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Recent Problems

Several bugs and small little problems with Windows Me have been popping around the Internet lately. I went around and asked a couple of people if they encountered any bugs, but most say that their biggest problem was with their device drivers, I think one can conclude Windows Me is fairly bug-free. But there are a couple of bugs and tweaks that you should be aware of:

Scot Finnie writes in Windows Insider that hitting Caps Lock during the early screens of the Windows Me setup (close to where you enter your registration number), completely disables your keyboard, and requires a mouse click on Cancel of Setup and a reboot. Scot was using a Windows 98 EBD as his boot disk.

As most of you know who have installed Windows Me and are running it successfully, there is an animated presentation when Windows Me boots up for the first time. If you’re lucky and Windows Me installed your sound drivers, you’ll be able to hear it, but there’s absolutely no way to cancel out of this screen. So you’re stuck with it for about thirty seconds!

One of the bugs found before Windows Me was released was in the WinTV for Windows application, which is included in Windows Me. The bug allows a malicious hacker to crash or reboot any PC running WinTV for Windows and initiate a Denial of Service attack. It seems that this bug was found in Windows 98 recently, and was also present in Windows Me, but for some reason the bug is still present, and no patch is available.

Windows Driver Model (WDM) modems with AOL can also be a problem, with the initial connection attempt to AOL failing. A successful connection may also be dropped, and the computer can become prone to hanging. It seems there’s a problem when Windows Me try’s to handle simultaneous input requests when using the WDM modem drivers. To fix this you have to call Microsoft, and go through all of their mumbo jumbo, but Win98central has the fix available for download here.

3D Spotlight also released an article on how to tweak your modem in Windows Me, and you can find that here.

Microsoft’s Product Support and Services Web site has a page with FAQs and Highlights on Windows Me. A couple of pages within this site have updated information on recent error messages, troubleshooting WindowsMe, and a how-to page. You can check that out here.

In the coming weeks, Microsoft should be releasing several security bulletins, as well as fixes for bugs and what not. Articles and information on bugs that were reported should also be popping up around the Internet, so I’ll be sure to report those when they come out. If you have any bugs or fixes you’d like to report, please e-mail me at: luis@dale.net, and I’ll cover them.

Conclusion

If you’re a power user, then I would suggest a clean-install of Windows Me. I’m warning you now though: be prepared and expect to be annoyed and delayed. But in the end, you will end up with a better Windows installation, just like in the past. This however will be a much harder clean install than either Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition was. Most of the problems in Windows Me are related to the device drivers, so have those handy and be sure that Windows Me supports them, if not you’ll have a device that won’t be working to its full potential. In other words, Microsoft turned down the volume way down in Windows Me on a very important feature: Plug and Play. ®

I’d like to thank all the people who provided input for this article, especially Ross at WindowPlanet.net.

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