April 14th, 2004, 06:04 AM
PROBLEM: Auto- backup registry re-load
(WARNING: Not directly security-related; however, I feel that learning more about the configuration of one's box is helpful in securing one's box - besides, it is posted in the newbie section, and may prove helpful to other 'noobs' out there - so, forgive me.)
I've got a very annoying problem: Every now and again (three times within the last month) my computer (Compaq Presario 7478: AMD, 64Megs RAM (56 after Win), Win98SE (fully patched)) decides to crash. This is no major problem in itself - I'm used to Windows crashing for a variety of reasons, and I'm usually able to 'fix' it by disabling one app or another via msconfig, or (occasionally) regedit.
However, in the last month when it crashes, it occasionaly reboots and comes to a screen with a background similar to scandisk or a Win98 install screen that reads to the effect of
"Windows has found errors in your current system regitry, and has replaced it with a recent
After that, my computer loads Win98 as usual, only it is in its original factory condition, aside from the fact that my personal programs are still on the desktop/ start menu. But I have to reconfigure all my default programs (browsers, firewalls, code editors, etc.) along with my network options (which are nilch, since it is my home PC) and my registry, among other things.
I have an idea of what the problem may be: About a month ago (when the problem started), I decided to do a "quick-restore" on my computer, which is basically restoring it back to it's factory condition... However, it ran into problems, since my CD-ROM drive doesn't read very well... So, I tried to reformat the hard-drive and start from scratch, using a Win98SE installation disk... That didn't work, either, since it detcted Windows already installed... So, finally I got the QuickRestore to work, and everything went fine for a while...
And then, after about a week of 'smooth' operation (just a couple of typical Windows crashes) , I tried to install MSOffice2000 from a school-copy CD. About midway through the installation, the damn thing crashed, and 'restored' itself to the condition described above...
Well, that's my story... What I don't understand is, why would it restore itself automatically like that just ever-so often? It's done it twice since the first time, and there is no single program I run that causes the crash.
Anyway, thanks in advance for any ideas and for reading through this very long post...
April 14th, 2004, 02:52 PM
If I understand correctly, you have f**k up your machine bad!
Do a COMPLETE Format of your Machine before installing Windows 98. Restore is a piece of **** in Windows 98.
April 14th, 2004, 02:55 PM
Thread moved from Newbie Security to Operating Systems. Forums like Operating Systems, General Chit Chat, etc. are here for stuff like this. I'd PM this but wiskic10_4 has turned off receiving PMs.
April 14th, 2004, 03:30 PM
Simon is probably right about your system being corrupt.
However, I would try running AV, SpyBot and AdAware in safe mode and running the Trend Micro "Housecall" just to be sure it is not a malware conflict causing it.
Also, kill the screensaver and power saving features in the display Manager and BIOS.
98se is a bit flaky, and you do not have a lot of RAM.
April 15th, 2004, 01:06 AM
I actually run Ad-Aware and SpyBot as well as an AV (AntiVir) on a regular basis, and have found nothing out-of-the-ordinary. (I'll give "HouseCall" a shot - never heard of that one). I also have already disabled screensavers and power management options, as a general rule when dealing with old junkers like mine
I realize my machine is a POS - but hey, it's all I got, and I'm just a poor white boy trying to work my way through college (at $7/hr...). I intend to get a 128Meg stick of RAM once I can actually come up w/ $30 - I know that this is causing many problems in itself. As far as doing a complete reformat - well, alright... I guess I'll give it a shot (after a little back-up), and let you all know how it goes... Should have done it already, but I was thinking, since the problem only occurs once in a while... Oh, to hell with it... I'll do what needs to be done.
Thanks a lot...
EDIT: Sorry about posting off-topic, and I'll turn on PM's...
April 15th, 2004, 01:35 AM
I had a 98 box a few weeks ago and got rid of 106 items of scumware etc. It was behaving somewhat similar to yours, so malware can do it. Most of them write to the registry and may well overwite correct values or just conflict with eachother? I usually try to eliminate malware from the equation early on, if only to give me a level playing field for what I have to do next.
Another 128Mb should improve things dramatically, in the meantime try RAMBooster, it is a memory defragmenter. Don't set it too aggressively.........try setting it to run at 8Mb free and release 16Mb then see how it goes. You should be able to get it free for private use.
Another tip, get the free Microsoft security update CD and run that, I have found it to sort some problems, and there is a free Antivirus and Firewall on the other CD they send with it. Anyway it will save a hell of a lot of downloading if you have to reformat & reinstall
Next get Belarc Advisor (free for private use) it has a section that tells you if your Windows updates loaded successfully, or are corrupt and need uninstalling and reinstalling. Problem with the windows site is it just checks to see if the download was installed, not if it installed properly.
There you go...........that didn't cost you anything
April 15th, 2004, 04:11 AM
I dunno.. yes spyware can be a nuisance but I'm thinking that this is more of a hardware/basic software issue.. compaq's are notoriously flakey to begin with.
first off, I'd do a bit of an general cleaning of the box.. get the dust out, redo the thermal paste on the processor.. get a good stick or two or memory.. 256k total would be good for starters.. if you did a total restore from the compaq disk.. this IS advised.. you very well could do a clean install of windows98 from a win98 cd.. but you'd have to reformat first and then you'll end up having to install a whole bunch of what's known as softpaqs. now some of the softpaqs will come along with the compaq restore disk but depending on the date of your system and restore disk you'll probably find that there are even more softpaqs that are needed to get this thing up to speed. here's a place a friend of mine has started..
it's a non official compaq support site.. The Compaq zone there's a lot of good info there so check out the links.. the LORS (listing of released softpaqs) pages section will help you with finding the softpaqs that you may need.
keep in mind that there are a few microsoft patches for win98.. that deal with shutdown issues as well as security ones.. even some of the softpaqs are security related.
softpaq drivers for your video,sound, modem.. etc.. they all have to be checked to see if you have the latest.. not really an easy task in my opinion.. that's why I dont care much for compaq. If you have direct questions and you don't want to drag it all out here in the forum, feel free to PM (private message) me..
edit : I should conclude here that it's my gut feeling that it's mostly memory related.
you can try running memtest86 or docmemory on the ram..
docmemory version 2 you can find at majorgeeks.com
but certainly you do well to get more memory, good stuff like crucial.