View Full Version : OT:Computer screwup

07-27-2008, 04:30 PM
For years have been using older computer with 98 for writing checks etc.Backed up for while but lately didn't.The Canon F20 printer with multipass software worked till today when despite all efforts it wouldn't print.On removing the software to reinstall the driver I kept getting error message that toolbar was running.I deleted all toolbar items but same message came up.Then manually removed all references to canon and along with this evidently deleted some dll files and now I get a message that at least 2 dll's are missing and to reinstall windows after the logo comes up and the OS doesn't complete loading.Is there a way to reinstall the missing dll files or a way to format and reinstall without losing the tax data.I guess I learned my lesson about backup but even if I had backed up on this computer how would I access since the OS doen't load?

Paul Alciatore
07-27-2008, 04:48 PM
I'm not really sure how to best proceed in trying to restore this computer, but the first thing I would do is take the hard drive out and temporairly install it in another, working computer and back up any files you need to that machine or to DVD or CD. That way, any thing that happens will not cause a loss of data. You would install it as a secondary drive, NOT the BOOT drive in this other machine.

A reinstall of Windows, even Win 95, should not do anything to your data files. You should be safe in trying to reinstall it. But, as I said above, I am not the best in this area.

And DO back up in the future. Back up to a PHYSICALLY different hard drive, an external drive, one of those plug in memory devices, or CD/DVD. That way it is assured to be accessable when the boot drive fails. The only thing I can tell you absolutely about every computer is that sooner or later, it will fail. IT WILL FAIL! Guaranteed. Safe Vegas bet.

07-27-2008, 07:41 PM
Go Start>Run and enter SFC then click Ok. This will invoke the system file checker. It will compare all the system files to the originals since the last time it was run which is probably never. If it finds a file that is the same name but doesn't match because it is newer don't replace it, tell it to skip or ignore. If however it finds that some files are missing then follow the instructions to replace the missing file from your original installation media.

Oops, I forgot to say to boot up in safe mode by holding the F8 key while starting the computer.

07-28-2008, 02:23 AM
"A reinstall of Windows, even Win 95, should not do anything to your data files."

Win 95 WILL overwrite. I think Win 98, original will too. Win 98 SE will do a nondestructive reinstall, as will Win2k and, MAYBE XP.

I ALWAYS dual boot. If one OS doesn't boot, I choose the other, can move data to a safe drive, whether it be another partition or an external drive.
If I have to wipe and reformat, I have all my data.

Careful what you do with your drive in reinstall. If you do not know, and I do not do this for a living, you may overwrite all of your data, and if you have your business records on that computer, you may be SOL.

THAT I have seen. AW GONE. With a reinstall, and the person unable to read the warnings on the blue screen.

"Found a partition with an OS already installed. Do you want to repair that OS?"

MAY repair it, may not. Reinstall. Anything past Win 98 original will not wipe you out.



07-28-2008, 04:13 AM
I have run SFC and SCANREG /RESTORE and they both say things are corrected but on booting up I still get error messages(Missing MSVCRT.dll andMFC42.dll files and error loading explorer and must reinstall Windows)and computer shuts down?

07-28-2008, 04:22 AM
Boot into DOS from the boot menu. Search the drive for those files using this DOS command:

dir msvcrt.dll /s/a

Most likely you will find at least several copies scattered around on the drive. Pick one and change to that directory, then copy it to the c:\windows directory and also the c:\windows\system directory. Do the same for the other file, then reboot.

07-28-2008, 11:06 AM
Things have failed so far-I can't get to DOS in the menu.Have Zip files of the two missing files on another computer but can't seem to copy them to the messed up computer.Tried to "sys" from boot floppy but message says parameter missing? About to give up and try reinstall.

07-28-2008, 11:19 AM
Ack. Don't sys the drive. Good thing you had a parameter missing. Use a startup disk for Win 98 to get to a DOS prompt and then copy the files (that you put on the boot floppy).

copy a:\filename.dll c:\windows\system

07-28-2008, 09:02 PM
Copied the files from the original 98 CD to a floppy but keep getting errors on entering the file names@ the "A" prompt.About resigned to FDISK and Format and reinstall.I guess I will need to dredge up the paper documents and reconstruct the data.

07-28-2008, 10:13 PM
What errors at the A: prompt?

07-28-2008, 11:12 PM
I found this (http://www.instant-registry-fixes.org/how-to-fix-msvcrtdll-errors/) that may be of help

At PC startup:

“Msvcirt.dll file is linked to missing export msvcrt.dll : ??_u@yapaxi@z”

When you try to run an application:

“The Msvcirt.dll file is linked to missing export msvcrt.dll”

The above error is usually preceded by the error:

“drive_letter:\Path\filename - a device attached to the system is not functioning.”

To fix the error in Windows 98, follow the steps listed below:

1. Run the SFC command from Start > Run.
2. In the System File Checker dialog box that opens, select the Extract one file from installation disk option, type Msvcrt.dll in the Specify the system file you would like to restore box and select the Start button.
3. Next, in the Extract File dialog box, in the Restore from box, browse to the Windows 98 installation CD.
4. In the Save file in box, type C:\, and then select the OK button.
5. Select OK to confirm your decision.
6. Repeat the above steps for the Msvcirt.dll file.
7. Next, restart your PC in MS-DOS mode, type the following commands at the prompt, and press Enter to run them:

Rename C:\Windows\System\Msvcrt.dll Msvcrt.old
Rename C:\Windows\System\Msvcirt.dll Msvcirt.old
Copy C:\Msvcrt.dll C:\Windows\System
Copy C:\Msvcirt.dll C:\Windows\System
8. Finally, restart your PC in Normal mode.

07-29-2008, 07:52 AM
I boot with boot disc till "A" prompt,remove this disc and insert one with the dll files copied from the installation disc(msvcrt.dll and mfc42.dll)and type the info in and get errors-"data error reading drive a"-don't understand this.

07-29-2008, 08:21 AM
Addendum;Could the problem with copying the files be compression.I did not realize till reading further that cab files are compressed.I simply copied them from the installation disc.How to circumvent?

07-29-2008, 08:23 AM
Most probable is the floppy disc is failing. Use a different disk and do a full format of it before using it. Floppy disks have numerous problems and are very unreliable. If possible format the disc that is to contain the data on the machine to be rescued. Just exchange the boot floppy for the target and enter:

format a:


Yes, cab files are compressed. Cab stands for Cabinet. Start the computer with a 98 startup disk. If you have the files on CD rom put it in the drive. The files may also be in a folder on the machine located at c:\cabs

At the A: prompt type ext and follow the instructions.

07-29-2008, 09:08 AM
I guess I'm getting senile but I don't understand the compression problem.The files I find on the net are compressed and I understand how to decompress on the computer it was downloaded into.But if copied to floppy they still are compressed aren't they and if so how do you decompress to copy to the damaged computer or does the file need decompression to be copied to the damaged computer? Also everyone seems to be selling dll repair but seem to require a functioning computer to work or a least a CD to work and I have neither on the damaged machine.

07-29-2008, 09:41 AM
Go back to my advice to search the drive on the subject computer. You will most likely find versions of the files in several places. If you do then all you need to do is copy them to the windows\system directory.

07-29-2008, 02:31 PM
SFC will not run.I did go to SCANREG/RESTORE and put on an older version before trouble began.Registry seemed to be corrected but same errors came up.(Error loading Explorer.exe You must reinstall windows) on clicking OK the missing file msvcrt.dll and mfc42.dll are indicated and the computer hangs up.When booting to safe mode nothing shows on the screen except "Safe Mode" Nothing else such as icons etc.Is there a way to copy these files form the install disc without a complete reinstall?

07-29-2008, 05:43 PM
When you boot from a startup disk you should end up at a DOS prompt. Then enter these commands:


That should put you at the c: prompt. Then enter:

dir msvcrt.dll /s/a

Providing C drive is working you will most likely see several directories listed that contain the file of interest. It will already be uncompressed. Once you find it copy it from that directory to the windows directory with this command:

copy c:\directoryyoufound\msvcrt.dll c:\windows\system

If it asks if you wish to overwrite answer Yes.

Then do the same for the other file.

07-29-2008, 08:02 PM
Success:::I went through all the suggestions again and copied the files from another similar vintage computer to floppies.One copied but the other didn't but copying to another floppy did work.Thanks everyone for being patient and helping. Its almost as if nothing happened since I still get the error message that toolbar is running when it isn't when I try to reinstall the printer software (Canon multipass) to try and get the printer going but I can get a different printer to copy my files-thanks again.

07-29-2008, 09:42 PM
33 years experience troubleshooting over the phone has to good for something. Happy to hear it's working again.