Computer illiterate needs help to save computer

  Packardcrap 23:49 09 Feb 2005
Locked

Hi,
I am a windows 98 user. I was trying to delete some internet popup programs, using the 'add/remove program' thing. I selected remove on a program called 'sidebar' or something. I was then warned that all sidebar programs would be deleted.
Now i cant get onto windows!Am i the stupidest guy ever!?!?!
Do any geniuses out their know if its likely I have deleted all the contents of my computer or not!?!
When i restarted the computer, it asked me to register my copy of windows. when i skip the logon screen, explorer has an error. also when i press ctrl,al,del, i notice no programs are running at all.
Does this mean all my files have been deleted?
Thing is i had some vital data on there, and i'm wondering if i could try and retrieve it, even though i can't log on to windows.
Is there any way i could transfer data thru a USB?
I may be being really stupid here, but is it possible that sidebar programs are just the vital progs that run things, and therefore my individual files mp3s, etc may still be there?
Any advice on how i could retrieve data would be lifesaving.

Thanks for your time
George

  Rhuddlan 23:59 09 Feb 2005

click here

Is this the Sidebar you are talking about?

  Jeffers22 00:01 10 Feb 2005

You could boot from a floppy and recover your files, but not to a USB drive as there owuld be no support for USB. It would need to be done some other way. One way would be (from within DOS) to create a single folder (called say Data) and then move everything you want to keep into that folder. You will likely lose the long filenames in the process, and have a fair bit of detective work later, but at least the important stuff would still be there.

Once you have moved all your data around (onto a second Hard Drive would be best if you have one installed) you could (still from DOS) delete the Windows folder from C: and reinstall 98. You would need to reinstall all your apps to get them into the registry though.

This is pretty drastic action, someone else may have a better idea. Perhaps reinstall sidebar would do the trick.

  Packardcrap 00:27 10 Feb 2005

Hi,
thanks for the responses.
err, Rhuddlan, I don't remember seeing that sidebar interface, but i did notice a load of new toolbars such as, megasearch or something, so i wouldn't be surprised if that was the one.

To Jeffers22, Could u perhaps give me some 'idiots guide' style guide to booting from a floppy, and then making a data folder, and then reinstalling windows.
That sounds like the most viable option.
It is pretty drastic, but theres no way I can reinstall this sidebar thing because no programs run when I try to log on, so explorer crashes.

Thanks for ur help.
If i can get data back will be so happy. I've learn the 'backing up logic' the hard way!
Cheers

Geo

  User-312386 00:39 10 Feb 2005

can you do this

start computer and start tapping F8 and then click on start in ms-dos

when in dos type "scanreg/fix" (without the quotes)

Now if all goes well the registry should be fixed

If after you have done the reg fix and you get a cursor, type exit

  Zion_Lion 00:52 10 Feb 2005

Hi mate... have you tried to start the pc in safe mode, if you have don't worry but if you have not click here if you get into windows you can check and replace system files click here

If you have a windows 98 start up floppy disc you can try booting from that.

Regards ZL

  Zion_Lion 00:54 10 Feb 2005

sorry madboy33©® had not refreshed page to see your post.

  Jeffers22 10:01 10 Feb 2005

If you do not have a boot floppy, download the Win98 version from click here - click on the first option on the opening screen under Windows and DOS bootdisks. On the next screen select the Win98 version that is appropriate to your PC and windows version - make sure you download the version with CD support. Insert a fresh floppy in the drive and click on the downloaded file which will be called boot98.exe or similar.

Reboot the PC with the floppy in the drive. You may need to go into the bios and set the first boot device to floppy. To enter bios tap Del key repeatedly immedialtely after turning the machine on and it will take you into the bios.

Once you are at an A:\ prompt:

Type C: <Return>

This will give a C:\ prompt

Type mkdir data <return>

Type cd data

The prompt should now be C:\data

If so type cd .. <return> (two full stops - go back one level)

Type dir | more <return> (the pipe is shifted \)

This will give you a page at a time view of the contents of your C: drive. Go through it and decide just what stuff you want to keep. Make a list.

Copy all the folders you want to keep into the new data folder as follows:

cd data <return>

at C:\data

copy [foldername] . (That is a space and a full stop - it means copy here.

Do this for all files and folders you want to make sure you keep. Don't forget things like mailbox and contacts files from within the Windows directory, My documents etc.

Once you are happy you have safe copies, from your C:\data prompt type cd ..

Type: deltree windows <return>

You have now deleted windows. Insert Win 98 CD, reboot with floppy in drive and at A:\ prompt type: c:\setup This should install a new copy of Win98.

Any probs post back. I or someone else will be sure to be able to help.

Personally, I would go out and buy a new hard drive for £40, install it as master, do a clean install of 98 on it and then reattach the old drive as a slave, clean it up, establish a structure on it for all your data, keep copies of the My Documents, etc mentioned above then remove the windows folder.

  Jeffers22 10:03 10 Feb 2005

Before doing anything as drastic as described, I would definitely try what madboy and zionlion have suggested.

  Packardcrap 10:43 10 Feb 2005

Hi guys,
Used the registry fix in dos. It said it completed fixing the registry, but then it took me back to the prompt page.
Tryed safe mode, but couldn't access start menu to do anything cos no programs are running when i exit the login screen.

I was thinking though. Is there a way to run a cd from dos, because if i could access the windows cd, i use the 'smart restore' that wouldn't kill any of my files(if they're still there).

But that option is only usable if i can access the contents of the cd, I refuse to resort to the little red self destruct floppy just yet.
I have yet to try Jeffers suggestion, but I figured i should try any other options before i use that method.
Thanks for the input guys.

Geo

  Packardcrap 10:43 10 Feb 2005

Hi guys,
Used the registry fix in dos. It said it completed fixing the registry, but then it took me back to the prompt page.
Tryed safe mode, but couldn't access start menu to do anything cos no programs are running when i exit the login screen.

I was thinking though. Is there a way to run a cd from dos, because if i could access the windows cd, i use the 'smart restore' that wouldn't kill any of my files(if they're still there).

But that option is only usable if i can access the contents of the cd, I refuse to resort to the little red self destruct floppy just yet.
I have yet to try Jeffers suggestion, but I figured i should try any other options before i use that method.
Thanks for the input guys.

Geo

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