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Choosing the wrong com port in win96 completely crashed my friend's computer. Help!

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Monoxide16

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I was at my friend's house the other day and was trying to set up his pro-96 radio scanner on this software called win96 that I had just downloaded for him. I had to select the right com port in order for it to work though, from the program. So I went into settings and it was on com 1, obviously the wrong com port.

Remembering that on my computer I used either com3 or com4, I selected com3 and hit ok. The computer froze, and went into a blue screen with all these words and the last line of text said something about physically wiping hard drive with a little timer next to it. I couldn't get out of this screen at all, so I unplugged the computer and plugged it back in. Now everytime we start the computer back up it just goes to a black screen and says, "error loading operating system."

My friend and his parents have contacted several people who say they need a new computer. They might also have geek squad try to fix it. Any help or suggestions?

Highpockets, I downloaded it from starrsoft.com
 
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Highpockets

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Monoxide16 said:
I was at my friend's house the other day and was trying to set up his pro-96 radio scanner on this software called win96 that I had just downloaded for him. I had to select the right com port in order for it to work though, from the program. So I went into settings and it was on com 1, obviously the wrong com port.

Remembering that on my computer I used either com3 or com4, I selected com3 and hit ok. The computer froze, and went into a blue screen with all these words and the last line of text said something about physically wiping hard drive with a little timer next to it. I couldn't get out of this screen at all, so I unplugged the computer and plugged it back in. Now everytime we start the computer back up it just goes to a black screen and says, "error loading operating system."

My friend and his parents have contacted several people who say they need a new computer. They might also have geek squad try to fix it. Any help or suggestions?
Where did you download the copy of win96 from?
 

loumaag

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Well, I am not in a position to say for sure, but it looks like (from your description) that the computer had a virus on it. I don't think that it came from your download of the software from Starrsoft.com. I say that because people download that software on a daily basis and this is the only such report I have ever heard.

If the folks (or you) are not really computer savvy, then I suggest you take it somewhere (or get someone to come in) and solve the problem. It would appear that the OS was damaged by whatever was done (ref the message about loading the operating system). In any case, the Win96 program, (nor your random choice of a COM port) probably had nothing to do with the crash.
 

DonS

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A few comments...

First, as Lou said, there's no way that any version of Win96 from my web site can do that. It simply doesn't have the ability to overwrite the operating system.

Second, are you really sure that the OS is gone? I recall seeing, several years ago, "practical joke" programs that would put up an apparent BSOD with a message similar to that described. I don't know if they'd work on a new computer, though (i.e. I'm not sure Vista would allow them).

Finally, a new, name-brand (e.g. Gateway, Dell, HP, etc.) computer should've come with some kind of "emergency repair" CD, with which you can restore the computer to its original, factory state.
 

mtindor

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The bottom line is that if your computer no longer works, it is absolutely no fault of Don Starr or his program. The _worst_ his program could do is cause a BSOD (and that would likely only happen if you already had a system ready to fail (hardware)... and even then it's unlikely.

I just think that needs to be said before anything else - Neither Don nor his software broke the computer.

Perhaps geek squad may need to fix it (software/OS), or perhaps they need a new one (hardware failure). If it doesn't boot up, if the OS is corrupt, if there is a hardware problem, or if there is a corrupt disk, it has absolutely nothing to do with Win96 other than simply being a coincidence.

Mike
 

Monoxide16

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It really does seem like choosing com port 3 crashed my friend's computer. As soon as I selected com3 and clicked ok, the computer froze and went nuts. It appears as if the whole computer has been wiped clean. It's a newer computer, a gateway with windows xp on it.

The kid is taking it to geek squad soon and him and his parents are trying to make me pay for it saying it's all my fault. I don't mean to blame the win96 program and say it's bad, it just really seems like doing that ruined the computer. I'm just worried because they're gonna try and make me buy them a new computer and will try to get my parents involved. I already agreed to pay half the geek squad bill thinking this really is my fault. But I don't got money to throw away over some bs.
 

n2mdk

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You can be sure Win96 didn't cause this to happen. The worst thing that would have happened if the drive got wiped would be to have to load the OS back onto the system.
There should be a set of restore disks that came with the system.
 

SkipSanders

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Commonest reason for a computer going 'no O/S around here' is a bad hard drive. It hits a bad (or newly bad) sector at just the wrong time, and trashes its drive main partition info, resulting in a bad partition/blank (though the data is actually still there, it just can't be accessed because the computer no longer can tell where it is)
 

mtindor

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Monoxide16 said:
It really does seem like choosing com port 3 crashed my friend's computer. As soon as I selected com3 and clicked ok, the computer froze and went nuts. It appears as if the whole computer has been wiped clean. It's a newer computer, a gateway with windows xp on it.

The kid is taking it to geek squad soon and him and his parents are trying to make me pay for it saying it's all my fault. I don't mean to blame the win96 program and say it's bad, it just really seems like doing that ruined the computer. I'm just worried because they're gonna try and make me buy them a new computer and will try to get my parents involved. I already agreed to pay half the geek squad bill thinking this really is my fault. But I don't got money to throw away over some bs.
They obviously are clueless. And you apparently aren't too familiar with Windows. If the software was downloaded from Don Starr's site, I'm quite confident that his software has no malicious code attached to it that would delete the OS, corrupt files on the filesystem.

Selecting COM3 may have broken the computer, but that means some hardware on the computer is faulty, or the software drivers for that hardware (the COM ports) isn't functioning properly. You've got to remember that since nobody using that computer is very clueful, anyone could have easily visited a website or opened some file tehy downloaded which in turn installed a virus/trojan on the computer that may have wreaked havoc. But it definitely wasn't Don Starr's program.

And if all you did was install Don Starr's program and this happened, then it was purely a coincidence and either the computer itself has some malfunctioning hardware OR some other software was installed, knowingly or unknowingly, that corrupted the filesystem, the OS, etc.

Don't let them force you to fix something that isn't your fault... of course that assumes that _you_ didn't install anything else on this computer or accidentally do something yourself while installing Win96 to cause this. Sounds like they are looking for a scapegoat. Sound like a real bunch of a trailer trash, and if I were you I would disassociate myself with all of them as soon as possible - It's not worth it to have morons for that like friends or acquaintenances.

Mike
 
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