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Reformat after booting from a start disk


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 11, 1999

Q. I am running out of disk space. The Windows 95 utility for formatting the C drive is not doing what it says it is capable of, namely erasing all of the data on the drive and restoring it to its original free disk space. In fact, it uses up an additional 40 MBs on the drive, further reducing the available disk space.

A. Do you really want to reformat your C drive? If so, I would do it after booting from the Windows 95 Start Disk and using the Format utility on it (you can create the Windows 95 Start Disk at Control Panel/Add-Remove Programs/ and select the Windows Setup tab). If you're going to need to access your CD-ROMdrive, make sure you copy the necessary real mode drivers along with MCSDEX.EXE (from Windows\Command) to the floppy before you reformat (see your CD-ROM documentation).

Q. When I turn on my computer, I receive the following message: "CPU is unworkable or has been changed. Please recheck CPU SOFT MENU. Press F1 to continue." Sometimes it will go on and I can continue or I get the following: "There is not enough memory or registry problem. Restore from backup." I have uninstalled Microsoft Home Essentials 97 and reinstalled it. I cannot close this box except by shutting down.

A. The message is one that you will see when a CPU has been overclocked, which is increasing the clock rate of a processor beyond its rating to increase system speed beyond the manufacturer's recommended specification. The correct technical terms are speed-margining or undertiming. This is done in one of two ways: changing clock oscillator module or changing jumper settings. I would check with whoever sold you your computer for an explanation.

Q. I have some old DOS programs that I like to run under the DOS setup from a floppy drive. When I try to run them, I get this error message: "Runtime error 200 at 1233:0091."

A. The Runtime error 200 message is a known problem of programs written in Borland's Turbo Pascal. There is a patch available at www.multiboard.com/software/rte200.html.

Q. When I turn on my computer, it brings up "Win.com, unable to continue loading Windows." In order to boot up Windows, I enter "win" at the C:\>cd\windows and Windows boots up.

A. This can happen if your Msdos.sys file has been modified or corrupted. If this is the case, manually rebuild the Msdos.sys file on your hard disk so that it includes the location of your Windows folder and the Windows 95 system files. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Remove the system, hidden and read-only attributes from the Msdos.sys file in the root folder of the boot drive: attrib -s -h -r C:\msdos.sys

2. Rename the Msdos.sys file using the following command: ren C:\msdos.sys msdos.xxx

3. Use any editor (such as Edit.com) to create a new Msdos.sys file that contains the following text:

[Paths] WinDir=C:\WINDOWS

WinBootDir=C:\WINDOW HostWinBootDrv=C

4. Save and close the Msdos.sys file

5. Restart your computer.

A. This can happen when you select large icons on the Plus! tab in Display properties. After this is done, the spacing of the icons on the desktop may not change, causing the icons to overlap. They will not automatically rearrange unless the Auto Arrange option is selected for the desktop. To arrange the icons automatically, use the right mouse button to click an empty area on the desktop, point to Arrange Icons on the menu that appears, and then click Auto Arrange

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