Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Installing AOL Damaged My Computer


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Rvan801

Rvan801

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
I recently installed AOL 9.0 Security Edition on my Windows ME Emachines. I later found out that this may not have been the best move, as the version of AOL was too recent for the computer (which was purchased some three years ago). In any case, I cannot even start up my computer now. During the booting process, I receive an error message telling me, "The following file is missing or corrupt: VMM32.vxd. Please type the name of the Windows loader." I am unable to get past this, and even tried using Safe Mode and some of those other startup options. All eventually encounter the same error screen, though, so I have literally not seen my desktop in weeks. So, with this being said, can someone help me? My first and foremost goal is to save all the data I had on the computer, which totals some 80 MB. Of course, I would also like to restore the computer's functionality, but keep in mind that saving my data comes first for me. Finally, I will just lay out the few options I do know of for rectifying this problem. I suppose these could be used as a starting point for whoever responds to this (unless there are other viable options).

1. Restore Windows using the Restore CD (I honestly see this as a last resort)
2. Reinstall Windows without losing data (I can't find my reinstallation disk, though)
3. Use MS-DOS commands to extract Windows files and move them to a new folder (a bit too advanced)
4. Physically extract the hard drive and insert it into another computer (I'm not too fond of this option)
5. Use scanreg /restore at the command prompt to bring up one of my previous registrys (currently looking into this, but fear I will further damage the computer; could especially use help on this one).

I will be eternally grateful to whoever can help me. If you need any more information, please just ask. Thanks in advance.
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
wannabe1

wannabe1

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 16,645 posts
Hi Rvan801...Welcome to G2G!

Restoring to a previous registry would be the first thing to try at this point and will be the most likely to get your machine running without losing your data.

You will need a WinME or Win98SE startup disk to accomplish this. If you do not have one, you can obtain one HERE. Once downloaded, double click on the downloaded file and put a floppy disk in the drive when prompted to do so to create the startup diskette.

Start your machine with the startup disk in the drive. At the Options Screen, press Shift and F5 together to go to a command prompt (A:\). At the A:\ prompt, type C: and press "Enter". At the C:\ prompt, type windows\command\scanreg /restore (Note the space after scanreg) and press "Enter".

You will be presented with 5 backup files to retore to...using the Arrow keys, choose the second or third one down in the list and press "Enter". Allow the system to recover the registry and restart (remove the startup disk before the machine reboots).

Let us know if this gets your machine running again...

wannabe1

Edited by wannabe1, 03 December 2005 - 07:41 PM.

  • 0

#3
Rvan801

Rvan801

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
Well, let me first thank you, wannabe1, for your advice. Unfortunately, though, this did not solve the problem. I was presented with the five backed-up registries as you described (I did a full surface and hard drive scan using Scandisk prior to this, by the way). Since the incident occurred on the 20th, I chose to restore the November 19th registry. After restarting, the same message telling me that the VMM32.vxd file is missing or corrupt appeared at startup. How should I proceed now? Should I try an earlier registry, or is the problem beyond that? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • 0

#4
wannabe1

wannabe1

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 16,645 posts
Rvan801...Bummer!

Try this Microsoft Procedure and see if your issue is resolved.

wannabe1

Edited by wannabe1, 04 December 2005 - 09:42 PM.

  • 0

#5
Rvan801

Rvan801

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
Thanks for your response once more, wannabe1. Before I do this procedure, though, I wanted to make sure that it applies to my computer; keep in mind I am using an Emachines with Windows ME, while the site you gave me seems to deal with Windows 95. Even if I can use the information, I'd like to first ask you about two more options I've been given. One is Winfix, something that a friend of mine told me I could access through the Command Prompt. It would supposedly fix the system files that seem to be damaged (unlike Scandisk). The other is this site: http://www.easydesks...news/news10.htm. It seems to deal directly with my problem. I would appreciate it if you could tell me if either of these chocies is more desirable, or if I should follow the Microsoft Procedure you had provided me (which, to be honest, I don't quite understand). Thanks!
  • 0

#6
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts
Hello,
This is why I hate AOL!!! Nothing but troubles!!

Did you try restoring to the "earliest" date using scanreg /restore? If not, then I have to tell you that soon, it's possible, that none of you restore dates will be useable. Win98 and ME are weird that way!

The worst that could happen when you restore to the earliest date is that any program you installed after that date may not work because the registry entries will not be there. This means that if you didn't install any programs after the earlier date, then restoring to that date will not do anything to your machine except possibly remove some troublesome entries that happened after that date. You may have to read that long run-on sentence again to understand it.

If you didn't install anything after the earliest date, or you don't care about any of the programs that you did install, then restoring to that date won't hurt your machine. If you did install programs that you care about, then all you have to do is re-install them.

What it comes down to is this... try to restore to the earliest date possible, and every other date available just so you can get your machine up and running again.

If you're lucky, one of the dates will work! Then you need to totally wipe all traces of AOL off your machine, back up your registry, then reinstall AOL... previous working version, that is!

Edited by makai, 07 December 2005 - 07:24 PM.

  • 0

#7
Rvan801

Rvan801

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
Thanks for your suggestion, makai. Restoring the earliest registry (which was three days before the incident, and just two before the registry I restored several days ago), however, still didn't fix the problem. Allow me to turn our attention now to Winfix and that website I provided in my last post. If either you or wannabe1 (or anyone else, for that matter) could tell me more about these two options, I'd be very thankful, as I feel there's only so much left to do at this point.
  • 0

#8
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts
I'm supposed to be sleeping right now, but I was compelled to answer your post.

The application Winfix does not have very good reviews. One way to find out if a product is credible, or at least popular, is to search Google Groups. Simply entering the words "Winfix reviews" in Google groups will pull up a ton of hits... VAST MAJORITY of which are quite bad.

Besides this, this program is useless for "after the fact" repair. It's use is dependant on you installing it directly after you install your OS so it can take a snapshot... then using that snapshot at a later time if you need to recover. This is what I gather from reading about it. So, in your case, it won't help you.

However, it's your choice... and your money. Read about it before making a decision... HERE's the link to Google Groups search. Also, you should do more searches so you can find out all you can about the product before purchasing.

As for the website you linked, I actually visited this website while researching your problem. It does appear that it "may" be able to help, but I can't say for sure. You can try it, but it seems a long drawn out process. All I can advise on this is to be patient and try to follow along with it very closely. Never can tell, as it may fix your machine right up, and your testament may do wonders for anyone else who runs into this particular problem. If you do attempt it, and it works, please take notes of any changes, or deviations from the online procedure that you may have had to make and possibly post it here. Any help to this forum is much appreciated!! Thanks.

As for Scanreg /restore... since your attempts did not pan out, your only other option may be to do a repair install of ME right over the top on the current installation. We may be able to help you with that, so let us know what direction you wish to take.

Ok... goodnight! :tazz:

Edited by makai, 08 December 2005 - 10:48 PM.

  • 0

#9
Rvan801

Rvan801

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
Well, makai, with Winfix out as an option (I wonder why that individual even recommended it to me, knowing I couldn't boot my computer...), it seems I'm choosing between following that site's VMM32.vxd repair procedure and reinstalling Windows. I think I'd rather begin with the latter, as the process of using MS-DOS commands to repair Windows is still daunting to me (and can always serve as a last resort anyway). So, I guess I should first ask where I can get this reinstallation disk for Windows ME. I realize that I should have one from purchasing the computer, but for whatever reason, I don't; all I have is the Restore cd-rom (this is actually something you could help clear up for me. That is, the difference between reinstalling and restoring Windows). If it could truly fix my problem, and do so without deleting my desktop files, I would purchase it without a moment's thought. Therefore, if you could tell me where to obtain one, whether it be Microsoft's site, Ebay (I'm a member, if that helps), or wherever, that would be great. Thanks again for all your help so far.
  • 0

#10
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts
Well, more than likely, your computer didn't come with an ME disk since it's from emachine. Also, you probably wouldn't be able to use an ME disk to restore your computer because if emachines are like every other OEM dealer, the OS they install is specialized for their machines, and a regular ME disk would not work.

I'm sorry, but I was under the impression that you installed ME yourself on your emachine when you mentioned you couldn't find your reinstallation disk.

It seems you really have no choice but to use the manufactures disk. I'm sure your computer came with some documentation though. Do you happen to have it? If so, you might want to read up on how to use their recovery disk and also search to see if it can be done "non-destructively" Most manufactures recovery disks will return the computer to a condition like the day you purchased it. Unfortunately, this means no user data, but try reading your manuals anyways.

Let me have a few hours to do some more research. There must be a way to secure your data. Of course, if you just slaved your hard drive into another computer, you would be able to just transfer your data over to that computer and then burn it to CDs/DVD (if the computer has the capability, that is). Anyways, I will get back to you.
  • 0

#11
Rvan801

Rvan801

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
Makai, I was hoping I could get your opinion on one of those Linux recovery cd-roms. Here is the URL of the specific auction I've been looking at: "http://cgi.ebay.com/...QcmdZViewItem." The problem with most of the auctions for disks such as this is that the seller (not as much this one, though), passes it off as being able to fix any problem, which I know is not realistic. So, I would appreciate if you could tell me whether this cd could solve my problems or not, keeping in mind that if I buy it, I will ask in this forum again for help using it. Thanks in advance for your response.
  • 0

#12
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts

Makai, I was hoping I could get your opinion on one of those Linux recovery cd-roms

I'm sorry, I cannot recommend you spending money on the disc. That will be totally up to you. I don't know enough of what this disc does to even comment on it.

My opinion is that the best thing for you to do... is to slave the hard drive into another computer and retrieve your data. Any kind of repair attempt could damage your data so you'd be taking a chance no matter what you do. If you have another computer that you can slave your hard drive into, I would do that. Save your data, then continue on with trying to repair the computer or just use the manufactures recovery disc and redo the machine. That would be the quickest way without spending any money on things that may not work.

Is there a reason why you don't want to slave the disk in another computer? Do you have the manufactures recovery disk?
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP