View Full Version : Registry Trouble?

The Mad Monk
04-06-2004, 07:51:01
When I started my computer at home yesterday, it went through the normal memory and drive checks, and then posted "Starting Windows 98" as usual. At that point, the computer normally sits there between 2-10 seconds then flashes the Windows 98 screen and gets down to business. This time it went into Norton Diskdoctor Scandisk as if it had been improperly shut down (I knew it hadn't), and after a minute announced that the registry was corrupted and was going to replace it with a backup.

Next, it shot out a few more lines in DOS mode, repeating "C:>\C|\Internet\Netscape\Users\MailOrSomethingLikeTha t".

This was odd, because I recognized the path for the email I use, but I don't have it on auto-startup so there was no reason to access it.

This was also odd because \C|\ should not be a part of that path -- in fact, that directory has never existed on my computer.

It then skipped the Windows 98 screen, put up the "chain" background in 640x480 mode, and proceded to have me re-install the monitor, mouse, tv card, and printer drivers. It then stopped.
Not froze, I could move the mouse, but there nothing to click on. No icons, no toolbar, nothing. ALT-CNL-DLT brought up a task manager with Norton Crashguard, Explorer, and nothing else.

Subsequent boot ups (of which there were several) did not trigger Diskdoctor or the re-install, but repeated everything else.

You may recall that I had a drive crash in January, and bought two identical drives, one to serve as a mirror backup for the other.

I switched my drives, but found I had somehow put my C: backup on the wrong partition on the other drive (GAHDAMNSTUPIDIOTKILLSOMETHING!!!), so while I could boot to a command prompt thank to the COMMAND.COM that was in the correct partition, it wouldn't go further without help. I used DIR to check around and found everything in order in all partitions on both drives, but found that I was unable to COPY the .DAT files, though I could COPY other files.

So...I have two perfectly good drives, one C: partition that should be fine except for a bad Registry, one C: partition copy that is in perfect shape but not on a bootable partition, and a bootable partition with COMMAND.COM and nothing else.

HELP! :bouncmsk:

Sir Penguin
04-06-2004, 08:23:28
If you want to switch to the copy, re-jumper your hard drives so that the backup drive is the master and the other is the slave. It will then boot onto that drive.

I have no idea what's wrong, but something that might come in handy is that if you press CTRL-ESC when there's no taskbar or desktop icons or anything, it usually brings up a window that lets you run stuff. To get the taskbar back, go to the Run command (I'm not sure where it is), and run explorer. You can run other programs from there, too.


The Mad Monk
04-06-2004, 08:36:01
Thanks, but I did switch the drives -- the master/slave thing. The "new" master drive went as far as it could, considering it only had COMMAND.COM in it's bootable partition (each drive has eight partitions).

I'll try the CTRL-ESC when I get home, see if that can trigger anything.

The Mad Monk
04-06-2004, 08:38:06
What I really need to know is, how do you move the USER.DAT and SYSTEM.DAT between the drives, using the command prompt, if COPY results in a "File not found" and ATTRIB results in a "Bad command or file name"; the two .DAT files are visible to DIR.

Scabrous Birdseed
04-06-2004, 08:56:31
Boot from a DOS system floppy and use XCOPY.

The Mad Monk
04-06-2004, 10:15:39
Okay, that's on the list, too. Thanks!

The Mad Monk
05-06-2004, 12:30:49
Posted last night on Poly:

Okay, the most recent outrage, computer-wise:

I found the recovery CD for my now five-year-old computer, and decided to try doing a fresh install on the currently-useless bootable partition on my backup hard drive. Then, I'll use the fresh install on the backup to move the non-corrupted registry from it's current location on the main drive to a location where it can actually be used.

I disconnect my main drive, set the backup to master, set the CD-rom to bootable, put the recovery CD in the CD-rom, cross my fingers, and turn it on.

It boots, good.

The CD autostarts, and brings up the recovery screen, good.

I tell it to just re-install windows; it tells me it will wipe the entire partition, which seems a little odd (do they always do that?), but it's a mostly blank partition on a backup drive, so I'm not bothered, and I give it the go ahead.

It loads everything, reboots, and starts the install -- great!

I discover that when it says "only install the operating system", it means "the operating system, plus MSN, AOL, Earthlink, and Compuserve"; I'm glad I didn't use the "restore to factory default" option.

Everthing finishes up, it brings up the legal agreement, and asks for the product code on the certificate of authenticity...




I enter the code.


It's too short.

Also, no response to CTRL-ESC and XCOPY dosen't exist.

A little more detail on what I'm talking about:

The code entry form is compsoed of five boxes with room for five characters apiece, and I'm supposed to enter the code ignoring any hyphens; in addition, the background of the form shows a picture of the certificate, with "Code #: IIIII-IIIII-IIIII-IIIII-IIIII" clearly shown.

MY certificate has "Product ID: xxxxx-OEM-xxxxxx-xxxxx" (no I'm NOT going to post the actual digits, natch).

The certificate has the strip and the embossing; the computer is an NEC and was purchased new (five years ago), with all the packaging in place and the software envelope sealed.

nye helped me come up with a few ideas that I will try once I get home.

05-06-2004, 14:32:47
You need the product key not the product ID.

Pm'd an answer

The Mad Monk
06-06-2004, 02:43:32
Thanks! :D

The Mad Monk
06-06-2004, 02:55:17

Well, kinda-sorta.

While digging around for the little white book nye mentioned in the Poly thread (no luck, probably gone forever), I remembered a small, but important fact -- the crash that triggered my purchase of twinned drives happened on the one-year-old, 40 Gb backup/data drive, NOT the five-year-old, 10 Gb MAIN drive. THAT one was still sitting safely on a shelf somewhere!

I found it, installed it, and that's how I'm able to write this right now. I did the registry transplant -- somehow the "current" USER.DAT (as of three days ago) lost...1.2Mb!? The SYSTEM.DAT lost over 2 MB????? compared to the November '03 versions I just swapped them with. I'll also store my current mail file...elsewhere.

I'll shut down in a few moments, to put the return the backup to its usual location and the old 10 Gb back to its nice, safe shelf, and then we'll see if this actually worked.

The Mad Monk
06-06-2004, 03:34:26

That strange line is still present at bootup, but everything else is working.

Thanks, guys. :)

06-06-2004, 08:46:11
Now build that new machine!

The Mad Monk
06-06-2004, 09:23:53