Alright guys, this is going to be long, so sit back and crack open a soda.

Windows 98 SE.

I was always having trouble with my comp. Unable to access files or folders like My Documents, My Computer, Windows Explorer, Control Panel, etc. Whenever I'd try, 9/10 it would go into a horrid system drain so bad that I'd have to switch off the whole surge protector for the computer to shut down.

I have Windows Registry Repair Pro, but I noticed there were a lot of files it wasn't removing, so I downloaded a different registry repair program called Asmw Pc-Optimizer Pro. This removed invalid shortcuts, 'junk' files (many of which hadn't been accessed since '99!) it removed at least 200MB of junk files. I was amazed, the computer actually ran SO much better! As in, it was running almost as if it were brand new, I was so stoked! So I kept going and let it remove empty folders, and invalid/broken .dll files.

Apparently that's where I made my mistake because MAYBE the 'invalid/broken' dll files weren't invalid afterall. The dsl modem lights were on, signalling that I was online, but that's not what the computer decided to do. Oh no, I was NOT online despite the healthy connection.

I did a registry restore up to a week BEFORE but that didn't return my files. After doing the registry restore, at startup, I get the error message, Missing vshinit.vxd. I don't think I even still have McAfee on here, I've been using AVG.

I know I'm missing more because the computer decides I'm not online every once in awhile despite what the modem says. It was so bad that last night I reinstalled windows (without uninstalling) which didn't bring back the missing files. I used System File Checker, there was one file it prompted me to restore but it was something else. Registry Checker claims everything is a-ok. But I'm still missing files!

Also, when I reinstalled windows... guess what else happened? I had to reinstall the DSL modem... but here's the best part. I had to uninstall the TCP/IP connection about 50 times before the modem would come up and FINALLY uninstall that, then reinstall the modem. But that's not the only thing. That's right, the system went back to its refusal to access files and folders again *frustrated sigh* You fix one problem, a previous one comes back.

How do I get the missing files back? Even though I don't know all which ones are missing?

I really would like to try and get my computer running like it was before those files were removed but I don't want to mess it up worse.

Known missing files:
Shell32.dll (I need this to uninstall paperport program, I don't even have that scanner anymore... but this file has been missing since before the registry goof)

perhaps a virus is causing this? , have you had any viruses lately?

I'm not sure. AVG hasn't picked up any viruses in next to forever and I'm not in the habit of downloading here and there nor do I open questionable emails, they get deleted or marked as spam

These files can be recovered online if you look well enough...Try searching for these. I am running 98SE as well, so if ya can't find them, I can upload them to ya via IRC or mail.

Do you have a second hard-drive (I sure hope so)....You could copy files to that drive and then reinstall windows, depending on your particular configuration (I have a forced backup ready in case windows turns inside-out)...

I install windows on default, use a second drive for secondary installations [games, etc...], and a tertiary drive for archives. This way if windows goes "Tango Uniform", I can just wipe the C: drive and it makes for an easier reinstall overall....

Also, try "regcleaner". It's free and works quite well. You might also want to try getting "CCleaner" and using a memory-manager such as "Cacheman", since win98 is still bad with clearing unused random memory. Keep AVG updated, but this is most likely win98 just giving you grief for the fun of it...

If you can still find updates, get them right away, as this is the first and most essential step to solving problems with windows.

hi, if you don't have any importany datas, try to install a fresh OS (format your HDD), it will remove any virus if ever have, if the problem still persist after doing that then it could be a bad sector on your HDD that causes the problem

Wow, Missing a Shell32.dll aeh?

Not good. This is a very important file for your OS. Its like a fresh egg that has lost it shell and all the goo goes where ever it wants.

Before trying to reformat you might want to try to reinstall the Master boot record, you system may have come with a restore cd that will not erase all of your data from the hard drive.

Start by turning off all startup items except for Scan Registry
System Tray
Task Monitor.

Everything else disable.

Restart your system.

Next check the integrity of your Hard drive. This will check for any bad Sectors. (If you get message of Bad clusters OK Bad Sectors message very bad) To do this go to Start, Run and type CHKDSK /restore

Restart system. Keep in mind that the Modem driver is easier to remove from device manager then Network adapters in control panel. However you may have duplicate drivers installed. After running the check disk command reboot to safe mode by tapping f8 when your computer boots.
Go into Safe mode Without networking. Check device manager for any Other devices, Unknown devices and duplicate modem drivers. If any found remove and restart in normal mode.

As far as re-enabling the startup items, everything can stay disabled except for anti virus and firewall programs. Be sure only to have one anti virus program running at startup any more then that it will cause more issues.

Hope that helps

Rue B 2s De.

Registry files can be restored manually via MS-DOS prompt. System.dat and user.dat (in windows directory) are current registry and system.da0 and user.da0 are backed up ones (every restart backs them up). Simply by replacing them you would restore your registry to the state it was when you last shut down/rebooted your machine properly.

I seriously doubt that shell32.dll is missing. Your system wouldn't run without it. It is probably not registered in your registry.
To fix this, simply type
regsvr32 "C:\Windows\System\shell32.dll" in your "run" menu. (or command-prompt), given that your windows reside in "C:\Windows".

I suggest that you do the search on other "missing" dlls and repeat the same procedure with them, keeping in mind correct paths and filenames of the dlls.

Also, keep in mind that some of missing files are related to software that is long gone. To fix that you will have to install and uninstall that software, so your windows wouldn't look for non-existing software any longer. If you're not sure what you have installed by the point you backed your registry, simply open Add/remove programs in control panel and read the list.