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Windows comes with various programs and procedures to troubleshoot and repair problems. Some of these can be used at will, but others require a backup of one type or another to have been performed first. Now, if you are a technician who maintains computers, or if you maintain your own personal computers and their continued performance is important, you should perform regular backups. If you work in a repair shop, chances are very good that your customers didn't back up the OS before bringing the machine to you, although some make copies of their important user data. If they knew how to perform these OS backups, they would most likely know how to restore the OS themselves. Given that advice, you'll be able to determine which of the following procedures are most useful to you.
Safe Mode Boot (All Versions)
In the event that Windows is loading some program or device driver that is causing a problem, you can boot into Safe Mode (the system might force you to) and try to fix the problem. Safe Mode loads only essential drivers and programs. You won't be able to print, get on a network, hear sounds other than beeps, and so forth, but you will be able to make changes in Device Manager, .ini files, and other places. Press F8 as early in the boot process as possible to boot into Safe Mode.
System File Checker (98, 2000, and XP Only)
Microsoft developed this utility for Windows 98, put a different version in 2000 and XP, but inexplicably left it out of Windows Me. System File Checker scans the system files for corruption or unauthorized replacement by rogue programs, and retrieves a correct version from either a special system folder or the Windows installation CD-ROM.
System File Checker (SFC) in Windows 98
In the Run dialog from the Start menu, type "SFC." This invokes the program, as shown below
It is a good idea to run SFC every time you install Windows 98.You can go into settings by clicking the button. You'll want to be prompted to replace each corrupted file so that if the problem appears to be solved. The figure below shows such a prompt. SFC prompts you to restore the corrupted file. One new Windows 98 computer had a sound problem. but the default settings are generally the best. and any time you have a problem that is not easily corrected. you'll be able to tie the problem to the corruption. The .
Replacing these files solved the problem permanently. If this is the case. You might know this because of a message at boot. as well). Be sure to make a backup and write down the location of the files just in case the system is unable to boot after you attempt to restart the system. Or. It is much less likely to be needed in these systems as compared to 98. When you first open Msconfig (see Chapter 2) you will see the Extract File button near the lower right-hand corner of the window. If this folder doesn't exist. We suggest you accept the default path offered by SFC to keep things consistent. Open a command prompt and type SFC. In most installations of 98 (and 95 and Me. These contain all of Windows' installation files in a highly compressed state. When you suspect that a particular system file is the cause of a problem. You can use SFC in Windows 98 without running the file check portion of the program if you know ahead of time just what file you need to replace. you'll have to browse to the Windows 98 folder on the Windows installation CD-ROM. there is a system folder whose default path is C:\Windows\Options\Cabs. do so and follow the same steps as you would if you had run SFC and it had found a corrupt file. Windows 2000 and XP System File Checker SFC in these versions is a command-line program. By clicking here. You might need to navigate to this folder using the Browse button to help SFC find the files to restore. you will be prompted to make a backup of the original system file. you might have been told by a support representative from a component manufacturer to replace a particular file. This will give you the list of command switches shown below: . Note When SFC finds a corrupted file and prompts you to replace it. you can use Msconfig in Windows Me to extract the file.sound either sounded terrible or it didn't work at all. or if you get a dialog box or error message when Windows starts indicating that a particular file is not found or is corrupted. you can follow the dialog boxes just as you would in Windows 98 SFC. You should also limit your folder names to eight characters or fewer here so you can find them in DOS in the event that you must restore the file in a noboot situation. Write down the location where SFC is going to place the backup of the file. Replacing the sound driver didn't help. but a run of SFC found nine corrupted files. Extraction of System Files (98 and Me) Windows Me does have one of the functions of SFC: system file extraction.
If the problem was caused by a change made since the last successful boot. try not to boot the computer again before you invoke LKG. Windows 9x Registry Repairs See the Windows 9x Registry section. Let's say you want to run it now. insert it. Last Known Good Configuration (2000 and XP only) Each time Windows 2000 and XP boots successfully. type the following: SFC /scannow If you are prompted for the installation CD-ROM. press <F8> and select Last Known Good Configuration (LKG). Note Any time the computer boots successfully. If you experience a problem after a change. the new LKG will include the problem. In case the computer boots successfully but the problem is still not solved. earlier in this chapter. LKG will undo it. it stores a profile of the system in a system folder. causing LKG to cease being an effective tool for that problem. . along with all other changes made since then. Then. wait for SFC to work.2000/XP SFC command switches. the next time you attempt to boot. the LKG is reset to the system's current configuration. At the following prompt. If a computer won't boot or develops a serious problem after a change has been made.
If the computer you're using is Windows 9x. Obtain four floppy disks and label each "Windows 2000 Setup Boot Disk. Note Setup boot floppies do not exist for XP. you'll have to boot either from the four Windows 2000 installation floppies. It is easier to boot from the CD-ROM. 2. To repair the system using the ERD. Insert the Windows 2000 installation CD-ROM in any Windows computer. usually by double-clicking. meaning that you get a choice of different OSs when you boot the computer. Manual repair gives you three options: Inspect Startup Environment: This applies only if the system is a dual-or multiple-boot system. The disc will probably start up automatically. run (usually by double. Tutorial 11.2: Creating 2000 Setup Boot Floppies from the CD-ROM 1. If you are on 2000 or XP.clicking) the MAKEBOOT program. . Inspect Boot Sector: Inspects and repairs boot sector problems. Choose R to repair. Note Manual repair doesn't give the option to repair the registry. but fast repair does. You will be prompted to select manual or fast repair. close it. Tutorial 11. Chances are excellent that if you are fixing someone else's computer. Go to My Computer. Verify Windows 2000 System Files: Inspects files needed for Windows to boot and run and replaces them if necessary. Eventually. A Windows Explorer window should appear. or from the installation CD-ROM. you'll get to a prompt to set up or repair Windows. run the MAKEBT32. you will not have such a recent ERD to use. right-click the disc. or by typing "ntbackup" in the Run dialog).exe program. as long as your hard drive hasn't failed. Go through Setup as if you are installing Windows 2000. you'll see an option for making an ERD. which will include one to insert the ERD. in which case the repair process is useless. as long as the computer supports it. 3. Follow the prompts. and follow the prompts. 4." Number them from 1 through 4. you'll have to create the floppies from the CD-ROM. If it does. Simply follow the prompts. To use the ERD. and click Explore from the menu that appears.Emergency Repair Process (2000 Only) This process can be especially helpful if you can't boot your computer. 5. It is much more useful if you have a very recent Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) made on the computer in question. 6. and you start in the Welcome screen. You might have to go into the BIOS to move CD-ROM up in the boot order. boot the computer using either the CD-ROM or the floppies. If you cannot boot from the CD-ROM and you don't have the installation floppies.2 tells you how. If you start the Windows Backup program (Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup. Locate and open the Bootdisk folder.
When you are finished. which is present in most 9x installations. This folder has another purpose. Once you have found Setup. navigate to it and locate Setup. you can still reinstall Windows from the installation disc. If your system doesn't have a Cabs or Install folder. we referred to the folder C:\Windows\Options\Cabs (C:\Windows\Options\Install in Me).Fast repair automatically performs all repair functions. If you are unable to fix a problem with 9x. If it does find registry corruption. Otherwise. or open the disc in My Computer and run Setup. Note that the default setting for Windows is not to show known file extensions. it copies portions from the %systemroot%\Repair\Regback folder (assuming that folder is accessible). Reinstalling Windows 9x Over an Existing Installation In the discussion about system file checker. When you are prompted to select the folder directory for the installation. will install Windows over the old . It can take anywhere from about 20 minutes to sometimes well over an hour to install Windows depending on the performance of the system. your settings and non-OS files should be intact. be it Winnt\System32. choose R to repair the system. At this point. You might need to input the product key and other information. selecting the original. usually C:\Windows. run it (usually by double-clicking) and follow the prompts. hopefully fixing the problems in the process. and all non-OS files should remain intact. so have it ready. then the setup files found in the C:\Windows\Options\Cabs folder might attempt to install an older version of Windows and cause the installation to fail. or Windows\System32). choose to set up Windows.exe. Tip Make sure the Windows CD-ROM that you use to reinstall windows is exactly the same version as what is installed in the system. instead of choosing to repair the system. You can change this setting by going to Tools > Folder Options in any Windows folder. Have the product key ready in the event you are prompted for it. If you don't have an ERD. This registry backup is made automatically when the ERD is made. Follow the prompts and you will soon get another prompt to set up or repair. If that were the case. This will reinstall Windows over the existing installation. where the system keeps the backup registry (%systemroot% refers to the main system folder.exe. clicking the View tab. Most existing settings.exe. Insert the disc and follow the prompts to install. Note It is important to know whether the system you are working on was ever upgraded from an earlier version of Windows. you might get errors or Windows might not allow the installation to continue. If you don't want to change the setting. and clearing the Hide extensions for known file types check box. including checking the registry for corruption. look for the word Setup followed by an icon that has a picture of a computer with an open box of disks in front of it .
Of course. For example. Tip It is a very good idea to back up important data files before reinstalling Windows. If you select a different directory. go to System Properties and click the System Restore tab. From here. reinstall the programs. Just make certain not to restore any virus-infected data. the File System button. You can also use the slider on this page to set the maximum size of the _Restore folder on this page. even though all the program's files would be left intact. To access System Restore. Select or clear the check box. and your settings will not be kept. you might need to back up the data and downloaded program installation files (not actual program files). or making other significant changes. Then. even when you use procedures that normally leave your files intact. assuming you have enough disk space. if you restore to a point before a new program was installed.version. In XP. restore the system. you can set a restore point. The folder is hidden by default. it is a good idea to do this before installing new hardware or software. the program will probably not work correctly or at all afterward. This can cause other problems. format the hard drive. If you get to a situation in which diagnosing and correcting problems will take an extraordinary amount of time. If System Restore is enabled. System Restore (Me and XP Only) System Restore allows you to undo system changes made since the last restore point was created. or undo a restore. Windows sets restore points daily and when certain changes are made to the system. and restore the data. this is usually your best bet. go to Start > Programs (or All Programs) > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. you will cause the original Windows installation to be unusable. reinstall Windows from scratch." can be a receptacle for viruses. Leave it at its maximum setting unless disk space is an issue. go to System Properties (right-click My Computer and select Properties or open the System applet in Control Panel). The best thing about System Restore is that you can undo a restore. To enable or disable it in Me. A restore point is a point at which all of Windows' settings are recorded. leaving all your settings intact. or when a computer has significant virus infection. Enabling/Disabling and Accessing System Restore System Restore is enabled by default. The worst thing about it is that the folder System Restore uses to store the restore point data. You would use System Restore to undo changes that you suspect caused problems. It is for this reason that some users disable System Restore. and it is very difficult to delete an individual file in this folder. If reinstalling the system doesn't solve the problem. . and then the Advanced tab. entitled "_Restore. you can delete the folder that contains the original installation. This is because System Restore removed all the registry entries related to the program. the new program might have been causing the problem you are using System Restore to fix. and select or clear the Enable System Restore check box. Multiple restore points can be stored simultaneously. The user can also set restore points manually. click the Performance tab.
In XP. The article numbers are 229716 for 2000 and 314058 for XP. Restoration of System State Data (2000 and XP Only) System state data consists of the registry files and many OS files. you have the option of backing up the entire or parts of the system. 1. If you use the Backup Wizard. . The Recovery Console is good for replacing missing files. and it will probably work the second time. At the "Welcome to Setup" screen. stopping or starting services. you can start the console." You can also type HELP at the prompt and then press <Enter> for a complete list of commands. Chances are good that installation will fail. the Cmdcons folder. In 2000. You can enter any individual command followed by a space and /? (such as DISABLE /?) to view a brief explanation plus the command's syntax and parameters. Make sure to have the administrator password handy (if one exists). There are two ways to run the Recovery Console. Reboot the computer and select the number for Recovery Console from the list of OSs. but has fewer commands. or only the System State data. and then follow the prompts.exe /cmdcons Click OK. Using the Recovery Console For a helpful tutorial on using Recovery Console commands. you'll have to type <C>. and other tasks. Back up System State data by using Windows Backup (Start > Run > ntbackup. and type the following in the box (Substitute the CD-ROM drive letter for D if applicable): D:\i386\winnt32. Do so. 2. the Winnt or Windows folder. Additional helpful information is available in Windows' Help (search for Recovery Console Commands). You can use it to access only the root folder.or multi-boot system. or Start > Programs (or All Programs) > Accessories > System Tools > Backup). Once you have started the Recovery Console. and on the Microsoft Knowledge Base.Recovery Console (2000 and XP Only) The Recovery Console is a command-based system. similar to DOS. and removable media sources such as floppies or CD-ROMs. A recent System State data backup on a Windows 2000 machine created a 241MB file. or the 2000 setup boot floppies. Run Recovery Console from the Windows Installation CD-ROM: Boot the computer from the Windows installation CD-ROM. press <F10> or type <R>. you'll be prompted to select the OS to which you want to boot. but you'll be given a prompt to try it again. formatting drives. "Command-Line Tutorial. click Start > Run. Install Recovery Console so that it becomes a choice of OSs available at boot: Insert the Windows Installation CD in the drive. and then you'll be prompted for the administrator password. assuming you have a dual. see the Recovery Console Commands section in Appendix C.
press <F2> to start the restore process. You will need one blank floppy and media for the backup. even though Microsoft insists that ASR won't back up user data.Note Windows XP Home Edition does not have the Backup program. For this reason. there is a choice to back up "All information on this computer. However. perhaps on a new hard drive. An ASR backup includes System State data. you'll have to reinstall Windows. ASR should be a valid method for backing up and restoring the entire computer. ASR Restore To restore from an ASR backup. and select the ASR option button. The ASR Wizard recreates every disk partition on which there are Windows OS components. You will be prompted to insert the floppy made during the ASR backup. because of Microsoft's warnings. In a system with one disk partition and XP Pro. and follow the prompts. It is done through the Backup program. if you have a retail or OEM copy of XP Home (not a brand name recovery disk). including the System State data. However. Just follow the prompts in the wizard. If not." This is actually a combination of ASR and a full data backup. open Backup and follow the instructions to restore the System State data. ASR appears to be available. not the Wizard mode. Microsoft considers an ASR a last resort. If Windows is still running. open Backup as described earlier. and the backup media. If there is a recent backup of System State data. it won't work. To create a backup for an ASR. however. Navigate to the VALUEADD\MSFT\NTBACKUP folder on the CD-ROM and double-click the Ntbackup. The ASR Wizard also creates a floppy that is needed for an ASR restore. Automated System Restore (XP Professional Only) Automated System Restore (ASR) is XP Pro's system for backing up the entire OS. boot from an XP Pro CD-ROM as described in the section on the Emergency Repair procedure. Restore by running Setup from the Windows XP disc and following the prompts to do a restore. you will probably want to back up user data separately. Note If Backup is installed on XP Home Edition as described in the previous note. you can install Backup from the disc. .msi file on the disc to install Backup. ASR will back up user data on those partitions. When prompted. restoring it is the next step to take if using the ERD fails. covered earlier. and then perform the restore. Backup of All Information on the Computer (XP Pro Only) If you run Backup in Wizard Mode and run through the wizard. make sure to be in the Advanced mode.
Note Neither the "All information on this computer" nor the ASR backup will work on XP Home. you'll have to reinstall Windows anew and then restore the backup. you'll have to install Backup from the Windows disk and do a regular full backup. To accomplish a backup and recovery in XP Home. . Then.
forumotion. Try out DriverBackup Software http://sourceforge.Labsheet: 1. .htm 2. Try out Acronis for a Full Image Backup Procedure http://mgmcc.net/projects/drvback/ General Information The general errors and the corresponding failures are shown below: 100-199 : System board failures 200-299 : Memory failures 300-399 : Key board failures 400-499 : Monochrome video problems 500-599 : Color video problems 600-699 : Floppy disk errors 1700-1799: Hard disk problems.net/software-tutorials-f16/acronis-true-image-backup-recoveryprocedures-t53.
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