Jump to content
MSFN is made available via donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. The use of ad-blocking software hurts the site. Please disable ad-blocking software or set an exception for MSFN. ×

The craziest Windows problem ever.


Recommended Posts

Years ago, back in the ancient days of Windows 95a, I had an install I'd moved through at least four completely different PCs, with numerous incremental hardware upgrades in between. Never a problem. I'd delete everything it would allow to be deleted from Device Manager, then shut down and move the drive to the new system. (I'd also figured out how easy it is to move Windows 95 and all installed programs to a different drive without any fancy 3rd party programs.) After getting Windows settled in its new home with all the device drivers installed, I'd do a Registry export and re-import to ensure all the cruft was gone. (If only that could be done with XP and later!)

I had a PC with an AMD 5x86, wire modded to run at 4x 40Mhz. Solid as a rock, and running perfectly fine on 5 volts after replacing a 33Mhz 486SX. It also had a 1x Mitsumi CD-ROM, the type where the whole mechanism slid out and had a lift up clamshell lid. (Surprisingly it could read CD-R despite being made years before CD-R existed.)

It had been quite a while on that box without any problems. I decided I wanted to change the Critical Stop sound to a breaking glass effect.

Right after I changed that is when the crashing started. I could not do *anything* in Explorer. After clicking three things in a row in Explorer *CRASH*. Click to open a folder, click a subfolder, click a file *CRASH*. Click on three drives in a row *CRASH*. It was like a Waltz "One, Two, Three *CRASH* One, Two, Three *CRASH*".

It only affected using Explorer when attempting to do anything to manage files. I could surf the web, do e-mail, everything else was fine, except for changing Windows Sounds, since that also involved accessing Explorer to find a different sound file, thus that would make it crash too.

I became immensely annoyed with that sound effect after hearing it a large number of times.

I forget what all I tried to fix it. I do remember trying to export the valid data from the Registry but that failed. That helped me track down the problem. One corrupted character in one key in the Registry. Why it manifested in that perfectly repeatable, totally not random way to make it crash, I've no idea.

It wouldn't allow me to delete that Registry key because it was corrupted and unreadable.

I dug around the web to find some way of saving things and found the final version of Norton Commander for Windows. Apparently it was abandoned, unreleased, and not quite finished. But I was able to use it to copy everything I wanted to save to another partition so I could "Nuke and Pave" C: and do a fresh install of Windows.

That's long been a problem with Windows and corrupted files, folders etc. It fiercely protects them like a mother bear protects her cubs - when what it should do is delete the bad things, or at least allow the user to delete them. Scandisk should terminate corrupted data with extreme prejudice. Before Unlocker (which hasn't been updated in ages yet still works in Win 10 1809) the only recourse I could find for a corrupted file or folder that would make Windows insist on doing a full scandisk *every boot* then complaining about the corruption (and failing to fix it) was to copy important files, then reformat the drive and do a clean install. Even with Unlocker, if that couldn't forcibly delete the bad file or folder, Nuke and Pave.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...