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duplicate files in win98' sysinfo

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i am trying to reslove a friends boot-up problem.friend lives in neighboring county so i am not able to access his pc quickly.the pc will boot correctly about 1 in 15 tries.often get "non system disk replace hit enter" or not as often will boot to scandisk "normal scan as in improper shutdown" or into "advanced scandisk /searches intire drive for surface/data errors",i think? that boot files are corrupt? boot with bootdisk in a:\ is only ramdomly usefull ,also it "seems to help?" to :turn off/unplug power cord/switch off power supply on pc rear power toggle switch let set "ps faulty?" wait as long as nerves allow ,reconnect then reboot :this has some success booting to desktop - sometimes :using bootdisk to "start to reach a:\" then imediate shutdown then reboot without bootdisk gets success. on checking find that many files in "sysinfo" are duplicates" MANY! "I think? that several reatempts to reinstall win98' (and other driver data) has left too many files in boot dir. ?or has corrupted them/added conflicts? The pc is an athlon 1600 "so says *my computer properties* ,256mb ddr.i do know that the hdd is a relatively new (2 mo.) replacement with mobo driver files that were downloaded and installed more than once. Causeing an overwriteing corruption?boot dir. corruption?i am sure that haveing duplicate files bogs down sys. ,after running for minutes to as much as an hour or so will get :not able to write to c: error msg. no techie here and really cant afford one,either of us. any usefull suggestions/advice/recipes for scrambled MBR ? <_< THANX !
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    - i pwn n00bs -

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Hey Phazer,

Let us take a closer look at what is running on your PC. We'll need you to use a free diagnostic tool (HiJackThis) and post a log back here with the results.

Click the HijackThis Guide in my signature, download it and follow the instructions in the guide.

Most of what it lists will be harmless or even essential, DO NOT delete or modify anything yet! Someone will be along to tell you what steps to take after you post the contents of the scan results.

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