W95 Setup Runs with Every Boot

Posted on 2000-03-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I installed W95 on a PC that had been corrupted.  The install detected a previous version and installed to Windows.000.  All works well, including NIC and Sound card BUT, every time the PC is rebooted, the Windows setup.exe runs.  After I exit at the first screen, W95 runs fine.  How do I keep the setup program from executing with each reboot??  and Yes, I know I can rename or delete that file, but I want to know what is causing it to execute. I can of course, reinstall and force to the Windows directory, but I would like to know what is foring this action.
Question by:d50041
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Accepted Solution

sgenther earned 400 total points
ID: 2605304
check in the key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
It may be located there.
Also check msdos.sys. this is a hidden,system file.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 2605373
just listening
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 2606576
Also check these if the above does not work


There are three files to look at first: Using a text editor, Notebook is good, open these:

If there is an entry dealing with windows setup, then delete it.

Also open up C:\WINDOWS\win.INI

Look at the top after:


If a setup entry is there delete.

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LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 2606961

Expert Comment

ID: 2606982
reinstall windows !!
i think first installation is not complete
try option in setup reinstall all
or delete old and install new
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 2607115
Do not reinstall, ever.
Delete old and install new is acceptable, for by now you are getting into investment of time.
Delete means: boot to Dos AND delete ALL those Windoze directories, however they are spelled. Then go do your install.
The deal is preventing a requirement of you to manually figure how to edit the registry to fix stuff, plus knocking off a few other files you want to ensure get lost permanently so you end up with clean new O/S.

But check those keys for auto running first since it is quicker and there is less data loss potential there if found.

But I suspect part of trouble is something stuck in your dos part, like MBR got pointed direct to a piece on on-going setup or it went itself and replaced the boot code, temporary intended of course.  You don't need autoexec, so rename it out of the way as a test. You should be able to live w/o msdos.sys, but I assuem in your case you are better off ignoring it. It does not use same function as file of same name in MSDOS, so ignore for now.

Hope you noticed two incomplete installs here, not one. Maybe a third unknown one that tinkered with setup program unbeknownst to d50041 at the time.

Author Comment

ID: 2616459

Please do not post an answer, SOP is to post a comment.  My original post stated I can obviously reinstall, the point of my question is to determine WHY the setup program is running from start on each boot and learn from that.  I find the double install comment interesting, and will follow up on the other comments also.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 2616777
I had a long nagging deal with NT trying to reinstall. It was different, in that I could never get out of setup. After finishing setup it returned to setup. I saw another EE.Q near identical.  I did dos fdisk remove all partions then new install.  Yours is not that drastic.

I think a problem comes from Win not finding the proper install pointers in registry, or the proper subDirectory.  I suspect that a single reg.key could be involved and would like to know what you find.  But one of the varied autoexec files could get you, and that may be the easiest to check for, for the setup program.  Although I do assume that this is the typical Windows setup, like validating our crt type etc. It could be that Win does not like the choices made, so you might want to set them as min default.

Multiple Windows directories not good. Nice to have backup, but only if useful. Goal should be to get back to a single one to make it easier to comprehend, and to recover space.

Say, This wasn't an upgrade of a Win3.1 box, was it?

In any case, I have better luck doing fresh install AFTER deleting Windows directory, so imho, do not keep anything in that path that you care about. PCs should be allowed to have more than one directory available at root level (too much gets put in that directory thread, and imho data should not share space with O/S)

The run and runonce stuff can be keyed to machine and/or user, so in regedit, I prefer finding them via search ase well as the posted reg.paths above.

Author Comment

ID: 2617188
I have reinstalled W95 with a set pattern for several years. I execute smartdrv and then
deltree -y c:\windows c:\progra~1

I also delete the swp file and the 1st file in the root.  I have always had excellent results with this as it keeps all user data.  I will try to get to this PC this PM and investigate the run and run once comment.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 2617501
The deltree on \Windows has been satisfactory for me. When I first upgraded a good 3.1 box to Win95, it would not 'see' the HD. It went backward from 3.1 compatible. I suspected a SmartDriv option might help. Wrong. SmartDrive by itself was as good as Win31 at finding HD, and would pass it to Win to allow 95 to find it.  Since then, I have never run SmartDrive, except when called for by a program used.

The "Program Files" (dos reads quotes) often had programs of use. I Never let MS-Office go there anymore. True, some programs there may have been bad and responsible for bringing you down. True, Many/most programs there depend on Registry anyway, and will have to be reinstalled. But a few don't, and a few also keep data there by default. I think pcAnyWhere is among them for example. So I leave it.

\Windows also has data. User desktop, which likely has to be redone. Worse, I think IE 'favorites'.  They are not so easy to relocate and share as NetScape's bookmarks. Maybe I'll post my own EE:Q on that one.

For tonite, don't neglect to check autoexec's. In fact, you might want to try to enforce step by step / line by line execution.  I usually do F8 for the boot option screen, but I think there's another method too.

Author Comment

ID: 2618320
Adjusted points from 50 to 100

Author Comment

ID: 2618321
Made my day, and I had to rebuild my own NT system too, as it crashed after I changed some permissions.  Anyway, I tried the  F8 step by step on boot, nothing there, ran SYSEDIT and checked all files there, and finally ran through sqenther's comment and there was a DWORD "setup" that pointed to the setup.exe in the directory I had the cabs files.  Many thanks sqenther and to all who participated.

Expert Comment

ID: 2619552
<sgenther sits back in the corner ,silent and with a wide grin on his face> :^}
I don't usualy gloat...but what the hell.

Author Comment

ID: 2619601
you done good, that actually was not an "easy" one!

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