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I installed Windows ME and RH9 in two different desktops (different H/W), giving the same replies to the prompts, and selecting the same packages in both cases.
In one of the PCs, both Windows and Linux boot with no problems; in the other Linux boots with no problems, but Windows doesn't complete the boot, it just sits on the light blue screen that comes after the menu and the count-down, with the pointer switched from the arrow to the hour-clock. I can move the pointer around the screen, so it is not frozen. If I press CNTL-ALT-DEL a message comes up that the system is busy or unstable... etc, etc.
In both installations I selected the default loader 'Grub' to go on the MBR.
In case it helps, the hard-disks layouts are as follow:
On the 'good' PC: 3 Hard-disks. Windows is installed on the first 1 GB of the first drive (total 6.4GB), and a D: drive (VFAT) is on the whole of the third drive (4.2GB - Master on the 2nd IDE, with the CD as slave). The second drive (8.2GB) and what's left of the first is dedicated to Linux.
On the 'bad' PC: 2 x 6.4GB hard-disks, with Windows taking the first 1 GB on the first drive, and a D: drive (VFAT) on the last 2GB of the second drive. The rest dedicated to Linux.
I partitioned the Hard-disks manually when installing Linux, allocating space to (root), boot, tmp, usr, opt, var, home and swap.
I checked the allocations with df and each filesystem has plenty of spare space.
Grub seems to be working OK, since when I reboot the PC, Grub comes up and prompts me to select between the two Linux configurations or the Windows OS. If I choose Windows, it does begin to come up normally, so I don't think I've got a problem with the MBR, but I'll be happy to be corrected.
I'll be very grateful for any explanation of what could be wrong, and suggestions on how to fix Windows.
Forgot to mention, ME has some routine checking at startup unlike NT or previous 9x versions of Windows, which I'm led to believe is causing the 'freeze' because it noticed an abnormality that it cannot fix. I will say this...you'd be better off with 95 than ME...it is the most buggy Windows system there is, hence your problem.
The fact that grub work correctly and WinME begin to come up normally mean that MBR is OK.
Can you boot in safe mode??
Sounds to me like some driver conflict.
Some software can also freeze win, like antivirus softwares (they keep track of MBR changes) or firewalls (I'm aware of some problem with ZoneAlarm that freeze win).
In all probability the MBR is ok , otherwise the winme shdnt have got started booting .. what I think may be is that there is some programs in the windows startup that is getting hang due to lack of resources , this could only be a possibility .. better try if u can boot in safe mode and see if u can do anything ... but I think u may have a msconfig done to see if any resource is asking unwanted attention from the system ..
Do let me know if this works ..