The Dark-Eyed Mistress of Sweet, Sweet Pain (jenni_the_odd) wrote,
The Dark-Eyed Mistress of Sweet, Sweet Pain
jenni_the_odd

A plea for help to the tech-savvy from the ignorant.

This computer is running Windows XP Home Edition. At some point over the holidays, for no discernable reason, it decided that it did not at all like the two programs necessary for my job - SPCS (a pest-control customer database software created in 1995. I believe it was originally installed on this comp in 2003, with the new version available at the time) and LotusWrite (word-type document software for our contracts and whatnot). When we attempt to open them, we receive the following error message:

[title] 16 bit Windows Subsystem
[message] C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\AUTOEXEC.NT. The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.
[close] [ignore]

Both the [close] and [ignore] options result in the program closing. I checked out the folder and noted that autoexec.nt was, in fact, missing.
So I toddled over to microsoft.com, and found this. It gives the instructions on how to expand the file from a CD-ROM. We do not have the CD-ROM, as the computer came with the software already installed and the great HP gods did not see fit to bless us with an extra copy of the software.

While my boss tried to understand the call center rep, I followed steps 1-3 using the file from the i386 folder on the hard drive instead of the CD (the rep was in India, and did not seem to understand that we did not have the CD. They tried, but between their English-as-a-second-language and my boss' computer illiteracy, it was a bit of a mess). Everything was ducky, that fixed the problem. Yay, hurrah, my boss now thinks I am the second coming of Bill Gates. We then restarted.
Aaaand the problem was back.
I told my boss (and I hope I was right) that the computer was copying the file and putting it where it was supposed to be - but it wasn't keeping it there when it restarted. Neither the call center rep nor I had any idea why.
And so I turn to you good folks.

Some questions:
1. Steps 5-16: is %SYSTEMROOT% typed letter-for-letter, or should I translate it to %WINDOWS% (or %C:\WINDOWS%)? While it specifies to do this for earlier steps, it does not for this one, and I would rather not inadvertantly cause my bosses' computer to explode.
2. In the event that steps 5-16 will not, in fact, offer a permanent solution any more than steps 1-3 did, any ideas as to what *should* be done? To put it in plain terms, it seems to me that the file needs to be told "SIT. STAY." Is there any other method for doing this, or at the very least any other resources I can look to for it?
3. Any idea how or why this happened? No programs have been purposely downloaded, there is no filesharing software on this computer. I run SpyBot on it every now and then, and it rarely picks up more than a few things at a time. The primary browser is IE, which I know opens us up to more bad things than I want to think about, but it is considered rude to download things onto someone else's computer (or at least, I consider it so) and I generally only surf LJ and Yahoo! news on slow days.

HP is sending us the CD-ROM by mail, it should get here in 3 days or so. This request is not crucial to the business, as there is another computer that is running the programs with no trouble at all. It is mostly to satisfy my own curiosity.
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