Help! 98SE Lost User Interface, and I need it back NOW!!!

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

My old Win98SE machine has frozen up one too many times, and gotten the
"power-off" treatment one too many times (apparently) and now the
graphic-interface boots up, but I just get the mouse cursor and the Desktop
background color -- no Taskbar, no Icons, no other evidence of a Windows
interface showing!! Even in Safe Mode! No error messages that I could find.
Rolled back to a "System Backup" (Registry) from a few days ago, but that
didn't help either. And OF COURSE, I have to leave town Tuesday for a series
of doctor appointments, for which I need data off the disk...

Backups? What backups? I tell everyone ELSE to do that, but realistically:
who's going to sit there for multiple hours and swap CDs out of your drive
while 12 or so gigs get backup up? And I probably STILL wouldn't have the
Windows OS files I need...

The machine is a stupid HP, and comes with a Restore disk which will be
happy to let you reinstall Windows -- providing you don't mind that it
FORMATS YOUR HARD DRIVE WHILE IT'S DOING IT!!! In other words, you don't get
a usable Windows CD with the computer. The Restore CD probably has the files
I need on it, but they're packed in some HP proprietary format, and
apparently can only be unpacked by the HP software. I'll NEVER buy another HP
computer, but that's beside the point.

I'm assuming I'll have to buy a Win98 Full Install disk, and reinstall over
top of what I've got. I can deal with the expense, and reinstalling my
applications... but I need that disk YESTERDAY!! (and it's early Sunday
morning here...) Does anybody know where I can purchase the OS for download??
Like IMMEDIATELY???

Barring that: anybody know how I can get my UI back? Does anybody know of
some of the likely suspects for critical files to get the UI to load
completely and DO something? And whether there's way I could obtain them
other than getting the Full Install CD? Like maybe a Service Pack? Other
suggestions/options??

Thanks, GB

P.S. Forgot to add that the system lost the user interface only after I had
diligently run SFC (System File Checker), restored some files which had been
altered or deleted (as many as I could find in CAB files on the hard drive).
Naturally, that just made things worse...
2 answers Last reply
More about help 98se lost user interface back
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    >I have to leave town Tuesday for a series
    >of doctor appointments, for which I need data off the disk..

    Obviously, the first thing you need to do is to make backups of files
    you cannot afford to lose. Such files include address lists,
    spreadsheets, financial records, letters, reports, etc. It is not
    necessary to back up programs, especially not programs for which you
    have installation disks.

    Try booting the computer with a Windows Startup Disk in drive A:. If
    the computer will start in this way, you will be able to make backups
    by using DOS commands -- CD folder; and COPY C:something A:

    You can obtain a Windows Startup Disk at:

    http://www.bootdisk.com/

    The next thing to do is to try starting Windows in Safe Mode. Press F8
    several times at one-second intervals just after you turn the computer
    on. This may give you a menu that includes a Safe Mode start. If you
    can start in Safe Mode, then you can try running the System File
    Checker. Go to Start/Run and enter "sfc".

    YOu do not have to reformat the harddisk in order to reinstall
    Windows, and for the reasons you stated, it is generally better NOT to
    reformat when reinstalling. The following article explains how to
    install Windows into a new folder:

    How to Install Windows 98 to a New Folder [193902]
    http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/193/9/02.asp

    Information about reinstalling is also on www.windowsreinstall.com.


    Bill Starbuck (MVP)
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    If errors are caused by hardware, then a reinstall of Windows is not the
    cure. However...

    Setup.exe, run from your Installation CD or from your .cabs folder,
    accomplishes either an Over-Install or a Fresh Install. The procedural
    difference is you first wipe the prior Windows installation for a Fresh
    Install, or install it to different folders. Two folders are involved:
    "C:\Windows" & "C:\Program Files", and these files: MSDOS.sys,
    Config.sys, Autoexec.bat & System.1st.

    For an Over-install, you must direct it to install to C:\Windows,
    instead of C:\Windows.000 (where it normally would want to go, when it
    sees a "C:\Windows" already exists).

    An over-install supposedly leaves all else intact, but there are some
    who say it will over-write .vxds (drivers) and otherwise musses
    settings. Therefore, it becomes a lot of work to do it, as you must
    un/re-install large applications, before/after the over-install. Also,
    you must go to Windows Update afterwards, to see whether it detects it
    needs to reinstall it's criticals. There is Version Conflict Manager to
    do. Finally, they say, it is wise to back up critical data even before
    an over-install.

    Others swear an over-install is effortless (under an hour) and
    effective. Just select to install to the existing directory, when it
    makes the offer to go elsewhere. If it fails, then you may need to do a
    tweak, such as renaming Win.com before starting. (Personally, I have
    never Fresh or Over-Installed Windows. I did actually click Setup.exe
    once, and was presented with an alluring screenful-- but I cancelled.)
    Well, anyway, take a look at the URLs below, which really apply to both.

    You want to do a FRESH Install? Are you pure Windows or OEM, such as
    Compaq? If you are OEM, then you can get back to factory condition by
    using their recovery CD, such as QuickRestore, which may contain
    proprietary drivers and add-ons. Otherwise...

    http://www.hexff.com/index.html How to Clean Install
    This first has it all, but..
    (a) Perhaps don't do the 2.5 swap file thing, &
    (b) You may rather have multiple partitions, &
    (c) Attend it's warning: Have any non-Windows peripheral drivers
    available to install afterwards. Here...
    http://www.pchelpandconsulting.com/links/windows.html WinDrvExpert
    http://www.jermar.com/wdrvbck.htm WinDrvBckup free version
    Those two supposedly back up all currently installed drivers, such that
    they can be reinstalled. I never tried it but have seen a favorable
    report.

    http://home.satx.rr.com/badour/html/w98_restore.html Badour has one
    http://aumha.org/win4/a/clean.htm Aumha has one
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=250928 How to Reinstall Windows
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=193902
    How to Reinstall Windows into a new folder

    "Setup.txt", located in the same folder as "Setup.exe", either on CD or
    hard drive. This instructs how to run it from a folder on the hard
    drive, but "hexff" says it better.
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;129971&Product=w98
    "SU" Error Message List for Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me Setup

    Get a Startup Diskette from
    http://www.bootdisk.com/ , if you don't already have one from "Control
    Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Startup Disk tab". Test the Startup
    Diskette. Boot it, put in a CD and "DIR" the CD. It will say which
    letter is the CD. (Otherwise, it is likely one letter higher than
    normal.)

    Here is what I know of those Installation CD's. The full list of
    capabilities of each type of CD is as follows, says Harper. Each
    requires a valid Product key. "Proof" means it must see you had a prior
    version. So, if it isn't sitting there, expect to insert a floppy or
    earlier CD.

    FULL VERSION: Will perform either clean install or upgrade of existing
    OS. Does not ask for proof of ownership of an earlier version.

    UPGRADE VERSION: Will perform either clean install or upgrade of
    existing OS. Will ask for proof of ownership of an earlier version if
    one is not installed.

    WIN98 SE UPDATES: Will only install if Windows 98 is present on the hard
    drive. Cannot be used for a clean install at all.

    OEM VERSION: Only installs on a clean, fresh-formatted hard drive. May
    be customized to include or omit components that would be found/not
    found on a retail CD.

    Be sure of your ProductKey...
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
    ProductKey "12345-12345-12345-12345-12345"

    (1) "START, Run, RegEdit"
    (2) Click plus signs beginning at "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE", & ending with
    "Windows".
    (3) Click "CurrentVersion" in the left pane under "Windows".
    (4) Look in right pane for ProductKey.

    That is the one that was used to install your current Windows. Jot it
    down, as it may work if different from the one on your Windows 98 Manual
    or CD case.


    --
    Thanks or Good Luck,
    There may be humor in this post, and,
    Naturally, you will not sue,
    should things get worse after this,
    PCR
    pcrrcp@netzero.net
    "geebee" <geebee@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:4111EBCB-E0A2-4A29-A5AE-FC4E3CE034E4@microsoft.com...
    | My old Win98SE machine has frozen up one too many times, and gotten
    the
    | "power-off" treatment one too many times (apparently) and now the
    | graphic-interface boots up, but I just get the mouse cursor and the
    Desktop
    | background color -- no Taskbar, no Icons, no other evidence of a
    Windows
    | interface showing!! Even in Safe Mode! No error messages that I could
    find.
    | Rolled back to a "System Backup" (Registry) from a few days ago, but
    that
    | didn't help either. And OF COURSE, I have to leave town Tuesday for a
    series
    | of doctor appointments, for which I need data off the disk...
    |
    | Backups? What backups? I tell everyone ELSE to do that, but
    realistically:
    | who's going to sit there for multiple hours and swap CDs out of your
    drive
    | while 12 or so gigs get backup up? And I probably STILL wouldn't have
    the
    | Windows OS files I need...
    |
    | The machine is a stupid HP, and comes with a Restore disk which will
    be
    | happy to let you reinstall Windows -- providing you don't mind that it
    | FORMATS YOUR HARD DRIVE WHILE IT'S DOING IT!!! In other words, you
    don't get
    | a usable Windows CD with the computer. The Restore CD probably has the
    files
    | I need on it, but they're packed in some HP proprietary format, and
    | apparently can only be unpacked by the HP software. I'll NEVER buy
    another HP
    | computer, but that's beside the point.
    |
    | I'm assuming I'll have to buy a Win98 Full Install disk, and reinstall
    over
    | top of what I've got. I can deal with the expense, and reinstalling my
    | applications... but I need that disk YESTERDAY!! (and it's early
    Sunday
    | morning here...) Does anybody know where I can purchase the OS for
    download??
    | Like IMMEDIATELY???
    |
    | Barring that: anybody know how I can get my UI back? Does anybody know
    of
    | some of the likely suspects for critical files to get the UI to load
    | completely and DO something? And whether there's way I could obtain
    them
    | other than getting the Full Install CD? Like maybe a Service Pack?
    Other
    | suggestions/options??
    |
    | Thanks, GB
    |
    | P.S. Forgot to add that the system lost the user interface only after
    I had
    | diligently run SFC (System File Checker), restored some files which
    had been
    | altered or deleted (as many as I could find in CAB files on the hard
    drive).
    | Naturally, that just made things worse...
    |
    |
    |
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