Win 98se problem and reputable engineer questions

  Tycoben 10:25 21 Jan 2005

Hi, I'm new here, and have a couple of queries that I hope someone wouldn't mind helping me with.

Anyway, I've run into a problem with my Win 98se pc refusing to start due to 'windows protection error'. I've read the various bits and pieces of advice on this forum, but to be honest I can't manage to implement the advice - either I can't get my dvd-drive to work at all in safe mode or the advice is a bit beyond my abilities.

So, I needed someone to come in and sort out my machine - and I called someone out yesterday, and after an (expensive) hour of him trying to uninstall Norton (which had crashed just prior to the problems with my pc), he declared that the only thing to be done was to wipe the hard drive entirely and start over.

He might well be right, but he seemed a bit 'enthusiastic amateur'.

So, I guess I have 2 questions. Firstly - when booking someone to come and look at your machine, how can you tell if they're reliable and aren't going to make things worse? Are there any specific qualifications to look out for, or memberships of official bodies? I'm new to the area, so unfortunately don't know anyone to ask for recommendations.

Secondly, the guy who came yesterday said that he'd return (at more expense) and try and back my files up onto a second hard drive. Can this be done when the original hard drive is possibly corrupt? Is he telling me something that is do-able and will save my files?

Apologies that this is so long, but any advice on the above and how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.


  johnnyrocker 10:41 21 Jan 2005

i would think he is right about being able to back up all your files to another drive, do you have the original disk 98SE?, if the problem is recent you could try a restore to last good working time i believe one selects start/run and from memory types in scanreg /restore ( if i am wrong i am sure one of the more learned will correct me) this should produce a number of good boot dates and is a matter of selecting one which may solve your probs,
as for qualifications/capability how long is a piece of string.


  Graham ® 10:41 21 Jan 2005

Have a look here for starters click here.

  Timmy!! 11:36 21 Jan 2005

The very basic credentials would be a qualified 'CompTIA A+' and 'CompTIA NETWORK +' Engineer. Even better a MCP(Microsoft Certified Professional) hopefully certified in the version of Windows (s)he's looking at.

The CompTIA '+' qualification is the only hardware credential you can get as far as i'm aware. Although it is still v basic.

In the guys defence, relative to 2000 or XP, 98 has very basic tools for fixing problems such as the ones you mention and i personally would have recommended the same course of action such is the nature of 98.

I'd also say that if your PC is still running Windows98SE then i presume its pretty old (potentially 7 yrs old), the hard drive included. This may lead to or have led to your problem due to read/write errors including widespread corruption of files. Nothing lasts forever! (PC's only about 3-4years) Maybe it's time for a new PC?

  Diemmess 12:01 21 Jan 2005

Whether to continue with enthusiast at a price, or DIY. It is your choice.

Without courage to DIY.... a local shop might make a reasonable offer to sell you a new "Box" and recover your files to the new computer.

The DIY route... read Graham ® 's link anyway and try two things.

1)See if it will boot into Safe Mode - Tap F8 repeatedly from switch on, until a DOS black and white screen appears and choose Safe Mode. If it does go this far, post back for advice.

2) The same F8 routine and choose Command Prompt Only. when the screen shows just C:> type in the words scanreg /restore

You will be offerred five dates when the computer did boot properly, so choose a date earlier than the start of your trouble. This may clear the problem, but as Timmy!! said it may be more serious than that.

  quack 15:02 21 Jan 2005

Just a comment. You will not be able to get your DVD Drive to work in Safe Mode as the whole point of Safe Mode is to boot the computer without your system drivers - hence no CD or DVD Rom drives or Audio or Graphics. You can however follow the advice given by Diemmess.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:25 21 Jan 2005

HAve you got a win98 boot disk (floppy)? if not download one from click here

Boot the PC with the disk in the drive and select boot with cd support. It will load on a set of tools to help access your PC.

Note CD drive will be pushed back one letter eg from D to E

At the A:\ type (as perDiemmess)

scanreg /restore and select a date.

If this doesn't work you can type e:\ (to get to your CD drive then type setup and reinstall windows 98 over the top of your old version your data files will not be affected although you will have to reinstall updates and programs such as office.

  Tycoben 17:13 21 Jan 2005

Your help has been truly invaluable!

I did the 'scanreg/restore' thing, and it has worked! I can access my data and have copied all the files I was anxious to save.

I'm a little confused as to what this means though - do I still have a problem with windows and this is a way round it, or has going back to a previous date now totally got rid of the problem?

When I start up now, windows tells me that some startup files for norton are missing and if I reinstall the program it will reinstall the missing files. If I click on yes twice, I get taken to windows desktop where everything runs as normal with no apparent problems. Is this something I need to address urgently, or can it keep until I've got a backup hard drive/new pc?

Thank you all again for the help. If only the guy I paid yesterday had given me such good advice!!!


  Diemmess 17:35 21 Jan 2005

Congratulations, by your efforts you've saved a lot your money.

If (from your first post for help) you started by trouble with Norton, then you could perhaps benefit by getting rid of the last traces of it.

Be cautious if you do this, because it can involve some fairly tricky routines..... In fact it would be worth closing this thread and starting a new one seeking advice on cleaning up.

If it was Norton Antivirus, then the sooner you have a good AV program installed the better, but that could go into the same new thread?

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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