What can I do when an installation goes bad?

Posted By : of Data Doctors on January 24, 2000

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After downloading and installing IE5, I have multiple problems with my Start menu and my icons can no longer be moved. What can I do to repair this situation?


This question was answered on January 24, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

It sounds like you may be suffering from a corrupted Registry as a result of an installation gone bad The lifeblood of the Windows operating system is the Registry Once it has been corrupted it can cause Windows to exhibit strange behaviors or worse yet those error messages that are so technical that only the geekiest of the human race can even begin to understand them!

One of the many improvements that Microsoft added to Windows 98, was a utility called ScanReg, which actually runs every time that you start your system During the startup, ScanReg automatically examines the Registry and if everything looks OK, it will make a compressed backup before giving you control of the system There are typically 5 backups that are stored in a hidden directory (C:\ Windows\Sysbckup) with file names like rb000.cab, rb001.cab, etc If you catch the problem within 4 restarts of your computer, you can sometimes return the Registry to good working order by restoring a previous Registry from backup If you have had the problem for a while and have restarted your computer more than 4 or 5 times than this option may be of no use and you may have to wipe the drive and start over or have a very technical person “clean-up” the Registry manually If you catch the problem quickly you can restore a previous Registry by booting to DOS mode (Start/Shutdown/Restart in MS-DOS mode) and typing at the C: prompt “scanreg/restore” This will bring up a screen with the available Registry backups as well as the time and date that they were made Choose the one (based on the time and date) that was made prior to the installation of the program and with some luck you may be back to good working condition


If you have never worked with your Registry before, I highly recommend that you get help from someone that has One wrong move in this area and you can destroy a perfectly good Windows installation DO NOT EXPERIMENT WITH ANY REGISTRY UTILITIES Before running this or any other utility, always be sure to get a good backup of your critical data.

I suggest anyone with Windows 98 take the time to manually backup the Registry prior to installing any new hardware or software, that way if something goes wrong and the Registry becomes corrupted, you can restore it to the state that it was in right before the installation To do this, click on Start, then Run and type “scanregw” (without the “ “) then click on OK This will quickly check your current Registry then ask you if you would like to back it up Once it has finished, proceed with your installation and thoroughly check your system right afterwards This recovery procedure works best when done right after an errant installation, so use it at the first sign of trouble The longer you wait, the less likely that this process will “save your bacon”!

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Posted by of Data Doctors on January 24, 2000

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