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And the nightmare continues

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  #31  
Old 12-19-2006, 12:05 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

gary,

i only set up one account on the new install. so, it would be just that and the admin account in safe mode. the folders look fine as far as i can tell... all users, CraigW, and default users. just three this time and the only thing that's giving me any problem at all is the home page thing. everything else seems fairly smooth and norma.

and thank you for the data on rootkits. i was told once, by a tech support person over the phone, that windows (and this was windows98) kept a tiny little area of the harddrive that would NOT be reformatted in a reformating operation. that it kept this tiny little bit to send a tiny bit of data to the new install. for what reason, i dont know. and i dont know if it was true or not. he also told me that the /U arguement in 'format' would wipe that tiny area so as not to migrate it over. again, i dont know if that's true, but i do know there used to be a /U arguement to 'format' and i always used it; again, in windows 98.

xp didnt recognize the /U arguement at all. just called it an invalid arguement. so, apparently, microsoft removed this arguement from xp. the only options i had were 'format' /q' and 'format /fs:ntfs', which is what i used the first time and then later used the /q. i did this all from the repair console, not safe mode with command prompt.

also, whereas it seems to work, is there any reason i shld not use a sata ii drive for the boot drive? that's what i've got it on. all my ide drives are currently disconnected till i get things running smoothly again.

and, would there anything in bios that would have or could have caused the browser to not take the home page change? some write-ahead thing or other silliness? or maybe in the browser itself? something about cookies or security? or maybe it wants service pack 1 at least? or maybe some windows update thing?

and again, this is a fairly minor issue, i know, but it just nags at me when things dont work the way they shld.
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  #32  
Old 12-19-2006, 01:46 PM
Gary Richardson's Avatar
Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Browser settings are solely the concern of Internet Explorer, or whatever browser you're using, the fact that you can't set it would tend to suggest that perhaps IE hasn't installed correctly. Which version of IE are you using (6 or 7)?

As I said earlier it is possible for the registry settings to "inherit" permissions, but that is not the default condition for the "Homepage" key, and I can't see how a clean install would leave things this way.

As an experiment try downloading Firefox and see if you can set the Homepage in that to RetouchPro, at least that way we'll know whether its just an IE problem or something more fundamental.

Can't think of any reason not to use your sata drive as a boot drive.

This is the command instructions for Format (XP) (as you can see /U is no longer present)

Quote:
FORMAT

Formats a disk for use with Windows XP.

FORMAT volume [/FS:file-system] [/V:label] [/Q] [/A:size] [/C] [/X]
FORMAT volume [/V:label] [/Q] [/F:size]
FORMAT volume [/V:label] [/Q] [/T:tracks /N:sectors]
FORMAT volume [/V:label] [/Q]
FORMAT volume [/Q]

volume Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon),
mount point, or volume name.
/FS:filesystem Specifies the type of the file system (FAT, FAT32, or NTFS).
/V:label Specifies the volume label.
/Q Performs a quick format.
/C NTFS only: Files created on the new volume will be compressed
by default.
/X Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary. All opened
handles to the volume would no longer be valid.
/A:size Overrides the default allocation unit size. Default settings
are strongly recommended for general use.
NTFS supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K.
FAT supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K,
(128K, 256K for sector size > 512 bytes).
FAT32 supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K,
(128K, 256K for sector size > 512 bytes).

Note that the FAT and FAT32 files systems impose the
following restrictions on the number of clusters on a volume:

FAT: Number of clusters <= 65526
FAT32: 65526 < Number of clusters < 4177918

Format will immediately stop processing if it decides that
the above requirements cannot be met using the specified
cluster size.

NTFS compression is not supported for allocation unit sizes
above 4096.

/F:size Specifies the size of the floppy disk to format (1.44)
/T:tracks Specifies the number of tracks per disk side.
/N:sectors Specifies the number of sectors per track.
Bios really doesn't have anything to do with things after your Operating System is loaded. It is merely there to boot things far enough for the OS to take over. It's mostly a sort of self check that activates the various hardware components and checks to make sure they are loaded and working properly, it's final act is to point to the memory location for the OS, after that the OS takes over and runs everything.

Last edited by Gary Richardson; 12-19-2006 at 02:00 PM.
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  #33  
Old 12-19-2006, 07:14 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

gary,

i'm using 6. you think upgrading to 7 would fix it?

also, i still cant edit the start page in the registry. it wont let me modify it. quite odd; i've always been able to edit the registry. i dont quite understand why i'm getting the same problems as i had when things were obviously screwed up... but a new install?

here's one thought; this is an upgrade version of windows home, not a full version. when i install it asks me for a copy of my win98 cd, which i have and insert in the drive and the install sees this and oks things and moves on. but, what if part of the install process is somewhat depending on an actual version of the old win98 and old i.e? i know the upgrade version is supposed to have all the files and all, but what if it really needs to inherit some things from a real win98 install, including from the browser?

then again, what if the cd just has a smudge on it?

but there's definitely something odd about this machine or the drivers or something. i'm still getting blue screens of death with a couple game programs. psp xi seems ok, the browser is working...mostly, the machine boots quickly (and that's good), but there's certainly something odd somewhere. i'll try drivers off the nvidia site rather than the cd. that often fixes some quirks.

oh, and this surprised me, i had to once again activate windows. i was told over the phone the last time, that i'd have to phone in EVERY time from here on out. so, on this install, i ignored that and tried the online, automatic process and it worked fine! lol. windows is an odd beast.

as for trying firefox, that's a good idea, but i'll probably amend that to installing mozilla. i had that before and always liked it and i think i've still got the install file for that. i'll let you know how that goes.

so, i've put a few things back, including critical updates and directx 9.0c, psp xi and a one game, civ 4. civ 4 is the one that's crashing, but again, i suspect that might fix with new vid drivers. i've still got to tweak windows and trim services. naturally, i also have anti-virus and zone alarm.

anyways, thanks again, gary
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  #34  
Old 12-19-2006, 09:15 PM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Craig,

You might take a look at ZoneAlarm in regards to your problem setting the home page. I seem to recall that version 6 releases have the ability to lock the home page. It could cause the behavior you describe.

The /U parameter for Format was a dummy in Win98. In Win98, all Formats were unconditional whether you used the parameter or not. The parameter was later removed. Format only affects the contents of the specific partition you format.
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  #35  
Old 12-19-2006, 09:25 PM
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kukri kukri is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Hi Craig, Jim here. Just checking up on you from your old stomping grounds at tw.org.

Sounds like you've found yourself flummoxed by IE. Is it still Microsoft.com's homepage that is persistent? Or is it msn.com? The reason I ask is: some of the spyware/malware detectors. and some AV products have that nasty/annoying side effect (usually changeable in their preferences menu's). I also read an article once from Fred Langa, about how Messenger sometimes pre-empts/insists on msn.com for homepage. I try to dig up Fred's take on that.

All the same, glad your rig is up and running. And good to see you're thriving here. Merry Christmas, Old Buddy. And also Happy Holidays to all here!
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  #36  
Old 12-20-2006, 12:05 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

bob,

i'm running 6-5-722 of zone alarm and i wouldnt doubt that i've got something set wrong or need to set something. i've had problems with za before like this. i look at it and it seems to be ok but i'm getting times when i.e. just refuses to do anything, go anywhere and that comes usually after i've been sitting idle for a while or after using other programs for a while. so, not sure what's going on there either.

and thanks for that note about /U, bob. i always used to use it in win98. never knew they were all unconditional.

Kurkri! you old dog how ya been? boy, what a surprise! good to see you!

seems i've been away from tech support for too long yes, it's set to msn.com. well, i've only got zone alarm and avg anti-virus installed for protection right now and still running service pack 1. i do know avg has gone to version 7.5, which is a big change, apparently, but the browser wouldnt allow the home page change BEFORE i had that installed, so that doesnt seem to be it. but, MESSENGER might be the one doing it. it is on this machine and one of the updates windows dealt with messenger too. in fact, while i was getting updates messenger actually poped up. i hate that annoying thing. nobody uses it. it's persistent. you cant turn it off in outlook express or rather you can turn it off but the switch doesnt work. lol. just one very persistent, worthless program. i remember the only true way to get rid of it completely dealt with editing reg keys and then deleting it, but that might have been in win 98.

basically, the only thing i really had on when i first got on the internet after the reinstall was zone alarm. i always put that on before even turning on the modem. and i almost immediately tried to set retouchpro as my home page.

so, how's tosa and the gang? i tried installing icq again a while back but seems my version was just about too old to use and then everything crashed on my old windows rig and i've been jumping through the microsoft hoops ever since. tell him hi for me and eventually, i'll get back over there and say hi properly.

and merry christmas to you too! by the way, i've still got your 'bald' pics somewhere VERY good to hear from you!
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  #37  
Old 12-20-2006, 01:27 AM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

"i'm running 6-5-722 of zone alarm "

Craig, I just went over to the zonealarm forum and that release of zone alarm does have a bug that prevents changing the home page. There are several long threads that talk about the problem. It's supposed to be fixed in the current version, 6.5.731.

The bug was in both the free and the Pro version.
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  #38  
Old 12-20-2006, 01:54 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

bob,

sorry, i have to chuckle a bit. i was told 731 was bugged. that's why i got the earlier version. lol. i'll go look at the forum. thank you!
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  #39  
Old 12-20-2006, 03:33 AM
Gary Richardson's Avatar
Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Never done an Upgrade, I always do a clean install with any new OS, so I'm not much help here with what's usual.

But it's definitely strange that you can't edit the registry.

AAGH! (he says hitting head against keyboard) Just a thought (and one that should have occured to me ages ago), what defensive systems have you installed, because it's quite possible one of them is preventing you from altering your start page.

Let me know and I should be able to tell you how to get round it.

Note: It's not down to ZA or AVG (which were in the HJT log you posted) they don't have that ability (unless you're using the pay version of ZA in which case I'm not sure), but if you've installed anything else eg. Spybot S&D, then that certainly has the ability to "lock" your Homepage.

Last edited by Gary Richardson; 12-20-2006 at 03:43 AM.
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  #40  
Old 12-20-2006, 03:35 AM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Craig,

I know what you mean about the buggy versions :-) I've been a big fan of Zone Alarm ever since it first came out, but I've had problems of one sort or another with every release since 6.0 -- most were minor, but some were pretty severe. Kind of makes you gun-shy about updating. At least this problem has a workaround.
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