Windows Legacy OS forum

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Windows 98 blank screen

by Andrew11 / March 26, 2005 8:12 AM PST

Hi, I am running windows 98 with a Compaq Presario computer, I downloaded some spyware programs and ran them through, they wanted to charge me so I removed them, the last one was spycleaner gold but this one I did not remove (it seemed to find many virus?s, before this I was running adaware and spybot w/o any problems). Now when I boot up I have an explorer error message, another message (the following items have been replaced with older versions c:\windows\system\ddrawex.dll) and my background screen comes up and mouse but nothing else. I have tried a quick restore but it gives me error messages and it does not work, I have some important files that I do not want to lose. I called Microsoft and they cannot seem to help, they tried scanreg, parallel install and over the top install, can any one help or have any tips, will Nortons or another program help out. Thanks

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If file/folder recovery is your intent....
by Michael Geist / March 26, 2005 10:37 AM PST

and then a clean install of 98 (why such an old and clunky OS?), you have a number of options:

1) Move the hard drive to another machine as a second drive, copy and paste away.
2) Knoppix can be used in a number of ways.(

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see if you can find answer here...
by dfwpilot / March 26, 2005 10:37 AM PST
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Windows 98 blank screen
by jkp / March 26, 2005 4:27 PM PST

Try booting in safe mode and using Find Files for any incorrect/missing files. You may be able to copy the file to its correct location from a backup location. Ddrawex.dll should be in C:\Windows\Sysbckup as well as in C:\Windows\System.

You might also find a copy in C:\Windows\VCM if you restored an older version by doing a Windows reinstall. If that is the case, click Start->Run and enter VCM in the box (stands for Version Conflict Manager). Try restoring the later versions that show up in VCM.

As long as you can get up in safe mode, you can copy your important files to floppy (WinZip, WinRAR, etc. would be a help).

I suspect SpyCleaner Gold might have more than a little to do with your problems. Before you try any more antispyware programs, check out this page:

Good luck,


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by Cursorcowboy / March 26, 2005 10:03 PM PST
Now when I boot up I have an explorer error message, another message (the following items have been replaced with older versions c:\windows\system\ddrawex.dll) and my background screen comes up and mouse but nothing else.

1. In order for us to analyze a potential problem and offer tips, we must rely only on the question content to attempt a qualifying response. A question should state the exact system error(s) - spelled, spaced, and capitalized just as it is shown on the display. Helpful perhaps is the window title in the colored bar of the report and any information when provided by a "Details" section also.

2. Most error messages:

? usually list and describe standard default error messages - written within the program code and generally recognized by most "Gurus"


? the troubleshooting techniques may be published and explained in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (MSKB) library for the Windows operating systems, and may be searched for with accurately reported information.

3. Correct and complete information is vital if informative help and answers are what you seek. You want that Guru who reads your plea to understand the question, to possibly know the answer, and to reply giving you their assistance.

4. I see you only mention the file ddrawex.dll which is explained in "Q216505" and that may not it itself prevent Windows from running but rather it is the initial error which was not given, "How to Extract Original Compressed Windows Files (Q129605)."

5. Will the computer not start in Safe Mode? Since M$ got involved there isn't any way to know whether you'll get it to run again without starting from scratch.
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by Andrew11 / March 30, 2005 3:18 AM PST
In reply to: RE:

I have excatly the same problem in safe mode.

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by Cursorcowboy / March 30, 2005 9:02 PM PST
In reply to: Re

1. What, if anything, have you done concerning the procedures explaned in the section titled "Cannot start Windows", my reference #2, original thread?

2. If nothing else, ascertain whether that file is even present on the system by booting with the Startup disk, changing to the Windows\System folder, type the MS-DOS command Dir /p and then press ENTER, and then look? Note the displayed information for that file.

3. Then change to the folder "Windows\Sysbckup" to see if that file is also listed. Compare your notes against this file's information and should it be newer or larger in size than that previous, copy it from this folder to the Windows\System folder and replace that file.

4. Restart the system without the Startup disk and let us know what happens.

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