Windows fails to load, same in Safe Mode.

Running Windows 98SE.

On a normal boot, loads OK up to Network Logon. OK logon and the start-up sound effect plays and nothing else happens. Ctrl-alt-del shows that the anti-virus has loaded, but nothing else.

When loading in Safe Mode, you get the "running in safe mode" dialog. When you OK that, the taskbar displays very briefly and then nothing else happens.

Prior to this, I have run a registry clean-up program and was installing a program to optimise my Internet connection. During this installation, a dll was shown to already be in use, but I did not have anything else running so I ignored that dll. The installation needed a re-boot and that is where the problem above showed up.

Running in command mode is OK.

I have restored the registry from the day before, but no improvement.

I use the System Safe Gold software to secure most of the system files and dlls and have restored the files it secures.
peterthebikeAsked:
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CrazyOneCommented:
Looks like you may need to reinstall windows over the top of itself which will retain most of your settings and programs but will replace the system files.


The Crazy One
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CrazyOneCommented:
Some Win98 CD's are bootable. Set your BIOS to make the CD drive to be the bootable device before the hard disk. If this doesn't work then boot to the Win98 boot disk www.bootdisk.com and then when you get to the prompt type in the word

setup

and then hit the enter key.
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CrazyOneCommented:
Also try this at the command prompt

edit c:\Windows\system.ini

look for this

[boot]

and then look to see if you find this

shell=explorer.exe

if not then edit it so it does.

If you do find it then edit it so it says

shell=winfile.exe

then if you can boot into windows grap the explorer.exe off of your CD and then use it to replace the one on your machine.
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war1Commented:
Peterthebike,
   Before you reinstall, try performing the registry restore again but pick a date 5 days ago. Let me know how this goes.

Best wishes, war1
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rayt333Commented:
How long did you wait for it to finish booting up? If the Anti-virus was set to scan the complete HD on boot then this may take a while (10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of HD and the amount of files) for it to complete before it finishes booting up into windows.
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peterthebikeAuthor Commented:
CrazyOne:
Sorry for the delay. I cannot reinstall Windows at the moment. I have a "recovery CD", not normal MicroSoft CD and the reinstall routine is complaining there is not enough free space - only about 6gb! I have a call into Dell to try and resolve this.

Have replaced explorer.exe using extract on the Windows Start-up floppy. Symptoms are still the same I'm afraid.

war1:
Excuse the query, but the problem arose during Friday 14th and the backup I used was for Thursday 13th. I would guess that should be OK because I booted on Friday morning OK. Don't understand how going back further will help, can you guide me please.

rayt333:
When my anti-virus is running I can see a dialog screen, so I know it is not that thanks.
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peterthebikeAuthor Commented:
rayt333:
Sorry, I did not make it clear, the anti-virus is a resident monitor sitting in the background.
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rayt333Commented:
Any other utility program maybe running and making a backup image of your system? This can cause the system to become very unresponsive while the image is being made.

Did you try war1's suggestion? restore the registry from 5 days ago?  you can always restore to today's if you need to.
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CrazyOneCommented:
Umm I think you still can reinstall by booting to the Win98 boot disk

Now in ME the setup would be in the either the

C:\Windows\Options\Install\setup.exe

or

C:\Windows\Options\Cabs\setup.exe

Not sure the precise folders are in Win98 though. But from the boot floppy you can run the setup from there.
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war1Commented:
peterthebike,
> >Don't understand how going back further will help, can you guide me please.

The reason you want to go back to an earlier restore date is that the corruption may have occurred earlier, but the symptoms of the corruption did not occurred until the 14th.

>> I have run a registry clean-up program and was installing a program to optimize my Internet connection. >>

One or both of these operations cause the problem. I've had to reload Windows after a registry clean. :)  If you cannot get into Safe Mode to uninstall the Internet Optimizing Program, then you chose is to try to restore the registry or reinstall.

Since you probably have an OEM version of Windows 98 Carzyone's suggestion going into the cab files to reinstall is a good one ... if none of those files have been corrupted.
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peterthebikeAuthor Commented:
After a lot of messing around, I finally got the reinstall to start working!

One day down, one more to go to finish it.

Thanks for the help everyone.
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