Help! My mom's PC has corrupted Win95 and she expects me to fix it!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jenna, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    My mother purchased an IBM Aptiva from Circuit City about 4 yrs ago (open box). She states she was given no backup discs with the PC (she didn't know any better).

    She ran ScanDisk a week ago - which somehow corrupted or erased some essention Win95 files. Tried putting "undo" diskettes in A, but they read "unreadable". Her computer won't even open Win95 in safe mode. Opens to a "C" prompt, but won't allow a "dir" or read from any other drive.

    My problem is that I have NO Win95 discs (as my newer computers were loaded with Win98 or WinME). Ordinarily, I'd scrap everything and use the restore CD to replace the original contents of the PC -- but of course, she says she never received ANY discs.

    Otherwise, the PC is like new, has a 3.2 GB harddrive and is fast enough for her needs...so I'd like to salvage.

    1) Can I find any IBM restore discs (I'm also emailing them, but you know how long that'll take).
    2) About how much will a "repair" like this cost for a "pro" (who MAY have access to restore discs) to do?
    3) Can I create an "Oops" (aka "Emergency" disc) on my laptop (which runs WinXP) that will boot up HER PC???

    Remember...Win95 was BEFORE the "Backup" utility or "System Restore"...unfortunately. And NO, being "my mother" she has NOT run a backup - but assures me there is nothing on the PC that she can't live without in the event that I have to reformat everything.

    Any assistance would be appreciated. I'm sure all of you out there with "Moms who own PCs" will understand my dilema. They know just about everything out there that has no relevence to our lives at all, yet they won't read their computer manuals.
     
  2. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Several options. Listed from best to "worst."

    1: Try to get system restore disks from IBM. This being an old machine, they might not actually have such a beast.

    2: Go acquire a copy of your operating system of choice; this thing being four years old, I'd try to find a copy of Windows 98. ME'll do, too. Install that, without reformatting the drive. This should result in an upgrade, with apps and files intact. Make sure you don't get an 'upgrade' version as it will ask for the media of what you're 'upgrading' from. You'll also need to scour IBM's support site for drivers for any of the wacky equipment that's in the machine.

    3: Go acquire a copy of whatever as above. Format drive. Stuff all gone. Unless you're up to ripping out the Hard Drive, sticking it into a different computer, and taking the files off, of course.
     
  3. Mark Larson

    Mark Larson Supporting Actor

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    I'd say just format it and install windows 98SE or 2000.
    ME sucks piles. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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  5. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    The 'ripping out the HD, plugging it into your machine and removing everything of value before doing a format and fresh install on the old machine' solution is definitely a good way to go if you can.

    Also, its not unknown for system vendors to helpfully leave all the CAB files of the OS lying around in a directory of the machine for just such an emergency. Either by grabbing a handy bootdisk (bootdisk.com is very handy in these sorts of emergencies) you should be able to get the system up far enough to go browsing around in DOS mode to see whats there. If there is such a directory, you might be able to rebuild it from that.
     
  6. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  7. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    Also, its not unknown for system vendors to helpfully leave all the CAB files of the OS lying around in a directory of the machine for just such an emergency.

    This isn't just for emergencies, but also much easier if you install some new printer or the like. The install files are local so you don't have to hunt down your system disks.

    I'm in favor of reinstalling a new OS, (98SE is probably the best choice for this machine), but you might be able to reinstall without that by going to the C:WindowsOptions directory and running setup from there (if the machine included the cabs)
     
  8. Dave Anderson

    Dave Anderson Second Unit

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    Whoa, lets be realistic here. If that computer is 4 years old and bought from Circuit City, you can scratch Windows 2000 off the list. I'm betting it has 32mb or 64mb of memory, which is insufficient to run Windows 2000. With Win2k you want at least 128mb, 256mb being preferred. I do agree with the recommendation to avoid Windows ME. I work at a computer shop and can tell you beyond a doubt that Windows ME is the worse modern day OS available.

    At my shop we'd charge around $100 (1.5 hours labor) to do a basic reinstall, reload the drivers (possibly having to download some/all of them if there is no recovery cd), and install all the latest patches (I.E., Windows, etc.) And that's only if we get, or can obtain the Windows 95 product key. If not, she has to buy a new copy. Have to stay legal...

    My suggestion is to format the system and load 98 SE. It's better to start fresh then spending time trying to salvage a questionable Windows installation. However, chances are you will have to download some drivers (video, modem, audio). I've never had trouble finding drivers on the Web, though. Remember, Google is your friend.
     
  9. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    If you can't type 'dir' then command.com is missing.

    Find a win95 system and create a system disk (go to the DOS prompt, insert a floppy and type 'sys a: /s'; then 'copy c:windowscommand.sys.com a:')

    Now go to your mom's computer and boot off of that floppy, and type 'sys c:'

    And I bet you'll be all set, unless it messed some other stuff up, as well.
     

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