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hey I was deleting a few things from my comp a while ago... and now I can't access my desktop. When it gets to the login page, I get an error message saying "A required.DLL file, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\MSVCRT.DLL cannot be found. If I click cancel, or login, it says explorer has performed an illegal operation and will now be shut down. I have a windows 98/95 setup floppy, a win98SE boot floppy, and a win98SE CD. I have tried setting the registry back a few days, but no luck. I have also tried extracting files from the floppys.. but I can't open them. If I try going to progman, I can't open any files because it says "insufficient memory to run this application. quit one or more windows applications and try again." at the ctrl+alt+delete screen, progman & wmexe are the only thing running. PLEASE HELP!!

P.S. sorry for bad grammar using a wii to write this & sorta hard.

TSF Team Emeritus , Microsoft Visiting Expert
3,258 Posts
Hi helpmee

Considering the several errors involved, I think your easiest and best repair would be an "over-the-top" reinstall of Windows 98 2nd Edition. Here's a little guide I made a few years ago:

Windows 95/98/Me "Over-the-top" Reinstall

Sometimes an over-the-top reinstallation of Windows can be a timesaver. On most recent computers the whole procedure can take as little as 30 or 40 minutes. A nice feature of this procedure is that your programs do not have to be reinstalled, and your data is not lost. You likely will need to visit Windows Update when finished, though, to download and reinstall some of the Security Updates. Windows Update still works for Windows 98, even though its period of active support by Microsoft expired in mid-2006 (all the updates up to that point can still be found there).


You may need to temporarily disable the Bios virus protection that is found on some motherboards (if your motherboard does not have this feature, you can skip this step). Enter Bios Setup by pressing the key displayed during startup, and somewhere on the first or second menu should be an item to Enable or Disable Bios Virus Protection (might be called BiosShield, or VirusGuard, or whatnot) ---> then, when you're finished with your reinstallation of Windows, re-Enable the Bios protection feature.

On some systems, and over-the-top will require your CD-key (Windows 98 product license key). [This is often on a sticker either on the case, or on the original CD]. If you've lost your CD-key: before you start the reinstall look for it by starting regedit from the Start/Run box, then navigate to the key (you navigate in regedit like you do in Windows Explorer) HKEY_Local_Machine/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion . . . if you click on "Current Version", you should see a list of keys and values in the box displaying on your right. One of these will read "ProductKey" and will consist of 5 sets of 5 alphanumeric characters = your CD key. Be careful when in regedit just to look at things and not make accidental changes.

During the reinstall, it is also a good idea to be entirely disconnected from any networks, wired or wireless (unplug ethernet cables, disable wireless), and to be disconnected from printers, scanners, cameras, multifunction devices, fax machines, PDAs, memory card readers, USB flash drives, external USB/Firewire/SATA drives, etc.
Over The Top ReInstall:

Place your Windows98 CD in the CD/DVD drive (or be ready to point Windows to the place on your hard drive where your Windows 98 installation files are stored).

Boot with a bootable floppy or CD - "with CD-rom support", and from DOS rename the file to win.bak. Like this

cd \Windows
rename win.bak

If you have the Windows 98 CD in your CD/DVD drive, you can then switch to the drive letter of your CD drive [often drive D:], simply by typing the drive letter followed by a colon ( for example - D: ) at the command prompt.

If you have the Windows 98 installation files on your hard drive, switch to that location (which is often C:\Windows\Options\Cabs - by typing cd C:\Windows\Options\Cabs ), and start setup (by simply type the command: setup)

When Windows asks if you want to use the directory C:\Windows.000, instead choose "Other" and type in C:\Windows [without the .000 following].

Make sure that you have your antivirus, antispyware, and firewall running before you connect to networks afterward. Don't forget to visit Windows Update ASAP to get the Critical Patches the need reinstalling.

Best of luck
. . . Gary
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