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Major Problems With System Restore

788 Views 12 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  shajkur
First of all, hello everyone:)

I have a Gateway 400c that I purchased about 2 years ago. A few weeks ago my kids were on the internet and the next day I turn on the computer and the color settings are all messed up. I have them set to High 16 bit but the only colors in there are blue, yellow and white. Frustrated with the situation (and my kids, lol) I decided to just restore the computer and start over from scratch.

Not only did it not fix the color settings, but during startup, I get all these messages that say this file may or may not be needed by Windows to run and if you've removed the program on purpose, try uninstalling. So I go to Add/Remove Programs, and there is nothing in the box to remove, yet after restoration, all of my files remain on the hard drive. I have only one System Restoration CD and the Windows 98 CD. During installation of Windows, it always says it can't find the files. Ahh, I'm just in bad shape.

Gateway's support website is nothing short of terrible and speaking with their tech personnel did nothing. I'm hoping someone here can help me. Thanks ahead of time to anyone who tries to help:)
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Hi sybermom and welcome to TSG.

As I understand it the current problem is specifically just with the color display? It shows as set to 16bit high color in Display Properties, but you are only seeing blue, yellow and white? No reds or greens?

What happens when you make a different selection, such as 256?

What is the Resolution set as?

It's possible this may be a monitor problem which may need replacing.

Have you tried removing and reinstalling the Video drivers from your Restoration CD?
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What exactly did you do when you tried to restore the system and start over from scratch? Which of your two disks did you use?

Normally a restore disk (used in conjunction with a boot floppy) does what it says on the box: wipes the hard drive and restores everything on the hard drive back to how it was when it left the factory.

The Windows disk contains everything needed just to restore Windows, but may not restore things like device drivers if the devices don't plug'n'play.

It sounds to me like you may have used the Windows disk to try to reinstall Windows over the top of itself, which is why you are now getting the new error messages. Sorting them all out could be complicated and time-consuming, so if you are a relative novice I would suggest that using the system restore disk would be your best option.
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Hi:) Thanks to you both for responding.

No, I can't see any reds at all. The resolution is set at 640 x 480 I believe. It may be 800 x 600. As it's set now (to High bit) the colors appear as a gradient with blues, yellows and whites. If I change the color settings, they appear as blocks. If I change the screen resolution, it's the same.

The Gateway computer that I have only came with 1 system restoration disk and a Windows 98 disk. When I put the disk in I have all these options and I selected Delete Windows and Install Windows to wipe everything clean but to no didn't uninstall Windows nor clear my hard drive. You are absolutely right, I probably did just repeatedly install Windows on top of itself. During installation of Windows, it asks me to insert the Windows disk which I do, then I get messages that files cannot be found, even if I point it to the D:\. I ended up copying files to another folder and pointing it there and the drivers were installed. Otherwise I got the drivers from the Gateway website.

I'd love to just start over from scratch but I'm having no luck.
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I don't know what's up with your Gateway CD, perhaps others can help sort that out.

But lets try this test to see if we can distinguish a possible monitor issue here from that of the video card or drivers.

Reboot to safe mode: press and hold the ctrl key as soon as the computer begins booting. A "startup menu" should appear with safe mode as an option (3). Select that and see if you get distinct red, green, blue and yellow colors in safe mode. If you don't, I can't think of any other cause than the monitor itself.
I wouldn't wish to tread on any toes, but the problem of what appears to be no reds (or a limited colour palette) may just be because the wallpaper is a 16-bit bitmap and the display is set to use only standard VGA (16 colours) because the system doesn't have a proper VGA driver loaded. That will give you a horrible screwed up display with what appear to be all the wrong colours in the picture.

To see if you can get any reds at all, I would unload your wallpaper (in display settings set the wallpaper to none) and then change the actual background colour to red. If you can get that, try a few other colours as well to see if you can get the full gamut of the spectrum.

If the display shows no red at all then you may have a monitor problem as Rog has suggested, although in my experience when the electron gun goes you lose all colours not just red.

If you have got red in the display at all then I think it most likely to be a display driver problem.

Do you know what type of graphic card is in the machine? Is the system restore disk a CD or a floppy disk? If its a CD you may be able to boot from it as well by changing a setting in the BIOS. If not you may be able to selectively restore certain files from it such as the VGA display driver
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I can't see reds in any programs or anything. My daughter uses Adobe Photoshop and there are no reds there either.

I don't have a wallpaper set and my System Restore disk is a CD. I don't know if this is what you're referring to but it does have options to restore certain things and I've tried restoring from there but it didn't work.

I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean by BIOS.
I have to admit I'm a bit puzzled. The total absence of red should mean that the red gun (monitor's have 3: red, green and blue) is not working. However, that should also mean no yellows, as red is required to get yellow.

Did you test in safe mode?

In normal mode your Display Properties>settings should show a full spectrum gradient of color. Of course you won't be able to see it here, but the attachment shows what I'm referring to.


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I'm on my daughter's computer so I can see it. I long to see colors like that again on the other computer. I've checked to see if maybe there was a setting or something that I could use on both my daughter's and my son's computer but I can't see any differences except that they have graphics controllers or something. I do see that gradient on the Gateway, but it's nothing but blue, yellow, and white.

Both my son and daughter's computers came with Windows Millennium Edition. What if I install them on this computer. Will that solve any of these problems?

Do I need another computer or do you think this can be salvaged? I'm getting those errors on startup, my youngest son can't connect to the internet because it says it can't do something with the Dial Up Networking, my colors are all messed up...
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For the display issue, I would try substituting the monitor you are using now on the other pc. You need to know whether it is a hardware or a software issue. Be sure to shut down before removing and installing it.

Not knowing what specific errors you are getting on startup, I can only give a general suggestion. This would be to go to Add/Remove programs>Windows setup>Communications>Details and remove and reinstall Dialup Networking.

You will be prompted for a disk when you add it back. You should be able to use your restoration cd or enter c:\windows\options\cabs when prompted for the disk. This assumes you have an options\cabs folder in the Windows directory. You might want to verify that first.

You may need to explore or browse your Restoration CD to see where the Windows cab files are located on it.

Installing WinME from another computer on the problem one is a bit dicey in more ways than one. I honestly can't advise on it.
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I agree 100% with Rog on this one. It really wouldn't help to install a new (upgraded) OS onto a PC that may have hardware problems. All that will happen if there is a hardware problem is that the same problems will persist after the upgrade and you will have achieved nothing.

You need to sort out the mess that your PC is in first, or at least confirm that its not a hardware problem, before thinking of upgrading to another OS like ME.

Please help us to help you by quoting to us what the exact error messages are that you see in trying to connect to the Internet.
I decided to take it in to a repair shop. There were just too many errors, the color was a problem, etc.

I really appreciate you guys responding and trying to help me out. Now I know where to come:)

Happy Holidays and please be safe:)
I have the same computer that you have and my problems are identical to the one you have described. The Gateway tech's couldn't help me either.
Whenever I try to use the system restore command I get a error mesage that reads "bad command" try again or something like that.
You may want to try to reinstall your video drivers via the system restoration disk. Check to see if your color profile has been added by right click mouse, properties, advance, color management, add, select color profile, then click ok. that may help with the color distortion issue.
Also You may want to make sure that scanregistry box is checked in the System Configuration Ultility. This can be done by going to start, run,tyoing "misconfig" which will bring up the system control ultility screen, select start up menu.
I'm not a tech or an expert user but I am familiar with the problematic Gateway computers for which I have five. I feel your pain. Nothing I told you will harm your computer in any way. Good Luck
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