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System registry checker

Posted on 2004-03-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
My PC is 6 or 7 years old, still running '98, but have replaced some hardware since. 2 Ghz, 512Mb, but only an 8Gb HDD.
Basically, every other time windows starts, it puts itself back to how it used to be, well it changes its system files. If I make changes to programs or especially to anythign directly windows related, it changes back to a number of days before. I used to believe this was the windows registry checker, which would state there's an error in the registry and restart to fix it. It would restart, six it, and load windows. But the next time I switched it on after that, every time it would still give me the same message. Through msconfig I disabled the reg checker, but SOMETHING is still changing the PC! Even to the extent of putting registry checker BACK on! It's very, very irritating.
The single most irritating part is broadband. We recently got broadband, but every other time I restart the computer I have to reinstall the drivers for the modem and the software for it, otherwise it won't load, with all kinds of messages about missing files and scripting errors and stuff.
Also, incase it's of any relevance, when installing the modem, it is missing the files
secur32.dll
svrapi.dll
ndis.vxd
ndis2sup.vxd
vnetbios.vxd
ndiswm.sys
If I skip these files, it still works absolutely fine. I don't have the 98 CD to replace them. They've probably been lost after years of installations and uninstallations of hundreds of different programs.
I feel this may all go away if I simply upgrade to XP, but I can never find anyone with the CD. Until I do find it, can anyone suggest anything for this?
Would really appreciate any help,
thanks.
Zon.
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Question by:ZON-UK
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14 Comments
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 10690908
Have you tried checking for viruses or spyware?

I wonder if your RAM is bad. Can you try swapping it out? Or if you have more than one stick try one at a time for a while.
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Author Comment

by:ZON-UK
ID: 10691177
I use Spybot which is amazing for getting rid of spyware, I don't have any of that. Not sure about a virus, I don't have a checker anymore. I'll try a free online checker later, but I don't suspect a virus at all. As I say, I'll do it for you and post back if there's any results.

As for the RAM I believe the new one(s) that was put in about 6 or 7 months ago was brand new, it should be without problems.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 10691210
Doesn't mean to say that they could have gone bad. Try swapping them out one by one for a while and see if the problem persists.
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 10692990
Without the Windows 98 CD, running any utilities which are designed to remove components is risky unless you have all the .CAB files on your hard drive under C:\Windows\Options\CABS  or elsewhere.

Do a file search for BASE4.CAB  and see if the .CAB files exist.  This would be your only option to replace anything that is removed and is subsequently found to have been required.

You could always burn these .CAB files (and all the other files in that folder) to a CD, or borrow a CD from somebody who has the same version of Win98 as yours, but remember that the installation key will be different in your registry from one on a borrowed licensed copy.  I only suggest this in case you need to restore anything.

Borrowing a Windows XP CD isn't really feasible, as each installation requires product activation.  If the person from whom you borrowed it has it installed, then there will be a licensing contravention that may require a conversation by telephone with Microsoft to explain why it is now being installed on a different PC.

Can you provide us with a list of your Startup items:

Use the Start Menu as follows:

1. Start > Run > and type MSINFO32
2. In the left pane, find "Software Environment"
3. Click on Startup Programs, and then use the menu as follows:
       Edit > Select All > Edit Copy
4. Paste the details here if they are brief enough

Try disabling all items except SystemTray using "Start > Run"  > and typing MSCONFIG.  The checkboxes are in the "startup" tab.

A helpful page to assist you in identifying Startup items is:
http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist.htm

I have a feeling that something is stopping the changes being WRITTEN to the registry at SHUTDOWN rather than it restoring a previous version at STARTUP.

Have you been experiencing any system hangs at shutdown?  If so, then this MAY be a contributory factor.

Also something you should do is this:

Start > Run > MSCONFIG > "OK"
"Advanced" button
Check the "Disable Fast Shutdown" box
Apply the changes
Reboot
Now make all the changes that have been lost, and reboot.

Does this action retain the settings?

It's worth at least trying these 2 suggestions, at least for elimination purposes.

Have you tried running the SCANREG  /FIX  command?

Copy and paste the contents of your SCANREG.INI file here.  I am wondering if the "Backup Folder" has been changed at some time and causing a problem.

Reference Pages:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;184023

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;183887

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;183603

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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 10693001
Bear in mind that SOME hadware settings can be lost if your CMOS battery is flat.  I would have thought that there would have been more problems if this was the case, but some computers are quite good at autodetecting hard drives, etc without you seeing this activity.  You did say that the computer is 6 or 7 years old, and probably hasn't had the battery changed.

Problem is that changing the battery will LOSE settings IF this ISN'T the problem, unless you have dexterous fingers and can work at the speed of light  :-)  Some CMOS chips can hold some power for something like 15 seconds or more before draining and losing the data.
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Accepted Solution

by:
mnev earned 125 total points
ID: 10694570
Right listen to me, this is how u fix it.

there is no correct soloution to this problem as i have had it for 3 years now and i have researched it for a long time.

first try, unistall msn messenger and yahoo messenger if you have them.

if it doesn work.

try this.

go to c:\windows

then find a file called scanreg.ini

replace the .ini with .txt

open it and then
look at

;
; Scanreg.ini for making system backups.
;

;Registry backup is skipped altogether if this is set to 0
Backup=1

;Registry automatic optimization is skipped if this is set to 0
Optimize=1




*** change backup=1 to backup=0

then save the file

quit , rename it make to scanreg.ini

THATS IT

try it it works for me

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Author Comment

by:ZON-UK
ID: 10698198
excellent, I appreciate all thsi help, thank you.
The only time I can try out any methods is tuesday, then I'll get back to you.
But could someone verify that mnev's solution is feasible/not too risky? could that go balls up at all?
cheers
ZON
0
 

Expert Comment

by:mnev
ID: 10698266
trust me, this is the soloution im am using the the moment and i have been using it for the last year and no problems.

all this means is that you dont get your registry backed up anymore
 
and if you really want it backed up look on the net for some free software to back it up or simple solution in regedit (go to run type "regedit"

just go to file export registry and save it somewhere to backit up :)

this soloution wont muck up ur pc

also can i add if you have norton antivirus installed, cause if so unistall it immeadiatly

See this forum for the best help you can get on this problem of the registry error

http://communities.microsoft.com/newsgroups/default.asp?icp=windows_all

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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 10698436
ZON-UK

The 3 links I posted earlier discuss scanreg and how to edit scanreg.ini in detail.
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Author Comment

by:ZON-UK
ID: 10933280
The scanreg trick worked a treat. Thanks a lot!
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 10934208
ZON-UK

I am disappointed with your lack of feedback to my specific points made earlier:

>>>
Have you tried running the SCANREG  /FIX  command?

Copy and paste the contents of your SCANREG.INI file here.  I am wondering if the "Backup Folder" has been changed at some time and causing a problem.

Reference Pages:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;184023
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;183887
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;183603
<<<

1. DID you even try my SCANREG /FIX suggestion?
2. You DIDN'T bother to post the contents of your Scanreg.ini file here as requested
3. Did you read the linked pages I posted?

You should be aware that, having adopted mnev's "Quick Fix" suggestion, there will be NO registry backups created at all from here onwards.

It appears to me that your current registry (user.dat and system.dat) AND also the backups created previously (user.da0, system.da0, and also perhaps the rb000.cab to rb005.cab files in C:\windows\sysbckup folder) were corrupt.  Where a current registry is corrupt, scanreg will attempt to replace it with a previous one.  Where no good version is found, then your system won't boot properly.

mnev's simlistic coment "all this means is that you dont get your registry backed up anymore" is one that you shouldn't ignore unless you want to reinstall every time something screws up your registry, but MIGHT have been fixed automatically by REGEDIT.

mnev goes on to suggest: "...and if you really want it backed up, look on the net for some free software to back it up, or simple solution in regedit..."

You DON'T need any additional software to create registry backups other than:
 
REGEDIT (as suggested by mnev) to export the registry to a .REG file
Using MSBACKUP to create a .QIC file containing system data
Manually copying the 2 .dat files to a safe place for later restoration if required
Running SCANREGW in Windows to force a backup

Having now booted successfully, I think you should run SCANREGW.EXE in a windows environment and force it to create several fresh and uncorrupted backups.

Restoring the default values of SCANREG.INI AFTER this should then provide a safety net with each boot.

Backup=1
Optimize=1
ScanregVersion=0.0001
MaxBackupCopies=5
BackupDirectory=

One last thing I have to take issue with is mnev's sweeping comment:
"also can i add if you have norton antivirus installed, unistall it immediately".

I have to say that, if you have Norton AntiVirus installed, keep it updated and use it.  OK, there are times it can interfere with something you may need to do, and can be disabled temporarily, but I can't see any sense or justification in uninstalling it.

In fact, Norton Rescue will create 5 or 6 "Rescue" floppies with sufficient data to restore not only your registry, but many of your system files also.

Please note, this isn't intended primarily as a character assassination of mnev, but rather just to voice my annoyance at the manner in which you dismissed my comments in favour of comments that clearly discussed what I had asked you to post back.

0
 

Author Comment

by:ZON-UK
ID: 10942311
Here's SCANREG:

;
; Scanreg.ini for making system backups.
;

;Registry backup is skipped altogether if this is set to 0
Backup=0

;Registry automatic optimization is skipped if this is set to 0
Optimize=1

ScanregVersion=0.0001
MaxBackupCopies=5

;Backup directory where the cabs are stored is
; <windir>\sysbckup by default. Value below overrides it.
; It must be a full path. ex. c:\tmp\backup
;
BackupDirectory=

; Additional system files to backup into cab as follows:
; Filenames are separated by ','
; dir code can be:
;       10      : windir (ex. c:\windows)
;       11      : system dir (ex. c:\windows\system)
;       30      : boot dir (ex. c:\)
;       31      : boot host dir (ex. c:\)
;
;Files=[dir code,]file1,file2,file3
;Files=[dir code,]file1,file2,file3

I tried the scanreg /fix briefly before, but it said it wanted to be run from DOS. I didn't take the time because it hadn't been emphasised as a solution that should be focused on, so I skipped to the next one.
What I did try before though was:
1. Start > Run > and type MSINFO32
2. In the left pane, find "Software Environment"
3. Click on Startup Programs, and then use the menu as follows:
       Edit > Select All > Edit Copy
4. Paste the details here if they are brief enough
However when I did that, there was no copy option. I could take a screenshot and host the image if you're still interested.
I'm really very sorry for the lack of co-operation I gave you. I've been very busy lately with approaching exams and at the time I seemed to be wanting any trick in the book that would stop the registry thing, irrespective of the consequences.
I'm now going to run scanregw.exe
Thanks anyway Bill
Jon
0
 

Author Comment

by:ZON-UK
ID: 10942328
"No errors found"
created a backup.
0

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