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reinstalling windows 95 from a boot-disk?

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by dgmoneill, Jan 8, 2003.

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  1. dgmoneill

    dgmoneill Thread Starter

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    I can't even get into safe mode, it keeps shutting me down. I tried to change my bood order, cd-rom is first, floppy disk is 2nd, hard drive is 3rd and compaq ethernet is 4th. I tried several things but all I get is this message - run windows setup again, with a software package that has the system.ini file which is damaged, press a key to continueA device file that is specified in the system.ini file is damaged, it may be need to run windows. I have talked to a few people and they are not sure of what I should do. One person adviced me that I had to reinstall everything, I do not know how to do that? Another told me I might need a boot-disk to install windows 95 again. But I do not have one. Please help, I am using my computer at work and feel lost without the one at home. What should I do? Is something wrong with the hard drive?
     
  2. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Do you have your Win95 CD-rom and have the registration ID (ProductKey)?

    If so, you can download a setup program to create a boot disk for Win95.

    http://www.answersthatwork.com/Downright_pages/downrights_bootdisks.htm

    But you should also have been able to boot the CD-rom directly by resetting the BIOS options, what happened when you did that?

    If you use the boot disk, allow it to install CD-ROM support and watch the screen to see what driver letter gets assigned the CD-Rom. Usually it will be 'e'.

    When you get to the a:\> prompt, put the Microsoft CD in and enter:

    e:\setup

    then just follow the prompts. You will need that ProductKey!

    By the way, does it tell you what device was "specified" in system.ini (or the registry). If it really is in System.ini, you could manually edit it.

    And there may be another option to restore the last booted registry if the problem is there.

    Try following the instructions to restore system.da0 as given here:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q131431

    ... welcome to TSG...
     
  3. dgmoneill

    dgmoneill Thread Starter

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    :rolleyes:Unfortunately I do not have a reg. ID#, this computer was given to me by my job and they can't find it. so I guess I am out of luck, huh?

    I wasn't able to resett the BIOS options - nothing happened, I went into (f1) for help and it told me to select by using my arrows, nothing happened....I couldn't change a thing.

    This is just so frustrating, I just don't know what to do.

    How do I get a boot disk? and how do I get a product key!

    it does not tell me what the device is, it just said "A DEVICE"

    What else can I do?

    Thanks for trying!:)
     
  4. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    First you can get a program to create a boot disk from the link I gave in the first post.

    Did you try the Microsoft directions to restore system.da0 ?

    It may be possible to recover the ProductKey in DOS. Follow these directions:

    1 -- boot to a command prompt. Do this by tapping the f8 key repeatedly as soon as the computer begins to boot. You should get a startup menu. Choose the command prompt option

    2 -- at the c:\> prompt enter this line exactly, noteing carefully the location of spaces:

    regedit /e regkey.txt HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

    Here is the command line again with ^ inserted where spaces should be:

    regedit^/e^regkey.txt^HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

    3 -- back at the c:\> prompt, enter edit regkey.txt


    4 -- now you should see the DOS editor open with a display of registry data. Use your arrow key to scroll downward and look for two lines and copy both if present, exactly:

    ProductKey

    ProductID

    you may need one or the other depending on the type of installation. If you see a long "digitalproductid" there, ignore that.

    5 -- press Alt+F and then X to close the editor.
     
  5. dgmoneill

    dgmoneill Thread Starter

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    Thanks for getting back to me so soon.

    I have not tried anything, I am at work now, the computer that is in distress is at my house, but when I get home tonight I will try with the information that you provided me and get back to you tomorrow with my results.

    Wish me luck!:p
     
  6. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Good luck -- if you can get that ProductKey or ID, we can reinstall. If not then your only hope is probably to return to a previous registry. Actually I would try that first, since a reinstall may still leave problems unless it is a full format and reinstall.
     
  7. dgmoneill

    dgmoneill Thread Starter

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    Thanks, let's hope it works. Talk with you tomorrow.
     
  8. dgmoneill

    dgmoneill Thread Starter

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    good morning.

    well i was able to get the product id#, but that is all :( .

    I tried to restore the last boot registry, but was unable to do it. I always got a error message like unable to open registry c:\windows\system.dat then I would continue as explained if the previous did not work, always received the same error message. Unable to open registry (1,016) :path1, then unable to backup registry :path2 system.txt. The farther along I got the more error messages appeared like attrib -s -h -r system.dat - this one said file not found and the last one ren c:\windows\profiles c:\windows\oldprofiles - invalid parameter (I do not even know what a parameter is)

    What should I do now?:confused:
     
  9. dgmoneill

    dgmoneill Thread Starter

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    I have a question for you, re- answers that work.com - it says to run it to unzip it (which I did), but I don't know what to do after that - winzip it or close. can I get the boot disk from my pc at work and can i do it on a floppy disk or does it have to be on a cd?
    now you can tell I am a greenhorn when it comes to the ways the insides of the computer work.:rolleyes:
     
  10. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    With respect to the registry errors, I'm not sure, but it sounds like you began at the beginning of the article. That was not actually what I wanted you to do. If you didn't start at Using System.da0, then I would try again, following exactly my instructions here:

    1 -- boot to a command prompt by tapping f8 on startup, then selecting "command prompt" from the startup menu.

    2 -- at the c:\> prompt enter: cd: c:\windows (now you should be at c:\windows\>

    3 -- enter attrib -h -r -s system.dat

    4 -- enter ren system.dat system.bad

    (note the position of spaces designated by ^ here: attrib^-h^-r^-s^system.dat; ren^system.dat^system.bad)

    >> Do you get an error message entering either of the above two commands?

    5 -- ctrl-alt-del to reboot

    =======

    When you unzip the zipped boot disk setup file, you must remove it from the original zipped folder, this is either done automatically by the zip program or you can simply manually copy the enclosed file to another folder. Once you have it out, put a clean floppy in the floppy drive and just double click the setup program and follow the prompts.

    =============

    You might also want to double check on finding the ProductKey again, I'm rather concerned that if you try to reinstall, you will receive a Microsoft prompt for that (the number of characters is different) and it will not accept the ProductID, which was placed there by the orginal vendor, not Microsoft.

    ===============

    If only the ProductID is there, I would recommend trying to reinstall from the cab files on the hard drive first, if they are present. To determine that, from a command prompt enter:

    cd c:\windows\options\cabs

    If you get the DOS prompt c:\windows\options\cabs\> after that, then you have them. From that directory, it might be possible simply to enter:

    setup and follow the prompts.
     
  11. dgmoneill

    dgmoneill Thread Starter

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    I did you #1 - f8 and all,
    I did the c:\ prompt end .....I was then at c:\windows\, i then entered attrib -h -r - system.dat - got an error message - file not found; then i entered ren system.dat system.bad - got the same error message - file not found (yes I put all the spaces in where they belonged) I tried it again and still got the same messages.

    I did double check, I went up and down a few times looking for a ProductKey - but there was none. There was a ProductType - which was 9, but no Key and of course the Product ID which I got 14797-OEM-0022523-52330.

    I will try it all again, and get back to you on Monday, have a nice weekend. Here in New York it will be a cold one...............
    Bye for now and thanx for all your help.
    Wish me luck............
     
  12. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Hard to believe it could disappear like that, it means not only that system.dat would have to be damaged or missing but system.da0 as well. And if system.ini has gone with it, there must be an awful lot of file corruption on the disk. Do make sure you are entering: attrib -h - r -s system.dat (anything else will produce an error message.)

    Anyway see if you can enter: cd c:\windows\options\cabs

    It's looking like you will probably have to use the Microsoft CD to try to reinstall; if it is the original OEM CD, that is, supplied by a manufacturer, it might work with the ProductID; otherwise you need a valid ProductKey

    And you will definitely need the luck :)
     
  13. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Here is one more suggestion that might be instructive, if not helpful.

    At the c:\windows\> prompt, enter:

    dir /a system*

    Make a note of all files beginning with "system" (that's all you should really see).

    Note the extension and listed file size that is associated with them.
     
  14. dgmoneill

    dgmoneill Thread Starter

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    Thanks, I will try it all.

    But if nothing works, would it be worth my while to send it to a computer store that fixes computers or what?
     
  15. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    You might confer with them on possibilities first, but unless they have CD from which they are prepared to make an installation, there is likely not much that can be done. They may have something that they will give or sell you with a productkey. The age of the system and quality of the hardware (processor speed, hard disk size) would be a factor in determining whether it would be more worthwhile to just get a new one, or a new/used one.
     
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