Something like this happened to me recently on my old laptop, which also runs W98SE. I paid to have it repaired, which mostly consisted of getting the OS reinstalled (I had lost the install discs). In the process, all my files were erased, so be sure first to back up (copy) your files onto external media, and then try re-installing W98SE.
As to why it happened to me: The tech who repaired my computer basically blamed the age of the computer and the OS.
Attila Piróth wrote:
I have some serious problems with my secondary computer (OS: Win 98, SE). Until recently it was working properly, connected to a router, and so file sharing with and printing through my primary computer worked well. Suddenly it must have lost some important configuration data, as
1.) Only IE can access internet. Mozilla Firefox - that I used quite frequently -, Opera - that I installed expressly to check this -, Outlook Express - that I do not use - simply cannot connect to internet.
2.) IE can access most websites - but not hotmail. It seems as if the browser did not process the thml code properly. As it is the only exception, it is really weird.
3.) The "Quick Launch" tray has been lost - and I cannot restore it. When I right-click on the tray and tick "Quick Launch", an area is separated off for it - but when I pull icons onto it from the desktop, the desktop icon disappears and nothing appears on the tray. I do not even have the desktop icon on the QL tray - which slows things down quite a bit.
4.) File sharing and printing no longer works. I tried to reconfigure the connection between the two computers with the old parameters - only to see the internet connection disappear even for IE.
5.) When I changed the IP configuration and then changed it back, IE worked again, AND hotmail also - but only until I restarted the computer.
I ran spybot and adaware, so malwares that they recognize cannot be the culprits.
Thanks in advance,