Win ME start-up problems

  Longhouse 02:36 27 Nov 2005

Windows failing to load with message "Problems loading windows explorer, please re-install windows". Clicking the OK tabs beneath message shuts PC down. Boot gets through POST and as far as initial windows screen but no icons, etc loading.

History - Machine is set up with PATA 120 Gb boot disk, partitioned as two 60 Gb (C: & D:)+ SATA RAID array (pair 80Gb mirrored, E:) for data storage. Asus MoBo A7V600. 1 Gb RAM. Win ME. Been working fine for around 18 mths.

Problems started with SATA RAID master HDD failure. Machine was OK initially. Would start-up indicating master RAID disk failed but gave choices to break mirror, reform with new drive, or continue boot. Could get into windows by continue, all fine, with mirror RAID visible and fully accessable. All data OK. As a precaution I copied all data files to temp folder on partition D: to back up against loss.

Bought new SATA disk for RAID and installed, but not visible in windows. I've found in the past that I had to go through Control Panel and set properties as removable so did this for new drive but also set drive letter to E: at the same time (which I think was the mistake).
On re-boot I got the explorer error message. Tried safe mode, but got the same message.

How do I recover windows drive without fully re-installing windows? - I don't want the risk of data loss as there is around 6 years of data I need (hence the RAID precaution!)

I've got a "spare" HDD - PATA 200Gb - that I bought to upgrade to Win XP (but haven't got XP yet). I can't get Win ME to take even after partitioning to two 100 Gb drives, presumably because of WIn ME max limit of 137Gb.

  Longhouse 09:58 27 Nov 2005

Have been through the MS knowledge base and followed all suggestions (exrtact copy explorer.exe & overwrite old file) but still no joy.

Getting to the point where I'll have to reinstall windows over the top. Before I do, I must recover e-mail and address book from C: drive. Where will I find the right folders from DOS prompt?

Only other option I have is to dismantle another machine to get a smaller drive, reformat that to install Win ME on, and try to recover data to that by putting main drive in as slave - any advice appreciated.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:47 27 Nov 2005

Try and restore your computer back to date before the problems started

click here

  Longhouse 20:23 27 Nov 2005

Thanks for the pointer Fruit Bat. I tried the recommendations but, unfortunately, no joy. It won't start with the old program manager front end either and it refuses to load restore from a command prompt.

I've sorted another disk and managed to rescue my data, address book, favourites & (almost as important as my data, my e-mail files as .dbx).

Looks like I'll have to burn some more midnight oil reinstalling windows over the top.

  Longhouse 21:53 27 Nov 2005

Resorted to reinstalling windows "over the top" and , so far, seems to have worked.

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