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Win ME registry error

  • Windows
Last response: in Windows 95/98/ME
September 15, 2001 8:02:47 AM

This is going to be a very long post, but I wanted to provide complete information...

I was installing a whole bunch of downloaded software on my new computer (standard stuff: ICQ, Winamp, etc.).

Since there was only one outlet near my comp (in my bedroom), I wanted to use my comp as an alarm clock (no where to plug the clock in..).

I downloaded an alarm clock program that can play a wav file when the alarm time comes. I used an MP3-to-wav converter to convert a few of my favourite songs to use for wakeup.

I wanted to concatenate some songs together (ie. so the alarm clock would not only play one song) into a wav file. My first idea was to use sound recorder (which didn't work.. said out of memory.. oh well.. never liked sound recorder anyway :->).

After searching the net, I found a program called Sound Forge 5.0 (available at, etc) that looked like it should do the job.

I installed, and it asked to reboot. I rebooted, and my machine will not work.

Registry error on boot of machine - says to run scanreg.
Caused by download of Sound Forge 5.0 software (possibly something else, or an interaction between different pieces of software.. because other programs I had installed just prior did not require reboot.. and worked fine)

Computer Info:
OS: Windows ME
Processor: Intel Celeron 900 MHz
Video: Integrated
Sound: Integrated
Manufacturer: IBM

I do not want to have to re-install my operating system from the recovery disc provided.. because I have data on my hard drive that I need.

Ideal solution would be one that fixes the problem,
but if not.. at least some way that I can extract the data from my hard drive before reinstalling my OS

nb: there is a large amount (GB) that I would *like* to recover, so if possible.. if I have to use a boot disc to get to DOS, it would be much preferable to be able to use my CD burner, as opposed to a floppy (I don't know if this is possible..). The software I am using is Adaptec Easy CD Creator (DirectCD also installed.. I have one disc already formatted for use..)

More about : win registry error

September 15, 2001 12:14:57 PM

Well i also had registry problems a while back. Unfortunately the only option was to format my hard drive and reinstall Windows from scratch... honestly it is the only way i can think off. Of course i took back-ups before i did it. I suggest you do the same. Really its the only way. Once the registry is been corrupted in a way... you dont have many options left...
September 15, 2001 12:43:07 PM

Thoughts on the subject:

Start the computer. Hit F8, right after your hardware is identified, in order to reach the Boot Menu. Select Command Line Only. Type SCANREG. Choose to load a previously saved Registry that booted successfully. You'll see the last five good copies listed by date. Start with selecting the most recent. The older the copy, the more likely that you'll run into additional problems from recent changes made to the system.

If this doesn't work, attempt to load into Safe Mode from the Boot Menu and remove the last program you installed before the machine started giving you a problem.

If THAT doesn't work, try overwriting the operating system files. Place a Win95/98 Boot Disk in the floppy drive, and put your Windows CD in the CD-ROM. At the DOS prompt, shift the drive letter to the one assigned to the CD-ROM. (This might be different in DOS, if the Boot Disk assigned a driver letter to a RAM drive.) Use the "dir" command to verify that you are looking at the files on the CD. Type setup.exe, and allow Windows to reinstall.

If you don't have a Boot Disk like this, perhaps you could borrow one from a friend? Same goes for the WinME CD, if you don't have one.

Note: The Boot Disk might need DOS drivers added for your brand of CD-ROM. Check the manufacturer's website, either for the system (if it is OEM, and it sounds like it is exactly that) or for the brand of CD-ROM.

Last option. Take the hard drive to a friend. Let him (or her) install it as a slave drive. Then you may be able to burn those files onto a CD, or at least put them in a safe place for the time being. Unfortunately, you aren't going to be able to use the burner software in DOS on your system to create a CD with your files. And you might recall ... WinME has extremely limited support for DOS, anyway.

Of course, if all else fails ... you could always use that Recovery CD, and just call the data a loss. Or go to a Data Recovery Service ... but that's usually expensive.

May I make some suggestions?

If and when you do get back into a stable version of Windows, try a couple of things to improve your system.

One ... install some backup imaging software, such as Drive Image. This would have been a life-saver for you, at a time like this, because you could have loaded an image from a CD (or several) that would have replaced all of the files on your hard drive, back when the OS was in a pristine condition ... with the addition of your preferred programs.

Two ... get some decent burning software. Easy CD Creator is not the hottest program ever made for this purpose, and often causes compatibility issues.

Three ... Get a decent video card and sound card. Integrated components on a mainboard take up memory and CPU cycles that could be put to better use elsewhere. And components like this often have buggy drivers that cause problems when interacting with third-party software. Which may be the source of the problem you are experiencing at this time. Windows will often boot, even with software conflicts ... but not if a needed driver is corrupted or missing.

Four ... get a second hard drive, and keep your personal files on that drive. Or partition the primary drive, and keep your files <i>out</i> of the partition that contains the OS. Then if anything goes wrong that stops you from booting the operating system, needing to format the partition won't cause you to lose your most recent data, (assuming that it is not backed up.)

As I said, these are just suggestions ... but this is what I would do in your position, with similar hardware. IMHO.

Good luck!


<font color=purple>My Rig:</font color=purple> <A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>
Related resources
September 15, 2001 5:29:41 PM

Some thoughts about WinMe DOS features:
Yeah, in comparison with Win9x, one can no longer boot or restart Windows directly to the DOS prompt and run DOS programs outside of Windows Me. There's also no longer a "Command Prompt Only" in the menu produced by holding the Ctrl or pressing the F8 key at just the right moment while the computer boots.
Microsoft in all of its wisdom has seen fit remove the capability to make bootable floppies from the Format menu accessible from My Computer and the Windows Me Explorer. That is, the Format Menu no longer has a provision for transferring the system files to the floppy.
And there are more about difficulties with WinMe DOS mode, but along with the ways to fix them, just for future reference, after you fix your problem:

How to restart from Windows Millennium into Windows 98 DOS mode
<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>

DOS Fix for Windows Millennium
<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>

Real DOS-Mode Patch for Windows Millennium
<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>
September 15, 2001 7:42:10 PM

Darkjediknight, Blade2001, and other WinME users,

as I remember, Microsoft promiced that the System File Protection technology and System Restore technology built into your WinMe system will eliminate many of your potentional problems and let you take the system back to the configuration you had before you install the new software.

I never dealt with WinMe except harddrive partitioning, formatting using WinMe startup floppy, and WinMe installation.
What I have seen, there is a backup file that WinMe creates and stores automatically. And that backup slows down the system and takes sufficient space on a harddrive.

I'm not a WinMe user and I know almost nothing about it, but for me it is very interesting to know:
are those Microsoft's advanced features available in WinMe?
And are they useful for you? Ever helped?
September 16, 2001 8:10:15 AM

I guess I neglected to mention that I cannot boot into ANYTHING useful.. not even safe mode, nor to a DOS prompt.

I don't think the floppy's installed right though..
(my father bought the system and he insists on installing the hardware.. for some reason :-<.. I would have preferred to build it myself.. alas..)

I don't have a WinME boot disc.. I created a Win98 one from one of my other comps (have three in a LAN :->), and tried to use it to boot the ME box.. and doesn't work.. I tried copying the files to a CD-RW disc and booting from CD-ROM, but that doesn't work either.

I think the only thing that I can do is as you said, install it as a slave drive (can just transfer data files back through the network after reinstalling OS). I'm actually not totally sure how to do this.. could you elaborate?

As to your comments:
1) Not sure if this would have helped me in this case.. cause I can't even get to a prompt or anything to do anything with my system..

2) It's worked pretty well - for the most part - for me. Don't want to have to spend $$ to get something.. and I don't want annoying 'please register this' messages with shareware..

3) In time, I definately plan to. Need $$ first :-> (I'm a university student..)

4) How would I do the partioning? I wanted to do this (more usable space..) but I'm not totally sure how to..

something along the lines of:
run fdisk to create partitions
run format to format the partitions to FAT32
install OS

would I need a boot disk for this? Cause my floppy drive doesn't work..

I wonder.. if I copy startup disc files to a CD and then boot from the CD, should that work?
September 16, 2001 7:20:37 PM

You really need to get that floppy drive working. The Win98 boot disk should be able to save you so long as you can boot from it and then replace the registry with a previous version. Swap floppy drives if you have to, make sure it's cable is secure, etc. If all else fails, just booting off of the WinME cd and reinstalling without formatting should work fine. You should never be forced to format your drive just to reinstall windows. Only if there's drive/data corruption. Windows will replace a corrupt registry by istelf so that's not a problem. At the very worst, if windows refuses to install over top of a previous installation (as some OEM win98's have done to me) all you need to do is rename the windows directory to "winold" or something and use attrib to hide it. No formatting or fdisking necessary. you will of course have to reinstall drivers and apps, but hey, that's Microsoft for you.

Oh yeah, for wav editing like you were trying to do... I recomend Goldwave. It's a bit simpler than SoundForge and works quite nicely.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by jasen on 09/16/01 03:22 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 17, 2001 1:56:43 AM

Hey, guys, I asked about that WinMe System Restore feature, you don’t answer whether you use it, anyway, I don’t need it. Nevermind. But I found it for you <A HREF="" target="_new"> System Restore </A> (if you need it), anyway you have to do some of what suggested previously by others first, the Startup floppy.

<b>System Restore</b>

To start the System Restore tool when you are unable to start your Windows Me-based computer normally or in Safe mode, you can temporarily change the Windows shell from Explorer.exe to Progman.exe:
1. Start your computer by using the Windows Me Startup disk.

2. At the Startup menu, choose Minimum Boot.

3. At the command prompt, type edit c:\windows\system.ini, and then press ENTER.

4. Edit the shell= line so that it looks like this:

5. Press ALT+F, and then press S to save the changes to the System.ini file.

6. Press ALT+F, and then press X.

7. Remove your Windows Me Startup disk, and then restart your computer. When your computer restarts, Program Manager should start. If Program Manager does not start, repeat steps 1-7, being careful to follow these steps exactly, and then continue to the next step.

8. On the File menu, click Run, type msconfig in the Command Line box, and then press ENTER.

9. Click Launch System Restore to begin restoring your computer to a previous, functional state.

NOTE: After you configure your computer to start Program Manager, you can start the System Restore tool by typing c:\windows\system\restore\rstrui.exe at a command prompt, and then pressing ENTER.

Sorry, if you don’t need it, cost me nothing.

By the way, you can get the WinMe bootdisk at <A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>