Need help with computer - won't pull up windows 3.1 : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Help! I downloaded the bios upgrade or whatever it is called before the rollover. All worked well. Rebooted system on am of January 1 and all worked well including Win 3.1. Power went off here today due to wind and had to reboot computer (usually just leave it running). Get dos c:\ prompt but when type in WIN get scrambled screen or message that says "System Initialization file required to run Windows in 386 enhanced mode is incomplete. You need to run the setup program again." When I enter setup from the reboot - don't know what to do there.

-- Sheri (, January 11, 2000


PS - this is on my other computer, not the one I'm using to type this on! Old one was 486DX2 that failed bios test and I installed one of those freebies on the net.

-- Sheri (, January 11, 2000.

Try using the computer you're on now, and leave your stuck-on-DOS one for backup, or call Microsoft at (800) 936-5700 for tech support.

-- Just A Thought (, January 11, 2000.

It was working fine! I didn't move stuff when I found that the old one worked ok with the upgrade. I really don't just want to settle for what you suggested, nor do I want to call MICROSOFT - fate worse than death. Looking for one of you experts out there....

-- Sheri (, January 11, 2000.

Sheri, I use windows 3.11, but I do recall that when I was on windows 3.1 some years ago this sort of problem occured fairly regularly. It seemed to happen if the power went out during start up or shut down, or if I accidentally switched the computer off too soon during shutdown, or if windows was multi tasking during a power outage. The cause appears to be a corruption to the sys.ini file in windows.

The cure was to either restore the sys.ini file from back up (You do back up from DOS rather than windows don't you), or to use your original windows disks in your a: drive. Put in Disk 1. type a:\setup and press enter. Just follow the commands on screen and your windows should be fixed.

-- Malcolm Taylor (, January 11, 2000.

Hopefully this is a file corruption problem and not a harddrive in destruct mode. Power outages can do both. I strongly recommend a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) for puters..especially during these times. For small systems, they are inexpensive. I use APC brand but there are others that are OK..Tripplite for one.

SYSTEM.INI: System Initialization File

It could be that when the power went out, Win was writing to the System.ini file and it became corrupted. Replacing with a backup may fix your problem. If you are not in the habit of making backup, then there are usually backup copies in the C:\windows\ directory that were made by other programs during their install sequences. From the C:\ prompt, type CD \windows. Then type DIR system.* This will give you a list of files named system but with other extentions. Rename the system.ini file to (REN system.ini REN the system.??? file with the latest date to system.ini You will loose the configuration of the last program you installed and may have to reinstall it..(and other changes since that date).

If this does not work, you may have to reinstall Windows.

-- jerryC (, January 11, 2000.

If this does not work, you may have to reinstall Windows.

scratch that. Malcolm's idea is better.)G)

-- jerryC (, January 11, 2000.

Wow - thank you both so MUCH! I can't find my Windows 3.11 disks so I copied the system.ini file to disk a just in case I needed it back. I then did what Jerry said and found other system files and copied one of those to another a: and then renamed it system.ini and then copied it back to windows. And it worked! I'm not going to try and turn off the system to check it though!!!!! Thanks so much! I knew their were smart people on here to help me with this!!!!! You are the best.

-- Sheri (, January 11, 2000.


I am running WFW3.11 here as well ... next suggestion is - now that you have windows back online; to go back and look at the remaining versions of system.XXX files you have on the drive. examples may be:

system.bak ; system.old ; system.### ; etc ...

find the newest version-that will give you the most installed software items on your system.

if the one you are now usin has an older date than another one ... rename the two files, swapping names. Then reboot.

you should have most of your system intact at that point.

Note: many times a system installation routine will make a duplicate copy of your newest system.ini file and will store it as system.bak - that is where I would look first.

Holler if you need more help.

Rev. ThunderLight

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge of.nowhere), January 11, 2000.

A neat trick for win3.x problems:

Backup of win.ini system.ini

Also, on the same bootable floppy, put dosshell.exe (I think you need an ini file for it also, been 3 years since I used it). Also put your mouse driver on the same floppy.

Then, when old mister puter won't boot win, boot to the floppy bring up your mouse, and run dosshell. It is sort of a GUI file manager. Allows drag and drop, and rename.

It is hard to go back to command line file managing (although I am typing this on my Linux box -- very command line intensive) so a backup GUI is always welcome.

Good Luck

-- Tryntohelp (beenthere@donet.hat), January 11, 2000.

Oh my goodness - everything is a mess now. I worked and then I tried to reboot figuring I would have to sometime - might as well now.

It will only work if I reboot and at dos type a: and then type WIN (disk A has that file I renamed system.ini on it). I don't know......

It will only work from A:/


-- Sheri (, January 11, 2000.

Reinstall windows....

As the last line in autoexec.bat put:


-- Michael Erskine (, January 11, 2000.

Working with unfixed DOS?

-- W (, January 11, 2000.

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