Still getting illegal operation messages
or General Protection Errors
OK, so you have tried everything I have told you to do but your still getting Windows Illegal Operation error messages, General Protection Errors( sometimes referred to as General Page Faults), and Blue Screens of Death. All is not over yet! I have a little trick that works on all versions of Windows except Windows NT 3.51 and NT 4.0, without having to format. If your FAT is corrupt this trick may just get the FAT patched up enough to be usable again. In any case, it's worth trying.
The theory we are going to be using to fix Windows is really kind of simple. We all know that when Windows is first installed it has no problems, other then a few hardware issues depending on your version of Windows. You can learn more about this at our page Windows and Hardware. The reason is that all the files are matching files. What I mean by that is that all the files installed are compatible with each other. When you start installing other software, the new software starts installing and replacing files that may not be compatible with your version or configuration of Windows. So what we are going to do is setup our computer to use all Windows files where possible. We will be saving every replaced file as a backup in the event we need that file.
First thing we will need to do is get Our Windows CD out. If you only have a Recovery CD read our page on How to make a Windows CD. Next , you will need to get the Registry as clean as possible, use Perfect Companion and get that Registry cleared out of errors. But before you do, start deleting all the programs and file on your hard drive that you no longer want. Old programs you never use and programs that no longer work on your new OS (operating system). Now let's make a backup of the entire System Directory (Folder), just in case of the unknown. Do not zip it or compress it, simply copy it to some other folder that is available in DOS. If you use NTFS try it anyway, you never know.
Our next step is to reinstall any program that is not working correctly. The idea here is to get all the needed DLLs installed to the System folder that may be missing or have been deleted or corrupted. We are going to uninstall any upgrades to IE, so that the Windows reinstall does not crash.
Windows 95 does not replace the updated shdoc*.dll files, and this will cause Windows not to boot after reinstalling Windows. Windows 95 is the only OS that has this problem. So if you do not know how to extract files and move them in DOS you won't be able to use this trick to fix Windows. If you do know how to extract, also extract the original Shell32.dll and Shell.dll files to a new folder for later use.
We are now ready to reinstall Windows, remember we are not formatting. We have our backup of all our system files available, right? So let's start reinstalling Windows on top of itself. If your Windows Folder is C:\Windows we are going to tell setup we want Windows installed to C:\Windows again. Make sure you have all your updated drivers available. If not, you can also point Windows to your backup System Folder for these files. During the installation of Windows, if Setup asks about a file being newer and do we want to keep it, the answer is NO. We want all the original Windows files installed. Once Windows has been reinstalled, you should run Scandisk and Defrag; reboot and get the Desktop and other Windows settings setup the way you want them. We are not interested with our other programs yet, only Windows and our hardware, including our printers and scanners.
The next thing you should do is to install all your Windows updates that you need. I suggest you only install the updates that you need. Do not install updates that you do not use. Example: if you do not have a personal Web Site you do not need any security update for Personal Web. If you do not use Windows Media you don't get the updates. The more updates you install the greater the chance of messing up a perfectly good installation of Windows. I know of so many people who just MUST have all the updates. A close friend of mine emails me once a week with all the updates, telling me I need them for my Web Server. Heck, why do I need an update for IE on my Web Server. IE is never even used on the server. The Web Server does one thing and one thing only: it manages my site, nothing else. The only updates I install is for the IIS (Web Site software) and related software.
Once you are satisfied with Windows you are ready to clean out the Registry again with Registry Drill. Reboot and make a backup of the Registry.
You will now need to install System Sentry if not already installed. Be sure to delete the folder C:\Windows\Bckupdll if it is there. Run System Sentry and compare the System Files to the original Windows files. Replace all the files in the System folder that are available in the Windows installation files that have different dates or versions. You will not be replacing files dated the same date as the date you reinstalled Windows. Many files have been Aligned by Windows, so that if you install Windows on 9/15/02 and there are files dated 9/15/02 in the System folder you will know that they have been Aligned. Do not replace them.
OK, at this point what we have done is not only get Windows working correctly, but we have installed all the DLLs that your version of Windows works well with. Reboot and then have System Sentry recheck the files against the original Windows files again so that the list is refreshed. Verify the list one more time. OH, and by the way, we are not interested in any Duplicate DLLs or newer versions available,yet!
Now have System Sentry "Save These Files" before continuing. You should also rename the Bckupdll folder so that any new file that System Sentry replaces will get backed up again. Rename it to Oldbckupdll or whatever you like.
Now it is time to start checking our other software for problems. Start each program one at a time. If it works, great! If not you will need to reinstall it. After each reinstallation of a program run System Sentry to see what files it changes. Any older version or any file with the same version but different date, have System Sentry replace it with its backup or original Windows file. Reboot and try the program again.
After spending all this time fixing Windows, I am sure you system is working great. Have System Sentry make a new backup of the System files using the "Save These Files".