The above issue of Aptiva Exx series models hanging up at the Win98 startup logo screen during all cold boots from a power off state seems to be a very commonly reported problem early on.
This concern (now acknowkledged as a Known Koncern by Microsoft in MSKB article Q190603 and which from the feedback I've gotten only seems to effect the newer E series models preloaded with Win95 and then upgraded to Win98) requires the user to either start in Safe Mode and then Restart or wait until the system hangs and then restart via CTRL+ALT+DEL, which brings one to a Safe Mode prompt ("Win98 failed to completely load yadda, yadda, yadda") at which point the suggestion to boot to Safe Mode can be overridden by choosing to "Start Normally".
This issue has been determined to be caused by a conflict with the CD-ROM drive on these models (users performing a Step-by-step confirmation boot report that the hang occurs when the system attempts to load the file ICVBIDEC.VXD). IBM reportedly is working on a patch to address this issue, while they obviously hope to release it as soon as possible there is no definate ETA at this time.
Users contacting the 800# HelpCenter on this issue are advised to disable 32bit protected mode driver support and force CD-ROM support via 16bit real mode drivers. This obviously is at best an unsatisfactory "band aid" workaround, as by anyone's yardstick slowing the system to a crawl by forcing all drives into MS-DOS compatibility mode can hardly be considered a "fix".
The following is the twofold procedure users report being provided by IBM HelpCenter tech support via 1-800-772-2227:
 Disable 32bit Protected-Mode Disk Drivers
When you start your computer, press and hold down the CTRL key until the Windows 98 Startup menu appears > Choose Safe Mode. Once Windows 98 is loaded, click Start > Click Shut Down > Click Restart > Click OK.
If your computer hangs, restart your computer and choose Normal on the Windows 98 Startup menu.
I suggest starting the PC using one of the above, using Standby often to reduce the frequency of performing a full startup and to keep your fingers crossed for a swift resolution in the form of a patch from IBM. As soon as any further information (or hopefully a software fix to more properly address this issue) is available I will post the information here.
Possible Fix For E-Series Cold Boot Hang