Error message on boot-up

When ever I boot-up I get this message:
>Cannot find a device file that may be needed to run Windows or a Windows application.
The Windows registry or SYSTEM.INI file refers to this device file, but the device file no longer exists.
If you deleted this file on purpose, try uninstalling the associated application using its uninstall or setup program.
If you still want to use the application associated with this device file, try reinstalling this application to replace the missing file.
press any key to continue<

I press any key and continue but this wipes out all my passwords (I'm prompted for a Win 95 password and I must reenter all my Dial-up networking passwords).

Also I can't get to the DOS prompt from the programs menu. I get theis message:
>Cannot find the file 'C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND.COM'.
Make sure that the file exists in your system and that the path and file name are correct.<

I don't know if these two things are realted.
Who is Participating?
busukaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Don't think that these two things related. You have hard time
1) Check My Computer - Rightclick - Properties - Device Manager
2) Check one-by-one devices installed. Pay attention to yellow
and red marks on device icons (if any). Post them.
BTW you can try to remove marked devices. Also check for non
standard devices (modem, sound card, ...) and in properties
they sometimes have what files are associated with particular

Now about COMMAND.COM issue, easy enough:
I think COMMAND.COM resided in C:\ or in Windows\Command folders
Enter My Computer -> C: -> Windows -> Start Menu -> Programs
find MS-DOS Prompt.pif Right click on it and choose properties
In Shortcut put proper path for your COMMAND.COM (C:\ or
Maybe you just have messed COMSPEC variable messed. You can
where path is correct existing path to COMMAND.COM.
furby3Author Commented:
When I checked my computer- - Right click - Properties - I see a window Volume_1(C:) Properties. There are three tabs--General, Tools, and Norton. I don't see the device manager. I found the Device Manager using the Help feature and checked one-by-one the hardware. I saw no yellow or red marks.

For the Command.Com issue I entered My Computer -> C: -> Windows -> Start Menu -> Programs and found the MS-DOS Prompt and looked at the properties. Under the Program tab and saw the following:
Working  C:\WINDOWS
I'm not sure how to proceed from here.

Like I said before check if you have COMMAND.COM in Windows
folder (I really doubt that it's there). Further I said that
possible locations of COMMAND.COM is C:\ and C:\Windows\Command
You just need to find proper location and change C:\WINDOWS
in Cmd line to new location. "Working" directory is directory
where you start and have DOS prompt, so it not so important and
you can leave it untouched.

About My Computer -> ... blah blah
I just wrote this incorrectly. You rightclick on My Computer
icon, then Properties from pull-down menu, then Device Manager
tag (anyway I made Device Manager shortcut to not mess with it
every time :)
Another things you can do is:
Search SYSTEM.INI file for winesd.386 entry. I think it resided
under [386enh] section as device=z:winesd.386 or without .386
Browse your Windows\System folder for existance of this file.
If this file exists you can simply remove z: from device entry
If entry not exist at all, we have a little trouble:
1) Backup your registry files (SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT) into
   some temporary directory for safety.
2) Run Regedit and press Ctrl-F (find). Search for winesd.
If you found it (can be in several places), post registry
positions (written on bottom of Regedit window when you select
registry entry)
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furby3Author Commented:
Got the COMMAND.COM problem fixed. Thank you.
I searched the SYSTEM.INI file but didn't find a winesd entry.
I need more specific directions on how to run Regedit and I don't understand what
"Search for winesd. If you found it (can be in several places), post registry positions (written on bottom of Regedit window when you select registry entry)"
OK, Regedit is simple program that decodes content of Windows
registry files and allows to change things. This is simple EXE
file c:\windows\regedit.exe
Run it (backup above mentioned two files first !!!) and follow
instructions in my previous comment.
furby3Author Commented:
OK--I ran Regedit and searched for winesd. I found winesd.386 At the bottom of the Regedit window it says: My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DocFindSpecMRU
Now what?
Copy these files to some directory, and in Regedit DELETE entry.
Also a question: it's only one entry in registry with winesd ?

furby3Author Commented:
The missing file is "z:vvinesd.386" not "winesd.386"   I found  z:vvinesd.386 in Regedit and the bottom of the window says: MyComputer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\VVinesd.
How do you copy files in Regedit? When I go up to EDIT "copy" is not one of the options.
No, no, no. You copy files OUTSIDE of Regedit, prior to run it.
Just create new folder, say REGBACK, then copy files SYSTEM.DAT
and USER.DAT to this folder, then run Regedit and DELETE entry
This entry is connected to Network Config when you have Banyan
Vines Network and z: is network drive, so Win95 try to load this
driver for Banyan Vines support. I doubt that you have that LAN.
So remove this entry, reboot, if problem persists, remove first
entry (without z:) also.
furby3Author Commented:
It worked. Thank you.
Glad it worked.
I have noticed "Novell" / "Microsoft" IPX/SPX settings effect this files entry. Anyway, I would suggest deleting only:
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\VVinesdin the registry. There are other "vv" and ".386" files needed for several other things.
As expert Busuka indicated, the backup of the registry is vital before any changing.
Am curious how that statement calling for the vvinesd.386 file ever got installed on his & my computer in the first place????

Computers used to be black or white, on or off, one or zero. What has happened in the past five years to make them so flakey?  Just the abundance of data or poorly written programs?
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