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Due to an unexplained, extreme slowdown in my Win98 processing speed (for about the 10th time), I have been attempting to remove ghosts from most of my devices in Device Manager (some have two or three ghosts). It works temporarily but, sooner or later, they come back. I am running as slowly as I did with my old 133Mhz Pentium computer running Win95. My main problem is that I've managed to lose my floppy disk drive in Device Manager (it still works, however :p ). It is now a big yellow question mark and no matter what I do, Windows fails to reload it. When I remove the question mark from Device Manager in Safemode and restart, Windows still can't deal with the unknown device. I have even shut down, disconnected the drive, restarted, then shut down again and reconnected the drive, then restarted Windows in Safemode, but the drive still isn't recognizable. I am getting the DOS Compatibility Mode messages, also, further reducing my speed. I feel that I have a missing, or corrupt driver somewhere in the system, but System File Checker reports no problems. As best as I can remember, the drive didn't come with a manufacturer's diskette (and I am not bad about misplacing that kind of thing). Do I need to get the drivers from my CAB files, or what? If so, what would I look for? This is really ridiculous, but wait till you see the next question!

When I try to remove the Primary and Secondary IDE Controllers and their ghosts from the Hard Disk Controllers category, WonderWindows tells me that they are part of a multi-device component which has to be removed first, BUT THEY DON'T IDENTIFY IT! Catch 22! Do I look like a Windows designer, programmer, troubleshooter, or repairman? Did I pay good money for my software in order to avoid constantly re-inventing Windows? The KnowledgeBoard? Hahahaha (hysterically)! Please, how do I remove this crap from my Device Manager?

I have been dealing with this problem for close to two years. eMush-ines' Customer/Tech Support is the worst in the universe -- no help, period. I don't mess with the Operating System at all, other than loading normal software (no tweaking, ever). This problem comes back almost immediately after formatting. I have plenty of RAM and my hard disk is only about 30% full. Scandisk and Defrag have very little effect with respect to my speed. eMachines replaced my installation disk (it only took 5 months to get it in the mail) but I have identical problems with the new one. I think maybe some of the original device drivers were already so old that they could be causing some problems when I install the latest releases of some of the software I use. eMachines has grossly re-configured the Windows software to allow for their incredibly old device drivers whose manufacturers are almost totally UNDOCUMENTED, making driver updates virtually impossible! I uninstalled WordPerfect Office 2000, Norton SystemWorks 2001 and Corel Photohouse 5 and experienced a good increase in speed, but it is still not fully normal. But duh... I really would like to use my expensive software. If you are familiar with these problems, PLEASE HELP ME.

Thanks for letting me vent... I needed it :). Uh ... I do have one last question. Would a double-barreled shotgun take out both Windows and eMachines, but leave my machine intact for LINUX :p? Thanks again.

Larry Fretwell
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