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HD or Memory Bad

Posted on 1998-06-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Toshiba 205cds with 16MB memory, win95 version 950 complained about registry problems. Eventually directories chuck full of !!! and garbage. Decided to reformat.
Did so, fresh windows install from CD. Still complains of registration problems. Thought it might be bad spots on HD. Scandisk thorough again. Passed, defraged to change locations of items. Loaded a couple apps, now get fatal exception OE. Beside registration complaint, PC was getting flaky before formating (control panel locked up system on closing etc.)
Now need to determine what is at root of problem, HD, memory, other hardware???

Thanks,
WES
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Question by:gizmorama
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17 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:tbaffy
ID: 1135904
If your passed a thorough examination under ScanDisk your hard disk is probably OK.  You should check device manager (in Control Panel/System) and see if any devices have an exclamation point in front of them.  If there are some then yoy should double click on the device and look at the settings tab to determine if there are any conflicts reported.

It is not enough to just install Win95 over itself.  You must dlete Windows and reinstall from scratch to clear up registry problems.  If you do not completely get rid of the existing registry before the install.  You will perform an upgrade, which will keep the existing (corrupted) registry intact.

You should scan for a virus also, then go to support.microsoft.com and go to the downloads for Windows 95 and get RegClean.  This can help clean up your registry.

See how these suggestions work then let me know!
Tom
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1135905
gizmorama,
I've found the file to be difficult to locate at times, so here's the URL for downloading REGCLEAN:
http://support.microsoft.com/download/support/mslfiles/RegClean.exe
I hope it helps.
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:cmcgee
ID: 1135906
I have had surface damage on my HD before that would not be detected by a normal thorough Scan. I had to modify the Scandisk.ini to update the NumPasses value (Default 1).
I set it to 10 and found the culprit Bad sectors. It does take longer to run, but sometimes worth it.

You must run the Scandisk with the /CUSTOM switch to have it check the .INI file.

Craig
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Expert Comment

by:nvandijk
ID: 1135907
It could verry wel be a memory problem.
I have had a few machines at work that kept giving registry problems
until I replaced the memory the machines where fine..
(I replaced the memory more out of an desperate act because I allready had tried almost anything else.)
This was about a year ago..
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Expert Comment

by:Slarti
ID: 1135908
Make sure ScanDisk is checking all areas of the hard disk, not only areas with files in them.
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Expert Comment

by:ViperOne
ID: 1135909
when installing win95, did it get stuck with a 'SUWIN' error?
If so, that is a typical one for bad memory.
A power surge is enough to fry your memory modules! (Got one of those just last week!


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Expert Comment

by:pcservice
ID: 1135910
to eliminate a unknown problem, you must reinstall Windows95 without any other device install on your system like sound card tv tuner network adapter etc..Then if you not get any error message you'll be safe to install a new hardware 1 at the time until you get the error again. Usualy a registry error can com from memory chip and also sound card.

Good luck !
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Accepted Solution

by:
blood_angel earned 100 total points
ID: 1135911
Registry errors are an obvious sign of two things memory problems and overclocking your CPU too far. If you're not overclocking your CPU then you memory is deff (as in toast). Your best bet is to borrow some ram and try your system with the new, borrowed ram if that works go out and buy some more.

Good Luck!
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Author Comment

by:gizmorama
ID: 1135912
Wow, thank you all for wonderful remarks.
My situation is that I reformatted the drive and installed a fresh copy of Win95 with minimal drivers. Scandisk passed, but I will try the custom setting to see if maybe I can root out something else.
No, the PC is not overclocked, factory settings and hardware throughout.
There does seem to be a relationship between the size of the program I try to start and the failure. Simple stuff like notepad starts fine, anything to the clipboard e.g. a cut and paste explorer file move, fail. Complex apps like word, excel, MYM, fail.
Control panel has failed to close properly for some time previous to the "strike".
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Author Comment

by:gizmorama
ID: 1135913
OK, folks, now we don't boot from time to time. The PC complains that there is no system "insert system disk and press any key"
I'm thinking that the system area on the HD is roached. Dosn't this area effect the registry too?
If I turn the system all the way off, wait about 30 sec, I can get a reboot...most of the time.

Wes
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Author Comment

by:gizmorama
ID: 1135914
OK, folks, now we don't boot from time to time. The PC complains that there is no system "insert system disk and press any key"
I'm thinking that the system area on the HD is roached. Dosn't this area effect the registry too?
If I turn the system all the way off, wait about 30 sec, I can get a reboot...most of the time.

Wes
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Expert Comment

by:tbaffy
ID: 1135915
gizmo,

Start up your system from a known good boot floppy that has the FDISK.EXE program on it.  Make sure that it is from the same version of Win95 that is on your hard disk.  Once the floppy completes booting to a DOS prompt, enter this command:

FDISK /MBR

This will regenerate the master boot record on the hard disk.  It will not destroy any data on your system.

Tom
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Author Comment

by:gizmorama
ID: 1135916
Tom,

Now THAT is an especially worthwhile tip! I'll try it.
Wes
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Expert Comment

by:ViperOne
ID: 1135917
Might be a virus...
Get a DOS virus Scanner (F-Prot or similar, most recent version, obviously), make DOS-bootable disk (on another computer), that is MSDOS6.xx and run the virus software...

Please post results here!

Greetz,
Simon
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Expert Comment

by:blood_angel
ID: 1135918
seriously, your ram is dead. I've had the very same problem myself get hold of some more and test, then buy some new stuff

   Alex
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Author Comment

by:gizmorama
ID: 1135919
All,

I tried the FDISK /MBR. With about 2 hours running time, it seems to have cured a multitude of sins. Control panel closes correctly, explorer moves docs OK, mouse activates menu items in Word (that was bizzare when it did not) System seems pretty stable. Banking software restored from tape backup is unstable. But I can reload (prolly had hidden files messed up)
I will post again on Monday with the final results.
FDISK /MBR seems to be undocumented. I did find /status option,though which may come in handy.
Thanks,
Wes
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Author Comment

by:gizmorama
ID: 1135920
Tom's FDISK /MBR fixed the problem. 3 day running, no errors.
Wes
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