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I am trying to help my sister who can not start-up Windows 98 on her Compaq laptop. When we turn the laptop on, it goes to a DOS window and tells us that:
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The Windows Registry or SYSTEM.INI file refers to this device file, but the device file no longer exists.

If you deleted this file on purpose, try uninstalling the associated application using its inunstall or setup program.

If you still want to use the application associated with this device file, try reinstalling that applicatin to replace the missing file.

Press a key to continue.

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I've looked on this and other sites for help but other examples of this usually have a similar message but with the "suspect" file named. No filename is given so we are not sure which file/device is causing the problem.

After a few more DOS prompts, it does offer various start-up modes, none of the Windows start-ups work (Normal, Safe Mode etc.) but I can access DOS (command prompt). When I try to start Windows from DOS, it goes to the start-up "big letters" blue Windows 98 screen, makes the right noises and then goes quiet, and the blue screen freezes .

Can anyone help? She is visiting from overseas so we do not have any original disks to play with and would like to resolve the issue before she returns home.

Or perhaps you can suggest something else? Ultimately, the only thing we want from this machine (as it has been playing up for sometime and is ready for the scrap heap!) is to transfer a .pst file to her new laptop. The problem is the file is much bigger than the capacity of a floppy disk, her CD drive is read-only and there is no driver installed that will read my flash card....so I can't do anything from DOS.

I hope this makes sense. Thanks. Sandgirl :0)

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Last Post by hellsbell
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Does the message tell you what device file no longer exists?

Does anyone here know if SFC (System File Checker) can be run from DOS? If so, that could solve the problem.

As for backing up, there are devices available that would allow the hard drive to be removed from her old laptop and hooked up through a USB port on her new laptop. Don't know if it would be worth the expense though.

Hopefully someone else here will have some more helpful ideas.

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thanks for your replies. will see what we can do. and have also manged to borrow a start-up disk from a friend so might try and use that to at least get at the file she wants. then she can take the laptop home and reinstall using her own disks.

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I am looking for C:\POGRA"\ ACER EASYAXES\NATEST.VXD FILE ALSO THE NUMBER FOR AN ACER 34TLS IMAGE DRIVE THERE IS 12 CHARACTERS STARTING WITH DS???????????? i PURCHASED THIS COMPUTER FOR MY GREAT GRAND CHILD TO LEARN ON BUT UNFORTUNATLY I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO PROCEED PROPERLY HOPE SOMEONE CAN HELP REGARDS LES (hellsbells)

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