RE: Windows 98 boot up process - missing file

This is a discussion on RE: Windows 98 boot up process - missing file within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; This is long, but important so bear with me I turned on my computer tonight and as usually, there was ...

  1. #1
    aurė entuluva! mithrandir's Avatar
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    RE: Windows 98 boot up process - missing file

    This is long, but important so bear with me

    I turned on my computer tonight and as usually, there was the single BIOS beep. Nothing strange. However, when autoexec.bat loaded, the last line said

    "Cannot find file WIN.COM, unable to continue loading Windows..."

    I pulled out my Win98 startup disk, and used the SYS C: command to ensure that any corrupted 98 startup files were restored. I rebooted, but received the same message. I tried to access Safe Mode, but this didn't work.

    So once more, I rebooted, and got the same message!

    I realised that I hadn't check to see if the file was on my C:\ drive. I accessed the Windows directory, and after a dir command, found that I did in fact have WIN.COM. So I typed

    WIN.COM

    at the command prompt. This somehow got me into safe mode. I checked for any viruses while here, and found none.

    So I rebooted, got the same message, but this time I followed the same procedure of manually running WIN.COM. This actually booted up Windows 98.

    Now what I want to ask is, what do you think the problem is here - what can I do to ensure that WIN.COM is always found upon startup?

    Thanks,

    [stealth]

  2. #2
    aurė entuluva! mithrandir's Avatar
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    Also, I have checked that the file is the correct size (24,791 bytes) as per suppport instructions from http://support.microsoft.com/default...EN-US;q136630&

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    Well, here goes. First of all, you shouldn't even need an autoexec.bat for windows98. I only have one to start my debugger. However, if removing it doesn't seem to work, then why not just reload win98 over itself. You could also try a path statment in the autoexec.bat like this PATH=C:\Windows or whereever win.com is stored. I can't even remember :-) Hope it helps.
    I can't say for sure.....but that doesn't look work related.

  4. #4
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    I have to go with the newbie on this one... it won't hurt to just run the setup again. Granted, it may overwrite some files if you've replaced them, but it's no biggie... also, if you're running 98 first edition, you can get a SE upgrade for really cheap. I think it's well worth it. 98 SE is one of the most stable OSes MS has put out to date.
    EntropySink. You know you have to click it.

  5. #5
    aurė entuluva! mithrandir's Avatar
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    Well, I just hacked autoexec to include a SET PATH command, so that it knows where to find WIN.COM.

  6. #6
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    that's not a bad option either... good thinkin..
    EntropySink. You know you have to click it.

  7. #7
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    One way for windows to find it's home directory at boot time is via MSDOS.SYS, found on the root of the boot disk (eg your C drive).

    In case you don't have one, or just want to compare, here's my msdos.sys file (from win98se)

    Note I had to add .txt on the end to allow it to be uploaded.

    [edit]This file has attributes System and Hidden, btw.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    When all else fails, read the instructions.
    If you're posting code, use code tags: [code] /* insert code here */ [/code]

  8. #8
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    I would recommned pointing startup files to the windows directory, as stated. Or, you could find a valid win.com file and just replace yours before trying to do longer file replace procedures (such as refreshing Win98 / Win98SE by installing it over itself).
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

  9. #9
    End Of Line Hammer's Avatar
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    >>I would recommned pointing startup files to the windows directory, as stated.
    But, gathering from the description, Windows isn't loading, so in this case the registry isn't being accessed.

    Stealth - have you been doing any major installs or partitioning recently?

    I still think the msdos.sys file is the next one to check.
    When all else fails, read the instructions.
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    Be very carefull about editing msdos.sys in win 95/98. This file must be 1024 bytes long. Ie., if you delete a charater you must add a space, etc. I know you probably read the warning in the file itself, but just in case I thought I'd mention it.

    As to your problem starting windows, it sounds like something messed with your command path. Most likely some software you installed. A path statement in autoexec is the easiest and safest fix.

  11. #11
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    Be very carefull about editing msdos.sys in win 95/98. This file must be 1024 bytes long. Ie., if you delete a charater you must add a space, etc. I know you probably read the warning in the file itself, but just in case I thought I'd mention it.
    Actually:
    [Paths]
    WinDir=C:\WINDOWS
    WinBootDir=C:\WINDOWS
    HostWinBootDrv=C

    [Options]
    BootMulti=1
    BootGUI=1
    ;
    ;The following lines are required for compatibility with other programs.
    ;Do not remove them (MSDOS.SYS needs to be >1024 bytes).
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxa
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxb
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxc
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxd
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxe
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxf
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxg
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxh
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxi
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxj
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxk
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxl
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxm
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxn
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxo
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxp
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxq
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxr
    ;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxs
    AutoScan=1
    WinVer=4.90.3000
    The file needs to be larger than 1024, you can add at will.
    Try adding in BootLogo=0 and that's it.
    No deleting the x's, nothing.

    The file needs to be LARGER, than 1024 which is why there's all those x's. The one on this computer is 1,660.
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

  12. #12
    aurė entuluva! mithrandir's Avatar
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    The problem has been fixed . I just added the line:

    @C:\WINDOWS\WIN.COM

    to autoexec.bat and now the computer boots to Windows without the error message.

    >>As to your problem starting windows, it sounds like something messed with your command path. Most likely some software you installed. A path statement in autoexec is the easiest and safest fix.<<

    I rember now that a couple of days ago I upgraded from MS Project 98 to 2000, and that 98 had put a SET PATH command in autoexec. When I was editing the file, I noticed that the command had been deleted. So I presume that this was the problem.

    Anyhow, thanks all for your help and input - good to know I can get a quick response!

    [stealth]

  13. #13
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    Your right, my memory failed me again. It is >1024. Where you can get into trouble is when you just delete things without adding characters.

    logo=0 shuts off the animated windows startup screen so you can see config.sys and autoexec.bat execute.

    BootGUI=0 will stop windows from starting until you execute the win command. Usefull if you want to multiboot via dos boot menu. Using loadlin to warmboot linux requires this.

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