Laptop won't reboot. Missing DLL

By shoptalk
Feb 4, 2006
  1. I'm in BAD need of some help with an older model Dell laptop "Inspiron 7500. For some reason it lost a DLL file and now won't reboot. When I try to boot it up I get a message telling me that (A required .DLL file C:\windows\system\msvcrt.dll was not found.) When I click on OK, I then get a message telling me that Windows must be reinstalled. It is running Windows 98. I bought it used a couple of years ago and DON'T have the original CD's. I have a couple of 98 Quick Restore CD's from an old Compaq that I once owned but they won't install. Does anyone know IF there is any way I can get into it and reinstall the missing DLL? It won't boot past the picture on the desktop. (No icons showing.) Thanks
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    That file is "missing" for a reason.. If you deleted it yourself or some malware corrupted it, then things are good. If your laptop hardware is failng, then it's much worse. First, test your hard drive with the manufacturer's utility. Test your RAM.

    Do you have a Windows licence sticker on the laptop? If yes, then you are entitled to a copy of Windows 98 and you can obtan it from anywhere.. Copy it off a friend, download from the net, ask Microsoft or Dell, whatever. Even if you don't have the Windows sticker, you may still be able to get some restore CD from Dell.

    Assuming it is the only file missing, then you can just copy that specific DLL from someone's computer (or download) and put it on your computer.
  3. shoptalk

    shoptalk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the response. When I boot the laptop, it first goes through Scan disk and tells me that it wasn't shut down correctly, then it boots up to the point of showing the picture on the screen and stops. (No Icons, just the picture) At this point, I get the message about the missing dll. The start menu won't even come up, therefore I can't shut it down correctly so I don't know how I would test anything. By pressing F2 as it boots, I am able to change the way it boots. I changed it to boot from the CD ROM and tried to load these Quick Restore CD's I have from an old Compaq desktop, but you couldn't make head or tails of what came up on the screen. It looked like a bunch of computer talk. (Just symbols)
    I know this is getting a little long, but hang in with me just a bit more. I downloaded the missing dll from the Internet to both a floppy and a CD, but the laptop doesn't read or install it. The laptop has the Microsoft License sticker on it, but so far I haven't found any link that I could use to ask Microsoft or Dell for a replacement CD. Thanks
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    if your hard drive is so corrupt that windows won't boot, you'll need to reload the OS.
  5. shoptalk

    shoptalk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Looks like that is what I'm going the have to do. Like I said earlier, I don't have the original 98 disk and I hate like hell to buy a set for this one use. I went on the Dell web site to try to get a set from them, but they won't even talk to me. From what I gathered, they will only talk to you by email, if it is still under warranty or you bought it online. Other wise go back to the store you bought it from. Thanks
  6. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    if dell wont help you google for it. or at least the win98cd. im sure there are some floating around, otherwise give me a shout
  7. shoptalk

    shoptalk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've looked at several web sites on Google and they all have answers only if you can reboot. "which I can't" I found one web site offering a product called (P. C. Beginner) for sale that looks good, but I a reluctant to buy it because it will probably only take me so far and then call for the windows 98 cd. If anyone has had any experience with this product, give me a shout. Thanks
  8. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    to reply to your msg..

    the ms sticker on the bottom of the laptop is your product key for whatever version of windows it is. As far as the eula states (from what i read of it, correct me if i'm wrong) you are entitled to a backup copy of it..

    however, since its a dell i'm a bit fuzzy to say if using a generic win98se cd will work, altho if its retail version it may work, and compaq quick recover cds are in essence just bootable imgs for the specific pc it came from and has a security checking device or something so it wouldnt work on anyting else. Since i have a friends dell laptop with me that he wants to reformat with a different version of windows to the laptop i will see if it works and post you back on that.

    provided below is a link to download a bootdisk for win98

    use that to load into dos and use the dos commands to copy the dll file into the system and do scandisk etc... i havn't tried anything from this site because i'm not running 98 on any system atm.. i'll see if i can find my bootdisk floppy from my "little" box of diagnostic tools and zip it to send you if they dont work....

    PC begginner software dont bother with. its just basicaly a cd (bootable yes) with programs you could've downloaded for free otherwise, and i highly doubt they can fit a 650mb img file of a windows 98 cd in it.. its just a generix fixit.

    99% and a $1million bet would say that you wont find a retail windows 98 cd in any type of shop anywhere(as microsoft would have recalled it to bring out winME and win2000), and you would have to do a bit of searching for it (which i will help you as much as i can). try give microsoft a call and see if they can supply you with a cd.. or give the almighty ebay a go :angel:
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