First, I'd like to say thanks for all the help I've read here over the years - it's the reason I'm registering to ask advice now. =)
XP Pro SP3, rebuilt from Vista (or was...)
So, recently my OS has been acting more and more unstable. Repeated preoblems with the registry have caused it to crash or take a few times to reboot. I would make a repair attempt, things would seem fine for a while, then it's back and worse then ever. No scans with various virus, spyware or adware programs showed anything.
Today, computer seemed fine, went about usual maintenance, backed up files, and it had a few shaky moments, but seemed OK. Went to MS Update, and got the latest. Computer will not boot.
OK, Safe Mode, tried to restore to a very good restore point. BSOD in the middle of the process. On restart, now it won't boot at all, not into windows, safe mode, nada. BSOD, sometimes with errors beforehand such as "could not initialize" or "bad or missing registry entry".
Having used the XP repair listed on this site to great advantage in helping friends in the past to repair their systems, I gave it a try. No XP Installation found. Went to Recovery Console and rebuilt the boot sector, ntldr & ntdetect - XP Installation now found. Yay! Proceeded with repair.
Not only did it crash in the setup stage and have to restart several times though, when it finally did set up it crashed a few more times before stabilizing enough to run. All data and files but the drivers for my devices (hand installed when I rebuilt to XP) are gone. Good thing I back-up often.
Having started windows updates, the system is still very shaky and prone to crashing. I've only done 2 updates so far. Some of the errors are from LSASS.exe (checked, it's the valid one, not the virus) and some are from wuauclt.exe, some are just the screen display cutting off after reboot (though plugging in a monitor to the VGA outlet shows fine, so I don't think that's the problem). No recent hardware changes, and the errors I'm getting suggests it's the software that's corrupt.
So, professional opinion: Do I quit while I'm ahead and just nuke the partition, create a new one, reformat and start from scratch?
It's more work, but not that much more since everything was lost anyway. I wonder if the drivers that were saved are corrupt and causing the continued problems, in which case this may be the best and only real solution... aside from drop-kicking it across the street, and that would both hurt and still leave me without a laptop.