Win98: Boot up says must reinstall Win98. Reinstalling Win98 says cannot and all I get is a blue screen

How do I save this hard drive?
 Since the system would not boot in safe mode, I had no choice except to reinstall 98. So I did.
 98 installed and rebooted.... to a blue screen. I attempted to reinstall again (6x's), same result.
  I believe this possibly happened as a result of Norton Anti-Virus (Auto-Protect ?)
 I have saved most of my files by putting in a new harddrive and installing the same OS to it, and making the old drive a slave. But.. I cannot access the programs on this drive, and it is that which I would like to regain.
  I have tried resetting the "target" of the programs with very little success (one or 2 worked, but not the rest) And as they are already "installed" the .exe is only good for bringing up the program. Will an uninstall allow for a new install if these were loaded from a disk?
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You tried 6X to reinstall Win98 and still BSOD? It really looks like you may have lost the files on the HD, try copying them to a folder on the new HD, then reinstall the programs to new program folder, then try moving the data file from the old to the new and see if you can access them.

There may have been way to save them when it first happened, but after 6 failed attempts to install the OS I am afraid there may not be much left that is recoverable.
Reinstalling the programs over themselves ( no uninstall ) and tell the install program to do it on the slave drive, in the same folder where it already is, MIGHT work and save any settings you have, and tell the new OS where they are.
jimbakondyAuthor Commented:
 This is NOT a BSOD. It is the blue screen from Windows, prior to "Enter Password".  Windows never boots, just hangs at this point. It is the programmimg I would like to save. I can always format the hard drive and do a clean install. But it seems (since I cannot reinstall the programming) I need to get Windows up for it to work. After some time, I even tried to upgrade to "Me" (hey, all I could do at the time and I was desperate), but ended up at the same place.

 When I double click the *.exe file, it does not install, it says it cannot locate the program. I have tried to redirect to where it actually is with no luck.
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Sounds like a memory problem:

Boot to your windows 98 boot floppy and select "with CD Rom Support".
Put your CD Rom in the drive.

Be aware that your CD Rom's drive letter will be pushed up by one letter, so if it previously was D:\ then it will now be E:\

Type the following command, once you have established your CD Rom's drive letter and substituted it as necessary:

E:\win98\SETUP  /ie  /im  /is  /iv  /nr

This will stop it from checking memory, registry, and won't display all the billboards you normally see.

Do you have an on-board sound chip that you previously disabled in favour of an add-on card?
When you reboot after it stalls, does it then give you the "safe mode" menu? if so then select the step by step and answer yes to everything and watch closely for what was the last item you said yes to load before it freezes. It may take a couple of tries to get it but then try answering "no" to that device and see if it will finish loading. Once you know what is causing this then you should be able to come up with a solution.
jimbakondyAuthor Commented:
   Coral, Ray, Bill, you guys are great....
  Ok, I put a new hard drive in, loaded Win 98 from the same installation CD, on the same system, works fine. Am still using system as it was then. Same sound, same memory, same everything else.
 I did try on several occassions to boot to safe mode. I get the same result, prior to the screen that would say "safe", system quits responding. I also used the "step by step", so I could find where it hangs. Everything loads, system is running, until about the point "Enter Password" should appear. And No, there is no such screen as I never set it up for a password, so that is not the hanger either.
  I was told this was due to reinstalling with Norton Anti-Virus on auto protect, (which I had little choice in) so I also deleted Norton, through DOS after several failures of reinstalling. This did not help either. I also tried setting to "Load Optimized Defaults". After those failures, I tried clearing CMOS.
  Although I would really like to retrieve the software, as I cannot afford to replace it, I am beginning to think my best bet would to be to salvage the hard drive by formatting it, accepting the lesson, and set up a Raid drive in case this ever happens again.  
  I also understand that sometimes you just have to keep trying the same thing over, as Windows has been known to respond differently with persistence. I have no idea how many times I tried to get this drive to boot, but I guarranty it was over 50.
Did you try getting it down to bare bones configuration, IE only the video card, HD, CD-Rom, floppy. (No sound, modem, network, printer, scanner, ect)
If you are not in a need of the old HD, you might want to hold on to it for awhile and see if you find any bright ideas on getting the programs back.

Glad you are making headway on the system thought.   : )
rayt333's advice is the best option, given your cirrcumstances.

I wish you hadn't begun to delete Norton AntiVirus from DOS.  There will still be registry entries and miscellaneous vestiges of it scattered around in various folders.  I suspect that it will still try to start up after reinstalling Windows, and will probably issue errors.

You could disable this using a DOS command after booting to your windows 98 boot floppy.  At least this would eliminate this as a potential problem area.

Copy the following text:

--------- start of text to copy (don't include this line) ------------

"NAV Agent"=-
"Norton Auto-Protect"=-

"ScanRegistry"="C:\\WINDOWS\\scanregw.exe /autorun"
"Norton Auto-Protect"="C:\PROGRA~1\NORTON~1\NAVAPW32.EXE /LOADQUIET"
"LoadPowerProfile"="Rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,LoadCurrentPwrScheme"


"ScriptBlocking"="\"C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\Symantec Shared\\Script Blocking\\SBServ.exe\" -reg"
"LoadPowerProfile"="Rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,LoadCurrentPwrScheme"
----------- end of text to copy (don't include this line) ------------

Paste it into NotePad (do this on a Windows 98 machine where possible, because Windows XP's NotePad can mess with plain text a bit.

Save the file as something short like MYREG.TXT.  Right-click the .txt file and rename it to MYREG.REG.  Copy or move it to a floppy disk.

Boot to the Windows 98 boot floppy and, once it gets to the A:\> prompt, remove the boot floppy and insert the one with the .REG file.  Type the following commands followed by the <enter> key after each line:

CD  windows

What this does is tell the Windows Registry Editor to blend in the contents of the .REG file into its existing structure.

What the .REG file should do, is to delete the "values" of the items shown with a minus sign after them in the "Run" and "RunServices" keys and recreate them in the "Run-" and "Runservices-" keys.

The Run and RunServices keys are the ones used to start up programs when you boot.   Moving the entries to the Run-  and RunServices-  keys is the equivalent of having used the Microsoft Configuration Editor (MSCONFIG.EXE) to selectively disable those entries, but still have them available to restore later if need be.

There are no guarantees that your Norton AntiVirus settings will be the same as mine (NAV 2002), but it's worth a try.  There is no harm in allowing the disabled entries to remain in the Run- and RunServices-  keys, because they aren't looked at.

The .REG file also disables NAV Script Blocking, the Machine Debug Manager (MDM.EXE), any Power Saving settings you may have set, and the automatice Registry Scan.

I don't have AutoProtect running on my system, but several online sources quote the registry entry I have disabled above.

Try this and see if it reboots.

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I should stress that this should be run on YOUR machine, NOT the one you used to create the reg file and copy it to the floppy  :-)
Thank you, jimbakondy.  Have you resolved this problem now?
Thank you much.    : )
jimbakondyAuthor Commented:
 I guess my comment did not post...
 With all your help, I was again encouraged to fix this drive. Thank you.
 I deleted the system files and installed new ones (through DOS) I also turned off Norton in the registry. Since I knew I had reinstalled the system files several times before, I copied a new set from another machine.
When I booted the drive, it took me to safe mode!!!!!  I have since run all the diagnostics (scandisk, scanreg, etc.) on the drive and it finally booted!!!  I have been going through some of the programs, and some still work. Others have lost or missing files, or forgotten passwords.
 But I am getting there. I think I can save a great deal of the programs. As I try to run them, I get the message as to what file (for the most part) is missing or corrupt. With those, I should be able to save most everything. Is there a program I can read .pwl files (in English)? lol
 I have also added a link to experts-exchange on my website.
 With all the suggestions you gave me, and the time you spent, I just knew I had to get this thing up and running. And that is why I split the points between you. Thanks for all your help and encouraging words. I hope I can return the favor some day.
Thank you again for your kind words, Jim.

Windows is a strange beast at times.  Sometimes the very act of getting it into Safe Mode just once can be enough to kickstart things and allow a full boot the next time.  Self Healing?

My advice is to start taking notes, and begin zipping things up to floppies for safekeeping just in case it crashes again.  Ideally, this would be the time to make backups of essential data and then format and install afresh.  It isn't easy trying to back up actual installed programs and then try to reinstate them because of the way each program's files get scattered around.
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