Please help me.... I've hit a bit of a wall!
I should probably start by saying that I'm pretty tech-savvy; I'm usually the person people come to for help. I look after my friends' and family's PCs; to cut it short, I'm usually the one answering these questions .
I'm currently working on a Mesh (Asus K8V SE Deluxe mainboard) XP Home PC which was BSODing at boot. Managed to fix that using recovery console/chkdsk (after having to slipstream the Mesh-supplied CD with drivers for the Mesh-supplied on-board SATA controller, grrr) but when the machine finally came back up it was very very poorly - most of the system services (RPC, Cryptographic) were not starting due to Permission Denied errors.
My first thought was "virus" so I ran full AV scans using both the f-secure and avira rescue disks; although they found a couple of questionable files there was nothing which rang alarm bells. I checked the usual startup keys in the registry but couldn't see anything. I tried running a minimal config using MSCONFIG but got nowhere.
The Microsoft fix (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313222) for the Access Denied problem on XP Home would not install because the windows installer service was not running (grrr).
I tried going to Last Known Good but that made no difference. Manually restoring RP registry files from back in September (the earliest on the machine) also made no difference.
I tried a full system repair install off the XP CD and while that ran OK it made no difference to the error.
I set the "SYSTEM" permissions on the root of the drive to "Full control" and forced it to propagate down, but that made no difference.
I downloaded dialafix because it was suggested as a solution to the permissions issue, but that would not run because it required XP SP3, which had been wiped out by the XP repair (oops). I tried to install SP3 but that wouldn't run because the crypto service wasn't running.
So back to nLite to slipstream SP3 onto the CD (along with the SATA drivers...); this worked but now I'm in a worse spot (if that's possible)...
The system simply fails to boot properly - it gets past the main XP logo to just before the welcome screen, but stops with at a blue screen with the blue "windows xp" logo offset to the right with the gradiated bars at the top and bottom of the page. The cursor moves when you move the mouse and occasionally hourglasses a couple of times early on. Ctrl-alt-del makes no difference. I've left it for a couple of hours (just in case it was waiting for a timeout) and it makes no difference.
Running from Safe Mode fails in exactly the same way.
I've found numerous reports of this problem (the blue XP logo screen) on the web and the only solution ever seems to have been a full reinstall; as far as I'm concerned that's a last resort, firstly because I'm basically admitting failure but secondly (and more importantly) I don't want the user to lose all his settings, installed programs etc.
I tried doing everything anyone suggested in any of the forums, however unlikely, I removed (or turned off) all the non-essential peripherals, no dice
Does anyone know what the computer's doing at that point? I'm happy to play with the registry (I can either boot using the Offline registry editor or whip out the drive and attach to my machine if it's easier) if anyone has any suggestions as to bootup options to disable that way.
This guy suggests that the problem might be that the shell isn't starting up - he says he can access file shares etc from the machine over the network, which suggests that everything's working except the logon program.
There was a suggestion that it might be related to Norton, which would fit - the machine has Norton installed and it had recently updated (from what the owner tells me) and I don't believe it can be a registry-related issue since restoring from months ago didn't help. Can I disable loading Norton through the registry? Can I just delete the norton files or will that make things worse?
Has anyone any other suggestions?
Any help appreciated
Edited by Marsbar, 23 February 2010 - 07:15 AM.