ICON Home Page ICON Members' Forums Home Page
Members' Forums
Username:
Password:
Save Password Forgot your Password?

Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
 
 All ICON Forums
 Help Forums
 Windows
 Scanning for Errors in Windows
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Rhonda
Supporting Member

90 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2006 :  15:58:18  Show Profile
I had asked at the Window's SIG if anyone had any idea how to check for problems because my computer has been shutting down and freezing up without a certain pattern. After being shown how to go into command prompt to do a System File Check 'sfc/scannow', I worked up my bravery level and gave it a try! (It's not so scary once you do it, I must admit.)
I do believe it behaved as one would expect because it popped up a window that stated:
'Windows File Protection'... please wait while windows verifies that all protected Windows files are intact and in their original versions'(Yeah!!!)
After a time of scanning (as the green bar that shows time lapse was completely filled) another window popped up that stated:
'Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL Cache. Insert your Windows XP Professional CD2 now' (Boo!!!)

Well here lies my problem! I have one of those Fabulous New systems that are NOT providing the XP installation CD's. I called Sony and told them that I want and need an installation disc set sent to me. Well, they state that all of that wonderful information is hidden and installed in a secret location on my hard drive and there is not an installation disc to send. I have read in Smart Computing this month that you should avoid this type of setup. oops!!
So I was forced to cancel out of Windows File Protection after clicking retry and it would not work.
So - I now have found an error-check on my hard drive properties and I wanted to know if it might possibly check for the same errors that sfc/scannow does. I will list what it does and says and will someone let me know if this just checks my hard drive or if I am getting lucky and found another way to make this check. I went to :
My Computer..lft click
Hard Drive C...rt click
Properties...lft click
Tools..(gives 3 choices-Error checking, Defragmentation, Back-up)
Error checking (gives 2 boxes to check- I checked them both)
Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors and
Automatically Fix File System Errors- upon this it wanted to restart to do this. Upon restarting it said the following:
'Checking File system on C:
The type of the File System is NTFS.

A disk check has been scheduled Windows will now check the disk.
Then it went through 5 stages, the first being 'verifying Files. The other four verified were indexes, security descriptors, file data, and free space!'
I am sorry this is so long, however I wanted to be thorough. I am seeking to find a solution to this so that I am able to perform the troubleshooting tasks that may be needed long after my year of warranty period is over. I also thought it was worth putting out here to help others that may have the same problem later.
Could it be the same type of System File Check? I notice the wording seems like it could be rearranged. (Maybe wishful thinking based on the fact that a lot of times actions in Windows can be performed two different ways.)


Rhonda
XP PRO(Media Center Ed.)
Sony Vaio Desktop 1GB

Edited by - Rhonda on 09/03/2006 17:22:24

Mary
Operating Member

368 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2006 :  22:40:30  Show Profile
Hi Rhonda,
You have done a marvelous job of documenting all the steps you took. I know this because I did the second procedure two days ago. I had downloaded an update to Internet Explorer 7 Beta, and my machine went crazy; it would try to boot but couldn't go all the way. I wanted to get to the System Restore, but couldn't. Finally, I just turned my computer off and did something else for a couple of hours and came back to try again. This time my machine booted, then crashed, then recovered from the crash. I got the message about sending a report to Microsoft and I clicked "Send". After the message was sent, I clicked on the Details button, and it told me to run a program called Chkdsk from the command prompt, or to do it from Windows, to go to Error Checking with directions to do exactly what you did. I checked the two boxes just like you did. After that I was able to run System Restore and now my computer is working better than before the trouble started.

Apparently, both the Chkdsk and the Error Checking programs check the hard drive for system software file problems and physical problems (such as bad sectors that can't store data without it being corrupted), and they fix problems they can by repairing corrupted files and/or blocking off bad sectors so no data can be written there. From the name, I'm guessing the scan that System File Check does may do just the software part, but I haven't tried that.

However, a Sony Tech Support person can give you directions on how to access the XP program and installation files that are stashed away in a little section on the hard drive when you need them. The files may be in a little separate partition and it may have a separate drive letter assigned. I would ask for the information before the warranty runs out because then they'll want to charge you many pretty pennies for phone support.

I'm glad you put this on the forum.

Best of Luck,
Mary

I



WinXP,933MHz
Go to Top of Page

Rhonda
Supporting Member

90 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  16:57:57  Show Profile
Thank you for your help Mary. I have e-mailed Sony online support this morning on this subject and I received this response:(yeah!!)

"We're happy to assist you with the Windows XP installation CD. Your Sony VAIO computer comes installed with the VAIO Recovery Wizard Utility. This utility can be used to create system recovery disks that enable you to format and recover your computer to the original configuration. There are no System Recovery CDs (SRCDs) included with the computer.

NOTE: It is strongly recommended that a Recovery Media Kit be created to help restore files if the operating system will not start. The Recovery Media Kit is bootable and can be used to perform a recovery on a properly functioning hard drive.

"The VAIO PC by SONY is not shipped with a Windows XP installation CD. The Windows XP Operating System is installed using the bundled VAIO recovery CDs. SONY does not offer a Windows XP CD separate from these recovery CDs. If you are prompted to insert a Windows XP installation disk, please use the following path:

C:\Windows\i386


{colors are added by me}

1. Do you know what they mean by 'Use the following path'?
During the sfc/scannow request for the XP professional CD2 there is not a way to type in this path that they have given. A window pops up and only gives three choices: Retry, More information, and Cancel. In other words, would I type this path into Command Prompt?

2. Also, do you know if by all the recovery talk in this message, if I may be able to perform only a Window's re-install in the future with these discs? (If my learning is coming along correctly then my understanding is that there is sometimes a need to do a reinstall of Windows but not by reformatting your hard drive back to the store purchased configuration of the entire system.)

I do agree with you that I need to understand how to perform all of these actions before my support ends next year!
Thanks!

Rhonda
XP PRO(Media Center Ed.)
Sony Vaio Desktop 1GB
Go to Top of Page

Mary
Operating Member

368 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  21:10:40  Show Profile
Hi Ronda,
"If you are prompted to insert a Windows XP installation disk, please use the following path:

C:\Windows\i386"

1. Do you know what they mean by 'Use the following path'?
They are saying that the file is located on the (drive letter\folder name\folder or file name). Right click on Start, click on My Computer, double Click on drive C:, scroll down to a folder named Windows, double click and look for a folder named i386. (If you were looking for a file rather than a folder, there would be the dot three-letter extension on the end of the name. Example: i386.dll or some such.) Check this out and make sure there is an i386 folder inside the Windows folder on drive C:. If not, email the tech back for corrected instructions.

I did a search for a folder or file named i386 and didn't find one in that location in my Win XP Pro. I tried to run sfc/scannow and had the same problem you did, with no way to give it a path. No, typing it in at the command prompt wouldn't do anything.

2. "Also, do you know if by all the recovery talk in this message, if I may be able to perform only a Window's re-install in the future with these discs?"

That's the way I understand what they said; the resulting recovery disks will reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system and all the preinstalled programs that came on your computer like the Restore CDs that used to be shipped with computers. You would have to get all the updates that have come out since the original system was installed. You would also have to install any programs that you want to use. Sometimes this is called a "rebuild" and the process is done to have a fresh start or if the computer is being given away so that no personal information is left on it and the person receiving the computer has a complete operating system.

However, in the Control Panel in Add/Remove Programs there is an option to add/remove Windows components so that if a feature isn't installed by default, you can install it or if a feature is corrupted, you can remove it and then reboot and reinstall the component(s) without reformatting the drive.

My husband sometimes refers to someone asking the time, and being given instructions on how to make a watch. I hope you don't feel that way. I know you're working really hard to understand how your computer works.

Mary






WinXP,933MHz
Go to Top of Page

Rhonda
Supporting Member

90 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  23:48:30  Show Profile
Thank you Mary and you do understand me and my desires correctly.
{I guess I am seeking to pretty much understand how to make a 'watch' rather than just get the time alone! I am quickly learning that I may very well be the next one to have to reassemble some pieces and parts to help the watch tell time again!(Such is the quick learning curve of PC's) So thank you very kindly for helping me!} That goes out to all of ICON! I am very grateful to have this great group to call upon and I have learned so much.

1. As for the file, I do have one related to that and I believe it is the one that has to with the Media Center Edition.(I have discovered it is it's own variation of XP pro with a twist.) I am thankful to know that I am on the right path with not being able to type this into the sfc/scannow, because I also double checked today and there is nowhere to instruct it with that path. I will contact them tomorrow for further instructions.

2.As for the wording of being able to do Windows functions with this disc set, it sounds like that to me, too and I am hopeful that I will be able to use the restore set in all of the hoped for functions.

I have also decided to go ahead and create a Recovery Media Kit on my own through the links to the instructions that they sent in the e-mail. (I did receive a 2 dvd set that was made at the purchase store for me.However, I was concerned to see today that in the Sony instructions they say that I will need 2 dvd's and 1 cd. So I will redo this myself and hopefully find out what the store may have left out. I think I was already leaning toward trying this myself with the thought of 'if you want to be sure it is done right, do it yourself, or at least know and trust the source it comes from.) I will keep you all posted of any new discovery along the way!
Again, thank you for your patience and your joyful help!

If anyone thinks that it was unwise of me to post the file path mentioned then please feel free to edit it out! Call me paranoid!after the act!


Rhonda
XP PRO(Media Center Ed.)
Sony Vaio Desktop 1GB

Edited by - Rhonda on 09/04/2006 00:33:58
Go to Top of Page

Terry
Operating Member

383 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2006 :  21:11:13  Show Profile  Visit Terry's Homepage
Hi Rhonda,

Those who seek to understand how to maintain their own PC will always be ahead of those who depend on others to do so.

Keep on keepin' on, and please...share what you learn with the rest of us!!!

Thanks,
Terry

Happy Computing
Terry

It has become apallingly obvious that our
technology has exceeded our humanity--Albert Einstein

Win XP Pro, 1 gb RAM, 1.4 ghz Intel P4, 3mbps cable access
Go to Top of Page

Mick
Administrator

1496 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2006 :  02:37:03  Show Profile  Visit Mick's Homepage
Hi Rhonda, congratulations on getting that far. Most of us would give up. The error checking tool is just there to check the disk for physical errors. The SFC is much more specific, in that it checks that the windows system data on the disk is what it was supposed to be.

One of the reasons that I have stuck with Dell for the last few machines I have been able to get a real windows disk for $10 with the new computer.

Restore CDs are not very useful to me, because I want my disk partitioned, with
-A system partition with windows and programs
-A data partition with everything I creat or download
-A temp partition for stuf that comes and goes all the time.
and if I run the typical "restore disk" it gets rid of all my partitions along with my data.

If I have a real windows disk, I can reinstall windows in a couple of hours, and leave all the data in place.

But, if you use the system restore feature to build a system CD, but not actually do the restore, it may have the files on the CD that SFC needs to use as a reference. (I have never had a system with a "restore" disk, so I have not tried this) If you have not already "restored" that is what I would try first. Also, (I have not tried this either) you may be able to run SFC using a borrowed XP CD.

The "path" they are talking about is the drive letter, and directorys (folders) that describe the address (on your disk) of a file.
at the command line, I get things like this


C:\Documents and Settings\mick357>chdir ..
C:\Documents and Settings>chdir ..
C:\>rem cd is short for chdir
C:\>cd windows
C:\WINDOWS>cd i386
The system cannot find the path specified.
C:\WINDOWS>

At the first line I am running in "C:\Documents and Settings\mick357"
the ">" means the computer is ready for your command
so I type "chdir .." to change directory to the parent folder (".." is the parent)
and it moves to C:\Documents and Settings
then I type chdir .. again and move to the C: drive top level folder.
then I type a 'rem'ark that "cd" is a synonym for "chdir"
then I type "cd windows" to move to the windows folder
then "cd i386" and I am told that the system cant find a folder like that in C:\windows

I think I have tried to describe this before. try here:
http://topp.home.mchsi.com/ and look for "basic data structures" and "Navigating your data" or something like that.
The articles are a little old, but much if the info is still appropriate.

Mick



-----------
'Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.'
—André Gide

or

'No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why.' - Mignon McLaughlin
Go to Top of Page

Rhonda
Supporting Member

90 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2006 :  10:19:01  Show Profile
(Wow Mick, those articles are impressive! I will continue to study them. As for the wishful thinking on the error checking, I am too hopeful at times! However, I try to recover quickly and begin to deal with reality.)
Hello all,
I do believe I am getting somewhere with all of this! A lot of learning is going on!
Power to those of us that were not delivered the convenience of an Installation Disc!

I received another contact from Sony yesterday containing the following message:

You may not be able to restore a single file using the VAIO recovery wizard or media kit and you can reinstall the Operating System without formatting the hard drive.

If the operating system is unable to automatically find the driver, have the installation wizard search the C:\WINDOWS\I386 folder. If you are prompted for your Windows CD, insert the CD into the CD/DVD drive. Browse to the C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\I386 folder on your hard drive, click Open, and then click OK. If you are prompted for your Windows XP CD, the information can be obtained from your hard drive. Browse to either the C:\I386 or the C:\Windows\I386 folder on your hard drive, click Open and then click OK.


I am thrilled to know the part in bold (my doing). However, I am left still confused by the second part. They are still stating that if I am prompted for my disc, to 'BROWSE' to the given path. I do understand the browse concept. Unfortunately as stated by Mary and myself, during the sfc/scannow, it does not give me the option to 'BROWSE'. Can someone tell me two things:
1. During the sfc/scannow, once you put the XP disc in,(if you have one) are you then able to 'Browse' or direct the search on the disc?


2. When you are reinstalling your OS (operating system), doesn't the process begin with disc at start-up? I want to be sure that I understand the process so that I am asking the right questions to Sony.

I have e-mailed them back asking if there is a step by step directive to doing the reinstall(in reference to the bold type above).I also told them I am still left confused by the second section,(in reference to the red lettering above) because once again, these are great directions 'IF' I can get to the point where I can begin using them! If anybody is seeing something I am missing, then please let me know.

Meanwhile, I will keep you all posted as I learn.

Rhonda
XP PRO(Media Center Ed.)
Sony Vaio Desktop 1GB
Go to Top of Page

Mary
Operating Member

368 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2006 :  15:03:09  Show Profile
Rhonda,
Just FYI, the "cd" in the DOS (Disk Operating System)commands that Mick listed above stands for Change Directory.

Mary

WinXP,933MHz
Go to Top of Page

Mick
Administrator

1496 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2006 :  16:52:26  Show Profile  Visit Mick's Homepage
Rhonda, in the graphic user screens, the "browsing" function is started by a browse button, then it takes you to a screen usually like the "file-open" or "file-save-as" window, where it lets you poke around in the various drives and folders of your system.

As to the rest of your questions I hate to give too much advice on what is going to happen, because I have only used the real Windows CD, and you are going to be using some CD created by a some process from Sony, that I am not familiar with. Take good notes and post results here, or maybe write a newsletter article--you may be a pioneer on this.

I hope you are not going to go to a lot of trouble for SFC, only to have it not fix your problems. I have forgotten, did you say you had already tried Ad-Aware and SpyBot? And did you do a system Restore, back as far as you had saved configurations? (Start, allPrograms, Accessories, system tools, system restore, then restore to an earlier configuration) System restore will mean that you loose all programs installed since the restore-point was set, but it is a lot less traumatic than re-install of Windows.

At least start doing some data backup--myDocuments, your address list, Favorites/Bookmarks, maybe the MS Office "save my settings wizard". You may have to do a destructive re-install, and it is better to be prepared.

Mick



-----------
'Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.'
—André Gide

or

'No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why.' - Mignon McLaughlin
Go to Top of Page

Rhonda
Supporting Member

90 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2006 :  17:50:53  Show Profile
Hello all,
Here is the latest! Today has been insightful for me.

1. First I did create my own Restore Set from my computer. The purchasing store is off the hook because contrary to the Sony Article link, only two Dvd's were needed. Not an additional Cd that I had thought was left out.


2. I found a program under the program Vaio Recovery that is called: 'Restore Windows Only'. However, upon peeking inside the task, it is simply the Windows XP Restore Point!

3. I received another response from Sony with the following results:

We apologize that the previous response did not resolve the issue directly. You can only perform a C Drive Recovery. After some research, we're happy to provide the following article to Restore the C: Drive using the VAIO Recovery Wizard. Please click the URL link below to review the information:

Oops, my original excitement that Windows can be reinstalled is not accurate. As 2 and 3 confirmed today! (I think this voids the previous message from them.)

4. In response to my originally asking all of these questions due to freeze-ups and crazy behavior, that has all calmed down within the last week after my Trend-micro Anti-virus downloaded some Fixes! Looking back at my logs from them, they have had some glitches with some updates dating back since around August 14 (= to the time the errors began and the shutting down in the middle of the night).The logs have been calm for a week and so has my computer so I am left believing they may have been a lot of the problem.

I am not totally disappointed with my findings because I have learned and confirmed a great deal. I think it is official though- I will always ONLY have the choice to reformat the C drive, which if I am left needing to do so I guess I will be glad for that knowledge when that time comes. I imagine I will get faster each time.Hopefully I will NEVER need this knowledge.

Besides, I can't complain too much. I do LOVE my desktop and all that it gives to my family. I have just learned what to be sure to look for when we purchase another one or a laptop for my husband.In all the books and consumer guides, this was never mentioned as something to look for.(I didn't even know what an Installation Disc was!) Now this month Smart Computing has brought it to the consumer's attention.

Thank you all so very much for your help and input on this matter. Having all of this help and support makes computing fun again!

Rhonda
XP PRO(Media Center Ed.)
Sony Vaio Desktop 1GB
Go to Top of Page

Mick
Administrator

1496 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  17:53:43  Show Profile  Visit Mick's Homepage
Sounds like you are considering a "format and start over". Sorry. I have seen recent ads for WindowsXP home version for as low as $85. Look for lower as Vista nears. This would let you do a repair install, but no promise that it will improve your problems.

Would now be a good time to think about sticking in that Ubuntu-Linux disk?

Mick



-----------
'Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.'
—André Gide

or

'No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why.' - Mignon McLaughlin
Go to Top of Page

Rhonda
Supporting Member

90 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  20:33:34  Show Profile
[quote]Originally posted by Mick

Sounds like you are considering a "format and start over". Sorry. I have seen recent ads for WindowsXP home version for as low as $85. Look for lower as Vista nears. This would let you do a repair install, but no promise that it will improve your problems.

Would now be a good time to think about sticking in that Ubuntu-Linux disk?

Mick


You must have been reading my thoughts! (Sure wish I had not missed that meeting last month!)

Not that I am ready to give up on windows just yet! For now, my problems have ceased and I am just looking to be ready with a plan for the future. Besides, If all of this leads to helping someone that is shopping in the future, to know that they might want to look for an installation disc, then it is not all in vain.

You do have a really good point of considering the XP disc later as it becomes cheaper. However, to add to all the excitement, Sony has stated that if I were to ever do that, it would 'void' it being a 'Sony' Vaio system. I guess that won't matter much once my warranty/tech year is over.

Why they had to cross over into each others' world, I have no idea. I believe half of my problems stem more from this being the mysterious Media Center Edition. I guess my system was created during a time that MCE was not available for install on existing machines, it just happen to be on the machine we had sought out. (I do not think that is the case any longer.) The ironic part is that I hardly even use all of those added bells and whistles.

Rhonda
XP PRO(Media Center Ed.)
Sony Vaio Desktop 1GB
Go to Top of Page

Terry
Operating Member

383 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  21:00:43  Show Profile  Visit Terry's Homepage
Hi Rhonda,

Since most of the name brand mfrs have gone to a restore disc as a means of cutting cost, problems such as yours are not unusual. Sarah's laptop is a Toshiba, and their restore disc causes the same problem...when inserted in the machine, it restores the pc to the exact condition it was in when it left the factory! This includes all the adware and none of the Windows updates. In Sarah's case, this also means she must re-download all the extensions to her web authoring software.

I am currently exploring Ubuntu Linux. Like you, I am not ready to give up my Windows addiction, but I believe I will begin the migration to open source for all the above reasons as well as others.

Ubuntu Linux includes many things that Microsoft charges extra for, I think Microsoft had better get a grip on reality, or they will lose a large percentage of their customer base!

Happy Computing
Terry

It has become apallingly obvious that our
technology has exceeded our humanity--Albert Einstein

Win XP Pro, 1 gb RAM, 1.4 ghz Intel P4, 3mbps cable access
Go to Top of Page

Rhonda
Supporting Member

90 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2006 :  13:13:48  Show Profile
Wow Terry,
I did not know that most of the companies are switching to this method! I guess I am relieved and disappointed;I am relieved that I did not 'cause' this nightmare by not shopping properly and disappointed that the change is happening. Sounds like quite an adjustment period of experience is about to happen. I sure am glad I have ICON! and Smart Computing!


Rhonda
XP PRO(Media Center Ed.)
Sony Vaio Desktop 1GB
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
ICON Computer Users Group © Interactive Computer Owners' Network Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000