Symbol Characters


Old 01-17-02, 04:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 236
Question Symbol Characters


I'm not sure how to describe this. But, I was trying to install McAfee Firewall 3.0 on my PC that runs Windows 98. The installation menu pops up and only half of it is readable. That half is all in English. The other half is random characters (squares, circles, diamonds and some others I
can't explain). I tried to use McAfee's help but it took 1 hour to connect to somebody who didn't help at all. I then tried the CD on my brother's CD (his PC is WIN98 too) and the installation menu came right up and it was perfectly readable. So,
I now believe the problem is on my PC and not the CD.

Any suggestions as to what may be causing these characters to appear instead of text?

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Old 01-17-02, 09:52 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,019
Funny characters: 
The above are Wordpads interpretation of a repeated Control Code character. Everything is subject to interpretation! The funny characters you see probably are being interpreted as Control Code Characters. Why? Any of a number of reasons: missing or damaged font file, registry / INI error - causing wrong application and/or viewer or dll function to be called, and on and on.

In the "old days" Control Code characters were used to format text. The easiest way to show you that things really are subject to interpretation is a demonstration. The batch file below will show you up to three differing views of some of the DOS Control Code characters. No doubt, some will be familiar.

The batch builds and then invokes a debug script. It is not to be edited by you, or by anyone else with limited DOS knowledge. It has been written especially for Windows 9x versions. The version of Windows is not tested, however, you have control through a series of choices and one key press responses. The suggested name to save as is "NN.BAT". Suggested use: DOS Command Line entry.

Usually copying batch files or scripts off the Internet and executing them is a very bad idea. Decide for yourself wether or not to do so now.


@Echo off
Set Bname=%0
If not exist %Bname%.bat Goto Help
If "%1"=="/?" Goto Help
Echo Warning: this batch invokes a debug script.
Echo nn.bat for Win9x versions.
Choice /c:yn " Proceed "
If errorlevel 2 Goto Clean

Echo a 0100>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
Echo db ' Control Code Characters', 0a 0d>>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
Echo db 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09>>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
Echo db 0b 0c 0e 0f 10 11 12 13 14 15 16>>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
Echo db 17 18 19 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f,20 'end'>>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
Echo. >>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
Echo rcx>>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
Echo 3c>>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
Echo n %windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc>>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
Echo w>>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
echo q>>%windir%\desktop\show.scr
if not exist %windir%\desktop\show.scr Goto Err1
debug <%windir%\desktop\show.scr>nul
del %windir%\desktop\show.scr
If not exist %windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc Goto Err2
Choice /c:yn "load '%windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc' with Wordpad "
If errorlevel 2 Goto SkipWord
start /wait wordpad %windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc
Choice /c:es "load '%windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc' w/ Edit or Show on Screen "
If errorlevel 2 type %windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc
If errorlevel 1 if not errorlevel 2 edit /80 %windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc
del %windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc
Echo Deleted '%windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc'

Choice /c:yn " Remove batch from Disk "
If errorlevel 2 Goto End
for %%p in ("cls" "del %bname%.bat" exit) do %%p

Echo Name this batch nn.bat
Echo To Run - at the command prompt "%windir%>"
Echo Type Drive:\FolderPath\nn then press Enter.
Echo Sample entry: " %windir%>%windir%\COMMAND\NN "
Echo. Enter: Drive:\Folder Path\nn /? - for this screen
Echo Your entry: %0 %1
Set Bname=
Goto End

Echo Problem: unable to create %windir%\desktop\show.scr
Goto Line2

Echo Problem: unable to create %windir%\desktop\it'sme.doc

Echo Disk must be writeable - Virus Software enabled?

set bname=


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