Solved

Windows 98 - Problem with a Windows Explorer.exe error

Posted on 2004-04-07
28
1,070 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
A friend has a problem with his PC that he has kindly passed to me to sort out for him.

Previous to this error eing reported the system was working fine. The system boots and performs POST etc fine,  the windows logo flashes one or twice as things are loading, then a red DOS box appears titled NAV Auto-Protect with the following message "Unable to determine the location of the configuration files". Pressing OK allows you to continue and the background wallpaper appears followed by a box with the following error "Explorer caused an invalid page fault in module EXPLORER.EXE".
That is as far as it get's, the same happens in safe mode. I have run scandisk, defrag, diagnostics disk, put the hard drive into another machine and virus scanned it and no problems reported. I have tried the step-by-step config and stopped Norton running but no luck, does exactly the same just doesn't show the NAV screen. The only thing I haven't been able to do is run Scanreg from DOS, just says Bad command or file name. I am reluctant to re-install as although he has the disk he can't find the product key anywhere.

  Any ideas anyone ???
0
Comment
Question by:davidmadhatter
  • 13
  • 8
  • 2
  • +3
28 Comments
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:_
Comment Utility
Just in case you need it:

Product key from DOS    < from LRI41 >

     Try this link:

   http://www.dougknox.com/utility/scripts_desc/cdkey_dos.htm

Finding the CD (Product) Key from DOS

If you can't boot into Windows at all, then you can boot with a Startup Disk (CD support is not required) or into Command Mode Only and type the following command:

For 95:

C:\Windows\Command\Find /I "ProductId" c:\windows\system.dat

For 98/Me:

C:\Windows\Command\Find /I "ProductKey" C:\Windows\System.dat

The first line of the screen dump will look like this:

ProductKey XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX where the X's are your actual CD Key.

NOTE: This will not work in Windows XP

This page last updated 05/03/2003 19:41
All material © Doug Knox  
         
0
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:_
Comment Utility
Description of the System File Checker Tool (Sfc.exe)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;185836

Start > Run sfc /scannow

Start > Run and type scanreg /restore
 Boot to Safe Mode and restore the registry to where you had before you made the edit. While in Safe Mode, go to Start > Run and type "scanreg /restore" without the quotes. Select a date before the problem occur.

You should also be able to run these from a DOS prompt.
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

1. Boot the computer to the Startup menu (keep CTRL pressed during startup) and then click Command Prompt Only.

2. Type the following at the prompt: ren c:\explorer.exe explorer.old, and then press ENTER.

3. Restart the computer.

Quote from:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=191609

Zee

0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:blacksteel
Comment Utility
go to safe mode then select start>run and type msconfig. you need to stop NAV  aka Norton Antivirus from the startup tab. I'm pretty sure NAV is the problem although Explorer.exe could be your big problem. The product key can also be found in Win98 registry, but I don't have Win98 here to tell you where exactly so just trust me on this one. Well if you don't want to dig through registry or type stuff out, then I have a link to a program to help find your product key. It can be used to find most Windows keys including WinXP.

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml

It works and I've used it before, totally free. You might have to re-install Win98, but you now have the product key with this little utility.

Coral47, the scanreg /restore works, but not all the time. I just want to point that out, it only keeps it for 5 days. It does solve some problems, but  don't count on it. I guess it's worth trying if your desperate or don't care.

Black
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

To run the scanreg command:

Bootup from a startup floppy disk (if you don't have one, download it here: www.bootdisk.com)

From the A:\ prompt type and press enter:

scaneg /fix

If that doesn't do it, type and press enter:

scanreg /restore

Pick a date prior to the problem.

Reboot without the startup floppy disk.

If you sill get the "bad command message",  type "cd windows\command" (without quotes), press enter and repeat the steps above.

Goodluck,

Zee
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

oooops...

scanreg /fix

as you already kow.
0
 
LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
Comment Utility
>The only thing I haven't been able to do is run Scanreg from DOS, just says Bad command or file name.

This might be because your PATH doesn't include the folder Windows\Command\, which is where the scanreg command resides.  So at the DOS prompt, type the single command

Path

It will display what the current Path is (the Path is a list of directories which are automatically inspected for the command files executed when you type a DOS command.)

If the Path comes out something like this, for example:

Path = C:;C:\Windows;

then you can add the path to scanreg like this:

Set Path = C:;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\Command;

0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:G_Carter
Comment Utility
I just had a situation like this,  you are right, taking out the msconfig entries does not help.  Uninstall Norton completely using the control panel.  If that does not work boot into safe mode and remove the  following folders c:\program files\Norton anti virus.  and all sub folders.  Delete the symantec common files under C:\Program Files\Common Files and C:\windows\Application Data.  

Since you can connect it to a different machine, run a complete virus check on that hard drive without booting it up.  

after you get Norton out and  you are sure it is free of infections, boot it and reinstall Norton or some other anti-virus program.  

If there are other Symatec products such as ACT or PC-Anywhere on the machine, they may need to be reinstalled also.  
0
 

Author Comment

by:davidmadhatter
Comment Utility

Hi Guys,
            Well I've tried your suggestions with mixed results. I was able to get to the desktop screen in normal and safe mode but was still getting various errors. I was unable to start any windows icons ie My Computer etc and I couldn't start Control Panel. I have tried to re-install Windows (without formatting the hard drive) and part way through setup i am getting the Explorer.exe error again on a white background telling me to re-install. After that I am getting the following Error Starting Program - The SHELL32.DLL file is linked to missing export SHLWAPI.DLL:SHRegGetUSValueA
  Unless anyone has any ideas I think I'll have to start the long process of backing up the whole hard drive, formatting the drive then re-installing Windows from scratch. Then having the fun of putting all the data and apps back

 Regards,
   Dave.
0
 
LVL 29

Accepted Solution

by:
blue_zee earned 250 total points
Comment Utility
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:G_Carter
Comment Utility
Before you reinstall rename the Explorer.exe to explorer.bak to be sure you get a good copy from the CD. I think that the reinstall does not overwrite files that it thinks are there and assumes are good.   Also,  Be sure you install from the CD, do not  try to do it from inside windows.  You should be able to reinstall into the same directory and avoid losing other programs or data.  

Also, if you want to do a fresh install, you can just do it into a different directory, such as Win98 instead of Windows.  That way the data just needs to be moved.  All programs will have to be reinstalled in this scenario though.  

Sometimes you do get to the point that doing it all from scratch is faster than trying to fix whatever problem you had  
0
 

Author Comment

by:davidmadhatter
Comment Utility

  Hi blue zee

 I have had a look at the above link to the question posted by endless, wow!! that was some reading. It looks like my problem is of the same making although I'm not sure exactly where I am along the path or what to do next. My main problem is it's my friends system and I don't know what is on it, so therfore I'm not sure what SHLWAPI.DLL - SHELL32.DLL or IE SP the machine is currently using. As Gnart says these need to be married up and obviously something is out of sync on mine. There is a lot of info there and I'm not sure how to proceed

 Any volunteers to walk me through ??? following Gnart's train of thought ??
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

Boot with a Win98 startup floppy disk. If you don't have one download it from www.bootdisk.com.

Make a backup copy of SYSTEM.INI, at the A:\ prompt type:

copy c:\windows\system.ini system.bku (press enter)

Now type:

Edit SYSTEM.INI (press enter)

change the line:

shell=explorer.exe to shell=progman.exe

Reboot and you will see the old Win3.11 - Progman.

Uninstall NAV.

Rename the system.bku back to system.ini.

If you want to do it from DOS:

copy c:\windows\system.bku system.ini (press enter)

reboot and you will have your Win98 back.

Hopefully without any furhter errors.

Zee
0
Do email signature updates give you a headache?

Do you feel like you are constantly making changes to email signatures? Are the images not formatting how you want them to? Want high-quality HTML signatures on all devices, including on mobiles and Macs? Then, let Exclaimer solve all your email signature problems today.

 

Author Comment

by:davidmadhatter
Comment Utility

 Hi Zee,

    No luck!
 
     The current situation is as follows:-

     Booting normally I get a white box with "Error loading Explorer.exe - You must reinstall Windows" followed by "Error
     Starting Program - The SHELL32.DLL file is linked to missing export SHLWAPI.DLL:SHRegGetUSValueA" and then hangs

     Booting after changing SYSTEM.INI to use Progman gives me the same "Error Starting Program" message. I can reply and
     shutdown the machine only.

     Best way forward ???
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

Yuck...

Do you want to start thinking reinstall?

It may be the best way out and less time consuming.

Sorry.

Zee
0
 

Author Comment

by:davidmadhatter
Comment Utility

 I may have to for the preservation of my sanity. It's just frustrating knowing that others have got through this problem successfully, eventually. It would rearly bug me to have to reinstall knowing this.
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

Have you tried the scanreg from the startup floppy prompt?
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

I wonder if this simple trick will work...

From http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=191609

In Windows 98, boot the computer to the Startup menu and then click Command Prompt Only.

If that doesn't work, use your startup floppy and bootup without CD-ROM support.

Type the following at the prompt:

ren c:\explorer.exe explorer.old, and then press ENTER.

Restart the computer.

Zee
0
 

Author Comment

by:davidmadhatter
Comment Utility

 Hi Zee,
           I think I'm getting there !! (God knows how !!) I've been over the 'book' produced by endless/Gnart a couple of times.
 Checked through what I'd done so far etc. and went through things as logically as I could. After replacing the SHELL32.DLL  
 and SHLWAPI.DLL files AGAIN from the original cd and a few other things, I have now managed to boot to the desktop in
 normal mode (although it still comes up with a couple of error at the mo) and safe mode, which I'm working in at the  
 moment and checking everything I can before moving onto the normal desktop.

    Stay Tooned for progress report !!!  
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

I'll be waiting...................................

But I'll sleep with my fingers crossed!

Ciao, I'll turn on my PC as soon as I wake up tomorrow morning.

Good luck!

Zee
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

Hmmmmmmm....
0
 

Author Comment

by:davidmadhatter
Comment Utility

  Only just been able to get onto PC now. Currently I can get into Windows in Normal and Safe Mode but an still getting errors for exploter.exe. I have limited use of Windows ie can't get into Control Panel, can't seen to get an internet connection going at the moment. So I'm just trying to go through all the notes on the thread you pointed me to, and others to work out the best way to go about repairing/ reinstalling IE6 and hopefully getting back to normal !!
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

If you somehow load Windows, try the System File Checker:

Start > Run > type SFC and press enter.

You may need your Win98 CD.

Zee
0
 

Author Comment

by:davidmadhatter
Comment Utility

 Hi Zee,
           Just ran SFC which worked OK but didn't come up with any problems. Looks like the only option is to download IE to my machine, copy it to disk and install it on my friends machine that way
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

Yes, that may be a good idea.

Learn how to do it here (the easy way):

http://www.broomeman.com/support/wsiedown.html

Zee
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
Comment Utility

But Explorer is Windows Explorer, not Internet Explorer...

Have you tried the simple MS suggestion I posted earlier:

From http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=191609

In Windows 98, boot the computer to the Startup menu and then click Command Prompt Only.

If that doesn't work, use your startup floppy and bootup without CD-ROM support.

Type the following at the prompt:

ren c:\explorer.exe explorer.old, and then press ENTER.

Restart the computer.

Zee
0
 

Author Comment

by:davidmadhatter
Comment Utility

  Sorry, been out of commision for a while !!

 Eventually managed to fix the PC following the accepted answer pointed out by Blue_Zee, plus a few other comments along the way. Happy friend and happy me because I finally sorted it !!   Thanks Guys !!!!
0

Featured Post

Highfive Gives IT Their Time Back

Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

Join & Write a Comment

A few months ago I had an issue with LaserJet 1020 printer which was installed to XP and Windows 7.  It was installed to XP and working, but when I tried to connect from a Windows 7 PC, it would attempt connection and then fail.  Sometimes the Spool…
Sometimes drives fill up and we don't know why.  If you don't understand the best way to use the tools available, you may end up being stumped as to why your drive says it's not full when you have no space left!  Here's how you can find out...
With the advent of Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing a Get Windows 10 icon into the notification area (system tray) of qualifying computers. There are many reasons for wanting to remove this icon. This two-part Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial s…
The Task Scheduler is a powerful tool that is built into Windows. It allows you to schedule tasks (actions) on a recurring basis, such as hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, at log on, at startup, on idle, etc. This video Micro Tutorial is a brief intro…

771 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

10 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now