Sony notebook vaio PCG-818, win 98, has crashed

Hi,
I've tryed to reboot with win 98 startup disk.  It stop requires me to respond.  Three choices, 1- start computer with cd-rom support. 2-start computer without cd-rom support. 3- view help info.  I've tryed all 3, I've tryed most of the instruction, to no prevail. When I try to load sony's system recovery cd nothing at all occures.
 I have attept to perform scandisk.exe in C: drive and everything is working fine until it scans Free space, then this message occures.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"There is not enough free conventional memory to perform a surface scan.

You may need to remark (REM) some device drivers from your CONFIG.SYS file. Or, in your CONFIG.SYS, you may need to load the EMM386.EXE driver to load your other device drivers into Upper Memory Blocks using DEVICEHIGH= statements."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I had no choice but to select "ok".

"Then the message read ScanDisk did not  finish examining drive C."

Then when I enter CONFIG.SYS     I get abort,retry,fail.  same when I enter EMM386.EXE.
Does anyone have an answer? Should I replace the harddisk? Thanks Ted
tedrunyonAsked:
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NetworkArchitekCommented:
Hi tedrunyon,
Try another bootdisk. Like from http://www.bootdisk.com . If you get the same problem then it would be nice if you had some spare memory you could swap out with in that computer to check that. If your bootdisk won't work then there is a hardware issue.

Cheers!
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tedrunyonAuthor Commented:
Hi NetworkArchitek,
I download anotherbookdisk form http://www.bootdisk.com.  When I tryed to run it on my computer I got this message.   "This program cannot be run in DOS mode."
Which I may need to add, I can't get out of DOS mode.  I currently don't have access to more memory.  Purhaps this added info my help.  I do aprreciate you assist. Thanks Ted
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NetworkArchitekCommented:
Oh, no, keep that program but run it in windows. That program makes a bootdisk. So stick a blank floppy in your drive and run that program, it writes a bootdisk image to the floppy. Try that. Well, if you don't have access to more memory ... Do you have some memory in the expansion slot and some onboard? If you have memory in the Expansion slot AND onboard memory (if the memory in the slot is not as big as the amount of memory you have total) then remove the Expansion slot memory and try just with the onboard.
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nobusCommented:
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
I don't think you have elaborated how the problem occured.
Are you able to boot into Safe Mode by pressing F8 when PC starts ?

If yes, are you able to boot into DOS mode, again by pressing F8 ?

If you are, type SCANREG at command prompt, select Restore Registry, and select one with date prior to crash.
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tedrunyonAuthor Commented:
Hi Experts,
I appreciate your time and efforts, thank you.
well I don't know how the problem occured.  I am stuck in DOS, cannot get into safe mode.  When I put windows 98 start up disk in A drive, it prompts me to select 1)Start computer with CD-ROM support. 2)Start computer without CD-ROM support.#)View the help file.

I select 1) Start computer with CD-ROM support. The computer does something, then ends with a screen with this info.

Prepare to start your computer.
This may take a few minutes. Please wait...

The diagnostic tolls were successfully loaded to drive D.

MSCDEX Version 2.25
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp.  1986-1995.  All rights reserved.
          Drive E: = Driver MSCD))! unit 0

To get help, type HELP and press ENTER.

A:\>

-------------------------when I type help the info is over my head,  when I type E: enter, then look at dir, and type D: and look at dir I don't understand what to do. I think something basic is lost, purhaps bios or startup info, purhaps going into a DOS command to revert back.  I also cannot get into safe mode, when I try to load Sony system recovery CD, "I/O error".  That can't be good.  I hope for help, thanks Ted
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NetworkArchitekCommented:
Ok, now I am a bit confused, but alright. What happens when you type c:\windows\win and hit enter? Does it load windows?
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tedrunyonAuthor Commented:
C:\windows\win then enter
Bad command or file name
C:\
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NetworkArchitekCommented:
Well ok do this. At the the prompt type C:  and hit enter. Then do a "dir" . Do you have any files and directories listed or does it give you an error?
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tedrunyonAuthor Commented:
C:\dir
enter
a long list of files and dirs
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
Goto your Windows directory, (first go to C: prompt, then type CD WINDOWS nad press Enter).

Here, search for file named WIN.com. (Type dir /s win.*).

If WIN.COM is NOT listed, you will need either to copy it from another PC, or reinstall Windows.
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tedrunyonAuthor Commented:
Hi paraghs,

 C:\ CD WINDOWS, then I pressed enter
Invailid directory
---------------------------------------------------------
C:\dir /s win.*

Volume in drive C has no label
Volume Serical Number is XXXX-XXXX

(then about one minute later)

Directory of C:\

File not found

                                      3,520.22 MB free
C:\
--------------------------------------------------------
How do I get copy of win.com from my other computer,to the effected computer, which I use Win XP PRO?

Also, even though my computer has made a drive for CD-ROM drive,E:\, but when I try to reintall Win 98 with Sony System Recovery CD. message "CDR101: Not ready reading drive E Abort,Retry, Fail?"
Does any of this info help you? I hope so. Thank you Ted
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
Ted,

You should have been in C:\WINDOWS folder before giving the "dir" command.

Anyway, at C: prompt, give this command :

dir /a /s win.*

See if any file is shown.

You can not copy WIN.COM from a XP PC to Win 98 PC. WIN.COM will be abailable only on Win 98 PC.
Take WIN.COM from another Win 98 PC on a floppy, and copy it to your WINDOWS directory.

At any working Win 98 PC, insert your floppy drive and give this command (either at command prompt or through "run" command):
copy c:\windows\win.com a: (enter)

Next, boot your PC using boot floppy, insert the floppy on which you copied WIN.COM, and at the command prompt, type this :

copy a:\win.com c:\windows

As far as your CDROM is concerned, it is unreadable. Insert some other CD, and check if it is readable. If not, check cable inside your cabinet connecting to CDROM drive. Else, your CDROM drive may have gone kaput.
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
Sorry nobus, but I don't think the disk is unreadable, as dir command on C drive is not giving any error message.

Ted, before trying my above suggestions, give following command :

dir /a /s c:\*.*

If a number of files are shown, your disk is OK (but, may be the area where Windows system files are residing is corrupt).
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tedrunyonAuthor Commented:
Hi paraghs,

when I gave this command.

C:\dir /a/s c:\*.*      

this screen scrolled through pages and pages of files and stopped at the end with a list of files. and a C prompt.  I think you  have found the answer. As you said :The disk is ok, but may be the area where Windows system files are residing is corrupt.
What should I do next?
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
Run SCANDISK. It will show if your drive indeed has bad sectors.

If it has, and that area happens to be occupied by Windows system files, reinstall Windows on top of itself.

Also, download HDD Regenerator from http://www.dposoft.net/. The demo version scnas whole hard disk for bad sectors, and repairs first bad sector found.
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tedrunyonAuthor Commented:
Thank you paraghs,
You've been very helpful, and I appreicate it.  SCANDISK has shown some bad sectors. Please correct me if I'm wrong.  This being a Sony computer, the only way to  install windows is with the disk that came with the computer, labeled: Sony System Recovery CD.  However When I try to run anything from CD-Rom drive, (even though I choose to startup with CD-Rom operational) a message did indicate
"The diagnostic tools were successfully loaded to drive D."

MSCDEX Version 2.25
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp. 1986-1995. All rights reserved
          Drive E: = Driver MSCD001 unit 0
To get help, type HELP and press ENTER.

A:\>

When I insert any disk nothing happens.

 When I enter D: and enter, D: dir
Volume in drive D is MS-RAMDRIVE
Directory of D:\
(then a list of files)
When I enter E: and enter, E: dir
CDR101: Not ready reading drive E
Abort, Retry, Fail?

I downloaded HDD Regenerator from my good computer,and created a disk, but so far I can only get floppy to read anything.  I wanted to try to load HDD Regenerator on to floppy, but I don't know how to load onto two floppy disk.  Sorry for my ignorence.
Thank you, Ted
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tedrunyonAuthor Commented:
Hi paraghs,
Just wanted to update you a bit,  I went back to the beginning.  Actually figured out how to operate cd-rom drive, and start win98 setup.  Its gone futher this time than the last few time I tryed.  I think your guidance has been invaluable for me.  I'll let you know how it progesses, but it's looking good at the moment.
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nobusCommented:
if he followed my advice with zeroing the drive in the first place, he was up and running long ago...
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
You are right nobus, but then he would not have known what was the problem for sure.

Tedrunyon, There is NO computer on this earth that will prevent you from installing an OS from a source other than recovery CD. Recovery CD is provided by manufacturers to install OS with all required drivers.

However, you may take a Windows installation CD, boot from it, run setup from it, and load device drivers from CD/floppies given by hardware suppliers.

The error you are getting when booting with your Sony Recovery CD is because computer is able to boot from it, but not able to read other contents. You may take another recovery CD, if you have access to it, and it should work fine.

I am not able to understand the exact problem you are facing with HDD Regenerator.

Thanks, Ted.
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