’t find anything.

  2. Is there some way to back out of ME back to my previous OS? If I do that, are upgrades from Win 98 FE to SE still available?

  3. The most annoying (to me) problem I am experiencing is with Outlook Express. When I first boot up, and dial into my ISP, it will stay connected for a while, and send and receive emails. After some variable amount of time it will disconnect. The ISP says they are not disconnecting it, and I do not have any settings that tell my computer to disconnect after a period of inactivity. The computer will then dial back to the ISP, and again it will stay up for a while, but ususally a shorter time. After a few iterations of this, it will get to the point where it will disconnect in less than a second after the id and password are recognized. The only cure seems to be to reboot, and then it will behave for a while. I had similar problems with Win 98, but it usually did not require rebooting more often than every few days. With ME, it seems to happen several times a day.

  4. When I first installed ME, printing from various applications seemed to work ok. Recently, I do not seem to be able to print from any application. When I tell it to print, a printer icon shows up in the system tray, and when I open that, it shows the jobs queued to the printer, but nothing happens. It doesn’t matter if the printer is turned on or off, it shows the printer as paused. When I open the printer control window, I can print a test page, so it appears to be working ok. Before I had this problem, when I selected Print from some application, a printer window would open up, to allow me to select number of copies, etc. This window does not open now. I had this problem previously on Win 98, but only for emails. Other applications such as Word and WordPad would print ok. (In fact, the way I was printing emails was to copy them into one of those programs, and then print them.) When I installed ME, this problem went away without having to make any other changes (no reinstall of printer drivers, etc.) But now it is back, and even worse, because it seems to affect all applications.

The printer is a Lexmark 7200. The computer is a Compaq Presario 2254, with an AMD K6 processor, and 64MB of RAM.

  1. (This problem is not new with ME. I had exactly the same problem with 98.) I am running Word 95 (version 7.0). When I select a .doc file from Explorer and double-click on it, it opens Word. I then get a series of error messages from Word saying it cannot open various files made up of parts of the name of the file it is trying to open. Then it will finally open the correct file. For example, if the file is C:\My documents his here file, it will first say it can’t open C:\My his, and then C:\My documents\here, and then C:\My documents\file, and then finally open the file.

I would really appreciate any help anyone can give me with these problems.


If you selected to save your previous operating system, you should be able to uninstall with the add/rm software in control panel or boot to dos & type: uninstall

I did what you did once, again & again, eventually I just had to install Me on a bare HD to get it functional.

This is a bug with Windows in general. If your file names contain spaces: “Windows is very inconsistent about how it handles file names containing spaces. For instance, if you use Explorer to select some files with spaces in their names, then use Send To, TextPad will open them successfully. This is because Explorer hands over the DOS 8.3 aliases for the names, so the spaces disappear. However, when you double click a file, Explorer hands over its long file name, unquoted, which causes the problem. The Open File dialog box is actually part of Explorer, and it hands over long file names with quotes around them!” – taken from the help for TextPad, an excellent text editor.

Try going into Explorer, choose View/Options, go to the FileTypes tab, scroll down the list until you find “Microsoft Word Document”, choose Edit, go to Open in the lower box, choose Edit again. In the DDE Message box, does it say [REM _DDE_Direct][FileOpen("%1")] ? If not, try that. It should put quotes around your file name when you hand it to Word thus getting around the problem.

As far as the BSODs go, have you updated your video drivers lately? When I first went to ME, I had a ton of problems until I updated the drivers.

pcubed said:

Thanks for the suggestion. I checked the setting that you mentioned, although the path to get to it was a little different than you gave. It did not contain the first bracketed part, but the second part was exactly as you showed it, including the quotes. I think the first part is just a comment, but I added it anyway. It didn’t change anything.

Does anybody have any more answers?

ME installs on top of old 98 or 95 installs are a lot more problem prone (in my experience)than a fresh ME install to a newly formatted disk. If you installed on top of an older OS you might want to try saving your data, scrubbing the disk and re-installing the OS. Make a boot disk in the add-remove programs applet and have your old CD copy of WIN 98 handy for verification purposes during installation.

On a clean install to a formatted hard disk, after the floppy boots into DOS go to the ME CD root directory and type “setup”. The system will guide you from there.

But, of course astro, to do that one would need then the full version of ME.

I remember getting w95 then update to w98 then the update to Se then to Me. Well, as you can imagine when one gets a new HD doing all that takes forever. I think perhaps just buy a full Me from if you need it.

Actually of course not, you can do a clean install from an ME upgrade version, all you need is the previous Windows 9x OS CD to prove you are eligible.

That must of been a pain in the ass indeed.

I did format my hard drive before installing ME and I’ve been happy with it, few problems so far. Sometimes (3 times I think) newly installed apps and drivers have caused a Windows Protection Error which won’t let me boot but a System Restore fixes this problem. No BSOD at all.

No Handy this is not the case, as indicated by JohnnyIsGood’s previous post all you need is the upgrade CD, a boot disk and the previous version of windows 98 for verification purposes which you will be asked for shortly after entering the ME ID code. ME upgrade and ME full are identical with the exception of the upgrade version requiring verification of previous Win OS ownership during installation.

After the previous OS info is verified a full clean install will be implemented.