Windows start-up problems - what should I do?

A friend (honest) asked me to look at his computer as he is getting a bunch of errors on start-up of Windows ME. Sometimes the machine is left dead, other times some programs don’t work.

He gets a mass of messages of the form <program name> caused an error in win2_32.dll. Many programs issue this message, including sometimes Explorer. When Explorer issues it, the machine dies as there is now no desktop.

He has a Dr. Watson print-out that indicates that at some point our good friend AOL trampled on somebody else’s memory.

A virus scan and disk scan show the machine to be clean and no disk errors.

The machine does start up OK in Safe Mode.

At this point, I suspect the registry.

I reinstalled WinME. During the final configuration step, it gave an error on running a registry script (and like a fool I didn’t write it down), then a ton of errors from regsvr32.

The machine still didn’t work.

I then tried the installation again, but this time after booting from a WinME startup diskette in case the installation was having errors because of the sick state of a full Windows boot. No joy.

What now?

Wish I could be of more help, but Dr. Format fixes all…

What kind of computer is it? You could have tried scanreg /restore but too late now cause you reinstalled. Probably you forgot to turn off any Bios/virus boot protections so it couldn’t write a new boot sector when you put Me back on. Try to reinstall with no Bios protections active.

It is a Dell Dimension Pentium II-450. He’d already tried to reinstall, and failed, before calling me. I looked at the system restore option, but nothing had been saved.

Wouldn’t installing after booting from the Me startup disk have turned off Bios/virus boot protections? If not, how do I turn the Bios protections off?

Thanks for your help.