Windows ME registry error

Posted on 2001-09-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
This is going to be a very long post, but I wanted to provide complete information...

I was installing a whole bunch of downloaded software on my new computer (standard stuff:  ICQ, Winamp, etc.).

Since there was only one outlet near my comp (in my bedroom), I wanted to use my comp as an alarm clock (no where to plug the clock in..).

I downloaded an alarm clock program that can play a wav file when the alarm time comes.  I used an MP3-to-wav converter to convert a few of my favourite songs to use for wakeup.  

I wanted to concatenate some songs together (ie. so the alarm clock would not only play one song) into a wav file.  My first idea was to use sound recorder (which didn't work.. said out of memory.. oh well.. never liked sound recorder anyway :->).  

After searching the net, I found a program called Sound Forge 5.0 (available at download.com, etc) that looked like it should do the job.

I installed, and it asked to reboot.  I rebooted, and my machine will not work.

Registry error on boot of machine - says to run scanreg.
Caused by download of Sound Forge 5.0 software (possibly something else, or an interaction between different pieces of software.. because other programs I had installed just prior did not require reboot.. and worked fine)

Computer Info:
OS:           Windows ME
Processor:    Intel Celeron 900 MHz
RAM:          128 MB SDRAM
Video:        Integrated
Sound:        Integrated
Manufacturer: IBM

I do not want to have to re-install my operating system from the recovery disc provided.. because I have data on my hard drive that I need.

Ideal solution would be one that fixes the problem,
but if not.. at least some way that I can extract the data from my hard drive before reinstalling my OS

nb: there is a large amount (GB) that I would *like* to recover, so if possible.. if I have to use a boot disc to get to DOS, it would be much preferable to be able to use my CD burner, as opposed to a floppy (I don't know if this is possible..).  The software I am using is Adaptec Easy CD Creator (DirectCD also installed.. I have one disc already formatted for use..)
Question by:d_jedi
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Expert Comment

ID: 6484433
Info about the restore function in Me  
Windows Me

Windows Me System Restore
Windows Me's System Restore is one of the new features added to this latest OS from Microsoft. System Restore acts as a safety net, allowing you to return your system to a previously known (working) state in the event that an application or driver installation wreaks havoc with the system. It's not a backup program, like Microsoft Backup, and it shouldn't be used instead of one.
There are several 3rd party products on the market which let you add this functionality to Windows 9x. The best known is Adaptec's GoBack, which has quite a few extra features over System Restore, but hey, System Restore comes bundled with the OS, so lets see what it can do for us!

System Restore is designed to automatically monitor and record changes made to the core Windows system files and to the registry. System Restore can then allow you to undo a change that caused a problem in your system. This is accomplished by periodically recording a "Restore Point" (or System CheckPoint) that gives you the ability to roll your system back to the point in time when your computer was known to function properly.

You must remember that System Restore is not intended to be an "uninstaller" (or a backup program). If Windows does not function properly after installing software or drivers, you should use the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel to remove the software before using System Restore.

File Types Monitored By System Restore

System Restore monitors most system files with .exe, .vxd, .dll, .com, and .sys extensions. It does not monitor user-created files (for example, files that have .txt, .doc, or .xls extensions), the My Documents folder, Temporary Internet files (including the Internet Explorer History, Cookies, or Favorites files), the Recycle Bin, or the Windows Swap (.swp) file.

Automatically Created Restore Points

By default, System Restore is set to monitor your system automatically, and will create new restore points automatically, according to the following rules:

Event-triggered restore points

System Restore will automatically create a restore point before the following events:

Application installations (provided the application utilizes a current installer that is System Restore RestorePT.API compliant such as the new Microsoft Software Installer (MSI) technology or InstallShield 6.1 Pro and later). In the event the application causes harm to the user?s system, choosing a restore point before the application was installed allows the user to roll the system state back to the time before the installation of the application, if needed.
AutoUpdate installation. The AutoUpdate feature of Windows Me provides an easier way for home users to download critical Windows updates in an unobtrusive way. Once the update is downloaded, the user is presented with the opportunity to install the update on the user?s system. When the user chooses to install the update, the System Restore feature will create a restore point before the actual installation of the update begins.
Restore operation. If a user, for example, accidentally chooses the wrong system state to restore back to, the user can, by choosing a restore point before this operation, undo the restore operation. The user can then choose the correct restore point (If however, the Restore is done in Safe Mode, a Restore Point will not be created).
Scheduled restore points

In addition to creating restore points before certain events, System Restore provides users with the ability to restore to other specific days and times. Automatic System CheckPoints are created for every 10 hours of computer up time but only after the computer has been idle for 2 minutes. If this criterion is not met, then a System CheckPoint will be created once every 24 hours after the system has been idle for 2 minutes.

The Restore Point and System CheckPoint files that are created under the above conditions are stored in compressed (.cab) format and are located in the _Restore folder (also known as the "Data Store") on the drive on which Windows Millennium is installed. The Data Store cannot be moved or modified. Each fixed disk on your computer will also contain a _Restore folder for indexing and monitoring purposes and each of these folders will contain a file called Srdiskid.dat.

LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 6484632
ME restore is not as cracked up to be IMHO
Try other means first.

Run scandisk.

From control panel add/remove, see if you can remove the programs that may be giving you problems.

To repair registry, go to start/run and type
scanreg /fix and hit enter. Follow prompts.  NOTE the space
after g and before /

To restore a previous registry that was backed up, type
scanreg /restore
and you'll have five choices to pick from.

To access your sytem restore go to
start/programs/accessories/system tools/restore

If windows does not startup, see if it starts in safe mode,
reboot and hold control down and choose safe mode, to perform the above.
You can close the help screen and go directly to windows, or proceed with the help instructions.

If no safe mode available, boot up with the floppy.
It must be an ME floppy, so the help file comes up, and follow the directions to a possible restore.

That failing, you can try and remove the files you installed by usind dos,
and reinstalling windows, or go to reinstalling windows over itself directly.
Use the windows/options/install folder to reinstall.

Good luck


Expert Comment

ID: 6485109
More options:

How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows Millennium Edition

The information in this article applies to:

Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition

This article is designed to help troubleshoot a wide variety of issues. If you would like information regarding specific error messages, view the Windows 98 and Windows Me Error Message Resource Center:

This article describes how to disable common startup programs, settings, and drivers to troubleshoot issues in Windows Millennium Edition (Me). This procedure is known as "clean booting."

Use this procedure only to troubleshoot error messages or behaviors when you have been unable to determine the cause of the issue. Following these steps results in a temporary loss of some functionality. Restoring the settings restores the functionality, but may result in the return of the original error message or behavior.

Search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for information about your specific issue before following the steps in this article. This information is not intended to troubleshoot specific issues. If you are receiving a specific error message or behavior, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base by using the text of the error message and a description of the issue or behavior. The Microsoft Knowledge Base is available at the following Microsoft Web site:

How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows Me
Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

On the General tab, click Selective startup.

Click to clear all of the check boxes under Selective startup.

On the Startup tab, click to select the *StateMgr check box.

Click OK. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Yes. After the computer restarts, Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

IMPORTANT: Look closely at the General tab to ensure that the check boxes you cleared are still cleared. Proceed to step 6 if none of the check boxes is selected. If you see a disabled or gray check box, your computer is not truly "clean-booted" and you may need assistance from the manufacturer of the program that places a check mark back into Msconfig.

After you verify that your computer is clean-booted in step 5, you can isolate the issue. If the original issue does not reoccur after the clean boot, select one item at a time under Selective startup, and then restart the computer to see if the additional entry reproduces the original issue.

How to Return from a Clean Boot State
Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.

On the General tab, click Normal startup.

Click OK. Click Yes when you are prompted to restart your computer.

Categories That Are Disabled in a Clean Boot
System.ini entries
Win.ini entries
Static virtual device drivers (VxDs)
Startup items
Environment variables for MS-DOS emulation

NOTE: The following VxDs should be checked in the static VxD tab of the System Configuration Utility to ensure proper functioning for internet/networking access:


To restore the registry
Click Start, and then click Run.
In the Open box, type: scanregw  /restore
Click OK.
A dialog box appears recommending that you close all open applications, and asks whether you want to continue. When you are ready, click Yes.
From the list in the Restore System Registry dialog box, click the registry backup that you want to restore.

Restoring the registry may not restore your entire computer system to a prior state. If you want to restore your entire computer system, you'll want to use System Restore. For more information, click Related Topics below.
The list of registry backups is organized by date and time.

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Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

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Expert Comment

ID: 6485481
Are you saying you get a registry error now every time you boot and even after running scanreg ?
there's a lot of good info above as to what to do but I get the impression you're confusing scanreg /restore with running a complete recovery of your machine (not the case)
the above solutions are merely to get you back to the state prior to your problem occurring.

Have you actually done the scanreg as prompted at bootup or are you avoiding it because you thought it meant loss of data ?

Author Comment

ID: 6485491
I guess I neglected to mention (sorry!!!  this makes it more complicated..) that I can't boot up to ANYTHING useful.. not a DOS prompt, nor safe mode (I just have a gray screen with the words "safe mode" at all four corners.. no task bar or anything for me to work with..)
trying to boot regularily gets to the point "updating.." and stays there..

I don't have a WinME boot disk.. so I can't use that.. and plus, I don't think the floppy drive even works (I didn't install it :-> )..

I tried creating a Win98 boot disk from one of my other machines.. and then using it in the ME box.  That didn't work (prob. cause the floppy drive didn't work)

I thought, then, that if I copied the files on the boot disk to a CD, and booted from the CD, then it would work.. but this was not the case (should this have worked?)

SO, the only thing that I can think of is:
removing the hard drive from my computer
swapping it with a HD in one of my other machines, and setting it as a slave drive (how do I do this?)
and copying all my data files
then, put it back in my machine
and reinstall the OS
then copy my files back via the network.

Any better solutions, or is this what I'm stuck with?

Expert Comment

ID: 6485561
Your floppy didn't boot because your IBM BIOS is set to boot CD then HDD then Floppy. If you hold down the F1 key while the computer is trying to boot you should get into your BIOS setup. Look for Startup Options & set to boot floppy drive 1st then save & exit & try to boot the floppy.
"I thought, then, that if I copied the files on the boot disk to a CD, and booted from the CD, then it
would work.. but this was not the case (should this have worked?)"

Within your Adaptec software you'll find an option (tick box) to make the CD bootable. You'll then be prompted to insert a boot disk whose contents are then put into a bootcat.bin file on the CD.

"swapping it with a HD in one of my other machines, and setting it as a slave drive (how do I do this?)"

There are series of pins on back of drive usually:

   .  .  .  .  .
      .  .  .  .

The plastic jumper will presently be over the 1st or 2nd set of pins from the left being Master or Cable Select.
The 3rd set from the left is Slave.
Move the jumper then attach to same cable as hard drive in other computer (make sure BIOS is set to Auto for Hard Drive detection). Alternatively you could leave the jumper where it is & temporarily disconnect the CDrom in the second computer then use its cable for the hard drive.

Either way if you dump the data on the working hard drive then you only have to run a recovery, set up the network then transfer data back across the network.

Try the boot disk thing first though. It's the easiest option as a scanreg /restore will most likely fix your problem if you can manage to run it.


Author Comment

ID: 6486690

I set the boot order in my BIOS to CD -> FLOPPY -> HD0, already.. so that's not the problem..   I just think the floppy's not in there right..

Could you elaborate where exactly within the software the option to make the CD bootable is?  I cannot find it..

The CD-ROM option sounds intruiging.. (easier :->)  
Are you sure this will work, though?


Accepted Solution

WiZaRd earned 800 total points
ID: 6487300
To create a Bootable CD:

Insert a blank CD into your CD-Recorder (the destination drive).

Click the small arrow next to the New button on the toolbar and then select Bootable CD from the drop-down list. A dialog box appears that asks you to insert a bootable floppy disk in drive A.

Insert your bootable floppy disk into your floppy drive and click OK.

The contents of the floppy disk are copied to your system and stored in your CD Layout. You can see that two special read-only files have been added to the root directory of your CD Layout: BOOTCAT.BIN and BOOTIMG.BIN.

From this point, use Easy CD Creator as you normally would for creating a Data CD.

Note: When the CD has been created, take it to the system you wish to boot from. Make sure it has bootable CD-ROM support enabled, insert the bootable CD in your CD-ROM drive, and reboot the system. If everything worked well, you can see the contents of your bootable floppy disk as drive A: and the contents of your CD Layout as Drive X: (where X: is determined by how you configure MSCDEX.EXE in your AUTOEXEC.BAT)

Above from help files Adaptec 4.0


LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 6488956
If you can't start your pc, you can't make a boot disk.
Go to www.bootdisk.com and get one for winME

Author Comment

ID: 6489463

Oh.  I see.  I realize what I missed..  
Usually, when I create a CD I choose "create CD" from the start menu.. then data..  but then, there's no arrow beside the new button.

Need to choose Features -> Easy CD Creator from start menu..

thank you.  I will update on how this works..

Author Comment

ID: 6489577
Well.. it worked.. sort of..

I've got a boot CD-ROM..

but, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do now.. I thought I'd just have to run scanreg, but I can't find the program anywhere (c:\windows, the intuitive choice, has only scanregw.. which only runs under windows..)

I think I might just take the damned HD out..  this is really beginning to bug me..

Expert Comment

ID: 6489928
It's in the C:\windows\command folder

Expert Comment

ID: 6695200
Hello all,
I am Computer101, a moderator from Experts-Exchange and also an expert within this topic area. This question has been open a long time.  What I am going to do is allow feedback from the questioner and experts.  If it is not resolved, I will delete or accept an answer based on the info I have been given, Experts, feel free to offer input.  I will monitor these questions for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate.  I will have another moderator (who is also an expert in this topic area) look at the question also to ensure we do the right thing for this question.

Thank you
Community Support Moderator

Expert Comment

ID: 6704459
Comment from wizard accepted as answer.
Thank you
Community Support Moderator

Expert Comment

ID: 6704810

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