My laptop is dying. Or died. Help!

I don’t know if it’s related or not, but I downloaded a couple of Gin games on my laptop last week and installed them. I did not scan them for viruses.:smack:

The gin games work fine, but nothing else does.

When I try to open a program, I get a missing .dll file message. None of the Control Panel functions seem to work, but I could use the start–>find function just fine. For instance I found an old AOL setup file that I used to set up AOL. Once I set up AOL I could get it to launch and dial in but then I’d get an error message, then close, or I’d just ctrl-alt-del because I was sick of waiting. My earthlink won’t launch, freecell won’t launch, and so on.

We got the laptop 3 or 4 years ago from Dell. It has Windows 98 on it. I know I saved the manual and CDs that came with it but I’ve rearranged the apartment several times since then, so they’ve disappeared. For the hell of it I tried defragmenting my hard drive (error message–>abort) and tried using the Windows ME cd from my desktop (didn’t work). I guess one last thing I could try is installing XP pro that I’ve already installed on my Dell desktop, but I don’t know if that’ll fly. It’s worth a shot I suppose.

Before I gave up last night, I rebooted but it wouldn’t start up. It would get to the cloudy windows 98 welcome screen then shut back down.

Does anybody know what’s happening here? Did I kill my laptop for a game of gin rummy? Why did all my .dll files up and disappear? Will there be an issue (besides incompatible programs) if I load the XP pro that I’ve already loaded on to my desktop?

Well, there is nothing here which would lead to a definitive diagnosis, so all I can offer is my own educated best guess. Based on the case history you give (and the problem getting worse, not booting up , etc.) my first suggestion would be to run scandisk. If you are lucky, there is some simple file corruption. If you are less lucky, these corruptions may require a reinstall of the OS, or at least restoring some important .dll’s (which can probably be downloaded from the web). Less lucky still and your hard drive is in the process of dying and needs to be replaced. Of course, there is always the possibility that this is the result of a virus, too.

As for how to run scandisk, have you tried booting into safe mode? Hit the F8 key or hold down the ctrl key before windows begins to load (but after the Bios has detected the mouse and keyboard) and select safe mode from the menu. If that works, go to Start->Programs->Accessories->System tools->Scandisk. Select standard to test for file damage, or thorough to also test for the possibility of bad clusters, which would indicate a hardware problem (the drive is failing).

Well, there is the licensing and activation issue if you plan to run it on both machines. Otherwise it is a matter of the hardware specs of the laptop.

I think tourbot has you starting in the right place. If it is any comfort, it doesn’t sound like your laptop has died. But your OS might have.

If Scandisk doesn’t detect a problem, you may want to spend a little more time looking for that original Win98 CD. It will be important for your next most logical step.

Thanks, I’ll try accessing scandisk from safe mode. I think safe mode will be as far as I can get before it shuts down.