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Before I run Windows setup again... ("Restore Windows files that are changed or corrupted")

Posted on 2003-05-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
(I'm new here.  Hi. *smiles*)

PREAMBLE: Our poor P4 hasn't been right since Dad discovered MP3's and left it running for three days straight to download as much as possible in a short space of time.  I'm guessing that it overheated, because the illegal op's and blue screens started soon after.  Many other measures have been taken to try and clean up the system (Ad-Aware, repeated Defrags, NAV scan, until NAV started illegal-opping too...*rolleyes*) and I think my next step is to try and restore Windows from Setup.  I could let it go for awhile, but...it's getting hard to navigate anywhere for any reason.  The arrowheads on the scrollbars on every window have turned to numbers (left=3, right=4, up=5, down=6), and the minimize/maximize/close buttons are displayed as 0, 1, and r respectively, yet I'm not missing any fonts.  Arrows leading to sub-menus are 8's.  Checkboxes are screwed too.  Very weird.

QUESTION: What should I back up before trying this, just in case something goes horribly wrong?  WIN.INI?  SYSTEM.INI?  Network settings?  Drivers?  What are the most crucial things that are likely to be overwritten, and how badly do I WANT them to be overwritten? =o_O=  As you can see, I have just enough knowledge to get myself into deep trouble if something unforeseen happens.  Still, we have two other (healthy) machines on the LAN, hence the low urgency/point value.  =^_^=  Any advice would be appreciated.
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Question by:NordicBerries
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12 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:joinaunion
ID: 8600313
first click start then click run type sfc this will check system file to be sure there all there and will replace them if there not,next set your virtual memory to 1.5 times your ram enter the value in both minimum and maximum settings reboot(to see how much ram you have right click my computer then properties the first window that opens will show you ,then click on performance tab then click on virtual memory below then enter the values you came up with
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LVL 2

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mrrhettf earned 100 total points
ID: 8600365
It is mainly your drivers and personal files (docs, e-mails, ect.). The system file or explorer file may have corrupted so backing up those wouldn't help. Windows 98 reinstall will fix most of it.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;250928

How to Reinstall Windows 98
The information in this article applies to:
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Microsoft Windows 98

This article was previously published under Q250928
SUMMARY
This article describes how to reinstall Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition.
MORE INFORMATION
Before you run the Windows Setup.exe program to reinstall Windows, you may need to complete the following steps:
Disable programs and tools.

Disable any programs or tools (such as screen saver programs, antivirus programs, or tools that run automatically). In addition, uninstall any programs or tools that protect or encrypt the Master Boot Record (MBR) or partition table (such as Bootlock that is included with Symantec Norton Your Eyes Only). For information about how to disable these programs or tools, contact the manufacturer.
Back up the data.

Back up all critical data on your hard disk. Although it is unlikely that you will encounter a serious problem when you reinstall Windows 98, it is always a good idea to perform a complete computer backup before you install a new operating system. When you upgrade your computer's operating system, it is possible that an error can occur (such as incompatible hardware or a power failure) that can temporarily or permanently prevent access to the data on your hard disk.
How to Reinstall Windows
To reinstall Windows:
Start Windows, and then insert the Windows 98 CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive.
Click Browse This CD, and then double-click Setup.exe.
Follow the instructions to complete the Windows Setup procedure.
NOTE: If Windows does not start and you need to run Setup from an MS-DOS prompt, click the Installing Windows 98 From MS-DOS link on the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/windows/readme/98/W98setuptxt.asp

How to Troubleshoot After the Installation Procedure
After the installation procedure is finished, you may need to use the following steps:
Replace updated Microsoft files.
You may need to reinstall some of the Microsoft updated files on your computer. To update these files, click the Product Updates link on the following Microsoft Web site:
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com

Reinstall Outlook Express
When you reinstall Windows 98, Microsoft Outlook Express 4.x may be installed on your computer. If you were previously using Microsoft Outlook Express 5 or later, you may need to reinstall the program.
REFERENCES
For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
188881 How to Install Windows 98: Helpful Tips and Suggestions

193902 How to Install Windows 98 Into a New Folder

221829 How to Install Windows 98 on a Computer with No Operating System

232681 Windows 98 Second Edition Updates Setup.txt file

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Expert Comment

by:dxf224
ID: 8601908
http://jermar.com/ ........ download the windrivers backup program, and use it before you  dekete or refornat abything.  It's free.
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:AlbertaBeef
AlbertaBeef earned 100 total points
ID: 8603411
If you want to reinstall your Win98 without risking data loss or having to format your hard drive, here's a great method, if you have the free hard drive space, and even though this write-up is long, it doesn't take that long to do, and it's well worth it:

1st, ensure the Windows98 setup files are on your hard drive.  (Win98 installs much faster from the hard drive than from CD Rom.  Plus when you install from hard drive you're never asked for the cd again . . .) These files are all in the \cabs folder on your win98 setup cd.  Copy these files (.cab files, etc.,) to your hdd in the a new folder, call it "c:\win98" or something, that's what I usually call it.  (Yes, I know the standard place is c:\windows\options\cabs, we'll get to that in a minute. . ."

Now, boot directly to dos mode.  (you can boot to dos prompt by pressing [f8] just as windows starts booting, then a menu appears in which you can choose that option.)

In dos mode, switch to your windows directory (type "cd\windows" without quotes) and rename your win.com file to win.bak or win.old or something like that.

Once that file is renamed go back to your root directory by typing "cd\" without quotes.

rename your windows directory using the ren command:  type "ren c:\windows c:\winbak"

now lets make sure it still knows where to find the DOS commands by typing "path = %path%;c:\winbak\command"

Now create a new directory by typing "md c:\windows"
And another by typing "md c:\windows\options"
and another by typing "md c:\windows\options\cabs"

Now move the cabs by typing "move c:\winbak\options\cabs\*.* c:\windows\options\cabs\"

go to your .cabs directory by typing "cd\windows\options\cabs"

now you can run setup using "setup /is /id /im /iq"  (fastest way to run it)

Make sure when you run setup to install it to the c:\windows directory, even if it wants to install to c:\winbak or c:\windows.000 (it probably will . . .)

Once setup is complete, because you kept your old windows directory as "c:\winbak", you've still got all your favorites that you can copy back over, they're in c:\winbak\favorites.  All your emails are still there (search your c: drive for "inbox" and you'll find the folder they're hiding in.)  You can import them from that folder back into your mail reader using it's 'import' feature.  All your backgrounds are there (usually as .bmp files) in your c:\winbak directory as well as many other things you may need.

All your drivers will still be there, and when asked for the files you can point to them in c:\winbak\inf or c:\winbak\inf\other and sometimes c:\winbak\system.

You'll have to reinstall your software, of course, (but because you haven't formatted, all your documents, saved games, etc., should all still be there) and you may have to reinstall your Internet Explorer and Outlook Express (keep in mind ie5 or ie6 usually can be reinstalled from "c:\windows update setup files".  You can usually find the setup there to reinstall your ie without downloading it all again.

Once your happy with how things are running, and your sure you recovered all that you need to, then delete the old c:\winbak folder.

It's a method I've used several times for reinstalls without risk of data loss, and it's always worked *GREAT* for me!
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 8603436
Oops, please replace this line

  "move c:\winbak\options\cabs\*.* c:\windows\options\cabs\"

with this line

  "move c:\win98\*.* c:\windows\options\cabs"

Guess I'm tired and should go to bed :-)

Good Luck, NordicBerries!
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:PHOENIX
ID: 8606220
A minor point, but if you are going to rename the Windows folder, why bother renaming Win.com first? Once the folder is renamed the original path to Win.com no longer exists.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 8606504
Because Win98 searches the hard drive for win.com.  It does find it, even if it's not in the path, (or so it seems) and then gives you that annoying "you cannot upgrade with this version of windows . . . blah . . . blah . . . message"
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:joinaunion
ID: 8608883
if your getting to the point of being asked for another version of windows  insert a win 95 disk or something with win95 cabs on it then hit the browse button and locate the cab file and go on from there
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Author Comment

by:NordicBerries
ID: 8616517
Thanks everybody...I'm printing out your tips right now... *listens to printer churning away*  I'll let you guys know how it turns out in the next couple of days.  ;)
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 9127011
Propose point split between MrRhettF and AlbertaBeef.
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