windows fails to boot

  [DELETED] 20:16 05 Nov 2003

Got a PC at work, win 98, ..get the message "while initialising device VKB windows failed to start". Read a previous post that looked just the job. Followed advice..replaced keyboard, no joy. Booted into safe mode....wouldn't. At prompt did the scanreg /fix. Stalled. Tried to c:win 98 , got "himem.sys is missing. Make sure that the file is in your windows directory". Used the Dell restore disc to try 4 of 5 options( last being reformat!!). All stalled. No error messages. Apparently this PC has been playing up for a week...slow, crashing. I've an idea that it hasn't been defragged for quite some time. But can't get into windows to do it.Heavily used. Be grateful for pointers

  [DELETED] 20:38 05 Nov 2003

Long time!

Try these to repair the system. Make sure you include all the spaces.

First suggestion:-

Try booting from a Windows 98 startup disk, when you get to the A:\prompt type: sys c: ,and you may be able to boot then.

Second suggestion:-

Start your computer by using a Windows 98 Startup floppy disk.

At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:

c: cd\windows\command attrib c:\msdos.sys -s -h -r copy c:\msdos.sys

c:\ a: sys c: attrib c:\msdos.sys -s -h -r del

c:\msdos.sys copy c:\ c:\msdos.sys attrib c:\msdos.sys +s +h +r

Remove the Windows Startup disk, and then restart the computer.

  [DELETED] 20:39 05 Nov 2003

Those commands replace your essential system files.

  [DELETED] 20:40 05 Nov 2003

Press Enter after sys c in that first suggestion of course.

  [DELETED] 20:50 05 Nov 2003 one of your latest posts and....also enquiries about your absence? Given the stir you created in the OS field.Thank you for the advice. Will try tomorrow.Do you think the problems are due to an "overfull" HD? Trust you are well

  [DELETED] 21:01 05 Nov 2003

any ideas as to the cause of the problem? Or am I asking "how long is a piece..." lol

  [DELETED] 21:04 05 Nov 2003

Yes, I'm fine thanks Carl, absence due to enjoying our Summer as much as anything else, but also doing experimental work on laptops. The overfull hard drive could be causing trouble if the swap file is getting strangled, it needs headroom all the time.

Doubtless you know all the dodges for thinning out it's contents, but you can also save as much as 30 mb or so by removing the INF folder from the Windows folder and placing it in storage. It's only needed for installations of hardware. Any folders for installed programs that you see in the C root can almost certainly be removed to storage as well, they're generally only needed for uninstallation of the program.

  [DELETED] 21:12 05 Nov 2003

In response to your ie.

Since you've had changing fault messages I think they could be spurious, hence my suspicion that the system files are corrupted, and the symptoms leading up to this failure also point to that.

Amongst the problems that the swapfile can cause is that the system can pick up wrong versions of files such as DLLs and cause other corruptions as a consequence. This issue has been specifically addressed in Windows XP by the SxS (Side by Side) system which allows for duplicate versions of the same file to co-exist happily in the same SxS folder, a first for Windows.

  [DELETED] 21:17 05 Nov 2003

however.."...placing it in storage." Where?
Must eat dinner, now, so over and out. Will execute your instructions...or/and the perpetrators tomorrow ..."pour encourager les autres"? ( pardon my French/ lack of...I am remembering Admiral Benbow? gulp!)

  [DELETED] 15:50 06 Nov 2003

Sounds like good enough French to me! I was thinking of a CD-R if there's a writer on board, so many computers now have them, but if not and you have USB, a small USB flashdrive is very cheap now. I use my camera's cards via it's card reader as a ready way of transferring odd items to elsewhere.

  [DELETED] 20:16 06 Nov 2003

when a mailed fist will suffice? Tried your commands, kept getting back "invalid parameters". Slaved the HD- PC told me it wasn't formatted..???? So, I got the PC owner to ring Dell helpline, went thro' the motions and the conclusion was a healthy HD ( mechanically; well, I knew that)and that they would send instructions for a "debug". Wasn't around to ask what that was. So, because they hadn't emailed by late afternoon.......I told them to reformat. By that stage ( a young person without a PC for longer than a few hours becomes desperate)SO we did. All's well now....until the owner said " I can't find my emails...." Ah, well. Thanks very much for your time, Flecc.

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