Troubleshooting Netscape Personal Edition

List of Problem Situations

  • Hey, I can use my other communications software (eg. online services, fax modem),
        so why can't I login using Netscape?
  • I keep getting GPF or GPA (General Protection Faults) while using Netscape.
  • I'm connecting, but Netscape still won't work.
  • Hey, I can use my other communications software (eg. online services, fax modem),
        so why can't I login using Netscape?
    • First of all, the communications software for those other online services may use a Shiva-based dialer that can grab hold of your modem's COM port and not let go. This can also be a problem with fax-modem software, which wants to monopolize the COM port for its own use.

    • Solution: Add the following lines to your C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI using your favorite text editor.

      (Before editing anything, make sure you save a copy as SYSTEM.OLD that you may revert back to if something should get messed up.)


      claim port=0

    • Solution: Disable or un-install any potentially conflicting communications or fax-modem software. If you can then connect successfully, you may try re-installing essential software back piece by piece and verifying whether you can still login to Webbworks. This way you can isolate the exact source of conflict to aid you in deciding how to manage your various communications packages.

  • I keep getting GPF or GPA (General Protection Faults) while using Netscape.

      To some extent, these WILL occur from time to time. It's just the nature of Windows and its interface with Netscape. However, they can be minimalized by halting a WWW page from loading before attempting to move on to the next page or link. Just click the STOP button, then move on.

      Netscape does recommend that you have at least 8 MB of RAM to run their program, and if you have less, then these errors will undoubtedly occur from time to time. Our recommendation for folks with 4 MB would be to shut down any running programs in Windows: Fax drivers, Virus protection, clocks, etc. And disable any drivers that are not completely necessary: CD-ROM drivers, etc.

      For those of you who have 8 megs or more of memory there are certain other problems which may cause GPF's on your system:


      Your CONFIG.SYS should have the following information:

      DEVICE=himem.sys     (Make sure there is a reference to 'himem.sys'.)
      DEVICE=emm386.exe    (Make sure the reference is there.)
      buffers=20,0         (20 or more)
      stacks=9,256         (or try 18,128)
      SHELL=C:\DOS\COMMAND.COM C:\ /E:2048 /P  (Make sure COMMAND.COM is there.)


    • Edit the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI carefully:

      Locate the [BOOT] section of your SYSTEM.INI.

      Find the following:

      comm.drv --> should read: comm.drv=comm.drv

      Locate the [386Enh] section of your SYSTEM.INI.

      Find the following:

      vcd --> should read: device=*vcd

    • Video Drivers

      The following video card drivers have had problems:

      ATI Mach 32 & 64
      Diamond Stealth 64
      Cirrus Logic (CL-GD) 5424 & 5424

      If you have one of these cards you should update your video driver under Windows. You can get these from the following FTP sites:

      Cirrus Logic:

    • Multiple WINSOCK.DLL's

      One problem a lot of our customers have are multiple WINSOCK.DLL files floating around their systems. To correct this, go to DOS (or a program capable of searching your system for files), and run a program called MSD.EXE. Under FILE/FIND FILES, search out 'WINSOCK.DLL'. (Make sure you search sub-directories and all hard drives on your system.) If you have more then one copy under win3.xx then you have a problem. One Winsock directory should be in your PATH statement in your AUTOEXEC.BAT. For instance, if you have one WINSOCK.DLL in your Windows directory and another in your Winsock directory and both are in your PATH, you will run into problems. To solve this problem just remove the WINSOCK.DLL that you don't want to use or correct your PATH statement.

    • 386 Enhanced Mode

      Run Windows 3.1 with the following command:

      WIN /3

      And make sure your swap file is permanent:

      Under MAIN icon click on CONTROL PANEL.

      Under CONTROL PANEL click on 386 Enhanced.

      Check your VIRTUAL MEMORY (Swap File) to make sure it says "Permanent".

      Under DOS, run the program"defrag" at least once a month.


      At the DOS prompt type:


      If at the bottom of the displayed memory information you don't see something about Expanded Memory then you will need to run a program called "memmaker". If you are unfamiliar with this program then give us a call at Webbworks. Basically you want expanded memory turned on when it asks you.

  • I'm connecting, but Netscape still won't work.

    If you are using Netscape for the first time on our service, previously used it with a different dialer, online service, or connection software - then you may need to un-install it and re-install it (minus the dialer, of course). And in addition, if you have a version of Trumpet Winsock on your computer, you will need to rename WINSOCK.DLL to WINSOCK.OLD, re-install Netscape, then rename it back. Netscape sometimes will latch on to the wrong WINSOCK.DLL when installing.

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