My son tried to install an old Windows98 program and it seems to have attempted to install an older device driver. We can no longer boot into the machine. Safe mode doesn't work and unfortunately there are no known restore points. What are some suggestions for fixing this problem without losing our current data (photos, movies, etc)???

  • Can you please clarify "unable to boot"? Does the Windows logo appear? Are there any error messages? Have you been able to logon since the Windows 98 program was installed - I only ask as you mentioned you found no restore points but said you were unable to boot. – Kez Aug 26 '09 at 7:17

Do you have another machine? You may need to take the hard drive out of your current machine, and connect it as a secondary drive to your other machine to get the data off.

Alternatively there are CDs you can use and boot off of which will show you your file system. This OS (Nimblex) will fit on a CD.


I think there is a Step-by-step confirmation boot mode you can select from the F8 boot menu, which will allow you to choose to skip many steps while booting. There seems to be some drivers that can't be skipped in with this though. It is probably worth a try. I imagine if you skip too many things you won't be able to get into windows, so it might take some playing around with.


In the same menu that you selected the option to boot into 'Safe Mode', can you try 'Last known good configuration' instead?

To get the menu, keep slowly tapping the F8 key just after switching the computer on.

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