HIMEM.SYS is missing or corrupted

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Thread Starter
Nov 8, 2001
In an effort to change the operating system on my Packard Bell legend 70CD Supreme from NT/WIN 95 to WIN 98, I have run into a few snags. First, I am not sure how significant it is but before trying to replace my OS I removed a few nonessential items like the mailbox and other items that were not being used in the Add/Remove area of the Control Panel to conserve space. I’m pretty sure I accessed the importance of each removal with extreme care however, I may have underestimated the importance of one or more of the removals. Next, when I click on the WIN 98 setup icon on the WIN 98 disc it begins but then flashes a message stating something like “Windows 98 cannot operate within Windows NT. Either turn NT off or begin setup through DOS.” Since I didn’t know how to use DOS, I opted to turn off NT, leaving Windows 95 in place. I went to the Control Panel and I believe, but I’m not sure, I clicked on System and, from a choice of which OS configuration to start with, I chose Windows 95 at the bottom of the list. After I had properly shut down the computer, I then restarted it finding a Microsoft Windows 95 Startup Menu of 7 choices, each of which I processed with no success.
I had previously saved all the information that I wanted to keep on to Zip discs before any attempt was made to change the OS, so I am not looking to recover items, necessarily. However, I would still like to change the OS and any information that you might be able to provide me in achieving that goal would be greatly appreciated. It would be nice to accomplish the task without erasing any existing information but it is not necessary. Moreover, it may be a less complicated process to erase every thing and start from a clean slate. Either way let me know if and how you can help and thanks for your time. Lastly, my brother gave this computer to me with the OS preinstalled and no backup software. The following are the most significant results of my efforts:

When I selected the “Safe Mode” under the Microsoft Windows 95 Startup Menu the following was displayed:

Windows is bypassing your startup files.

The following file is missing or corrupted: C:\windows\Himem.SYS

The following file is missing or corrupted: C:\windows\DBLBUFF.SYS

The following file is missing or corrupted: C:\windows\IFSHLP.SYS
Type the name of the Command Interpreter (e.g., c:\WINDOWS\COMMAND.COM)

After restarting the computer under the guidance of The Microsoft Product Support Service website, (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q133/4/42.ASP (Safe Mode Boot Does Not Process Machine Switch for Himem.sys)), I pressed the F8 key during the “STARTING WINDOWS 95…” message in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. From the Startup Menu I chose “Step-by-step confirmation and the following was displayed:

Windows will prompt you to confirm each startup command.

Load DoubleSpace driver [Enter=Y,Esc=N]?Y
Process the system registry [Enter=Y,Esc=N]?N
Create a startup log file (BOOTLOG.TXT) [Enter=Y,Esc=N]?Y*
Process your startup device drivers (CONFIG.SYS) [Enter=Y,Esc=N]?Y

Oak Technology Inc OTI-011 CD-ROM device driver, Rev D011V110.ENG019
©Copyright Oak Technology Inc. 1993, 1994
Device Name :MSCD001
Transfer Mode :programmed I/O
Number of drives :1
Drive 0: Port=170 IRQ=15

FILES=40 [Enter=Y,Esc=N]?Y*
Note: I choose N so I could proceed because when I select Y the following happens:
The following file is missing or corrupted: C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\DRVSPACE.SYS
There is an error in your CONFIG.SYS file on line 3

DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE [Enter=Y,Esc=N]?Y*

MICROSOFT Expanded Memory Manager 386 Version 4.49
Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1986, 1994

EMM386 not installed – XMS Manager not present.

Press any key when ready…

The following file is missing or corrupted: C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS

The following file is missing or corrupted: C:\WINOWS\IFSHLP.SYS
Process your startup command file (AUTOEXEC.BAT) [Enter=Y,Esc=N]?N
Load the Windows graphical user interface [Enter=Y,Esc=N]?N

The following file is missing or corrupted: COMMAND.COM
Type the name of the Command Interpreter (e.g., C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND.COM)

Note: Results are the same if I choose N for HIMEM.SYS and IFSHLP.SYS, except that the errors about missing files and the spaces between them don’t occur.
Note: Entries with an asterisks (*) after them indicate that the Microsoft resolution did not take them into account and any Y/N answers are guesses on my part.


Retired Administrator
Jan 27, 2001
Hi matthewkelly777, welcome to TSG....

Just my two centavos, I'd do a reformat.

Do you have a full installation cd of windows 98?
Feb 16, 2001
Mathew, I'd have to agree with AcaCandy. On how to format copied and pasted from one of Bryan's many posts:

What type of Microsoft Win98 CD do you have? If it’s an upgrade CD then you’ll need to be sure you have your old W95 CD or 3.1 diskettes available. During the install you will be required to prove you have a qualifying product for the upgrade. If you have a Full Copy of Win98 on CD, then that's all you'll need.

You'll also need a Win98 bootdisk. If you don’t have one then you can make one on any other Win98 PC. Start>Settings>ControlPanel>Add/RemovePrograms>StartupDisk>CreateDisk Or you can download a WIn98 bootdisk from here: www.bootdisk.com

Be sure to have your Windows "Product Key" available. You’ll need it during the install. It should be on the sleeve that holds your Win98 CD or on the Windows booklet. You can also find it here in the registry:
The ProductKey is listed in the right pane.


Once you have all of that, insert the Win98 boot diskette and power on the machine. It should boot up to a boot menu. If not, you’ll need to change the boot sequence in your BIOS to A,C,D .

After it has booted to the bootmenu, select the option to "Start with CD-Rom Support". Somewhere on the screen at the very end, it tells you what drive letter it has temporarily assigned to the CD-Rom drive. It will look something like this, Drive E=MSCD001 or Drive E=OEMSCD001. In that example, the CDRom drive is E. Make a note of it. If you don't see that phrase on the screen then you didn't get CD Rom support. Stop and do not go any further since you won't be able to install Win98 from CD without CD-Rom support.

Assuming you did get CD-Rom support, then at this point, once you've fdisked and formatted the drive, there's no going back. All of the data and programs will be erased from the drive. At an a: prompt key in the following:


Leave the default set to "Y" for large disk support and press enter.

Now use the option to "Delete Partitions". Delete any and all you see listed. Now take the option to "Create a Partition" and create a "Primary DOS" partition. Take all of the defaults during the Primary DOS partition creation.

Now after the PC has restarted, key in the following and press enter.

format c: /s

When it's done insert your Win98 CD. Key in the following at the prompt and be sure to change the drive letter, "e", if necessary, depending on the drive letter assigned to your CD-Rom drive. You should have made note of it earlier.


Good luck :) sharon
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