How to use our Registry and System Files Tools to Repair Windows Registry Problems

General Over View
Types of installation
................. System that is operating normally
................. Known corrupted Registry
.................. Preexisting Errors
................. Errors during installation
How To Use
Registry Problems
............. Unable to Clean and Compact
General Protection Faults
Detecting FAT Problems
Corrupted Registry

General Over View

Assuming you have downloaded all of our products, Registry Drill, RegRepair, RegMedic, Registry Watch, QikFix, System Sentry, WinSafe, you now have all the tools you need besides your Windows CD to fix all Windows problems.

This page uses Windows 9x and ME (the 9x platform) as the example, however if you have 2000, 2003, or XP (the NT platform) you can follow the information on this page using the NT versions of the software. If you have 2000 or 2003, make your Registry backups using the Registry Drill's or Registry Watch's EXPORT feature instead of using WinSafe. Registry Watch can automatically make a daily export. XP users can use WinSafe XP. RegRepair and RegMedic are not available for the NT platform. Or you can use the Windows Backup tool and create a System State backup.

You may not need all the utilities if you only want to fix a single problem. For IOS Errors and corrupted Registry databases use RegRepair 2000 . For file errors use System Sentry; for a corrupted Registry on 9x /ME use RegMedic, on 2000, 2003, XP and Vista use Registry Drill. If you have file errors in the Registry use Registry Drill.

These tools require a little common sense to use, but do not require a power user. If you read the help files carefully you will understand what they can do. You will be able to use these tools effectively and repair almost any Windows' problem. Windows problems are generally caused by Registry errors (invalid entries) or file errors (files that are incorrect versions or corrupted). File errors will cause your program(s) not to function properly or cause GPFs. With our entire suite of software products you now have more than 80 utilities to find and fix those problems. But you MUST read each program's help file first, or you may wind up using the wrong tool or doing something to your System that you really did not want to do.

General Protection Faults (GPFs) are usually caused by DLL files that have been replaced with older files, or incompatible versions, causing file errors. If you are getting GPFs see the GPF section

Most users do not understand exactly how the Registry works or what it is. The Registry is basically an encrypted database that Windows reads to determine how to function and what to display and when to display it. The Registry is what controls Windows. By adding a few entries you can change the folder icons in the Windows Explorer to any icon you want. By changing a single value in the Registry you can remove the Shut Down label from the Start Menu, or disable the ability to cut, copy and paste files. You can also disable an entire program by removing a single key.

When working with our Registry tools you should always shut down all other programs first and read the help files, and backup the Registry first .

This page covers 4 examples of use; one for use on a system that is operating normally , one for use on a known corrupted Registry . One section for installing the software on a machine where you receive errors during installation that the Registry is corrupted and installation cannot be completed (preexisting problems). Fixing General Protection Faults and screen lock ups.

Most people download our utilities only after they have major problems and then blame our software for not acting properly. If the software does not perform properly then your system is in need of repair: invalid information is stored in the Registry or you have file errors. If these problems go unattended you may wind up formatting sooner then you think. Allow the software to do its job, be sure of the information you supply to the software when prompted for it. Verify path names and spelling. By the time you have used all the software your system should be humming. The first time you use our utilities and follow our directions on how to use them you may spend as little as 2 hours, or many hours, depending on the condition of your system. A good portion of time will be spent reading the help files. Reading the help files will help you understand what each program is capable of doing and how to use the program.

Once WinSafe is installed you will not have to worry about doing more damage to your Registry than currently exists (even if you know nothing about Windows). You can always restore the Registry to the same condition it was the moment you started to install WinSafe. With this in mind, you should always reboot immediately after installing/uninstalling software/hardware. If Windows boots successfully then operate the software/hardware and reboot again. If all is OK then you can backup the NEXT time you reboot. Do not backup during the first two reboots of the process.

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Types of Installation

On a system that is operating normally you should install WinSafe following all directions to the completion of installation and setup. You will receive a message that Setup has been completed successfully. Then install each program, QikFix, System Sentry, RegRepair 2000, RegMedic, and Registry Drill. Once all programs are installed see How To Use .

If your system has a Known corrupted Registry you should attempt to follow the directions in the system that is operating normally . If you are unable to get the programs installed then read Errors during Installation and Registry Problems

If you have Preexisting Errors in the Registry, review the section Registry Problems first. You will need to resolve them before you can use all our utilities effectively. If you need to use RegMedic to fix errors, use the default settings (for the 9x platform). USe Registry Drill for 2000 to Vista.

If RegMedic hangs up on a Key, see our FAQ page and then read the RegMedic section. Or if any of our tools hang while reading the Registry, you may have a damaged database. You may wish to try Cleaning and Compacting the Registry with RegRepair first. This will create a new database for the Registry. If this operation is not successful you will need to deal with the stalls and hanging of the software until you have made enough repairs to enable the Registry to be compacted.

If you get Errors during installation of any of the programs and the message is something like "You do not have permission to write to the Registry", or "Unable to register the files you are trying to install" (a Registry error). You will need to edit the Registry manually. Using RegEdit, go to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Shared DLLs and review the entries. Or use Registry Drill's deep drill and have it clean the key for you, see the help file for how to have the Drill clean this Key. Also check the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\ InstalledFiles. You may find that one or more entries are unreadable or the paths are wrong. Delete the keys that are unreadable or contain invalid paths. If you can correct the paths then correct them. If you still cannot install the program then run Perfect Companion to fix the errors. If after using Perfect Companion or Registry Drills auto clean, you still have the error and all paths and files appear correct in these keys then the problem may be that the information in one of these keys exceeds the 64K limitation. Our program Registry Drill has the ability in the deep drill to display all files that really should not be shared. For example, Bmp files need not be shared. DLL and OCX files may be. You may need to manually edit the key and convert long file names to short file names. If you still cannot install or Perfect Companion is not already installed then - Export these two keys to your desktop then delete these keys. Install your software and then Import these keys, reboot.

If you are still having problems see Registry Problems . Then attempt to follow the directions in the system that is operating normally .

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How to Use

Read the section Types of Installation first then continue reading this section. If you run across any problems refer to the Registry Problem section.

Before attempting to make any repairs to your system you must have all hardware turned on, example: if you have a Zip drive or scanner, plug it in and turn it on, reboot to ensure that its drivers are loaded.

I.    You should start by installing WinSafe following the instructions.
- Once installation is completed you should verify that no hardware problems exist. For Windows 9x / ME-by clicking on the Hardware button and then select the Menu Bar Item "View" and then "View Devices with Problems".
- You should attempt to fix all errors, during which time you should not backup with WinSafe until you have completed repairing all hardware errors.

These errors are caused by incorrect drivers, the wrong IRQ , the wrong DMA , the wrong I/O address, or most often incorrect settings in the CMOS .
- If the problem is not resolvable then print out the Hardware Diagnostic information. For Windows 9x / ME install RegMedic then use the R and R All Hardware feature. For Windows Xp / 2000 you need to obtain the correct drivers.
- Check the CMOS settings and enable only the ports that you need.

If anyone has told you that an error on your system is normal or is supposed to be there then they are wrong; with two exceptions. There is no such thing as a virtual error so there cannot be anything as a virtual port. If you have Windows 98 then you may have PCI steering errors, this is normal, just another bug in Windows. PCI steering errors in Windows 98 are for your PCI slots that are not used; Windows 95 does not attempt to install PCI slots that are not used. To fix these errors, if you have a newer version of Bios, simply disable any of the PCI or ISA slots you are not using.

And if you have OSR2 or Windows 98 then you should have an error in the bootlog.txt file, SDVXD. If you do not have this error then something is wrong. You can learn why this error belongs there by reading our Failed Files page .

II.   The next step is to clean up your system. Start by removing unwanted programs and folders. Spend some time going through each folder reviewing its contents and discarding what you no longer want. If you have not done this for a while you will probably gain many Megs of free space. Do not rely on a utility to clean your system completely or competently
-Then go through your system deleting all .tmp files, File.0001 files that Scandisk made, files that have extensions of .---, .bak, .syd, and .dos. Note that files with these extensions should have a file with a similar name. Example: if you delete a file named Win.syd then you must find a file named Win.sys or some other extension like .ini.
- Clean out all Temp folders.
- If you are on a network be careful of dos files used for you network card.

III . Now you need to get rid of DLL files that are no longer needed. I recommend that you System Sentry's System Cleaner , you can get this file from our site in our Download page. This DLL file remover will remove and store unused DLL files that are no longer required. Do not delete the removed files , place them on a backup tape or zip drive in the event you need them later on.

You will now need to have your Windows CD available or your Windows cabinet files (to locate search for or or or the I386 folder on your hard drive. If they are not on your hard drive it is recommended that you copy the entire contents of the directory Win95 or Win98 or Win9x or I386 from your CD to a new directory "Windows\Options\Cabs". If you copy the I386 folder it should be Windows\I386. You should also edit the Registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Setup
and change the Data value of the key SourcePath to your Windows drive letter and ":\Windows\Options\Cabs\" or point to the I386 folder, be sure to include the backslash at the end of Cabs. *If you are fearful of editing the Registry, RegMedic or RegRepair 2000 will make this change for you when you first use them.

I recommend you install a Generic Text printer at this point. Use the Add New Printer in the Printer folder of the Control Panel and after installing it print the Device Manager out to the WinSafe folder and save the file as System.prn. Then print the Hardware Diagnostic utility file out to the WinSafe Folder and save as Hardware.prn. WinSafe will add two new menu items to the Files Menu Bar Item .

Next step is to use the check sum tool in System Sentry and create or update all checksums (CRC).

- Now you will need to install the Windows Resource meter. When you first start up QikFix it will tell you how to do this if it is not currently installed. The NT platform has this information in the Task Manager.

- You should now use QikFix or Winsafe XP and Clear the Startup Group.
- Reboot
- Then run Scandisk and then Defrag on all drives.
- Then you can Restore the Startup Group.

- The next step is to use the System Version Checker, click on Check System Files. System Sentry will need to create a special library of the files in the Windows cabinet files first. This may take a few minutes. You need to have your Windows Cabinet files or I386 folder available. To speed up the process you should copy them to your hard drive. Once System Sentry creates this library it will not need to do this again, unless you delete the file. Once the information is complete read the help file carefully, following the steps on "How to use System Sentry". The verifying process will take several minutes, depending on the number of files in the system folder. I recommend that you update the System files using the "Check System Files". You will need to do this process a second time later.
Before you replace any file be sure you have read the help file completely. The reason for this is that Microsoft is currently producing newer files with lower version numbers. An example will be Mapi32.dll. The newer file is Version 1.0.2536.0 dated 4/23/99 which comes with Windows 98 Second Edition; but the file that comes with Windows 98 is version 4.0 dated 5/11/98. This is the reason you need to use System Sentry to find the correct version for your system based on date. System Sentry will find newer files based on version also. You will need to use a little logic now that Microsoft has changed the rules on what files are newer. Also please remember that if you have installed IE5.0 and then uninstall it and install IE4.0 you will have some files that are left from IE5.0 that are not the correct version for IE4.0. The same hold true with 50 and 60 and 70. Here is where Qikfix comes in.
- You should extract and replace each file that has been replaced with older files that have the save version, as well as newer files with the same version. A good idea is to use QikFix to verify the files and compare them to the list in System Sentry so that you do not skip any files that need to be updated from the Windows Cabinet files.

Now using System Sentry use the Redundant DLLChecker and "Find Newer Versions". You need to do this because if you install program "A" and it installs a file named MyDll.dll version 1.0.00 and places the file in the Windows\System folder. Then you install program "B", version 2.0.00 but leaves it in its own folder. This file is most like registered in the Registry as version 2.0.00. Now in a few more days you install program "C" which needs version 2.0.00 of the file MyDll.dll. Program "C" checks to see that the files exists in Windows\System and then checks the Registry for the version. Program "C" sees that the registered version is version 2.0.00 and file does exist. So it does not overwrite the file. Now every time you use Program "C" you get a GPF, not because program "C" is junk, but because program "B" did not install the shared DLL correctly.

Once you have completed updating all the System files you can then use System Sentry to locate and delete duplicate files. But remember some programs may have installed their files incorrectly. An example will be files found in Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared and the same file is found in the System folder. Mostly the correct location should be in Microsoft Shared. You can find more about how to check this in the System Sentry help file.

-Reboot and access any programs that had screen lock ups or GPFs.
- If you have problems after testing your other software or an error in the Kernel or Explorer you should also use QikFix' File Verifier. But first check the Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ SharedDLLS and make sure that all the paths are correct. To replace the newer files you should make a backup of the current file and then replace them one at a time with ones from your Windows cabinet files.(System Sentry will do this for you if you have not unchecked any check boxes). Now reboot and test the software that created the problem. Using System Sentry and Qikfix should stop most all GPFs.
- Now reboot at least twice and make sure you are not getting any error messages . If you do get a message that a file has been replaced with an older version the second time you boot you will need to edit the Registry.
- Delete the key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\ Session Manager\ WarnVerDLLS.
- NOTE: do not backup your system files yet with WinSafe. even if you are prompted.

- You are now ready to make repairs to the Registry.
- You can now start RegRepair 2000 and you will be prompted to reboot so it can make a backup of the current Registry. This copy will be saved in RegRepair's sub directory.
- When you return to Windows and restart RegRepair you will be prompted to select a browser for viewing the help files.
- Then you will be prompted to use the Setup command located on the main window (interface) of RegRepair 2000 in the upper right corner.
- RegRepair 2000 will verify your Version of Windows and your cabinet files.
- It will then make a library of information about which files are available in which cabinet file. This will take a few minutes.

- Using the "Other Utilities" feature of RegRepair 2000 you should now "Update System Backup Files" .
- Once this is done click on "Repair System Files", and when this is complete, click on the "Remove Duplicate Fonts" . If you have a lot of odd font file names this may take several minutes.
- If RegRepair 2000 tells you it placed some font files in a folder "C:\SavedFonts" or a subfolder or RegRepair named Installfonts; you should attempt to install these font to verify that they are installed.
- You can then delete the "C:\SavedFonts" folder.
- Then reboot and after reentering Windows it is a good time to backup your current files with WinSafe. You will still have a copy of the Registry that was on your machine saved in WinSafe safe directory.

- Now you are ready to find and fix IOS errors with RegRepair 2000.
- Simply click on Find IOS Errors and follow the directions.
- Once you have attempted to repair all the IOS errors 3 times, you should then compare them to the Exception List in the RegRepair 2000 help file.
- Do a manual search for entries now.

- You are now ready to do some major house cleaning in the Registry.
- Start Registry Drill and use the auto clean tool.
- You will only need to use the Register DLL and OCX files feature the first time you run Registry Drill.
- If you get error messages while registering DLL files you will need to read the ReadMe file.

- It is now time to reboot
- Then reboot and use WinSafe to "Backup Current Files" .

- You need to verify that the Registry is readable, so now you need to use QikFix and the Optimizing Wizard. You will need to select Optimize the Registry if you have not done so in the last 30 days . This option will not be available if you have used it within the past 30 days.
- If all goes well and QikFix does not report the Registry is corrupted you can continue; if not you will need to try a second time .
- If this fails again then see the Registry Problems section.

Now it is time to attempt to "Clean and Compact" the Registry. You will need to start RegRepair for this. Be sure to read the help file section about Cleaning and Compacting before you reboot.
- You MUST disable all hard disk power savers in Windows and the CMOS before compacting .
- Make a new backup of your system files with WinSafe now!
- Have a startup diskette available in the event you have a problem. If you do not have one - make one!!!!!!!
- While you are in your CMOS make sure it is set to boot to A:\ first then C:\.

- Reboot and you will see the Cleaning and Compacting working .
- Once it starts place your startup diskette in your floppy drive . This is in the event your machine wants to reboot after the Cleaning and Compacting is complete or if it reboots in the middle of the process. This will stop the process from starting again.
- Once you reenter Windows, find the files C:\Clean.bat and C:\Windows\Newreg.reg and delete them.

- You are now ready to use RegMedic.
- You will need to first use the "Save My Version Information" and then "Save Current Settings" .
- You will now have all the information stored to fix almost any Registry problem that may arise in the future.

- Defrag your hard drive one more time ,
- use QikFix to clear the startup group
- and close all programs first .
- When you are done, reboot and backup with WinSafe, then use the "Save Old Configuration" feature on WinSafe. You will find it under the Menu Bar Item "Restore" . WinSafe will save the current Registry in the Safe the next time you backup.

Congratulations! You have successfully cleaned, optimized, and rebuilt your Registry. Now is a good time to make a System Report with WinSafe. This will create Checksums of all your files allowing you to find files that become corrupted in the future. Be sure to also make Checksums using System Sentry.

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Registry Problems

There is no way to cover every problem that may arise in the Registry. You should read the help files that come with each piece of our software to understand what they can do. This may help you fix a problem. Read this entire section as well, you may find something in here that might help you fix a similar problem.

There are basically only two types of Registry problems. The first is being a corrupted database. The Registry is an encrypted database. The second type is invalid entries in the Registry.

Contents of this section
Corrupted Database
Windows reports an IOS error

Identifying a corrupted database is not so easy but here are a few clues.
- Stuck keys (this is what Microsoft calls them) are keys that can not be opened or deleted, they cannot be written to or read from, but they do exist. If you went through the Registry using RegEdit key by key and clicking every key, one or more keys would give you an error. This condition rarely happens over night; it usually slowly progresses from going completely unnoticed to crashing your system. Registry Drill has a tool to find these damaged keys

- Another clue would be that if you have a stuck key located at a key that Windows needs to bootup, you would get a failed Registry entry in the Bootlog . RegRepair can find this for you.
- A third clue would be that during the Cleaning and Compacting process RegRepair reports that the Registry is corrupted .
- Another clue is if you see duplicate keys.

Now remember that these are only clues, because any one of these conditions can exist if the information in the Registry is corrupted.

There is only one way to fix a corrupted database, replace the Registry . This can be done in a few ways. Obviously the most common is to format but who wants to do that.
- The first option is to have RegRepair attempt to Clean and Compact the Registry . If RegRepair reports that the Registry is corrupted while you are still in Windows, then attempt to finish the process manually.
- RegRepair created a file NewReg.reg in your Windows directory. Reboot and go the command prompt - do not exit to DOS.
- Then go to the Windows prompt and type "RegEdit /c Newreg.reg" , press "Enter" and watch the monitor. This may take awhile. If you are lucky RegEdit will construct a new database for you.

- The next option is to have RegMedic install a new Registry, but first you should save the information in the Registry.
- You need to Export the Registry saving it as Reg1.reg , and then install the new Registry with RegMedic, reboot and export the new Registry and save it as Reg2.reg. Then Import the exported file Reg1.reg and then import the file Reg2.reg with out rebooting between imports.. If you have reinstalled Windows since your problem or if you have reinstalled (not formatted) recently, then this option will probably not fix the problem.
- If you have reinstalled Windows over the top of the existing Registry then you will need to export the Registry. Then delete the files System.dat and User.dat. If you have Windows 95 also delete the file System.da0 and User.da0 then reinstall Windows. Then use the program in our Toy Room Clean System. Then use Perfect Companion and then attempt to start each program on your hard drive and use each one. With some luck you will not need to import the exported Registry. You will have built a clean and current Registry. Before importing the Registry you may want to consider reinstalling the software that will not run. Otherwise follow the steps in the next paragraph.

The last and most time consuming option is to Export the Registry and review it line by line looking for unreadable characters, bad information, missing files, and/or invalid file paths. Our program Registry Drill will do this for you.
- You will need to edit the Registry when you need to delete a key.
- Then Export the Registry again and import the file in small sections, this way you can narrow down where your problem is. RegEdit will report back if any information is unreadable to it. Now you will need to Export the Registry one more time and save it in the Windows directory ; we will use it again later.
- The next step if RegMedic cannot help you is to prepare to install Windows . Make sure you have your CD available and your CD-ROM functioning or your Windows Setup program and cabinet files on your hard drive.
- Run Scandisk using the "Thorough" option. When Scandisk is done delete the following files in your Windows directory: System.dat . C:\System.1st , System.da0 (if Win95) , User.dat , User.da0 (if Win95) , System.ini , i, . Now reinstall Windows ; after the installation is complete read and follow the directions in the paragraph about exporting to Reg1.reg .

- If Windows reports an IOS error after rebooting you will need to Create a new bootlog .
- Use RegRepair 2000 and use the Find IOS Error function . If you are in Safe Mode, or RegRepair does not report that the file failed, open the file C:\Bootlog.txt and add a line "LoadFailed = ndis2sup.vxd" (replacing the file name ndis2sup.vxd with your file name).

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1) You should not specify File, Buffers, or Stacks in the Config.sys file. This forces Windows to reserve memory and also stops Windows from allocating memory for needed tasks. Example: If you specify Files 100 then Windows will reserve space for 100 files and if you need more than 100 files Windows will not allocate the memory space for the additional files. Hence, you get an out of memory error.

2) Always be prepared for the worst. Have a startup diskette available that will load your CD-ROM drive. Find your Windows Setup program and cabinet files. Do not wait till you have crashed and can only get to a DOS prompt. This is our most common tech support problem.

3) If you have Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher you should make a backup copy of the files Shlwapi.dll and Shdocvw.dll and place them in a save place. Should you ever need to reinstall Windows and cannot uninstall IE 4.0 be sure that you replace all files that Windows suggests you keep. Always select NO to the Windows Setup prompt when it asks about replacing files. When you reboot to Windows you may get a message that the Explorer is linked to a missing file, either of the two files you saved. Simply copy them to the System folder and reboot. This will save you from formatting.

4) Every month if your system is working fine and you are not getting any file errors; you should use the Anti Virus utility in WinSafe and allow it to update Checksums. Do not do this if you are unsure if any files are corrupted.

5) Every month if your system is working fine and you are not getting any file errors; you should use the Snapshot utility and take a snapshot of all hard drives. Then go to the Perfect Companion folder and rename the file Filelog.dat to Filelog.sav. If you system ever gets messed up you can use the snapshot utility to detect changes.

7) Defrag your hard drive at least once a week. Defragging the hard drive will not only make your computer operate quickly in Windows; it will also boot faster and shut down faster. Fragmented files cause Windows to hang on shut down. But most importantly you will get fewer file errors if Windows can find all sectors of the DLL files your programs are calling.

8) If your computer seems to hang when shutting down, or the "Please Wait" screen stay up too long then you should defrag. When you see the "Please Wait" screen Windows is writing back to the disk. If it stays up to long this means that Windows is searching for the files.

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General Protection Faults

A program calling a DLL file function with either non-existing functions or an invalid parameter usually causes GPFs. This happens when a DLL file has been replaced with a newer version that either no longer supports the call parameter or an older file that does not have the call. To fix this problem you must find the file that is causing the GFP.

The first step it to reboot and try the program again, this will free up memory in the event that the GPF was caused by low resources on you system. If the problem still exists then you need to find the DLL or driver causing the GPF. To accomplish this you can use one of two programs. The first program you could use is QikFix and the File Verifier utility. The second is System Sentry and the System Version Checker utility. System Sentry is my choice as it shows version numbers before exacting. Replace all files that have been replaced with older files. Reboot and try the program again. If the file name is known then you should see it in one of the two remaining lists; files that have been added that are not Windows files or files that have been replaced with newer files.

If the GPF still exists you will need to use the Compare Folder utility in QikFix. To use this utility you need to understand how it works. Let us assume that you are having a problem with a Coral program. Place the Coral CD in the CD-Rom then locate the folder on the CD that contains the DLL that will be copied to the Windows\System folder. If these files are compressed; their file name ends with an underscore ( _ ) you will need to create a folder on your hard drive and have QikFix expand each file for you. Then in the left folder selection window locate either the folder you created or if you did not have to expand the files locate the folder that contains the DLL files on the CD-Rom. Then in the right selection window locate the Windows\System folder then click on the Compare button. Now you will see which files are not the same. Replace any file that Coral has a newer file than that in System, making a backup copy of the System file first (System Sentry does the backup automatically). Replace one file at a time, rebooting and testing for the GPF.

If the problem still exists you will need to back all the files that have been replaced with newer files and then start (replacing them with files from the Windows cabinet files) one at a time and checking the program for GPFs after each replacement. Before replacing newer files you should check the files usage on our page winlist.htm . It may help you determine which file you should attempt replacing first.

If you have Windows 95 and need to start replacing newer files and have not found the file using the winlist.htm, start by replacing the files dated 5/1/98 and newer first. Most of the files dated 5/1/98 and newer are from Windows 98 and many of the Windows 98 files will not work on Windows 95 and visa versa. This principal hold true for all versions of Windows from 95 to Vista.

If the problem started after you installed WinSafe then you should start WinSafe. Use the Anti Virus tool. It uses Checksums to find files that have been changed. If Anti Virus tool reports that the file has changed then you can replace it.

If the problem started before installing WinSafe then you should backup the current file and replace it if it has been replaced with a newer file. If the file was in the list added and not a Windows file and you have Windows 98 use the Search and Extract feature on RegRepair 2000 and search for it in both the Network and Driver cabs.

Last step you can do is make a backup copy of the file and the associated program. Uninstall it and then reinstall it. You should use the snapshot utility in Perfect Companion before uninstalling and take the second snapshot after you have reinstalled the program in the event this program changes other files also.

To learn more about GPFs see our page on General Protection Faults .

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Detecting FAT Problems

The FAT can kill your entire system. If you have Windows 2000, 2003, XP or Vista you may not be using FAT, you may be using NTFS,. If you are using NTFS this section does not apply. There are a few ways to detect a FAT problem before your system is destroyed. The first clue is the amount of free space on your drives. If the free space seems to suddenly start increasing or decreasing (decreasing rarely happens but it is possible) you may have a FAT problem if it is not a change in the Swap file size. DO NOT REBOOT without fixing it first. There are two FATs in the boot sector of each drive. A FAT problem is not a major problem if the two FAT tables are not different and neither one is damaged. If Scandisk does not repair these tables on the first attempt replace the drive.

Another way of detecting it is when a program will not run or it starts reporting errors. Check the FAT by using Scandisk and uncheck the box Automatically Fix Errors. This will show you where your problem is. If you use FATMon to watch the FAT for you then you will never have a FAT loss.

If you start getting errors from the Windows Explorer, or the Explorer will not function properly, example, right clicking a file causes the Explorer to close or your system reboots. You have a FAT problem. If you have more than one hard drive your problem may be on a different drive than Windows is on.

A real hint is if you go to open a file and find that it is no longer there, you have a FAT problem if you did not delete it yourself. Another real hint is that Scandisk is taking a longer time than normal to complete a standard scan.

When I run Scandisk and it finds an error, I open a file and then rerun Scandisk with the box Automatically Fix Errors unchecked to see if it reports a Table error. Skipping this test can be very costly. If it reports a Table error I now backup everything on that drive, get in my car and get to the computer store and buy a new hard drive. Then I hope that most files are salvageable.

If you use FATMon the odds are you will always catch a FAT error before you lose any files.

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Reported Corrupted Registry

If Windows reports that the Registry is corrupted use WinSafe to restore the Registry. Use the current backup files first. If that fails then use the files in the Safe. If after rebooting Windows displays the Restore from backup and Restart window you may click on it; WinSafe has already replaced these files as well.

If either QikFix or RegRepair report that the Registry is corrupted make as may repairs as possible with Registry Drill, RegRepair and QikFix. Then use RegMedic installing the default settings. Or use the Load Hive function in Registry Drill, see if that fixes it. If not use the Make Repair File function in the drill. Try again to compact the Registry. If it still fails attempt to compact manually.

To compact manually export the entire Registry and save it as Newreg.reg then reboot to DOS, do not Exit to DOS. At the C prompt work your way to the Windows folder and type Regedit /C Newreg.reg. If this still fails you will then need to use Registry Drill.

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Cleaning and Compacting: The process of extracting information from good Registry Keys and then building a new database (Registry) using this information that was extracted. If the information is not valid but the Key can be read it will be inserted into the new Registry.

CMOS: stands for Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor and refers to the physical makeup of the memory chips used to contain the CMOS memory settings. The CMOS memory settings are used to semi-permanently store information about your hardware: memory amount, number and type of hard drives and floppy drives, number and type of I/O ports (serial, parallel, SCSI, USB, etc.), system bus types (ISA, PCI, EISA, etc.) and some settings related to this hardware. With Plug-and-Play components, Windows 95/98/NT can update some of this information. CMOS memory is not the same as the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) memory which is stored in ROM (Read Only Memory) or PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory). In some systems the BIOS is stored in Flash EPROM (Flash-programmable Eraseable/Programmable Read Only Memory) which is re-programmable without removing the chips from the system using special software.

Directory: A directory is a Folder. Microsoft tried to make it easier for the user to understand what a directory is so it named them Folders

DMA : (Direct Memory Access) addressing used by some hardware. Your system should have 6 available addresses 00 to 05. No two pieces of hardware can share a DMA channel. Most new hardware no longer uses a DMA.
Microsoft Press's: A channel for direct memory access that does not involve the microprocessor, providing data transfer directly between memory and the disk drive.

Export: A means of taking information out of the Registry and saving it as a text file in a format that can be put back in the Registry. Input this information is called Importing. This procedure is done by opening RegEdit clicking on the key you want to Export, then the Menu Bar Item "Registry" and then "Export", saving it to a file name without an extension. You should always save it within the Windows Directory so that you can Import it back in if need be. To save the entire Registry you need to click on "Computer" and then Export.

FAT : (File Allocation Table) This table information is stored in the Data section of a bootable disk (floppy or hard). It normally consists of the first 63 sectors. Information about each file, size, location, and number of sectors used to store the file are kept. If the table (Table 1) becomes corrupted there is a backup table (Table 2). Windows uses Table 1 to read files, Scandisk for Windows can also read Table 2 if needed. Fdisk can read Table 2 also, if you use the MBR switch (fdisk /mbr) to repair the boot sector. If the Table becomes corrupted this is known as losing the FAT.
Microsoft Press's: A file system based on a file allocation table, maintained by the operating system, to keep track of the status of various segments of disk space used for file storage. The 32-bit implementation in Windows 95 is called the Virtual File Allocation TAble (VFAT)

IOS Error: (Initiating the Operating System, the true meaning is Input/Output Supervisor) These errors occur while Windows is first booting up, loading files into memory. They are logged in the bootlog. This error can be devastating, causing you to be locked out of Windows. IOS errors can not generally be repaired by reinstalling Windows. Usually you need to format. RegRepair 2000 can repair most of these errors as long as you are not locked out of Windows. Windows may not report these errors to you while booting. To find these errors use the Find IOS Errors in RegRepair 2000.

IRQ : (Interrupt Request) There are 15 IRQs available. No two pieces of hardware can share the same IRQ, with the exception of your IDE controllers. These are usually 14 and 15. A special card can be installed in your machine to make available more IRQs.
Microsoft Press's: Hardware lines over which devices can send signals to get the attention of the processor when the device is ready to accept or send information. Typically, each device connected to the computer uses a separate IRQ.

I/0: (Input / Output Range) The memory addressing range a device uses to communicate. No two devices may share an I/O range. If you have 3 or more Com ports then I/O s are shared which means that only one device may be used at a time.
Microsoft Press's: I/O request Packet: dat structures that drivers use to communicate with each other.

Menu Bar Item : Each of the words that are printed across the top of a window in the tool bar (if any) Files Edit View Help. Menu Items are the items in the menu that pop up when you click on a Menu Bar Item

Path : A file path contains the location of the file. C:\Windows\System is the path for the file name C:\Windows\System\Azt16.drv. A valid path must contain the drive letter, a full colon and backslash, the directory and a backslash, any sub directories and a backslash, and the file name and extension

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