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Win 98 will not fully start up


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#1
Evonne

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While downloading and installing an update from Microsoft for Windows 98, the computer froze up. Now, when I try to start it up, it goes through the process; but stops after the logon with the error message that "Explorer.exe caused an invalid page fault in module Explorer.exe. If the problem persists, please contact the prgram vendor." Same problem in Safe Mode. The background picture is there, but nothing else.

I can still access the End Program box to shut down the computer. I can boot to a command prompt with the start up disk. I have tried extracting explorer, and several other files, from the original cab files, as suggested at the Microsoft Support pages. I have tried a scanreg /fix. Nothing seems to work.

Moving the hard drive to another computer and trying to save the data is a last resort. I don't want to lose some of the programs and registry keys on this drive. Is there anything else I can do?
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#2
Leurgy

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From the command prompt, try a scanreg /restore. You will be able to pick from about 5 previous registry backups. Pick the most recent one that says "Started".
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#3
Evonne

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It didn't work.

I had already tried a restore to the day before I did the updates. So this morning I tried the restore to two days before. I'm getting the same error. I think the update install may have been in the process of rewriting some of the files when the computer froze, so restoring the registy doesn't work.

Is there any way to find the update files and install them from DOS? Or would they be corrupted from the shutdown? I only have my HP restore disks, no original Windows 98 disk. The Windows>Options>Cabs are on the hard drive though. Is it possible to reinstall from there without losing all my data? If so, what does that do to the registry?

Thanks for your help! I really really appreciate any info.
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#4
Leurgy

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The best way to restore would be a non-destructive restore using the HP disks.

You could also boot with a boot disk and run Windows Setup from the folder with the .cab files and rewrite the system files.

In neither case should your personal files be affected (but its strongly recommended to back them up first). In both cases you'll need to revisit Windows Update for all the Critical Updates. The registry will be modified as needed, actually it will probably be completely rewritten. What is the concern about that?

What is the Model Number of this HP?
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#5
Evonne

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Okay, it will take me a couple of days to back up the files before I try a system restore. I tried the HP disks last year when I was fed up with a virus. They didn't work. I thought at the time that it might require an F Disk! So I'm hoping the .cab files will work.

The problem with rewriting the registry would be losing keys to programs that are installed. Some are difficult or impossible to replace. I've either misplaced the original disks, or downloaded from defunct sites.

It's an HP 8655C. Yes, it's one of the models with a bad motherboard. I have a newer computer. Just haven't gotten around to getting everything off the old one. (And don't want to lose some of those programs.) :whistling:

Thanks so much for your time. I'll post back after I try the restore.
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#6
Leurgy

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When you tried using the Restore Disks from HP is this the prodedure you followed?

HP Pavilion Desktop PCs - Performing a System Recovery in Windows 98 and Me
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#7
Evonne

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Yes, that sounds like the process. I would have been going for the "recover only" option. But it seems like nothing happened. I let the whole thing sit for a couple of hours, thinking "maybe it takes a while." But when nothing happened, I gave up. Did I not wait long enough? I would much rather repair the sytem files that way!
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#8
Leurgy

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When you run a recovery its obvious whats going on. If you don't see any activity then it didn't start. Perhaps try again?
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#9
Evonne

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Yes, I did try the HP Recovery disks again this morning, several times. Same thing...nothing. I click through to the Recovery Only screen. When I click on Recover, nothing happens. It's like the computer keeps freezing up. But the odds are fairly slim that that would continually happen.

If I go into "Advanced Options," I have the choice of restoring selected files. Should I just restore all the files into the Windows directory? (assuming the restore will work.)
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#10
Leurgy

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You could try that I suppose. As long as your booting from the CD. You'll likely have to reinstall some programs if you do that. Don't know why it would be hanging.

Have you done a scandisk and a defrag lately? Run Disk Cleanup?

HP mentions your problem in their troubleshooting area. See Recovery starts then stops responding (or displays an error)

Edited by Leurgy, 02 July 2006 - 07:05 AM.

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#11
Evonne

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Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I really appreciate all of your help.

Yes, I do scandisk and defrag fairly regularly. I haven't done a Disk Cleanup for a while, though.

I'd been to the link at HP before, scanned the headings, and decided none of them fit because Recovery wasn't ever really starting. But after you posted, I went back in, read it, and tried it. It worked! I've installed all the Windows Updates, too.

Since the Restore did overwrite the registry, I've reinstalled the printer driver and some of the software. Now the printer seems to double up on it's windows, but not the printing. Do I need to uninstall that driver? I guess I thought the reinstalls would just overwrite the old files. There was no warning that any file already existed when I reinstalled either the printer driver or Microsoft Office Pro.

At least the computer is usable. I can always play around with it and see what happens now.

Thanks!
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#12
Leurgy

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Glad that worked for you :whistling:

As for the printer, see if there are two instances of the printing program in Add/Remove programs. If so remove one. If it keeps doing that, remove all the printer related software and try reinstalling.

The Restore reinstalls any programming that came with the computer, including a printing program if the printer was included. I'll guess and say Microsoft Office Pro was not??
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