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Bootup drops to C: instead of Windows 95

Posted on 1998-01-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
In the aftermath of trying to get my CD rom to operate I somehow screwed up the bootup sequence.  When my computer starts up now I see the Windows 95 startup screen but then it drops to a C:\ prompt.  I've tried typing "win" and also tried typing "C:\windows" but it tells me there is no Windows directory there even though I see it when I type "dir/p".  Any suggestions will help.  Not only can I not access my CD but now I can't get into Windows 95.  Thanks for you time and help.
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Question by:Smitty103097
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nebworth earned 100 total points
ID: 1753981
  You should have a hidden file in your root (C:\) directory called MSDOS.SYS.  If you type EDIT MSDOS.SYS from C:\, you should see a file something like this one below:

;FORMAT
[Paths]
WinDir=C:\WINDOWS
WinBootDir=C:\WINDOWS
HostWinBootDrv=C

[Options]
BootMulti=0
BootGUI=1
;
;The following lines are required for compatibility with other programs.
;Do not remove them (MSDOS.SYS needs to be >1024 bytes).
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxa
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxb
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxc
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxd
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxe
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxf
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxg
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxh
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxi
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxj
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxk
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxl
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxm
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxn
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxo
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxp
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxq
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxr
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxs
DoubleBuffer=1
AutoScan=1


    If you do not see a file like the above, that is your problem.  Make sure you do not have a file in c:\ called WINBOOT.INI, because this overrides the settings in MSDOS.SYS.  To display hidden files in a directory type DIR /AH.  To remove hidden, read only, and system attribute from a file, type ATTRIB filename -R -H -S.  

   If the file is not like the above and is just a bunch of garbage, look for a file called MSDOS.W40 hidden in C:\.  If you find it, you may want to SYS the drive from a windows95 boot disk, and then replace MSDOS.SYS with MSDOS.W40.  
   I will be looking to hear what happens.
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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1753982
Smitty and nebworth,
If you have a 95 startup disk, why not try booting with that.

Otherwise, i believe you're right on target nebworth.
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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1753983
Smitty, you may want to consider this if all else fails.
------------
Please note that if you need to reinstall win95 over the
existing version due to a bad download or has fatal OE
errors that can not be corrected this new method might work
for you if you have this pre-installed directory in Windows95
(Options\Cabs).

The Windows95 operating system looks for information
databases for you hardware these files are Inf.'s.

When you take advantage of the information databases you
might not have to feed in several driver disks or specify the
type of installation due to the pre-cabs already on you hard
drive.

Some manufactures do not add the setup to the
Windows\Options\Cabs file folder but if you have your
Windows95 CD handy you can copy the files over.



COPY the setup.exe and ALL the files from the win95 CD to
C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS....

EXAMPLE: Copy E:\ Question Overwrite? A for all

Copy E:\WIN95 Overwrite? A for all

Note: If you can not get to the CD-ROM in Win95 or Dos mode uses your CD ROM
system boot disk!!!

Restart in MS-DOS MODE and type CD options <enter> CD cabs <enter> then type
setup.exe...

 Windows will pickup ALL the hardware configurations from the original load...

The only exception is the WIN MODEM... You have to delete all the entries to
TELEPATH and CLEAN with the ICON in the CONTROL PANEL... Then the drivers can
be installed from the floppy disk...

Note: If you remove the win modem from the control panel in safe mode you will not have
errors after reinstallation!

(1). Without the OPTIONS CABS you would have to SKIP FILE/CANCEL due to a
temporary loss of your CD-ROM

EXAMPLE: CSPMAN.DLL on win95 could not be found!  

(2). If you had to reinstall win95 from CD you would have to select the TYPE of
INSTALL...

EXAMPLE: (a). Sound Midi or Video captures card?

(b). Typical, Custom, Portable?

(c). Would you like a startup disk?

(3). This keeps the PATH STRAIGHT to windows/options/cabs

EXAMPLE: Please insert the CD LABELED WINDOWS95!

 

WARNING KEEP IN MIND YOU MUST REMOVE THE SOFTWARE
THAT CAUSED THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM.... IT MIGHT BE A GOOD
IDEA TO OVERWRITE NEWER FILES!



Method Two:

Please note that if you need to delete windows95 due to major
problems you might keep this in mind. You will have to
re-install all your programs due to the loss of you dynamic link
libraries that were deleted from the Windows system directory.
The positive note is that you will loose all the extra baggage
that was cluttering your Windows and your system will perform
much better. When you re-install your programs back to the
default location you will find your things will be back to normal
including your data.



COPY your dynamic link libraries (DLL) to a backup directory on your C: drive if you
have programs without the original installation disks. This way you can restore the
library files you need after Windows95 is reinstalled…

RESTART IN MS-DOS MODE or F8 at BOOT to Windows95 STARTUP MENU
<command prompt only>

EXAMPLE: MD BACKUP <enter> CD BACKUP <enter> MD DLL <enter> CD DLL
<enter>

COPY C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\*.DLL

Cd\ <enter>

Cd BACKUP <enter>

MD OPTIONS <enter> CD OPTIONS <enter>

COPY C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS <enter>

MD CABS <enter> CD CABS <enter>

COPY C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS <enter>

CD\ <enter>

At the C:\ <prompt> Type ATTRIB -R -S -H

DELTREE C:\WINDOWS

DEL *. * (Cleans out the root directory only)

NOTE: Make sure you have a CD ROM SYSTEM BOOT DISK, OR WINDOWS 95
STARTUP DISK before you delete anything!

MD WINDOWS <enter> CD WINDOWS <enter>

MD OPTIONS <enter> CD OPTIONS <enter>

COPY C:\BACKUP\OPTIONS <enter>

MD CABS <enter> CD CABS <enter>

COPY C:\BACKUP\OPTIONS\CABS <enter>

TYPE SETUP.EXE (From the windows\options\cabs directory)!

YOUR INSTALLATION SHOULD TAKE PLACE AUTOMATICLLY. AFTER YOUR
SYSTEM HAS RESTARTED CHECK YOUR DEVICE MANAGER FOR <yellow !> YOU
MAY NEED TO UPDATE YOUR DRIVER DATA-BASE.

NOTE: If you do NOT have a WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS directory it would be advised
that you have a Cd Rom boot disk so you can get to your Win95 Cd. You are welcome to
download our pre-cabs to create a Windows\options\cabs directory. These
mini/pre-cabs one and two are for the Windows95b version... You will still need your
OEM number to use these Cabs. Download Pre-Cab.Zip 2242141 bytes includes
INF and SETUP files. Extract the zip to Windows\options\cabs. Then copy
the rest of your Files from your Win95 Cd. Make sure you overwrite existing
files. You should now be ready to run SETUP from your local drive.

If you need to restore programs that you do not have installation disks for you can
<CLICK> on the icon in the folder and you will get the error CAN NOT FIND <name>.
DLL restore these listed files from the backup to your Windows\System directory. Create
a shortcut to the idem.

NOTE: DO NOT OVERWRITE DYNAMIC LINKS ALREADY IN THE SYSTEM
DIRECTORY. THIS COULD CORRUPT YOUR SYSTEM.

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Expert Comment

by:nebworth
ID: 1753984
  Actually, Smeebud, I find this method an easier alternative to method 2:
   (If windows is being installed off a CD, make sure the CD-Drivers are already loaded)

   (at C:\WINDOWS)
   REGEDIT /E REGISTRY.TXT  (Always TXT, never REG {to avoid the pain of the mad double clicker})
   CD \
   MOVE WINDOWS WINOLD
   ATTRIB WINOLD +R +H +S

   run Windows setup (wherever it is, CD-ROM, whatever)

   when windows is finished setting up open a dos window:

   XCOPY C:\WINOLD C:\WINDOWS /h /i /c /k /e /r /-y

      (Yeah, everybody remembers the 'hickery')

      ANSWER "N" TO EVERYTHING!! (Don't overwrite a good file with a corrupted one)

   EXIT TO MS-DOS MODE.
   (at C:\WINDOWS)

   REGEDIT /C REGISTRY.TXT
   (assuming the registry is worth recreating)

   CD \
   ATTRIB WINOLD -r -h -s
   DELTREE WINOLD

   Did I forget anything?
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1753985
Some dialogue from Smitty might be helpful!
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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1753986
Most assuredly.
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