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biosinfo.inf mising


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#1
bkwgator

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I had issues with malware (aurora in particular). After cleaning the system (with Geekstogo help) everything was great again. I then proceded to update my system to SP2. Upon rebooting, I get the error:


"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \windows\inf\biosinfo.inf

You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows setup using the original Setup CD-Rom.
Select 'r' at the first menu screen to start repair."


Upon booting, though, the CD is never read. According to the microsoft website, this problem is caused by third party virus protection software. Entirely possible as I just installed Ewido during the cleanup of the malware. The fix according to the microsoft site is to cancel installation, boot normally, remove the third party program, then retry the upgrade. The problem here is that I do not have the option to cancel the upgrade (as far as I can tell).

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Bkwgator
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#2
makai

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Upon booting, though, the CD is never read.

You must change the boot order in the bios to boot from the CD first.

Get into bios by repeatedly hitting the delete, F1, or F10 key before the windows splash screen. Once in bios, navigate until you find a Boot Order menu. Change it to boot from CD. Save and exit the bios. Make sure you have the windows CD in the the drive and the computer should boot from it.
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#3
bkwgator

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Sorry for the late response.

I changed the boot order and tried again. After the first beep (when you go into safe mode) I have a different option: "press any key to boot from cd." If I press a key, the computer restarts and I get the same screens all over again. If I let it continue on its own the second time, I get the biosinfo.inf missing or corrupt error again.

My system info to the best of my knowledge is below:

Dell Dimension 4100 PC
Pentium 3 processor (I think)
256 MB Ram
32 MB video (basic card)
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#4
makai

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I am currently on a Win2k system and will be signing off. I will sign back on when I get home. My drive home will give me a little time to think about this so I'll get back to you soon.
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#5
bkwgator

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There's no rush. I will be going out of town today until Sunday.

bkwgator
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#6
makai

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After the first beep (when you go into safe mode) I have a different option: "press any key to boot from cd.

Do I understand that you can get into safe mode, but your safe mode options are not there... just this message?

Have you tried "purposely" booting into safe mode by repeatedly hitting the F8 key while the computer is booting up? Do you get the same message about the biosinfo file?
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#7
bkwgator

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No I cannot even get into safe mode. Upon booting I can push F2 to enter bios settings or a little later I can push F8 to select safe mode (and other options) but selecting safe mode will lead to the same error message.
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#8
makai

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Ok... doing some reading on Google groups and microsoft...
When you try to go to safe mode... are any options shown, or does the computer just blaze right through to the error? I know it seems like the same question as can you get to safe mode, but it's not.

Microsoft says to boot to safe mode, then cancel the upgrade by selecting "Return to OS choices menu", press enter... then select "Cancel Windows XP setup". I'm just wondering if you see the "Return to OS choices menu"... or any menu for that matter?
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#9
bkwgator

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I too read that info from microsoft. I do get the options in the safe mode menu. I select "return to OS menu choices," but when I hit enter I only get one option: "Microsoft Windows XP Professional" There is no cancel setup option. If I select the windows XP option, I get the missing file error.
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#10
makai

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All articles about biosinfo reference that either your recovery disc has a bad biosinfo file, or your computers biosinfo file is corrupt, or... the biosinfo file doesn't match between your computer and the recovery disc... meaning your disc thinks it doesn't belong to the computer it's trying to recover. I have searched long and hard through Google groups and I cannot find a resolution... given that you have no option to cancel the windows xp setup.

I guess I should have asked you whether you're using a full version XP disc to attempt recovery, or is it a Dell recovery disc. I assumed it was a Dell disc, since you said you have a Dell PC. There may be something we can try if it's a full Xp disc... but if it's a Dell, then I honestly don't know where to go from here.

I can tell you one thing... this experience has just caused me to back up my biosinfo file onto another computer! :tazz:

Edited by makai, 14 August 2005 - 04:05 AM.

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#11
bkwgator

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I probably should have been more clear about the OS. The computer came from Dell with windows ME installed. About two years later, we purchased windows xp (formatted harddrive and installed XP). And now we tried to upgrade to SP2.

If there is anything I can do at this point, please let me know. Otherwise, is there a way to salvage the info on the drive. (this computer has two different harddrives, one for the OS and one for data storage) I also have another Dell PC to use in the recovery of data if possible if needed (this second PC is not reliable though, but might work)
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#12
makai

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If there is anything I can do at this point, please let me know.

Yes, there is. And I'm very glad you do have a XP disc. I hope you have access to a Cd burner also.

There is a program I use to recover data from computers that will not boot. It's call BartPE. This probram is run from a Cd that you burn, and boots the computer so you can access it's hard drive. It requires the i386 folder from an XP disk, (which is why I'm happy you have one!). Along with the rest of the data on the BartPE Cd, there is also a bootinfo file which is pulled from the XP cd... (located in the i386 folder)

What I'm thinking about, is that if your bootinfo file is corrupt on your C: drive, you could replace it with the file on the CD. I have never tried this, as I have never run across your problem before, but at this point, I think it's worth it to try it on your computer. It may just work! Of course, it may not, if it turns out that the corrupt bootinfo is actually the one that's on the original XP disk.

In any case if you make the BartPE disk, and it boots up your computer, you would need to navigate the BartPE disk, find the biosinfo file, and copy it (ctrl+c), then paste it (ctrl+v) into C:\Windows\inf folder. Note that you will have to first rename the original biosinfo file before you paste the replacement. Just rename it by placing a "1" in front of the original name so it's easy to find later.

After you're done, pull the BartPE disk out of the drive and just try restarting your computer normally. If it doesn't start, then restart it again with the XP disk in the CD drive to see if you still get the biosinfo error. Hopefully, you won't and you'll be able to go in and "cancel" the upgrade.

I'm guessing this is a long shot, but I'm hoping it will work. If it doesn't, the BartPE disk will at least allow you to navigate your C: drive and move data to your storage drive.

Please visit the BartPE link above, and read the page to see what you must do to create the Cd. I await anxiously to find out what happens! :tazz:

Edited by makai, 14 August 2005 - 02:24 PM.

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#13
bkwgator

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It's been a while, but here's how we fixed it (I think):


First I tried the bartPE idea. I used my wife's laptop and tried to create a cd, but kept running into problems. It seems that the program prefers two cd drives (one to read from and one to burn to). I have limited experience with that kind of repair so I asked a programmer friend of mine to help.

When he came, he tried a number of things that didn't work first. Then we ended up disconnecting all of the drives and only using the storage hard drive. We installed XP on this drive and used it for the repair. Once XP was installed we shut down and reconnected the old hard drive. Again we booted from the new install of XP. We replaced the biosinfo.inf file with the one from the new install (same version as the original OS, but no service packs). We then shut down and booted from the old install of windows.

Upon starting up, the computer continued the install of SP2. There seems to be no problems now. We still need to connect the other drives (floppy, zip) but it should be fixed now. I think I might format my C:\ drive and reinstall windows on it to make sure there are no lingering effects.

We just did this last night, so there may well be problems that we haven't seen yet. Worst case, we can boot from the new install and salvage any info we need and format the old drive and use it for storage or something. We'll see.

Thanks for your help,
bkwgator
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#14
tgcapizzi

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Why can't those people at Microsoft give a straight answer?

I had a similar problem with biosinfo.inf. When I tried to boot from the floppy
disks I got the error message 'biosinfo could not load - error number 4096'. I
read the Microsoft "explanation" and tried removing my Norton antivirus first.
No change. I downloaded fresh copies of the floppy disks over and over. No
change. At a later point in time, I used killdisk, fdisk and format to erase my
hard drive and reinstall. Before I added Norton, I tried the floppies again. No
change.

While searching the web I found a site which offered updated copies of biosinfo,
so I downloaded one of these. I discovered that biosinfo.inf is a text file using
Disk Investigator. I compared it to the file on floppy 1, and found no apparent
difference between the two copies. Of course it is a rather large file, and I was
only doing a visual check. However, I tried to open the files with Notepad, and
discovered that the file downloaded from Microsoft would not open with Notepad
and the copy I downloaded from the internet opened with no error. I copied the
good version onto floppy 1, and when I tried to boot from floppy this time, it
opened without a hitch, complete with Recovery Console. Every time I tried it
again, there was no problem.

I could swear that the first time I tried the Microsoft version it worked, but never
again, even though I had fresh downloaded copies. At that time I didn't know to
check if the file would open with Notepad. I don't know why the official version
would not open. But I suspect that error code 4096 might contain a clue. But it
was too much trouble for Microsoft to explain the meaning of a single bit in a
status word. And it seems highly questionable that my antivirus software had
anything to do with it. If the file somehow gets corrupted after the first pass
(assuming that it is good to begin with), perhaps the floppies should be write-
protected after preparation. In any case, if you get error code 4096, try to open
biosinfo.inf with Notepad to see if you get the same result. Then find a clean copy
on the internet and overwrite just the biosinfo.inf file. Let us know what happens.
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#15
knot2azn

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Hey guys,
I just got the same error currupt/missing "biosinfo.inf". The worst part is that I do not have a recovery cd for it. Luckily its not mine but wat happened was the computer was Windows ME then was switched to XP...then upon installing SP2...thats when I got the error code.
I am not able to run in safe mode but then again I don't think that would help any. I'm trying to find a "inf" file of a similar model computer and try to upload it either by cd or usb.
But I know another way to salvage you data. Its called a hard drive caddy...pretty much you pull your hard drive out and plug it in this caddy and it reads it just like a thumb drive. They have'm on ebay and other computer stores...Nexstar makes pretty good ones...should run no more than $30 dollars...
If yah need more info on this...let me know.
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