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Windows/PC technical help required urgently

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DaveBeny, Aug 23, 2004.


  1. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Hi everyone,

    Our home PC has been causing me problems all day. I am hoping that some of TalkBass' more tech-literate members can help.

    The current situation:
    When I switch on the PC, Windows Me loads up in a low-res, 16 colour version (not safe mode). The USB mouse does not work, although its infrared light is on, so it is taking power from the computer. I can run most basic programs on the computer using the keyboard alone.

    When Windows loads up, the following message appears:

    "Rundll32 has caused an error in KERNEL.32.DLL. Rundll32 will now close."

    I click OK

    The following message then appears immediately:

    "Error loading C:\WINDOWS\NVCpl.dll - A dynamic link library (DLL) initialization routine failed."

    I am at my wits end, having tried everything that I can think of (I am not that computer-savvy).

    ScanDisk does not seem to work properly. It scans perhaps 1/5 of the disk, then continues to restart. It claims that other programs are writing to the harddrive, even when nothing else visible is running.

    Norton Antivirus hasn't shown any problems, and the PC seems to be spyware free.

    In addition, ScanDisk and other computer programs now show two hard drives, C: and D: - both appear to be identical. Until this morning, D: was our main CD/DVD drive.

    Will a simple reinstallation of Windows ME solve these problems? Reformatting the hard drive is out of the question right now.

    I am open to any suggestions that you may have.

    Thanks in advance,
    DB

    PS. If it helps, when Windows loads up, CTRL+ALT+DELETE shows the following programs running:
    NewsUpd
    Explorer
    Internat
    Ccapp
    Msnmgr
    Wnauclt
    Mpbtn
    Wincinemamgr
    Loadqm
    Qttask
    Dragdiag
    Hidserv
    Point32
    Mediadet
    Ctnotify
    Systray
    Lexpps
    Nwiz

    I have never seen some of these names before.
     
  2. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Might give Adaware a try and see if it finds anything, a google search should pull it up.

    You may also check Windows KB for the specific error and see if they have troubleshooting steps.

    Rundll32 is the shell that runs all dlls through in windows, so it could be a number of things.

    Something else to try is open a command prompt (start>run - then type cmd and hit enter). Once cmd is open, type SFC /scannow and see if it finds anything.
     
  3. tappel

    tappel

    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Do you have access to the video and mouse drivers? The cure may be as simple as re-installing both.

    Tom
     
  4. ok get ready this took me an entire beer to compose:
    "Rundll32 has caused an error in KERNEL.32.DLL. Rundll32 will now close."

    -> rundll32 calls your startup routine (think of it as roll call) kernel32.dll accesses the kernel, or core, of Windows

    I click OK

    The following message then appears immediately:

    "Error loading C:\WINDOWS\NVCpl.dll - A dynamic link library (DLL) initialization routine failed."

    -> nvcpl.dll is not from Microsoft - it is a control panel-related dll, however - something added to your computer

    I am at my wits end, having tried everything that I can think of (I am not that computer-savvy).

    ScanDisk does not seem to work properly. It scans perhaps 1/5 of the disk, then continues to restart. It claims that other programs are writing to the harddrive, even when nothing else visible is running.

    -> you are in 16 bit mode - hence your poor video resolution. you should still be able to run CHKDSK /F if you boot up to "command prompt only" - hit F8 when you reboot your system

    Norton Antivirus hasn't shown any problems, and the PC seems to be spyware free.

    -> Norton can't find a virus that it doesn't have information on, but if you made a Norton boot disk then you might find a checksum variance. If you didn't make that disk when you installed Norton, then move on

    In addition, ScanDisk and other computer programs now show two hard drives, C: and D: - both appear to be identical. Until this morning, D: was our main CD/DVD drive.

    -> you are in 16bit mode (not the same as Safe Mode) and nothing is going to be "right"

    Will a simple reinstallation of Windows ME solve these problems? Reformatting the hard drive is out of the question right now.

    -> don't do that - further corruptin may result

    I am open to any suggestions that you may have.

    Thanks in advance,
    DB

    -> If you made a Recovery Point at the last time you added or removed a program, restore to that point. Hoenstly I hate ME but THAT feature is Very Good. If you can get on the 'net from somewhere (I guess you can since you got to BassTalk) read these articles:
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;312930
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;312932


    PS. If it helps, when Windows loads up, CTRL+ALT+DELETE shows the following programs running:
    NewsUpd -> some automatic updater utility that I'm not familiar with
    Explorer -> your shell - you need it
    Internat -> you have enabled alternate language support on your keyboard; optional
    Ccapp -> don't know, but I think optional
    Msnmgr -> you use or did use MSN; optional
    Wnauclt -> don't know; optional
    Mpbtn -> ditto
    Wincinemamgr -> you have a DVD or DVIX player? optional
    Loadqm -> you have Quick Time; optional
    Qttask -> ditto
    Dragdiag -> don't know; optional
    Hidserv -> you have some form of USB input device ( I think) probably not optional if it's a keyboard - can you get an old style P/S2 keyboard for the time being?
    Point32 -> some enhanced mouse software - same as above - until its fixed get a P/S2 mouse
    Mediadet -> either CDRW or DVDR is my guess - some form of removeable media. Possibly optional
    Ctnotify -> another auto-notify applet; optional I believe
    Systray -> the little tray at the right of the screen. It can be considered optonal but really you do want it and I doubt it's a problem
    Lexpps -> you have a Lexmark device, such as a USB printer; optional for the time being
    Nwiz -> another one I'm not sure about except that it's probably optional, and since it is last on the list it might be the culprit. Some kind of "Wizard" applet

    I have never seen some of these names before.

    DB you can search the 'net for some of these things but if you don't get a specific hit don't worry about it as long as you can "roll back" your system files and registry using the Recovery Feature. If you HAVE to re-install Windows without formatting, and you can't get either Windows 2000 or XP (in those cases you would install to a new directory other than the original Windows folder) then you MIGHT be able to get it back by:
    1) booting to a command prompt
    2) dir /s WIN.COM (most likely it will appear in c:\windows
    3) cd windows (or wherever WIN.COM actually is - in my case it would be e:\win98
    4) ren WIN.COM WIN.OLD
    5) reboot on your ME disk, reinstall Windows. Here you make a choice. Try to get your old Windows back by installing to the original directory. 50% chance of success versus you're back to where you started OR go to a new directory (eg: C:\Windows2) knowing that you WILL reinstall all of your programs, but probably keep all of your data.

    dude I been there I sympathize I advocate an upgrade to at LEAST win2K - Microsoft dropped ME like a hot potato (or should I say potatoe?)

    PS notice that the original error blames nvcpl.dll, and the last item loaded from the registry is Nwiz? that is NOT a coincidence...
     
  5. got it - NVcpl.dll is part of your nVidia control applet. You might try getting the latest detonator drivers from nVidia.com - this problem could turn out to be easy to fix! depends on how far the corruption actually goes. I've never seen problems caused by nvidia drivers, so it might be a symptom of a deeper problem. good luck, and it's Ok to write me directly ok@austinpowerpant.com if you promise to buy my CD when I get it finished
     
  6. I had a very similiar problem - yesterday in fact. I reinstalled my video drivers and that solved the problem.

    That list of running programs looks pretty long so I bet a lot of it is unneccessary if not damaging. Assuming Windows ME has this feature, try going Start->Run->type 'msconfig'. In the window that comes up, click the 'startup' tab - this gives you a list of the programs that are automatically starting up when you run your computer. Use the guide here http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php to find the entries that show up in the window. Under 'status' Y = needed, N = not needed, X = harmful, and U = undedecided, user discretion. Uncheck the ones that are unneccessary or harmful.
     
  7. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Thanks for the advice so far everyone.

    I'm writing this reply from my local public library.

    I attempted a simple reinstall of Windows ME last night, but the installation program could not detect a drive to install to (or something like that - I didn't make a note of the error).

    I figured out yesterday that nvcpl.dll is located in the nvidia folder, but wasn't sure what that meant.

    I've printed off your posts to try out:
    I will try reinstalling new display drivers when I get home and attempt some of the other suggested solutions if necessary.

    The Microsoft Knowledge Base also advocates extracting original files from the installation CD to replace the files that are causing the problem - using a program called Microsoft Extract Command Line Helper. Does this sound like a valid course of action?

    Will hopefully post again later from home on a working PC!

    Thanks again,
    DB
     
  8. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Thats pretty much what my suggestion was, the SFC /Scannow command.
     
  9. David, the setup program for Windows is a *little bit* intelligent - it won't install on a system where it sees an existing Windows installation. That's why you have to rename/remove win.com. I think Juneau et al are on the right track - the evidence points to your video driver. Start there. Manually replacing system files from the ME CDROM can be an arduos task, and you clearly have many files present in your system that are not from Microsft (we all do). Using EXTRACT.EXE is fairly easy; knowing WHAT to extract - that's the trick
     
  10. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Here's an update folks:

    Reinstalling nvidia display drivers made no change to the computer.

    In fact, the computer later got worse and would only start in safe mode. Any attempt to start the PC in normal mode and 'Windows Protection Error' appeared on screen and stalled the machine.

    Using safe mode, I transferred all my essential photos and work onto floppy discs and was prepared to reformat the hard-drive.

    Another plan occurred, buy a new hard-disc, install that as the master drive, install Windows operating system onto this new drive, get the PC back up and running, then later insert the old troublesome drive as a slave (thereby saving all my old files).

    This is what I have done. I have successfully formatted the new hard drive and created a primary partition for the whole drive - the whole drive should therefore be active(?).

    I then insert the Windows startup floppy and CD and power up. I type the setup command for e: (the CD drive). Scandisk runs successfully and the computer then attempts to copy the necessary files from the CD for installation. At this point, the following error message appears on an otherwise all black screen:

    "Standard Mode: Invalid DPMI return from 0387:08F5"

    Any idea what this means? As best as I can tell, the new hard drive is fine - could the problem be a result of a scratched Windows CD?

    Also, I have not touched the BIOS for the computer since inserting this new hard drive - is there something I should be doing?
     
  11. jkritchey

    jkritchey

    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    A Quick google of that error did not generate any hits. However, the Standard Mode: Invalid DPMI points to hardware problems. I would say that yes, you need to redo your bios.

    After that, look to Bad Memory, Bad CPU, or bad cache Ram, or even a bad battery. That last godawful number in the error should mean something, but I can't figure out what, but I would guess hardware.
     
  12. DPMI is Dos Protected Mode Interface. It's a feature of DoS that allows it to access Extended memory (anything beyond the first 1024 bytes of memory in X86 processors I think). My guess is that your RAM is toast. Get a floppy (a bootable one) and run memtest86: http://www.memtest86.com. This will test your RAM. Keep in mind that it keeps testing after the test is complete: it keeps running so keep an eye out for it to complete. See what that says.

    I doubt the cd is bogus. If it is: first clean it (rubbing from the inside to the outside as you would a music cd), and check the surface for any scratches that go deep.

    Oh, and please, get something other that that god-afwul windows ME. Either go back to 98 or get XP (check requirements first though). Trust me, you'll be a lot better off without ME.


    edit: on the BIOS note, don't need to touch it if you put the slave-master stuff with the jumpers on the disks itself.
     
  13. yes to all above and once more - Windows setup looks for WIN.COM and if it sees it on any drive it wil error out. if this problem begain after any physical change to the computer, then remove/reseat the data connections (DIMM, IDE cables, etc but I don't advocatre reseating the CPU unbless you've done it before, good idea getting the second drive; remember you don't need the original drive in the system to get Windows installed on a new disk, and you can easily add it later. Don't make your new partition bootable (system files) just make sure it is set to be the active partition according to FDISK and then formatted normally according to FORMAT

    Almost ANYTHING is better than ME, even breakfast at Taco Bell!
     
  14. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Hi folks,
    here's an update:

    It seems that the problem with the new hard drive was being caused by the new hard drive and the CD-writer sharing the same connection to the motherboard. This has now been solved, and I have now installed Windows XP. Setup went okay, but in setting up my internet connection, the PC became infected with the 'Sasser worm' - just my luck! I've consulted Microsoft Knowledge Base and will be dealing with the problem tonight.

    The only problem I now have is how to install my old hard drive as a slave without reformatting it. Windows XP shows the old hard drive, but cannot access it - it just prompts me to reformat the hard-drive if I want to use it as a slave - any idea how to get around this?

    Thanks for all your help this week everyone. It has been most appreciated!
     
  15. Man, when I get my new computer and install XP, I'm going to download all the XP patches from Microsoft and put them on a CD first so I can install them before connecting to the internet.
     
  16. DB, the evidence is pointing to your old hard drive as the root cause and if the FAT is damaged (could be physical, logical, or both) then you may not be able to save your daya on your own. Just be sure you have re-jumperd the disk to be slave (if it's on the same cable as the new) and that it is named correctly in your BIOS setup. If not then XP will not see it correctly. Now that your in the realm of NT 6 AKA WinXP, drive lettering is more like UNIX and less like DOS which is a good thing, but you also MUST let XP write a signature to the disk (it needs a new "address") that process by itself is NOT data destructive but of course a format is. A data recovery service can deal w/this if you can afford it - just make sure it's OK in the BIOS before you go any further with it.

    re: sasser worm:
    http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.sasser.g.html

    that'll be the end of that BTW guys this one hits Mac, Linux, et al
    I'm closing the door on my firewall 'til this one blows out