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system will not boot/start

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by nashe, Jan 3, 2002.

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  1. nashe

    nashe Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Messages:
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    Please help! I was trying to install a Harry Potter CD-Rom on my niece's old HP Pavillion computer over the holidays. There wasn't enough memory to install the software so I started to delete things to increase the memory available. I thought I was only removing unnecessary things. I freed enough memory to install the Harry Potter software but when I tried to restart the computer afterwards it gives me an error message, saying "invalid command, please install the disk and press any key." I assume that I accidentally deleted something necessary for system start-up. I tried to reinstall Windows 98 but it says there isn't enough memory. I am stuck with the error message. Help. How can I fix this problem? Thank you, in advance, for any help you can offer.
     
  2. Gnosisless

    Gnosisless

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    Messages:
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    You may have a missing or corrupt msdos.sys file. It tells the boot record where to find Windows on the PC.

    To troubleshoot this and other boot problems, I'd suggest the following:

    Download the Ultimate Boot Disk from Cnet.com:

    Cnet.com Ultimate Boot Disk for Win 98

    Once you have it, use it to make a bootable floppy, and boot your niece's pc. Follow the instructions it provides and it should help you repair your msdos.sys file (if this is the problem). It will also help you troubleshoot other boot problems.

    I haven't used it myself, but I did look over the contents, and it looks pretty comprehensive.

    I suppose it's also possible that her hard disk has just died, or she even has a bad IDE cable, but since you were deleting files, something like this seems likely.

    Let us know if this helps!
     
  3. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2000
    Messages:
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    Can you start in safe mode? An "invalid command" message, occuring during a boot up, with no input on your part, is likely to be coming from the autoexec.bat file or from a setup file that has not completed.

    To start in safe mode (and bypass most startup files), press and hold the ctrl key until you see the startup menu. Select it from there. You can also try step by step confirmation and note exactly when the error message is occuring. That would help in troubleshooting.

    See this article for general advice on troubleshooting startup problems...


    http://support.microsoft.com/directory/article.asp?ID=KB;EN-US;q188867
     
  4. Gnosisless

    Gnosisless

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    482
    Hmmmmm.. good point. I assumed he was getting a BIOS message, but maybe you've hit on it. I did have a similar problem with Windows 95, way back when, and it was a Windows installer file that refused to die.
     
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