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Win98 Lost Its Config ? How?

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by zapp22, Feb 2, 2005.

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  1. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

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    I maintain two computers at a Church, both with W98, which I keep updated, virus-protected [norton], mal-ware defended.
    The main machine this morning came up just as if Win98 were being installed for the first time. Something tripped the "setup" of win98 all over again and it is snooping hardware, installing drivers, needs to have the internet connections reset: in short, just like you popped in a Win98 CD on a new drive.

    The good news is that all the documents and data files are intact, so the HD seems otherwise healthy.

    What did this? Is there a shortcut to re-finding the good installation configuration files?

    MANY thanks
    Zapp
     
  2. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

    Joined:
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    I can't imagine how it could actually run "setup" again -- heck you would be prompted for the ProductKey if it did that.

    It's possible the registry could have been damaged and configuration information was lost for subsequently installed hardware. This could happen if "scanregistry" were missing or unchecked in the System Configuration utility (run: msconfig) under the "startup" tab. When this happens and a registry is damaged, Windows may not have recent archived backups and instead restores the last registry it found in the c:\windows\sysbckup folder. This can be very old -- dating to the last backup. Hardware installed since that date would likely be redetected and a search for drivers begun. If the drivers were installed, they would still be present as the actual files would not be affected by this.

    When scanregisty is enabled, the registry is backed up once every first boot of the day.

    http://www.geocities.com/~budallen/scanreg.html
     
  3. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
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    What a freakin' mess.
    I spent about 6 hours today with this system and a brother on the LAN.
    Its for real: Win98 had come up in a totally foreign mode, like it was running for the first time. I did a scan of files modified/created in the last 24 hrs and it looked like at 11:35 last night it freaked. The DATE set by the routine was bizarre, just a 'fetch' out of thin air showing something like Sept 10 of 2014, and off it went trying to comp a new OS load.
    Fortunately I was able to rollback to only ONE available previous registry, and the system wobbled up in a somewhat usable mode. I ran Norton and it failed. Uninstalled it and reinstalled it [NAV 2005] and it still failed: it would run a scan [after updating definitions] for about 20% of the files, then stop and say it could not complete. no clue what's going on.

    loaded and ran Hijackthis and nothing unusual shows up. very short list of entries and everything looking normal. I loaded Adaware and Spysubtract and ran these and the usual few suspects show up and get dealt with.
    I'm stumped.

    My assumption is that there is a virus or Trojan at the bottom somewhere, and it may well trigger again in the near future.

    Can someone recommend their very BEST virus and/or trojan scan package: I may have to deep six Norton. ??????????????????????????????????????

    The symptoms on another system on this LAN are quite diff. NAV will not run properly on it either, but for diff reasons. it cannot complet an UPDATE of definitions. It can download them and store on local drive, but when it runs the install/config routine, it shorts out. Again, the error codes given are meaningless to Nortons/Symantec website. no help there.
    This system has an ADWARE/MALware infection that none of the popular packages can uproot. It soundly defeats them all and the Popup blockers also. It appears to trace back to some Game sites [via Yahoo games?], but Adaware, Spybot, Spysubtract, Spyware Blaster are all humiliated. they variously found hundreds of lesser infections, but the root one is still there, flashing the middle finger in our faces. Basically, on any/all reboots, or cold boots, things are OK til you hit IE, then a series of popups kick off, fetching stuff from web-sites, defeating both AIEPK and Panicware's freebie Popup Blocker. I have scanned for programs, I have set ruthless security levels, all to no avail. It will kick off so many routines that in some cases IE will just hang, unable to complete any more tasks.

    i''m losing hope here.

    :confused:
    z
     
  4. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

    Joined:
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    I can't tell what happened. If there was substantial file system damage -- those are gone regardless of the registry issue. If it is only a registry issue -- possible damage to the last good one, there is an outside possiblity it could be restored and fixed.

    The approach to this is shown in post 8 in this thread:

    http://forums.techguy.org/showthread.php?postid=690275#post690275

    And in post 13 of this one:

    http://forums.techguy.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=199838

    For the "OTHER" computer ( you should not mix problems and threads here), post a HijackThis Scanlog and a description of the problem in the Security forum.
     
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