I reinstalled Windows XP home on a desktop I have from 2004. I updated all updates from SP1 and SP2 and security updates up to but not including SP3. The computer will now only boot in safemode as the owner. adminstrator in safemode does not work. Trying to boot in Normal mode returns..."Userinit.exe failed to initialize." Reading Geeks to Go suggests a corrupted userinit.exe file or malware. This is a fresh install but I ran combofix anyway and it found nothing. I copied over a new copy of userinit.exe from my D: partion and that did not help. I checked the registry and found userinit.exe in the correct place. And Userinit.exe is correctly located in the systems32 folder.
I am at my wits end here. What am I missing?