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Windows ME cant start Explorer.exe

By dae_amp_ika_dtp
Dec 30, 2007
  1. hi. i was working on a old windows me computer yesterday. i was uninstalling not needed programs and updating windows with windows update. after the windows update i restarted the computer only to get this error message "Error loading EXPLORER.EXE. You must reinstall Windows." when i click on "ok" the computer shuts down. i followed microsofts instructions from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306599 . and the problem still occurs. i uploaded my system.ini file in a .txt format if anyone can look at it and tell if its correct. the only program i uninstalled was norton antivirus, i used symantecs removal tool, that is supposed to completely uninstall norton products. then i updated windows. anyone have any ideas? thanks.
     
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,348   +50

    Norton is a likely suspect - there may be a program still set to start at boot which was removed, but not the entry to it in system.ini or (equally likely) the registry. Norton is notorious for that.

    The MS link is perfectly sensible in what it says. You need to find the entry concerned - noting it may be in the registry.

    Can you still start Windows in safe mode, or have you got a floppy wherebye you can start DOS?

    If not, try to do that. Then note all the program DLL's mentioned in system.ini and do a search for them in the whole C: drive. Any you cannot find comment out of system.ini in the way described (;)

    In may ways, the sensible thing to do is re-install ME completely - it may be quicker in the end.
     
  3. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 99

    in safe mode the same message appears and whern i click ok the computer shuts down. i dont have a floppy drive in a working computer. and another problem is the windows me disc is cracked. so i got the system.ini by connecting the hard drive as a slave to a working computer. so if i do a search for the dll's and i cant find them. then i should remove the entry from the system.ini? is there a way i can edit the registry? or if i could do a system restore? thanks.
     
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,348   +50

    Yes, comment out unfound DLL's with a ; in front. You CAN edit the registry with special packages, but you are just not very likely to know what to look for. I am not aware of ME having any system restore capabilities like XP does. I would suggest you get hold of a Windows 98SE disk from a boot sale, ebay etc, or even better, Windows 2000. Both were much more stable than ME, and you will probably still be able to get the necessary drivers for them online, and they never required the sort of horsepower you get lumped with in XP/Vista.
     
  5. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 99

    i didnt find any missing dlls. i cant even get a hold of a windows me cd at the moment, or any time soon. the closest thing i have to it is a gateway recovery cd with windows me installtion on it. i put it in the drive and it said this cd can only be used on a gateway pc. i know theres a way around it. im just not sure how to do it. couldnt i just put the files on a bootble cd? i just need the windows me cd, the serial is still on the computers tower. maybe if someone had a .iso? i dont want to wait more than a week just for the cd to come in. the pc is actually not mine, im fixing it for a friend, and ive had it for about 2 weeks now. sadly...i really dont want to loose my credibility over this stupid problem. dang norton.... i was just trying to remove that program and it screws me over.
     
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,348   +50

    I think your credibility is intact - you have discovered the problem. It is not your fault that the solution requires a complete re-install, nor that the CD is unreadable. I'm afraid a Gateway recovery will not work - it (a) checks the motherboard is as expected, (b) installs all the drivers for the expected motherboard, and may not even contain any other drivers, so even if you could circumvent the checks in the initial setup.exe, you may not get much further.

    Does ME have a 'selective' emergency startup ? I would expect (al la Win98) that you could get a startup where it asks you to approve every step. When it crashes you know what it was trying to load, and can take it from there. Also look in the startup log if there is one.
     
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    How can this be your fault ?

    gbhall response to another computer's image is correct, you cannot install it.

    Someone must have ME that you know of ? ie the owner
    Otherwise you cannot fix these types of faults

    My opinion - Time to throw away, and update the entire system
     
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,348   +50

    One slight possibility - since you CAN access the drive, rename autoexec.bat, system.ini and win.ini (temporarily) and see if it will boot then. Let me know what happens. If it starts it will be in a horrible 16-colour VGA of course, but at least you are in....
     
  9. dae_amp_ika_dtp

    dae_amp_ika_dtp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 99

    thanks for all your help. sorry for the slow reply. i just went ahead and upgraded it to windows xp pro. my friend is very happy now. but again. thank you i really apreciate it.
     
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