My mom lives three hours north of me. She picked up an old Compaq from a friend at work and asked me to beef it up. We wound up buying XP Home with SP2 and performed a clean install. The system, though old, ran great. I downloaded all of the latest updates and headed home. Several weeks later, she complained that the computer kept rebooting over and over and over again. On my next available free weekend, I drove back to her place to check it out. A "Blue Screen of Death" was appearing but the system rebooted so fast I couldn't read the error message. I assumed it was a hardware issue so removed everything but her video card. When we booted, the same problem existed. I didn't have a spare video card on hand so just reinstalled Windows. When I drove off, everything was running great again.
Just a week or two ago, she complained her computer was at it again. She dropped the system off here last week, but I wasn't able to look at it until last night. I rounded up a spare video card and swapped the two out. I just knew this would be a 10 minute job. Unfortunately, that didn't fix the problem. I asked the Compaq not to reboot on system failure (what I should have done weeks ago), and read the message: "The Session Manager Initialization System Process terminated unexpectedly with a status of....". I googled that message and found a lot of fluff online. People blamed everything from hotfixes to spyware (ha). I used recovery console to remove the hotfixes that were installed on the latest date - 9-10-07. There were five of them installed on that day and I erased them all. I still can't get her computer to boot.
I can't take it any more. I've been working on this computer since last night. I'm ready to wrap up this project. I really just wanted to fix the problem because I'm afraid that if I reinstall Windows, the same problem will arrise again a few weeks from now. Unfortunately, though, no one is able to assist me with that problem.
So now I ask you this - Can I use my Windows XP Home (no service packs on CD) cd and her XP Home (with SP2) cd key to reinstall windows on her machine? This would keep one of us from making another 3 hour drive. I don't wan't to format before I know for sure just in case I find a fix for the Session Manager error message.
Obviously, I'd rather fix the Session Manager, but if I can't reinstalling windows will be my only choice. If it comes to that, it would be much quicker for me to use my cd with her key than to wait for her to find time to make the 3 hour drive (or wait for it to come via mail).
Any and all information will be greatly appreciated.