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Deleting entries in software installation programs

Question : Whenever I switch on my personal computer (PC), these appear on the screen:

1) "Missing File: Windows Registry or System.INI. Please download this file." This is just the gist of what actually appears. I have to click "Enter" about nine times before anything appears on the screen.

2) "Advanced INF Install Error: Could not locate INF file D:\content\Win9X\Win98\W98resume.inf." I have to lick "OK" before the next message appears.

3) "RUNDLL Error loading C:\PROGRA"1\HOTBAR\HOTBAR1.DLL. The system cannot find the path specified." Again, pressing "OK" helps to continue.

Answer : The preferred (and ideal) method of updating Windows is via Windows Update (windowsupdate.microsoft.com).

All these problems stem from the one thing that most people are surprised by when they turn on the PC.

Many operating systems allow software installation programs to place entries in the OS' configuration routines. These entries can start other programs that are required by some software when the OS starts. A problem occurs when the programs that the entries refer to are inaccessible (for instance, if they were deleted or never installed).

If this happens, you'd have a lot of "Missing File" and "Error loading" error messages popping up one after another. This typically happens when the OS starts because that's when the entries request the OS to start the programs.
So basically what the OS is saying is, "I'm being asked to run a program (or programs) after I start, but I can't find the program (or programs)".

There are actually several ways to fix these errors. The easiest way is to delete the entries that call for these programs to be started when Windows starts. Here are the steps to delete these entries:

1) Click on the "Start" button and select (click on) "Run...".

2) Type "regedt32" (without the quotes) into the white box to the left of "Open:"

3) Click on the "OK" button just below the box. A window titled "Registry Editor" will open. This provides access to the OS' "registry". The "registry" is where a lot of the configuration data for the OS is stored.

4) The registry has a tree structure and this is reflected in the "registry editor" window. If one looks at the structure, one will see an arrangement that looks like the way branches are arranged on a tree -- the larger "main branches" are attached to the "trunk". Several smaller branches branch off from each main branch. Still smaller branches branch off from those. This continues until one reaches the last, or smallest branch, after which there are no more branches.

In the "registry tree" The main branches are typically "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER", "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE", "HKEY USERS" and "HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG".

Smaller branches branch off these, but they are initially hidden.

To reveal a sub-branch, click on the plus (+) sign to the right of a branch. For instance, clicking on the plus (+) sign next to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" will typically reveal the sub-branches "HARDWARE", "SAM", "SECURITY", "SOFTWARE" and "SYSTEM". Also notice that the plus (+) sign next to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" turns into a minus (-) sign. This is to signify that the branch has been expanded (the sub-branches have been revealed).

Clicking on the minus (-) sign next to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" will compact the branch (hide the sub-branches). In this way, the sub-branches for a particular branch can be hidden and revealed.

5) Click on the plus (+) sign next to "HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE" to reveal the sub-branches. After the sub-branches are revealed, notice that they themselves have hidden sub-branches.

These sub-branches can be revealed in the same way (by clicking on the plus (+) signs). Also notice that the sub-branches are indented inwards. A branch of another branch will be indented inwards under its parent branch. For instance, clicking on the "HARDWARE" sub-branch will reveal the "ACPI" sub-branch. Notice that the "HARDWARE" sub-branch is indented to the right under the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE branch, and the "ACPI" sub-branch is indented to the right under the "HARDWARE" sub-branch.

6) The "leaves" on a particular "branch" are listed on the right pane of the window. These are the actual configuration commands. For instance, if one navigates to the "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Event Labels\.Default", one might see in the right pane "Disp FileName" followed by "REG_SZ" and "@mmsys. cpl,-5824". These are the actual configuration settings.

Now that we know how the registry and "regedt32" works, all that's left to be done is to remove the entries that are causing this.

To do so, navigate to the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" section of the registry, look in the right pane for entries containing "W98resume.inf" and "HOTBAR1.DLL", right-click on the relevant entries and select "Delete" from the pop-up window.

The next time Windows starts, the error messages should no longer appear.


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