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Pleeeeeease help me..........

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Hi Guys, much love to whoever can sort me out. I'm about ready to commit suicide.

I recently inherited an old Dell PC and began to delete some random files I thought I wouldn't need. I turned my computer off again and everything seemed fine untill I turned it back on again.

I'm getting a messege that reads "Cannot find system.ini"
"You need to run windows set up again to install the file"

Press any key to continue

When I press a key my computer just turns itself off.

Does this mean I will need to install windows all over again using the disks that came with the computer (I don't have them anymore) and have I lost any work for university which I have done recently. Also, can I install windows 95 with a CD rom or will I need loads of floppy disks?

Thanks for your help



Edited by Drummond, 10 November 2005 - 02:14 PM.

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Hello and welcome to Geeks To Go.

Deleting files you don't know can be a risky thing to do, which you've just experienced first hand. Your important files are intact, and can be retrieved, but it may be a bit complicated to get them off your computer. Before I give you a solution, I need a bit more info about your computer:

1. Is your computer a laptop or a desktop computer?

2. Do you have 2 CD drives: at least one of them being a burner?

3. Do you have a Flash Drive that works on your opperating system?

After we save your stuff, you will have to reinstall 95 from a CD. Just hang in there, we'll get this sorted out. :tazz:

Edited by computerwiz12890, 10 November 2005 - 02:29 PM.

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Hi, thank you so much for helping.

It's a desktop computer, a Dell demention XPS D233....quite old. It only has the one CD drive. I'm not really sure what a Flash Drive is, sorry. :tazz: It has a USB port if that's any help. It won't even go into windows, this messege just shows up in dos.

Edited by Drummond, 10 November 2005 - 03:27 PM.

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Neil Jones

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Flash Drives are more commonly known as Pen Drives. They're USB devices, which means that unless you have the 3rd release candidate of Windows 95 (the so-called OSR2 release which wasn't around very long before being superseded by Windows 98), then the Pen Drives won't work on Windows 95 anyway regardless of any USB ports you may have.

Something quick to try, may or may not work:

Reboot the computer. When it says "Starting Windows 95", press F8. Choose Command Prompt only, then press Enter.

Then type this:

cd windows\options\cabs

This will of course only work if the required files are already there, they usually are in an OEM installation. If it works, just follow it through to the end, it'll reboot a few times.
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Something quick to try, may or may not work:

Reboot the computer. When it says "Starting Windows 95", press F8. Choose Command Prompt only, then press Enter.

Then type this:

cd windows\options\cabs

This will of course only work if the required files are already there, they usually are in an OEM installation. If it works, just follow it through to the end, it'll reboot a few times.

That was going to be my suggestion. The files might also be in a folder in C: called win95.
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Hi, me again.

Thanks for your suggestion. I tried to enter the command but I got a messege reading "this programme cannot be run in dos mode"

I bought a new version of windows 95 on CD from ebay yesterday so basically I need to know if all the files on my computer will still be there if I install it. I no longer have the origional disk or CD. Dispite my university work I have a lot of files created my my auntie who passed away two years ago and would really like to keep them.

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If you really need those files, take the hard drive out, change the jumper setting to slave and put the drive in a newer computer and copy the file off. You may need to use the cable select setting on some machines. Even though they are in fat32, or even fat16 format win XP or any later version than '95 should have no trouble seeing and copying them. On the newer machine they will be converted to the newer file format.
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Hi Drummond
The safest way to reinstall windows 95 and not loose data is to follow the steps listed here
Reinstall 95
Any problems let us know
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Major Payne

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Before you start deleting whole directories, do you have a win boot disk that has the cd rom driver?

If so, this information listed below are the instructions for my old boot disk used for Win 95/Win 98. This boot disk will put a virtual RAM space on your HD at boot up. It must be set in BIOS to boot first from the A-drive. If you can use this and do boot to where you have the CDROM driver installed and are at the A:/ prompt on the screen, put the Win 95 CD you bought from ebay in CD drive and type setup. If you don't have any other problems and cdrom is a good Win 95 install, then you should see that you are prompted to continue or not. If you continue setup, the setup files should start loading from the CD and you just following the instructions. Hope you have the install key unless it's already entered.

These instructions are how to use the boot disk. Gives lots of other info. Print this out (copy/paste) to WordPad or whatever, then print. "Using these Tools" is in RED.

HELP FILES (Read carefully):

Type ALT+F+X to exit Edit

What's New for the Windows 98 Startup Disk?

The Startup Disk has changed significantly for Windows 98. The following items are new for Windows 98.



If you boot your computer using the new Windows 98 Startup Disk, a boot menu appears allowing you the option to load drivers for the most common CD-Rom drives or perform a normal clean boot.

After you make your selection, the Config.sys file loads the appropriate CD-ROM driver (if selected) and then loads a 2MB RAMDrive. The RAMDrive is used to store all the diagnostic tools necessary to troubleshoot the most common problems.

NOTE: The RAMdrive may cause your CD-Rom to pushed back 1 drive letter. If your CD-Rom is usually drive D:, it will now be Drive E:.


The Windows 98 Statup Disk includes generic ATAPI IDE & SCSI CD-ROM drivers that allow your CD-ROM to function at Dos when the Windows 98 GUI is not available.

NOTE: Not all CD-Rom drives are supported. If your CD-Rom drive does not function with these drivers, you must use the drivers that came with your CD-Rom drive.


The Ebd.cab file is a compressed file whose contents are extracted to the Ramdrive during the startup process. The table below identifies the files in the Ebd.cab file.

File Function
Attrib.exe Add or remove file attributes
Chkdsk.exe A simpler and smaller disk status tool
Debug.exe Debugging utility
Edit.com Real-mode emergency text editor
Ext.exe New, simple file extract utility
Format.com Disk format tool
Mscdex.exe Microsoft CD-ROM file extension for MS-DOS
Scandisk.exe Disk status tool
Scandisk.ini Disk status tool configuration file
Sys.com Transfers system files and make disk bootable
Uninstal.exe A tool to remove Windows 98 from the system and return the system to its previous state


The RAMDrive is created during the processing of the Config.sys file and is 2MB in size. The Ramdrive is created using system RAM to emulate a physical Hard Disk. Without creating the RAMdrive, we would not have enough space on a single 1.44 meg floppy disk to contain all the diagnostic tools as well as the CD-Rom drivers.

WARNING: Since the RAMDrive is created during the processing of the Config.sys file and uses System RAM, it is only temporary. It will disappear if you restart your computer normally.


The following table describes the function of each file copied to the EBD.

File Function
Aspi2dos.sys Real-Mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver
Aspi4dos.sys Real-Mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver
Aspi8dos.sys Real-Mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver
Aspi8u2.sys Real-Mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver
Aspicd.sys Real-Mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver
Autoexec.bat Startup batch file
Btcdrom.sys Mylex/BusLogic CD-ROM driver
Btdosm.sys Mylex/BusLogic CD-ROM driver
Command.com Command interpreter
Config.sys Loads the device drivers
Drvspace.bin Microsoft DriveSpace compression driver
Ebd.cab Cab file containing extract utilities
Ebd.sys File identifying the ESD
Extract.exe File to expand the Ebd.cab file
Fdisk.exe Disk partition tool
Findramd.exe Utility to find the RAMDrive during startup
Flashpt.sys Mylex/BusLogic CD-ROM driver
Himem.sys XMS Memory Manager
Io.sys System boot file
Msdos.sys Boot option information (paths, multiboot, and so on)
Oakcdrom.sys Generic device driver for ATAPI CD-ROM drives
Ramdrive.sys Creates a Ramdrive during startup
Setramd.bat Searches for first available drive to be a Ramdrive


This section includes some common troubleshooting steps that can be used when it's necessary to use the Windows 98 Startup Disk. These steps are designed to get the user at least into Safe-Mode where you have access to Windows 98 extensive HELP system to further troubleshoot any issues.

Starting Your Computer in Safe Mode

There are several reasons why Windows 98 may fail to start properly. The first step in troubleshooting
is to try starting your computer in Safe Mode. If Safe Mode works, you can then use the extensive Help
system and troubleshooters located in the Start menu/Help option.

>>>To start your computer in Safe Mode:

1. Remove the Startup Disk and restart your computer. After the computer restarts but before Windows begins to load, hold down the CTRL key until the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup Menu appears. (If you are running Windows 95, press the F8 key at the "Starting Windows 95" prompt.)

2. From the Startup menu, select Safe Mode.

If you can start your computer in Safe Mode, use Windows 98 Help to resolve your original issue.

Setup Fails and the Computer Will Not Start

There are a few common reasons why Windows 98 Setup may fail to complete successfully. The following
section explains what you can do to recover from these situations. For more information on other Setup problems, see the Setup.txt file in the Win98 folder of your Windows 98 CD or Setup Disk #1.

If you encounter any of these error messages while running Setup:

* Invalid System Disk
* Incorrect MS-DOS Version
* Missing or Corrupted Command.com
* Compression Driver errors

It is likely that your computer's startup drive may need updated system files. You can use the SYS command
to copy the needed files to your computer.

NOTE: If you are currently loading compression software, you will need to know your host drive letter. This is typically H. If you are not loading any compression software, then you will need to SYS your C drive.

>>>To use the SYS command to copy system files to your computer:

1. Restart your computer using the Windows 98 Startup Disk, select option 2 on the Startup menu, and then
press ENTER.

2. At the A:\ prompt, type: SYS X: (where X is your Host or Startup drive).

3. If the procedure is successful, a "System transferred" message appears. If it is not successful, check to be sure you are typing the correct drive letter for your Host Drive.

IMPORTANT: If you have installed software that came with your hard drive, be sure to read the documentation that describes how to start your computer using a floppy disk.

Antivirus Software

If antivirus programs are left running during Setup, they may prevent Setup from properly updating the system files. If this occurs, disable or uninstall the antivirus program, and then run Setup again.

NOTE: Some computers have built-in antivirus software. This built-in software should also be disabled before
running Setup. If the software is left enabled, you may receive a warning message informing you that the
Master Boot Record has changed. If you see such a message, you MUST accept these changes or Setup may
stop responding.

Setup Stops Responding During Hardware Detection

If Setup stops responding while it is detecting the hardware in your computer, turn your computer off and
wait a few seconds, then turn it back on. You may need to do this several times, because Setup could stop
responding during several different detection modules.

NOTE: Use the power switch to turn your computer completely off. Do not use the reset button or press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to restart your computer.

If Setup still fails to complete successfully, it may be necessary to start your computer in Safe Mode so that
you can view the Help topics associated with hardware detection.

Compressed Drives Not Mounted

There are several reasons why compressed drives may not be accessible. If your Windows directory is on a
compressed drive that is not mounted, you will not be able to start Windows. If you suspect problems with your compressed drives, try using Scandisk to fix them.

From the A:\ prompt, type:

Scandisk /Mount X:

where X is the drive letter of the compressed drive. ScanDisk will then attempt to repair any errors and
mount the drive.

If there is not enough memory to check your compressed drives, see "Installing Windows 98 from MS-DOS," in the Setup.txt file on Setup Disk 1 or the Windows 98 CD.


This section decribes how to use some of the utilities included with the Windows 98 Startup Disk. To run each
program you should do the following:

1. Put the Windows 98 Startup Disk in the floppy disk drive, and then restart your computer.

2. At the Startup menu, select option 1 or 2
(depending upon whether you need CD-ROM access), and then press ENTER.

3. At the MS-DOS command prompt (A:\), type the name of the utility you wish to run, and then press ENTER.


These two programs are useful for checking your hard disk for errors. If you suspect there may be file
corruption or other problems with your hard disk(s), run ScanDisk to check for and repair errors.

To check all your hard disks for errors, type:

Scandisk /all

To perform a full surface scan of your hard disk(s) for maximum protection against data loss, type:

Scandisk /all /Surface

NOTE: You may receive errors about Long File Names. The MS-DOS version of ScanDisk can only detect problems with long file names, it cannot fix them. To correct these types of errors, you must run ScanDisk from within Windows 98.

NOTE: If you have any compressed drives, you may receive an error message stating that there is not enough memory to check your compressed drives. To solve this problem, try starting your computer with the Windows 98 Startup Disk, as described in Step 1, earlier in this section. Select option 2. This may allow ScanDisk enough memory to check your compressed drives.

If ScanDisk is unable to check your drives, try using CHKDSK.EXE instead. CHKDSK will check for cross-linked files and lost allocation units.


The SYS command is used to copy system files from one disk to another. Your computer needs these system files to start.

>>>To SYS your C drive, type:


and then press ENTER. After a few seconds, a "System Transferred" message appears.

The following files are copied to your hard disk during the SYS procedure:


If the SYS C: command does not work and you have a compressed drive, you may need to type the drive letter of your host drive. With the DblSpace or DrvSpace programs, the host drive is typically designated drive H. If you are not sure of the drive letter, run ScanDisk and see if it prompts you about your compressed drive.


FDISK and FORMAT are utilities necessary for installing a new hard disk in your computer or for starting over
fresh with a clean disk. FDISK is used first to create a partition and then FORMAT is used to make the partition available for use.

WARNING: Using FDISK incorrectly can destroy all data on your hard disk. If you are unsure of how to use FDISK, consult your computer documentation.

You can use the Windows 98 version of FDISK to create FAT32 partitions on drives over 512 megabytes in size. FAT32 reduces the cluster size for large drives and allows you to create single partitions on drives over 2 GB.

To view your current drive status, type FDISK /STATUS at the MS-DOS command prompt.

After you have partitioned a drive using FDISK, you will need to use the FORMAT command. To format a newly partitioned drive, type:


Where X represents the letter of the drive that you want to format.

If you want to format drive C, you need to make this disk a system disk so that your computer can start. To
do this, type /s at the end of the FORMAT command. For example:


System Startup files will be automatically copied after your drive is formatted.

CD-ROM Drivers

The Windows 98 Startup Disk includes a set of generic CD-ROM drivers. These drivers work with most IDE ATAPI and SCSI CD-ROM models.

If your particular CD-ROM drive does not work with these drivers, you will need to use the drivers that
came with your CD-ROM drive.

Following are some known issues about the CD-ROM drivers:

1. CD-ROM drives connected to sound cards may not work properly.

2. Early proprietary CD-ROM drives (for example, Mitsumi, Panasonic, Sony) may not work with these drivers. Some older IDE controllers may fail as well.

3. The SCSI drivers on the Startup Disk support most Adaptec, Buslogic, and Mylex adapters. Some other
SCSI CD-ROM drives may not work with the drivers on the Startup Disk.

4. If your SCSI controller is configured for a non-default I/O range, the drivers may not detect your SCSI card. Consult your SCSI driver documentation for the default I/O ranges for your card.

5. Drivers are not included for any PC Card (PCMCIA) CD-ROM drives.


If you need to remove Windows 98 from your system, you can use the real-mode uninstall utility included on the Windows 98 Startup Disk.

IMPORTANT: If you did not choose the option to "Save System Files" during Setup, then you will be unable to
use this utility.

>>>To use the uninstall utility, perform the following steps:

1. Restart your computer with the Windows 98 Startup Disk, select option 2, and then press ENTER.

2. At the MS-DOS command prompt, type UNINSTAL, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: If you see the message "WINUNDO.DAT is missing or corrupt," you cannot uninstall this version of Windows 98.


The EXT command is used in conjunction with the Extract.exe utility to make it easier to extract Windows 98 files to your hard disk. You can use this to replace missing or damaged files.

This utility is extremely useful if you are receiving errors during startup about missing files, or execution errors such as General Protection Faults or invalid page faults.

>>>To use Ext.exe to extract a file, perform the following steps:

1. Use the Startup Disk to start your computer. Select option 1, and then press ENTER.

2. Make sure the Windows 98 CD is inserted in the drive.

3. Type EXT at the MS-DOS command prompt, and then press ENTER.

4. Follow the prompts to indicate the location of the Windows 98 Setup files, the files you wish to extract,
and the location in which you want to place the extracted files.

NOTE: If your CD-ROM drive letter is E, then type the location to the Setup files as E:\WIN98.

NOTE: If you wish to extract more than one file at a time, you can use wild card characters.

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Or if you want a quick fix try this
Create new system.ini

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