Is the warranty worth anything?

I read PC World's story on Windows 98 and (unwisely) decided to try it.

The installation process was carried out precisely according to the instructions in the manual and apparently proceeded smoothly. At the end, I ran the disk maintenance programs. I was then confronted by a screen advising me that this program had performed an illegal operation and would be shut down. The screen and mouse locked up and did not respond to re-booting or any other commands. I was left with no alternative but to switch off.

Upon re-starting, the set up presented me with a DOS screen advising that Windows 98 could not load because a file "Win com" was missing. The start up disk, which I had made during installation, could not start Windows 98 and I was forced to wait until the next business day to ring Microsoft. After waiting the usual lengthy period and accepting a charge of $35 I was eventually given instructions to extract the missing file and launch Windows 98.

All seemed well until I closed down the program and switched on. Again the same process. Again I had to ring Microsoft, wait and be given another set of instructions to insert the missing file. This time all seemed well except that my icons would not launch the expected programs, the Office shortcut bar would only launch Word, my Internet favourites file was lost along with my Internet connection.

Having tediously rectified these matters, I re-installed Windows 98 from scratch and hoped this would be the end. However Windows 98 now takes an interminable time to finally advise me that it will only start in "Safe Mode" and that not always reliably. Often I cannot print for unknown reasons. I am trying this hoping that I can finish before it again crashes.

I have not installed FAT32, or any disk compression tools. My Dr. Solomon's ani-virus was switched off during installation. I did not attempt any installation procedures other than those in the standard CD ROM upgrade, which I purchased.

I know of one other person who has had a similar experience. Have any of your readers had similar experiences? What is the cause of this problem?

I am sorry that I have installed this program as it has done the opposite of what I expected from the advertising. It has been unreliable, unstable and very slow. I hope that when I un-install it, I will once again have the old stable reliable Windows 95 OS.

Surely Microsoft can do better than to charge $35 for assistance with what appears to be a serious fault with one of their new programs. Is their warranty worth anything?

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Warren Millist

PC World
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