I just installed a PCI card in my NT/95/98 machine and now the machine won't boot. The screen looks funny and the machine freezes. What could be wrong?

It is possible that the Window Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) has relocated one of your PCI Plug and Play devices to overlay the video board. To force Windows to not do this, you need to modify the BOOT.INI file which exists in the root directory of your boot drive. This is normally C:\BOOT.INI.

Note that this file is normally read-only and hidden, system. You will need to remove these properties before you can modify the file. Use the Properties button on Explorer to make the changes.

Then edit boot.ini, and locate the two lines following the line:

  [operating systems] 

which start with the characters:



Go to the end of both of these lines and add the parameter


then close and save the file. For further information on this subject please see the Microsoft knowledge base on the Web. Search for the key "/pcilock".

Your system should now reboot successfully with the PCI card installed, and you can finish the remainder of the installation.