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windows 98 only starts in safe mode


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#1
gibbs

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hi, you may well wonder why i'm even bothering but i'd like to repair this computer if possible. it's a mini desktop with a faulty cd drive so reinstalling isn't an option as the drive cannot be replaced.

windows crashes on startup, all you get is a blinking cursor in the top left of the screen, but no useful error messages.

if you start in safe mode explorer crashes immediately so you cant do anything.

if i modify system.ini to give progman as the shell then you can start the computer in safe mode, however msinfo will not run from here so i cant run the system file checker (ole initialization failed).

any ideas on how to recover this system?

or can you point me in the direction of how to get it networking from dos? i've not done this before - i've tried the net command but i need to load netbios somehow first.

the origin of this problem is likely to be some kind of viral infection, the windows directory is full of what i take to be junk with filenames like iupld~xx.exe xx being a number, however the usual hideouts for trojans in the registry seem to be free of nasties.
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#2
dsenette

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hi, you may well wonder why i'm even bothering but i'd like to repair this computer if possible. it's a mini desktop with a faulty cd drive so reinstalling isn't an option as the drive cannot be replaced.

is this because of a physical limitation of the case that means that you can't remove the drive? or what?

would it be possible to pull the hd out and boot to it in a different system that has a working cdrom? 98 is basically platform independant so you could format/reinstall on a different system then move the drive back over to the old case and reinstall the pertinant drivers (can't do this with xp)
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#3
gibbs

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effectively yes. the drive is not the standard 5.25" removeable type, it's more like a laptop drive, i was told by a local computer shop they wouldn't be able to repair it.

thanks for the advice though, i'll get inside it and get the HDD out, hopefully that is a standard type!

assuming it's a normal IDE 3.5" thing, am i safe to simply drop it into my new XP machine and boot from it? should i disconnect the main HDD on the XP machine first?
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#4
dsenette

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if you do get the drive out and find that it uses a standard ide cable then yeah..it's safe (should be) to p ut it in the other machine...i would personally suggest that you deffinitely unplug the current drive from the good machine just to be safe...don't wanna format the wrong drive....IF the drive ISN"t of standard ide size then you can get cable converters (for lack of a better term) that will convert from the smaller drive size to a normal ide cable
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#5
gibbs

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an update:

i connected the hdd from the dodgy machine to my xp system and was able to transfer all my important data. then i ran avast on the drive and cleaned out all the viruses.

next i booted off the old drive, this seemed to work, windows loads, but before the shell loads it goes crazy finding new hardware, a likely response i thought and re-connected the drive in it's own system. however the problem is still the same, could there be hardware issues in the old machine too?

anyway, i'll connect the drive back up to the new system and try to repair the windows installation or start again, and see what happens.

thanks for your help!
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