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WIN 98 BOOT PROBLEM

Posted on 2004-05-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I have a windows 98, machine.  When i went to start it up the other day, I came up with a message "No Operating system found".
I restarted the computer, and it loaded past the Windows 98 startup screen, and went to the C: prompt!
I ran the dir command on the c drive but did not see any of my files/program files or windows files or directorys.
Have i lost all my file/folders/program files/folders?
Is there any way to repair this?
Please help, Thank you very much.
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Question by:ruairi_1234
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by:Snowguy
ID: 10968759
When you restarted the pc was this with a boot floppy?
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Author Comment

by:ruairi_1234
ID: 10968809
no, i just restarted it as normal.  there are no disks in the drive.  The last time i used my computer it booted into windows 98 from the hard drive as normal!
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by:Snowguy
ID: 10968827
And now you are getting a C: prompt only?
Or do you get the No OS found error?
What happens if you Type WIN at the C: prompt?
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Author Comment

by:ruairi_1234
ID: 10968838
sometimes it says "no operating system found"
and the majority of time it brings the c: prompt.

when i type win it says bad command or file name.
does win 98 have a repair funtion like windows xp??
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Expert Comment

by:Snowguy
ID: 10968861
Not realy other then scanreg restore.
But if you dont have a win directory I think it wont work.
Win you do a DIR command what is listed alot a little or nothing?
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Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 10969068

Did you check in BIOS to see if the HDD is there?

If it isn't, than it went bananas.

If it is there, try booting to a startup floppy disk and from the A:\ promt, type

sys c:

This will restore the IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS and COMMAND.COM files. In other words, your boot files.

Reboot WITHOUT the floppy.

If you don't have a startup floppy download one from www.bootdisk.com.

Zee
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Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 10969097

When the error message appears, try a warm reboot:
 CTRL-ALT-DEL.

What happened?

Zee
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Author Comment

by:ruairi_1234
ID: 10970839
blue zee,
Warm booting via CTRL-ALT-DEL, brings me to the same c: prompt.
I tried wot u said using a win 98 boot disk, but when i restarted i was brought to the c: prompt again.

Snowguy,
when i type dir at the c: prompt i get the following,
COMMAND     COM
BRCD            <DIR>
CDROM         <DIR>
CONFIG         SYS
AUTOEXEC    BAT
CABS           <DIR>

So i'm guessing that the hard drive is ok if i am able to read from it, but i must be missing files if  i cannot see any windows directorys.  What would be the cause of this>?
And does the fact i get the WINDOWS 98 Loading up screen before i get the c: prompt mean that i still may have windows files on my hard disk??
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by:blue_zee
ID: 10970866

Hmm...

You don't have a Windows directory do you?

From the C: prompt type this:

cd windows (press enter)

win (press enter)

Post back the results.

Zee
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Author Comment

by:ruairi_1234
ID: 10970908
yeah i already tried that but it couldn't find the win dir, just the dir as i have listed above.  it seems like the drive is empty apart from what i have listed above, but if this is so why then does it load the windows 98 screen?
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blue_zee earned 63 total points
ID: 10971023

The Windows 98 startup screen is a file usually located in C:\ called logo.sys.

It's weird it's not listed.

Anyway I still believe you have a faulty HDD that erased or in some way corrupted the data.

Perhaps you want to check your HDD with the appropriate utility:

fujitsu
http://www.fcpa.fujitsu.com/download/hard-drives/#diagnostic <http://www.fcpa.fujitsu.com/download/hard-drives/>

IBM and Hitachi
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT <http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm>

Maxtor
<http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/products/index.htm>

Samsung
<http://www.samsungelectronics.com/hdd/support/utilities/utilities_index.html>

Seagate
<http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html>

Western Digital
<http://support.wdc.com/download/>
www.westerndigital.com <http://www.westerndigital.com>

Zee

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Expert Comment

by:Snowguy
ID: 10971377
Agree looks like your hard drive has gone bad.

After testing the drive as suggested by blue zee.

You may want to see if you can recover some of your files.
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Comment from dennistt
Date: 03/23/2003 04:58PM MST
 Comment  


If you backed up your computer onto another drive or CD, you could restore it back onto the drive, but it's probably not going to be the complete lastest files on your HD before you formatted.


0
 
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 10972825
Could be a virus as well, before you go too far check for viruses and clean them out.
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Expert Comment

by:gonzal13
ID: 10973760
I had this happen once, a long time ago. I was downloading a program using 56k moden and went to watch tv. When I came back I pressed a button and had a blank screen. The HD had been wiped clean. Knowing what I know now it was some type of invasion of my HD because I did not have a firewall. Thus I would agree that it can be someone that actually got hold of your PC and cleaned your HD.

Now since I noticed that something happens within a two year period, like a new virus downloaded by my son through a *.dat file, or a HD failure.

May I suggest somethig that I now always do in case I do get a failure:
Be sure that you have Norton antivirus 1001 or later and that it is actualy updating the antivirus lists(McAffee is fine also

Next be sure if yourr Trojan horse program is working. What happens that on pirate sites one can easily download a program that will poll computers at random looking for a pc on line. The next is just a plane invasion of your PC

export your e-mail addresses on a regular basis

Burn your favorites to a cd rom. I have about 1000 sites and would be in deep trouble if I had a pc problem.

Next make a folder and sub folders to save your down loads. Thus when it is full, burn it to a cd rom

Download the latest drivers for your video card, modem

Have the drivers for the HD, cd rom.

gonzal13(Joe)
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 10974069
Could it be something as simple as maybe accidentally dragging and dropping your WINDOWS folder into one of the other folders shortly before you shut down?

The puzzling thing is that you would also have had to do this accidentally with your "Program Files" folder also, because that's missing.

I don't suppose you have perhaps been using a batch file to clean up garbage files, and that batch file uses the "DELTREE" command?  That might explain something like this.

Here's something to try.  On your Windows 98 CD there is a DOS program file named "WHERE.EXE" that will search for named files on your system and report back ALL instances of the file if you use the "recurse" switch to force a search of all subdirectories.

You will be able to copy this file from your CD if you boot to your boot floppy with CD Rom Support and use the command (replacing the x with the letter of your CD Rom Drive) :

COPY  x:\tools\reskit\file\where.exe  c:\where.exe

Now, change to your C:\ Drive and use the following command.  It will find all instances of the file CALC.EXE in all subdirectories of the C:\ Drive if the file exists:

WHERE /r  \  CALC.EXE

If it's there, then it will be found. Tailor the command as appropriate, using the following syntax, and choosing files that are ALWAYS there in the Windows folder:

WHERE [/r dir] [/qte] pattern ...

/r - recurse starting with directory dir
/q - quiet, use exit code
/t - times, display size and time
/e - .EXE, display .EXE type
/Q - double quote the output

WHERE notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe along the path

WHERE $windir:notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe along %windir%

WHERE /r \ notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe on current drive

WHERE /r . notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe recursing on current directory

WHERE /r c:\windows\system notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe recursing on c:\windows\system

Wildcards, * ?, allowed in bar in all of above.

At the very least, your DIR command should be finding the following:

COMMAND  COM
AUTOEXEC BAT
WINDOWS        <DIR>
CONFIG   SYS
MYDOCU~1       <DIR> (maybe not if you have user profiles)
PROGRA~1       <DIR> (I would have thought this was a certainty)

and possibly also:

FRUNLOG  TXT
NETLOG   TXT
SETUP    LOG
SCANDISK LOG

have a go with the WHERE command just to see.

0
 
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 10974078
I assume that you are also aware that, after booting to a Windows 98 boot floppy, you can copy files into %RAMD% which is the temporary "virtual drive" created by the floppy and used to run commands without having to specify a path to them.

eg.

COPY  x:\tools\reskit\file\where.exe  %RAMD%\where.exe

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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 10974087
I am curious why you have a folder C:\CDROM.

Have you perhaps booted to a boot floppy intended for installing windows on a laptop where the cd rom and floppy drive cannot be used simultaneously?  I am sure that one of those I have seen before creates a folder of this name.
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Author Comment

by:ruairi_1234
ID: 10991284
ok ppl, i have decided to go with the option of formating my c: and reinstalling win 98 form scratch, but yes oh yes i have run into more problems!!
After i typer format c: the format process started it is running as i speak but it is comming up with the following message,

TRYING TO RECOVER ALLOCATION UNIT    415

What does this mean? does this mean my hard drive is buggered??
please help!
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Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 10991344

>>Anyway I still believe you have a faulty HDD that erased or in some way corrupted the data.<<
:(

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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:BillDL
BillDL earned 62 total points
ID: 10992585
ruairi_1234

>>> "does this mean my hard drive is buggered??". <<<

Yes, probably.  When you start getting these messages, as it clicks softly for about 5 minutes each time, it most certainly means that your hard drive is beginning to show signs of demise.  It's usually just a matter of time.  If it's finding the first error at 415, then that is right at the very start of the process.  There will be tens of thousands of allocation units for it to traverse on your hard drive.  You would probably still be seeing these messages 12 hours later and still be nowhere near complete.

I agree with blue_zee.  This is probably why so much data has "disappeared".

Did you ever run a diagnostics floppy as blue_zee suggested?

Your expression "buggered" tends to imply you're in the UK.  If so, then you'll find that you can get a "brown box" Western Digital or Seagate 40 GB for about 45 Pounds, and a 20 GB one for about 34 Pounds at PC World or other similar outlets.  Of course, if the drive's less than a year old, then check the warranty.

Before you do that, though, I suggest that you use a "low level format" utility from the manufacturer's web site.  Normally the download creates a boot floppy that allows you to do this.  blue_zee provided a list of vendors web sites where you can get the program file to create a "diagnostics" boot floppy, and you will also find the "low level format" utility there.

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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 11158154
That sounds fine to me LeeTutor.

I would like to make an amendment to my comment that suggested running the WHERE.EXE command in FULL DOS.

Although a DOS program, the WHERE.EXE command cannot be run from full DOS, only from a DOS Box in Windows.

Just in case anybody happens upon this page and tries to do what I suggested.
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 11187330
Thank you Computer101
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