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Windows ME ~ Trouble booting!


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#1
peacelovepeace

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Hi everyone,

I came across this website when I was trying to find info about my current pc issues. (Using my laptop on my home network to try to fix my desktop). My desktop pc (Piece of Crap) is a Dell 8100 running Windows ME (yes, I know I need to update my OS). Ok, so I've had this system for nearly 8 years! I kept up with it and ran updates etc.... and for a long time now it has given me nothing but trouble. My fault since it's been a $2500 paperweight for a while now since I couldn't get updates done without getting the BSOD (blue screen of death) on it constantly. I have another pc in another room which is running wirelessly on a Linksys router from my Dell and I'm running a laptop on the same wireless network. Sorry for the lengthy reading here, but I'll try to give as much info as I can to help your process of assisting me if possible.

Ok, so I couldn't get my computer to even turn on one day (blinking yellow power light). Struggled with that for months (tried everything ~ added more RDRAM, replaced power cord, to no avail) and finally replaced the motherboard which fixed the problem. Now, I got it to boot Windows so I decided I would start to clean it up. I removed a bunch of useless programs and uninstalled AVG, Spybot & other programs I wasn't using. Then went to msconfig & unchecked other junk in my Selective Startup menu to clean more. Upon reboot I got a message & blue screen, "System Memory running very low - Norton AntiVirus Auto-Protect may not be able to function properly".

Did a clean boot, now, when I reboot the pc, I get the Windows ME main screen then a blank screen with my blinking pointer and that's it!

I tried Safe Mode and msconfig for Normal Startup and still the same thing happens. I can boot Windows in Safe Mode but not in Normal mode. My whole point to cleaning things up is to be able to run some scans like Malwarebytes, etc... since my system is so unstable, then I'll try to backup my photos & documents to an external hard drive. Once this is done, I'm going to upgrade to Windows XP Home edition and hopefully have a decent system again. I'm trying to squeak more useage out of this system because I'm confident it's possible. Also, I noticed that one of the last restore points on my pc is from 2004! UGH! Not sure how that is possible. I was sure I had more current restore points. Was gonna do a Restore but don't know what I'll lose for files and such. I'm quite sure that my system is completely INFESTED WITH VIRUSES AND MALWARE, etc.. since I was unable to reactivate my Internet Security programs or turn my pc on for so long. Plus my nephew subjected it to all kinds of crap a while back, which really frustrated me.

I'm was thrilled to find this website since I'm not a pc geek at all and want to learn all I can to fix my pc. Yes, I could just run out and buy another computer but I find this all very fascinating and look forward to hearing from someone in this forum who would be interested in assisting me with my problem. I'd like to try to fix my pc and have a sense of accomplishment in the process.



NOTE: (I'm unable to get internet access with this desktop because my wireless setup was recently adapted to add a T-Mobile wireless router for a home phoneline with them & their router was piggybacked to my Linksys router & cable modem on this pc. Now that I'm able to power up my pc, I lost my internet access on this particular pc. My other desktop & laptop are obviously running off the T-Mobile wireless router). I don't know how to fix this problem either.
Also, I have Malwarebytes, Spybot etc.. on a cd but my pc won't run properly to run the cd.

I apologize for the complete mess of a problem that I have. I hope it won't deter someone from helping me.

I'll try my best to answer any questions you have. Hope this is enough info to get someone started. Please post a reply when you have time! Looking forward to your expertise!

PEACE :)

Edited by peacelovepeace, 29 January 2009 - 11:11 PM.

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#2
123Runner

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Oh what a mess! Only kidding, we have had worse.
Welcome to geeks to go. I will start this out and attempt to help. I am sure there will be others that will join in.

The fact that you can boot into safe mode is a good thing. Safe mode loads very basic things. READ HERE for a good description of what safe mode is.

I suspect a driver issue as the problem.

While in safe mode, can you access your external drive or a flash drive? Note: I am unsure of this possibility because I personally have not needed to.

You may not be able to put XP on that unit. XP requires 256mb of ram (would be better with 512 or 1GB). 256 will run real slow.

I need to do more thinking on this 1 so I can give you more direction.
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#3
peacelovepeace

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Hi there 123runner,

Thanks so much for the reply. I appreciate it :)

To be more specific, I was able to view my Windows desktop earlier today but after I UNinstalled some programs & disabled my wallpaper, I was no longer able to boot all the way to my Windows desktop. It hangs up after the opening Windows ME screen and shows my mouse pointer on a blank screen ~ that's it.

I had tried previously (a couple months ago) to backup my files using a Maxtor 80GB External Hard drive via USB but my computer wouldn't even recognize it! Then today I tried to burn some photo files to cd but my EasyCD Creator program kept failing as well.

NO, in safe mode, my computer won't even recognize any other drives besides my main hard drive C:
In safe mode, I put a cd in the drive and my computer won't recognize it. Bummer!

Ok, the good news is I installed 1GB RDRAM sticks yesterday. So, I believe that's plenty to run XP Home Edition if I manage to get that far into this project. I'm quite sure my pc is in dire need of updated drivers all around, Windows Update, and a total cleansing of all spyware, adware, malware, viruses, trojans, etc... But with no Windows ME support anymore, I don't see much happening by the way of updates.

As I mentioned, I installed another motherboard the other day because of my power issue which turned out to be a bad mobo. Now, upon startup I'm getting a driver update reminder window for: 3com 3C920 Integrated Fast Ethernet Controller (3C905C-TX compatible) and also a driver update reminder window for AC'97 Driver for Intel® 82801BA/BAM Controller.
I just hit "Cancel" on both popups since I didn't know what to do and I haven't fixed my lack of internet connection right now anyway. Did I get these popups because new stuff was recognized on this other motherboard? Not sure what to do.

Here's some more details that may help you with my issues. When I was able to get to my Windows desktop earlier today in normal mode, like I said I unchecked some boxes in msconfig. Here's what I disabled in my selective startup right before rebooting and not being able to get back into Windows desktop:

I unchecked ~ ccEvtmgr, ccSetmgr, ISSVC, ccApp, ccProxy, Scriptblocking, ALU scheduler, AOL dialer, Iomega, and a bunch of the Symantec titles.
I was trying to have less stuff starting up so it would help me clean things up easier but appears it caused the freeze up problem.
So, I went back in safe mode and msconfig and reset startup to normal instead of selective. Didn't help. Still froze at startup.
Right now I'm in safe mode and running ScanDisk (Thorough scan). It's been taking all day to run the scan! It's about halfway thru the 1,830,439 scan! So, looks like it'll be running all nite! Figured this scan couldn't hurt so I ran it.

IN A NUTSHELL ~ I guess what's most important of all is that I'm able to backup all my photos & documents to another drive. Then, I don't give a crap about that hard drive (which I'll most likely upgrade before installing Windows XP Home edition). Just figured I'd try to wipe out some stuff with Malwarebytes FIRST since my system is so bogged down. BUT have to get it to fully boot now.

Hope this addtional info helps. WHEW! Again, so sorry for the lengthy post. Thanks so much in advance for your assistance & expertise! Hope to talk with you again soon.

PEACE, ROBIN :)

Edited by peacelovepeace, 29 January 2009 - 11:32 PM.

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#4
123Runner

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If all you want at this time is to save your data, then I would go at this a different way.
I missed the part about the new mother board. Since you installed it, the OS requires different drivers based on the board.
The AC97 is audio, the 3com3c920 is your internet, and I am sure there are quite a few more like the north bridge and south bridge.

Windows ME would require the driver for the maxtor drive or a flash drive because it had far less generic drivers than XP.
Are you planning to purchase another hard drive to replace the 1 that won't boot? (to use for XP)?
If you have access to another computer, say a friend, you can slave the non booting one to taht and transfer the files.
If you plan to purchase and use another drive for XP, then you could do the same thing after XP is up and running.

If you want to continue with repairing ME to get data off, then you are going to have to repair the device drivers.
If you do get to the desktop, you can download from another computer a little no frills CD burning program called "Burnawarefree", since your cd doesn't work.
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#5
peacelovepeace

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Hi again 123runner,

I see ~ do I need an internet connection for installing those drivers? Yes, I was thinking I might buy a new harddrive to replace my existing one for when I install XP.

Well, you've been very helpful and have given me a few options here so I'm gonna give them a try and I'll let you know how it goes sometime this week. Thanks again for your help! I really appreciate it! Talk to you later :)
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