Device IOS Error when initializing...

A friend of mine has a Compaq Presario with Windows95.  It worked fine until this morning when she turned it on and it wouldn't go past the following error message:
"While initializing device IOS:  Error:  An I/O sysbsystem driver failed to load.  Either a file in the .\iosubsys subdirectory is corrupt, or the system is low on memory"
16Mb of RAM, 1Gb HD, 3.5"FD and a CD-ROM, soundcard and speakers.

Would appreciate an answer.  Have had great success, and fantastic answers from Smeebud on other problems.
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Please look into this info+++++++++++++++


When you restart Windows 95 after installing a program or making a configuration change to your computer, you may receive one of the following error messages:

•Windows initializing device IOS: Windows protection error. IOS failed to Initialize, Please restart
•While initializing IOS: Windows protection error. You need to restart your computer.
•Windows initializing device IOS: Windows protection error. You need to restart your computer.

After the error message is displayed, you may not be able to start Windows 95 normally. However, you should be able to start Windows 95 in Safe mode.


It may also be possible to start Windows 95 normally after using the following procedure:

1.Boot Windows 95 in Safe mode or to a command prompt.

2.Perform one of the following two steps:

    - Edit the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files and disable any
      references to Smartdrv.exe. To disable a line, type "rem"
      (without quotation marks) at the beginning of the line.

    - Rename Smartdrv.exe to another name.

3.Restart your computer normally.

Hope this helped

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Try pressing F8 key at "Starting Windows95" message during bootup.  Select safe mode.  Click My Computer, then right-click on C: drive, select Properties> select Tools> click Check Now button.
When its finished re-boot.
Let me know what happens.

Sorry Mag,
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No problem Ralph!!
doberman062797Author Commented:
To: magigraf and rmarotta,

I had already tried both of the comments you posted.  It won't even let us into Windows95 in Safe Mode.  We can only get to a C:\> prompt.  Windows will not start under any circumstances.

She has a "restore" Windows95 CD, and it says if she uses it all her data files will be erased.  She may have ver.A of Windows, do you think it would be possible to use a regular Win95 (ver.A) CD and perform a "reinstall"???  Of course, like most people she hasn't any backup of her data.  I can find the files for QuikBooks and Quicken, and may be able to copy to floppy, but her files are soooo large it will take more than one floppy for each of her "backup" data files that are located on her harddrive.

Any other suggestions would be a help.  We contacted Compaq and Quantum, and neither company had ever heard of this problem.  Now I know I saw similar references to this error message on Microsoft's Support Site.  Could it really be true these two companies have "gumballs" working for them.  At least I know I can get an answer for something from Experts Exchange, even if it is something I've already tried.  If one of you hasn't heard of the problem before you research it before you comment on something.

Hoping to hear from you with other possibilities.

Have you tried to run scandisk from Dos?
Instead of going to safe mode, select Command Prompt at the F8 menu.
Then type:  SCANDISK

doberman062797Author Commented:
To: rmarotta

Yes, I ran Scandisk from Dos.  Didn't make any difference.  I found some of her QuikBook data files lost in the system, and had it fix those.  Nothing else out of whack.  I have a disk called, "Troubleshooter".  Let it boot to Troubleshooter and ran diagnostics, nothing failed, all tests passed.  I thought maybe the motherboard was causing problems, or the harddrive, but Troubleshooter checked them out and they passed, including the CMOS and BIOS setups were ok when I looked at them.

I am lost in this one.

Please post your autoexec.bat & config.sys files here.

doberman062797Author Commented:
Autoexec.bat   does not exist.
Autoexec.dos   has the following:
if exist c:\firstboo.txt goto exit
copy c:\windows\options\cabs
c:\windows\options\cabs\runsetup /IS /IW /IQ
Config.sys   has the following:
c:\windows\command\cpqdrv\cpqidecd.sys /D:ided001
Config.dos   has the following:
rem Microsoft OEM Preload config.sys
rem Copyright (C) 1995 Microsoft Corporation
rem All rights reserved
rem it is up the the OEM user to supply a replacement for this config.sys
rem once they have completed the factory install portions of Windows setup
rem This one overlays the initial config.sys in the root after the
rem factory preconfigurations completed

device=c:\windows\himem.sys /testmem:off
shell=c:\windows\ c:\windows /P
She said all was working until she turned on the system Wed.(4/8/98) morning.


doberman & rmarotta...

Sorry for the delay, I do not come often to EE as I use to do in the past. Forgive me for that:


There is 2 approaches here:

1) To create a new config.sys and autoexec.bat (to trick windows setup)


2) To start a corrective install.

Let try the first option:


Copy config.sys

This will keep a backup copy of the original config.sys if we ever needed it in the future.

Let's create an autoexec.bat with this line:


and your config.sys would be:

c:\windows\command\cpqdrv\cpqidecd.sys /D:ided001


If this does not help, I want you to do the following:

1) Boot to DOS (I guess this is the only option you have :-(  
2) Go to windows directory and type

I want you to tell me what are the date on most of the files.

• if they are 24/8/96  you've got OSR2 the second release.
• if they are 24/8/95  you've got the first release.

I will post steps right after your feedback!!
doberman062797Author Commented:
To:  magigraf
Tried what you recommended for Config.sys and Autoexec.bat.  Still got the same Error message when it tried to start Windows.

Looked and the windows directory and the majority of her dates are 1995 (8/20/95, 7/11/95, etc.)   Just a couple 1996 dates, and whatever else they put in themselves.

She said her husband had been on the system the night before, teaching himself Windows 95 with a workbook he had.  He told her he couldn't remember exactly what files he moved around, but he was practicing "drag and drop".  She wonders if he may have moved these important files and now nobody knows where they are.  He did say he also did "drag and drop" to the recycle bin.  OOOOOHHHHH!!!!!   Sometimes people are "scarey" when it comes to their computers...

Waiting to hear from you,

That's fine!!

What I need to find out from you is the following:

1) If the installation disks for windows95 are on floppies or CD-Rom version??
2) If they are on CD-Rom (proceed with step 3...)
3) We need to find out the command line entry for her CD-Rom in the autoexec.bat
--Without that line entry we cannot make the CD-Rom drive available in DOS to run that corrective install I want.

I know that compaq leaves the drivers on the hard drive, could you try to locate them??
Or try to locate an old copy of autoexec.bat and copy that line.

it should look something like that: (not exactly since her's another make of Cd-Rom drive)

** just to get the idea O.K.??

Search for all autoexec files by typing the following at a Dos prompt.

dir auto*.*
followed by enter.

Please post results.

I will take it from there
Doberman, do you have anyone around you with a copy of Norton utilities that you can borrow the unerase disk from and possibly recover the files sent to the recycle bin?
Doberman.. check if there is a copy of 95 already on the hard disk...

Go to windows\options\cabs directory and see if the setup is there. If so run it and be weary of the files it asks you to replace/keep during the installlation..

Good Luck.



Just a quick note before you attempt to run that Re-install as suggested by Shawn.
If you find these disks you should run the corrective install after we really fail to restore the missing files.

Now you have more than an option here, the fastest and less heache would be to run from the DOS Prompt that setup as follow:

setup /p f

Here are the switches in details:

Reinstall win95 from the command prompt using (setup /p f ) command.
This setup switches will clean your system files and replace missing and damaged files, keeping all your apps and updated drivers.

The switch  f

Means a Clean Registry mode. It forces Detection to clean the root branch of the registry before starting. It will also remove commands that are pointing to the wrong locations including Win 95 files.

The switch  /p

The string can contain one or more detection switches separated by a semicolon (;). For example, if you want to use  /p f

The switch /d

This switch can be used if you do not want Setup to use your existing configuration (like Win.ini and System.ini files).

To restore or adjust your windows installation:
 From dos insert your CD type this command... at your CD-ROM drive letter
" setup /d /p f "  Without quotes

You would want at that stage to choose from  "Full or Custom Setup", choose Custom. This will give you more control through a step by step of the setup.

This should set back all entries in place and restore all functions as before the problem occured.


Hope this helped
doberman062797Author Commented:
To: Magigraf, and all those who had plenty of suggestions.  

Lynne received the disks from Compaq today, all those that didn't come with the system when she purchased it.  I installed the drivers for the CD-ROM and then used a Windows 95 ver.A CD to reinstall the appropriate necessary files to get windows started.  I finally got into Windows and the first place we looked was the Recycle Bin to see if her husband had put anything in.  Sure enough, ALL the Windows System and IOSystem files were in the recycle bin.  Autoexec.bat and Config.sys as well.

She told her husband she was "burning" the book he was using to teach himself Windows 95.  In his practicing "drag and drop" he DID put all the system info into the Recycle Bin.  I mentioned that possibility briefly in one of my comments, but really didn't think someone would do that.

I hope this hasn't been too much of a headache for you all.  Once again, thank you for all the suggestions, it's nice to have "more than one head" thinking on the problem.

doberman   aka  Frann

Thanks for the update, keep those switches handy for future references.
All the best
Found this problem not necessarily exclusive to particular machine or software, but usually occurrs upon reboot from new software or hardware installation. MS indicates this is a problem with Win/95 Rel 1, 2,and 2.1. MS says if  IE 4.0 is installed problem does not occurr. I had to rename RMM.PDR to RMM.OLD in the windows\system\iosubsys directory and OS booted OK but did not " re-create " the file as I expected. I did find several prople who had the problem were using Toshiba Tecra 5XX model laptops. THe software my customer was installing was a "Travelers Insurance" company provided analytical software package.
Append to previous message.. After I got the system back up and running I did install I/E 4.0 and the RMM.PDR file was infact rebuilt during the process. System seems to be functioning fine now..
Remove "USB support for OSR-2" at "Add/Remove Programs" in your Control Panel.

You can re-install USB support when going to:

Martin Huizing
Compaq TSR
This problem has occurred on several Toshiba laptops that were in the Docked mode. The latest incident occurred when the user installed Visual Basic 4.0. Undocking the laptop, booting in safe mode, removing the floppy drive controller and the PC card devices,and reinstalling IE 4.0 seemed to work.
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