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Windows XP immediately logs out

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I'm having the problem, that I see has been documented here and elsewhere, where after entering my password into the Windows XP startup screen I see a flash of my desktop and am immediately logged back out. This happens in safe mode too. I have read up on some of the solutions for this, but because I don't have my XP installation cd I don't think I'll be able to do fix this myself.

I dropped my laptop off at a local computer tech store. They said I needed a complete OS reinstall and data backup, and quoted me $250 for this. This price seemed kind of high to me, so i told them to hold off for now.

So my question is, will I be able to fix this problem on my own without a windows XP cd?
If I can't fix this, does $250 for a reinstall and data backup seem like reasonable professional fix?

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Hello welcome to GeeksToGo, We will be happy to help you.

We will need some more information

If this is a name brand system:
Operating System
Age of the computer
Memory Total
Hard Drive Size, How much free space

If this is custom then We will need the following:

The CPU brand and model
The Motherboard brand and model
Ram amount and speed
Cd\Dvd rom interface IDE/ SATA
Hard Drive size and free space
Any cards in PCI slots
Any software installed\updated and driver updates done just before problem started

All this will help in determining a course of action to best correct the problem you are experiencing.
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    Tech Moderator

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save your money...
you can remove the drive and slave it to a working system to get your data...
after getting your data off you can use the recovery partition or the recovery disks that came with your system to get it back to like the day you bought it
another option is to borrow a retail cd of xp... the same flavor of xp on the system and do a repair on the system

or you can try puppy linux...
get puppy linux...Get puppy-2.16-seamonkey-fulldrivers.iso download it and burn it to cd
if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files go here and get burncdcc ..a small FAST no frills iso burning program...

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its puppy-2.16-seamonkey-fulldrivers.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....

put the cd in the cd drive..boot your computer....puppy will boot and run totally in ram...if your hardware is is good working order you will know...
after you get it running and your at the desktop...you take the puppy linux cd out and then you can use the burner to copy all yor data to cd/dvds
you can also use it to backup your data to a external usb harddrive..just have it hooked to the computer when you boot up with puppy...
quick guide for saving data...music..files on a system that will not boot using puppy Linux..

after you get to puppy desktop..
click on the drives icon...looks like a flash drive...top row..it will list all the drives connected to

your computer...

click on the red icon for the drive you want to mount...in this case its a flash drive ...puppy will

mount the drive..the drive icon turns green when its mounted...
minimize the drives mounter window..you will need it again in a few minutes..
drag the right edge of it sideways to shrink it to its narrowest size...about half the width of the screen...then drag the window to the right edge of the screen...

now click on the icon that looks like a filing cabinet (kind of yellow) on the main drive...it should
already be green..
you will see a list of all the folders on the main drive Usually your C: drive..shrink that window to
the narrowest you can..about half the width of the screen...drag that window to the left side of the screen...
at this point you should have 2 windows open on your desktop..the flash drive on the right side..
go back to the folders on the C: drive...click on the documents and settings folder...then your user
name or all users..find the folders that has your data..
drag and drop the folder with the data you want to make copies of to the flash drive window...

your options are to move ..copy ect...JUST COPY..if its to big you will have to open the folder and
drag and drop individual files until the flash drive is full...(I have a 120 GB external USB drive for
big data recovery jobs and a 4 GB flash drive for the smaller jobs)..after you get the files copied to
the flash drive...
Click on the drives mounter you minimized earlier
UNMOUNT THE FLASH DRIVE by clicking on the green icon..you will once in awhile get error messages when
unmouting the drive..ignore them..when the flash drive icon turns red again its safe to remove the
flash drive..trot on over (stroll if you want to look cool) to another computer and plug in the flash

drive and copy all the data files ( I drag and drop) to the other computer..
make sure the other computer can read them...

now delete the data on the flash drive...take it back to the misbehaving computer and plug it in

again..click on the drives icon again and repeat until you have all your data transferred to the working

Edited by happyrock, 11 April 2009 - 05:03 PM.

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    BSOD Warrior/Computer Surgeon

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After you have backed up your data.

We will have to create a small 'fix CD' to solve this problem.
Please download RC.ISO and save it somewhere you can find it.
Also download MagicISO and install it.

Start MagicISO. You should see a window informing you about the full version of MagicISO.
In the bottom right select Try It! and the program will open.
Click on File and then on Open and navigate to the RC.ISO file you downloaded. Select it, and click Open.

First, we'll need to add a clean version of userinit.exe to the current RC.ISO
  • In the upper right pane, double click on the i386 folder.
  • Right click in the upper right pane and select Add Files...
  • Navigate to C:\Windows\System32 and select userinit.exe
  • Then click Open to add userinit.exe to the CD image.
  • Click File and select Save As...
  • Name the file RCplus and save it somewhere you can find it.
Next, we'll need to burn the newly created image to a disk that we can use to fix the problem.
  • Put a blank CD-R disk in your CD burner and close the tray. If an AutoPlay window opens, close it.
  • Click on Tools and select Burn CD/DVD with ISO.... A window will appear.
  • Click on the little folder to the right of CD/DVD Image File then navigate to the newly created RCplus.iso Image file and click Open.
  • In the CD/DVD Writing Speed drop-down menu choose the 8X setting.
  • Under Format make sure that Mode 1 is selected.
  • And finally, click on the Burn it! button to burn RCplus.iso to disk.
Once the disk is burned, put it in the machine you want to fix and restart it.
Boot to the CD just as you would with a Windows XP disk.
At the Welcome to Setup screen, press R to enter the Recovery Console.
Choose the installation to be repaired by number (usually 1) and press Enter.
When you are asked for the Administrator password, enter the password or leave it blank (default) and press Enter.

At the C:\Windows> prompt, type the following commands pressing Enter after each one. Note: Watch the spaces.

cd i386
copy userinit.exe c:\windows\system32

After putting in the third command, you should receive the message 1 file copied which will indicate that the operation succeeded.
Now take out the CD and reboot your computer to normal mode. Try to log in and it should let you back in.

Edited by tuxmaster, 11 April 2009 - 11:17 PM.

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