Windows ME will not start

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Still no joy, I'm afraid. That link allowed me to download a .zip file (I then had to download WinZip to open it!), but the contents of the zip folder don't include any setup utility or other exe file, so i'm not sure what to do with the files?

EDIT: I seem to have found a mirror that works for downloading the setup file, so will give that a go first...
Bah - The .exe i dowloaded was just a self-extracting archive containing the same files that I don't know what to do with!
Sorry, I didn't download it myself, so wasn't sure. I haven't got a 2K machine to hand, so you might need to adapt this a little.

What you need to do is open device manager.

Right click on My Computer and select Properties. Next, select the hardware tab and then device manager.

You should see a list of devices with one section called unknown device(s) and indicated by a yellow question mark. Expand the section if necessary to display all unknown devices. Hopefully,there will only be one.

There are a couple of ways to do this, but the easiest is to remove all the unknown devices and there should be an option to do this. Once you have removed them all, restart the machine. Windows should now redetect the device(s) you removed. It should ask for a driver location. Use the browse button and navigate to the 2K_XP_ME folder that the files you downloaded were extracted to.

The driver should now install and it should function (maybe another restart).

If there is more than one unknown device you may have to skip them if the driver fails to load. We can look at those later.

Failing that, I can do it for you remotely.
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Drat, it was looking hopeful there for a minute. I disabled the unknown device (there was only one question mark) and restarted.

It did indeed say "new hardware found" and listed it as a "Simple PCI communication device". Then I browsed to the appropriate folder but it could not find a driver. :evil:

Is it going to be another long night....?
The unknown device is a modem, so not the one we are interested in. Have another look in device manager for a section called sound, video and game controllers (or similar). Is the sound card listed?
Curiouser and curiouser. A souncard was listed, but not the right one. It was there as a CMI8738. Funnily enough that rings a bell as sounding familiarly like a "Creative" sound card I had in a former machine, but I digress. I uninstalled it and rebooted, and it (wrongly) identified the card as a CMI8738 again, and therefore still no sound. I guess what we need to do is forcibly point it at the correct drivers..... somehow!
Yes, if you select the soundcard and then have a look for option to update the driver (it may be under properties for the card). It should then let you browse and proceed as in my previous post.
I just got a dialog box saying that a suitable driver was already installed, then it went about installing it as a CMI8738 again.

I have a suspicion this could be to do with one of the "duff" drivers I downloaded earlier, but not sure how to get rid of it.

If all else fails I suppose I could always format and start from scratch again, but that would have to wait until tomorrow!
It could be the right driver. have a look in control panel and select the sound and audio devices function. Have a look at the various windows sounds and try to play one. Does it go through the motions? i.e. is the play button active?

Is the sound card muted and (as daft as it sounds) are the speakers plugged correctly.

One way to be sure is to pull the card and have a look for CMI8738 on one of the chips.

One more thought, does the motherboard have onboard sound?
Igorian, you're a f******g genius (and I now feel very stupid!)

When I first installed windows today I did indeed check and the "play" button was greyed out, but I hadn't checked since. Sure enough this time it was, as you said, going through the motions, but no sound.

Closer inspection revealed (wait for it)... I'd plugged the speakers into the out jack on the modem rather than the sound card! DOH!

Test WAVs now work, CD audio doesn't but I suspect I can fix this myself, a connection inside between the CD drive and the soundcard is needed for this to operate, right? (I don't recall seeing one when I looked at the card yesterday, or possibly that's when it came unplugged).

In any case, that can wait until I look inside again tomorrow, for now I'm just relieved that the card is working and "windows sounds" are playing fine.

Next on the list, you said that the unknown device earlier was the modem, how can I test this without connecting to an ISP? I don't have an AOL disc to hand and I don't want to install that until the last possible minute...
Lol, that's quite a common mistake, glad it's sorted.

Yes, you need an audio lead between the CD and the sound card.

The modem still needs a driver to work. Pull the card and look for a name or model number. You may need to look at the chips on the board if it is a generic type.

Gonna crash now, but if you get stuck with the driver, i'll have a look in the morning.
Great result, got it all sorted today!

The CD audio was indeed a cable that I'd inadvertently unplugged whilst identifying the sound card the other day, now working fine.

Had a look at the modem, it had no markings at all but I came up with a clever workaround - I swapped it into my Dell, and Windows XP did it's automatic on-line driver search and correctly identified it as an Intel 536EP. The one I had in the Dell was a Conexant and I had the driver CD already, so I installed it in the Compaq and it worked lovely. At that stage this was only for testing, but a bit of internet research showed that the Intel one was actually a better card, so I "accidentally" forgot to swap them back (well you have to make something out of these freebie jobs! :) ;) )

Lastly I reluctantly reinstalled her AOL account and took the Compaq back to her. She's pleased as punch with a job well done!

Igorian, I couldn't have done it all without your advice mate, you're a star. My friends tend to see me as a bit of a "computer expert" and bring me their problems, but parts of this were more advanced than I could have dealt with on my own. If the fabled "DIYnot meet" ever does manage to happen, I'll be buying you a few bevvies!
ninebob said:
If the fabled "DIYnot meet" ever does manage to happen, I'll be buying you a few bevvies!

Yahhh, Tequila!!!
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