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computer turned vegetable


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#1
tanramion

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:) my computer is of no use now 'coz explorer doesn't load properly during start-up...

:) problem started with "search assistant" registry entry removal by ccleaner.

:) there was this anti-p*** clean-up program that had been automatically installed into our system when i planned to download an mp3 w/c ODDLY required a download of their inet explorer toolbar.... while downloading the toolbar, avg prompted me for a virus. but whenever avg healed the object, i couldn't access it properly anymore so i had to download that toolbar for a second time.. avg promted again.. this time i decided to just continue with the download without avg doing anything, thinking that i'd deal with the virus later after the toolbar had been installed properly.... got the toolbar installed...then at next start-up, there's this new anti-p*** scan/clean-up program that appeared out of nowhere.. i suspected that it came from my last download so i started looking for the uninstall file of the thing and i ended up deleting a weird-looking start-up registry entry, which i assumed to be related with "search assistant"....

:) at next start-up... computer started in safe mode, so i rebooted my pc for the normal mode... this time, the computer acted as if it was the first time that it was booted-up, it even asked for the serial number of the windows 98 instalation cd... geeez... i entered the serial # then rebooted my pc, again. for this last time.... at start-up... the usual user log-in... then explorer just doesn't load-up... an "illegal operation" window appears...
:)
--------
Explorer
explorer caused an invalid page fault in module
EXPLORER.EXE at 0167:00401f31

Registers:
EAX=00000000 CS=0167 EIP=00401f31
EFLGS=00010246
EBX=00000001 SS=016F ESP=0080feec
EBP=0080fef4
ECX=c15a8660 DS=016f ESI=00000000 FS=58a7
EDX=0080fefc ES=016f EDI=00000000 GS=0000
bytes at CS:EIP:
8b 08 50 ff 11 80 45 08 50 8b 08 ff 51 08 8b
45

Stack dump:
00401ee0 0080fefc 0080ff34 00405cac 00000000
00000000 00000000 00000001 00404436 00000000
0059fc0c 00000001 00000000 00000000 00000000
00000000
--------

after this message appears.. nothing happens anymore... nothing else loads-up.... when i check the task manager... nothing is there... welll... except for mmtask... i think... oh welll.... so the conclusion is that our windows 98 system is now unusable... but DOS still functions properly... i think... but i have super minimal knowledge when it comes to navigating and using DOS....

:) i really don't know what i did but i know that i was stupid enough not to follow avg's instructions to heal/quaratine that file just to get 1 stupid mp3. i was also stupid enough not to run an ad-aware scan.....

geeez... i don't really know what happened!!! :tazz: ;) ;)

my theory is that instead of removing what should be removed, i accidentally removed a registry entry for explorer, or something vital... :)

:) i hope someone could help me. couldn't give anymore info for i couldn't access the files/programs using windows...

*i'm using windows 98 se, savage pro, 128mb shared ram, pentium 4...

*i'm computer literate and i know stuff about spyware and net stuff... but i'm not a computer whiz when it comes to these kind of "system"/registry tinkering/DOS stuff... hehe... ά :help:
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#2
gerryf

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Well, you're messed up. Not sure how I would move on from here without actually seeing the machine, but you have definitely moved from spyware problem to messed up system problem....the request for windows cd-key is especially interesting.

So, we could spend days trying to figure out how to get you going again, and at that point, I think you would still have stability problems.

Therefore, I would suggest a reinstall without format to preserve data, but you will have to reinstall all your programs.

If that is accepatble, reboot into DOS, and at the prompt type the following

rename c:\windows c:\bakwin
rename c:\progra~1 c:\bakpf

You will be able to retrieve your data from these directories later

Then, reinstall windows as normal
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#3
tanramion

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to gerryf

thanks for the time! just some questions...

;) uhhhmmmm..... well.... is it ok to install with a different cd of windows 98? just asking...

:tazz: and when you said that i have to reinstall all my programs... did you mean ALL? as in all of them [ms office, adobe, firefox, yahoo!, utilities (avg, ad-aware), and games]?
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#4
gerryf

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Different cd as in not yours? Or different version of windows?

It is OK to install with a different CD....when you purchase software, you purchase a license...the CD is just the medium of delivery. But, your cd-key will only work on YOUR VERSION. (for example, a windows 98se retail key will work on only that...not a windows 98se upgrade or OEM installation.

And yes, reinstall all your programs.


But, let me ask you...and maybe I misunderstood...do your programs work NOW? Because you reinserted a cd-key, I was under the impression that you had already botched your previous installation.

If your programs still work, then by all means install windows over itself. Simply install to the same directory -- this is known as a refresh.

The reason you needed to re-insert your windows cd-key is that the registry had become corrupt...but since if your programs are sitll working, perhaps only a small part was corrupt and this may be salvagable with a refresh installation.
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#5
tanramion

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to gerryf

i was talking about my cd.... 'coz when we purchased the computer that had the problem - the explorer problem - it already had it's system installed... so i didn't have the chance to install windows myself..

:) the pc that had the explorer problem still doesn't work... can't seem to find a way to access other stuff and run programs.

the thing about the product key is really weird for i just restarted my pc after a safe mode boot-up, then it asked for the product key. ;)

;) i'm still trying to make up my mind if i'm gonna reinstall windows98se by myself.... or just ask for a computer technician to do it.... :)

geeez...

my brother is thinking about transfering the hard-drive of this pc, the one i'm using now, and put it in the one with the explorer problem as the primary master... will that work? ehehe... i have too many questions eh? maybe i should really get a computer technician here.. :tazz:

thanks again for your time!
i really appreciate the help.

more power to you! :)
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#6
gerryf

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You confuse me more with each post :tazz:

So, computer with problem came pre-installed with NO cd.

You have your own CD.

Do you know they are the same version? When you inserted a cd-key, you used yours...and it took it? Then they are the same version.

So, first try

Set the computer to boot from CD then insert windows cd and reboot.
Have windows install to the same location (default is c:\windows) There is no downside to this other than it will not work and you wasted an hour.

If that fails, I would do as I suggested in the first post I made. Yes, you will have to reinstall programs, but your data will be salvagable
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#7
tanramion

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:tazz: sorry if i'm confusing you. hehe.

the system of the problematic pc is windows 98se...
it came pre-installed with NO cd at all...

and the cd that I HAVE is labeled for the same thing - windows 98se...

good guessing! sorry if i forgot to tell you that i used the product key of MY CD. i inserted the product key and the system took it.

about your new suggestion... i'll keep you updated if it works.. ehehe

thanks again! ;)
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#8
tanramion

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ok.... i changed the bios setting to boot from cd, and already got to the point of initializing the set-up.... :) but i chickened out at the last minute... there seems to be so many options to get to set-up.... ;)

the part after inserting the cd and rebooting is a bit tricky... well, for me.

some questions...
boot from cd?
enter windows 98 set-up?
soo many questions!

i'm also confused by the process of installing itself ( this would be my first experience to install a system! ;) there SEEMS to be two ways to enter the set-up... through the boot from cd thingy, and the other, to type setup in the dos prompt... what shall i do? i'm very confused... :tazz:

could you give me a step-by-step instruction on the decisions that i have to take? could you also give some clues on what i should see when i do or enter a command?

i'd really appreciate your help. :)
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#9
gerryf

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either way...yes, there are two...well, three or four....but that's not important

Boot from CD is easier.

When asked, tell windows to install to the same directory it was in before (c:\windows, by default)

That's it. You will have to enter a cd-key, and have to click enter for some basic settings and to adjust your clock.

This is a refresh. If it doesn't work (will in better than 50 percent of problems), you're good. If not, then we need a more aggressive reinstall).

Right now, all you are doing is installing windows on top of itself to maintain settings and data. You will not even have to install drivers or programs
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#10
tanramion

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:tazz: ok i only went another step further before the system/installation "stopped me"
--------
options:
boot from hard drive
boot from cd

*i chose boot from cd
--------
options:
run windows 98 setup from cd
start computer with cd-rom...blahblah...
start computer without cd-rom....blahblah...

*i chose run windows 98 set-up
-------
then a blue screen appears...
options:
exit setup (recommended)
proceed w/ setup

*i chose proceed with setup
--------
then the next blue screen appears

microsoft windows 98 setup
your computer may have a disk-compression program installed on it. because this system may contain an existing operating system or data, setup cannot continue.
options:
f1 - help
f3 - exit

*i chose f1 help
--------
a gray screen appears
this version of setup cannot continue. you need to setup from setup disk 1 or the windows cd-rom

then there would be instructions on how to run setup when windows is running... if in ms-dos mode....
a:\setup..... blahblah....

when i exit this first setup i end up with the DOS prompt with "win98" on it.... when i type "setup".... i enter another DIFFERENT setup for windows 98 (not the blue screen that i encountered earlier).... i think this setup is the setup that's described in the win98 manual ('coz it is more colorful and there's a windows logo)....

so what shall i do? ;) shall i continue with the "second setup screen" and just install again in c:\windows, like what you told me before, or would that have different effects than the "blue screen setup"? ;)

did i do something wrong? :)
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#11
gerryf

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All right...

Is this the same disk that was used to load this version of windows originally?

It sounds like you have drivespace loaded (an old dos disk compression program).

How much space is on your harddrive? How large is it and how much is used?

We will need to uninstall it.
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#12
gerryf

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while we're waiting, in safe mode, search for all files that have the extension .cab (use windows search)
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#13
tanramion

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i'll answer each statement... ;)

1. what disk are you pertaining to? ehehe... have no idea.. we don't boot using a start-up disk.... can't seem to remember if i made one and have it somewhere.... have some recovery disks from avg though... :tazz:

2. :) i remember having drivespace in start>accessories>system tools... so that should be it.

3. hard disk space is about 70 gigs... space used still less than 1/5 of the original capacity....

4. ;) can't try the .cab thingy 'coz i can't use windows... same explorer problem in safe mode.... explorer won't load up....
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#14
gerryf

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man...

all right, from the dos prompt, type EDIT
using your ALT key, you can activate the dropdown menus.

Open an report back the contents of autoexec.bat and config.sys
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#15
tanramion

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sorry if i don't know much about dos.... you'll have to give me specific instructions when u ask me to do sumthing in dos... w/c is pretty much the only thing that our pc could do. ehehe...
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