How do I boot up my computer using Windows ME?

Question

why wont my computer boot up anymore? your last email telling me what to do didnt work at all. i hate COMPAQ they didnt give me a windows disc to reinstall windows originally. i cant load windows. my recovery c d doesnt work. i paid 1600 dollars for this lap top. its not that old. and i paid to up grade the memory with extra memory. the web site you sent me too to fix it didnt work at all.

Answer

This question was answered on June 11, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Booting up in "Safe Mode" is an often-recommended step that many Windows users just aren't aware of Win 95 and XP users, when Windows is loading, look for the "Starting Windows" message and when you see it come up, immediately press F8 (a few Win 95 machines still use F5 or Del) Win 98/ME users can just hold down the Control key before Windows begins to boot up Either way you do it, you'll be taken to a menu which gives you several options -- boot to DOS; boot up Windows in "Safe Mode," which boots Windows with generic, safe settings; boot up in "Logged" mode, which makes a BOOTLOG of the start-up process Boot your system up and poke around in the startup menu; get to know it It's worth your time What exactly happens in Safe Mode? Well, Windows ignores the contents of the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files, which allows for a stripped-down bootup Most of the device drivers aren't loaded (so your scanner, for example, won't work while Windows is in Safe Mode) Additionally, Safe Mode uses standard VGA graphics mode instead of the snazzier mode provided by your usual graphics driver This mode is supported by all Windows-compatible video cards HIMEM.SYS, which is normally loaded as part of the CONFIG.SYS script, is loaded with the /TESTMEM:ON switch This switch tells the computer to test the extended memory before continuing The Windows desktop loads up in 16 colors and at a resolution of 640 x 480 with the words "Safe Mode" in each corner Safe Mode checks the MSDOS.SYS file for information on where to find the rest of the Windows files If it finds the files, it proceeds to load Windows in Safe Mode with the command WIN /D:M If it does not find the Windows files, it will run command.com to bring up a C: prompt Windows boots using a batch file called SYSTEM.CB instead of the standard SYSTEM.INI file This file loads the Virtual Device Drivers (VxDs) that Windows uses to communicate with the standard parts of the computer Windows now loads the regular SYSTEM.INI file plus WIN.INI and Registry settings It skips the [Boot] (except for the shell and device lines) and [386Enh] sections of system.ini and does not load or run any programs listed in WIN.INI So what should you do if your computer boots to Safe Mode? First, try to determine what has changed on your system that could have caused Windows to fail to boot properly If you have added any kind of hardware, go to the Control Panel and remove it and uninstall the software driver for that device Then attempt a reboot If Windows boots properly, you can be reasonably certain that there was some type of conflict with the device and try to resolve it Use this same method if you have loaded a new game or application sometime recently Go to the Control Panel, click on Add/Remove Programs and remove the software Try a reboot and hopefully you will get a normal Windows boot If the problem is definitely not new hardware or software, then you most likely have a corrupted Registry In this case, you will quite likely have to perform a new installation of Windows to set things right.

Problems booting up? Going through Safe Mode is usually the first step you'll take to find and correct the problem You may need to repair and restore the Registry; in Windows ME, go to Start, Run and type SCANREGW /FIX and press Enter to repair the Registry Win 98 users must go outside Windows to repair the Registry; boot up your machine in Safe Mode, choose "Command Prompt only" from the menu, and at the C> prompt, type SCANREG /FIX or SCANREG /RESTORE and press Enter If you find yourself needing to make and/or use startup disks.

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Author

Posted by Raymond of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on June 11, 2004