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"Windows could not start because of an error in the software"


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#1
ACher91

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That is the message I get when I try to start my computer :/ The same thing happens no matter what mode I try to boot in, safe or otherwise. This happened right after I uninstalled a program called Playitall media Player. Right after the uninstallation, all of the icons on my desktop started acting really weird—they lost all their important right-click menu options—I couldn't open, rename, go to properties, etc. The only options I had were cut, delete, and something else, which I can't remember. So, I restarted my computer hoping it would fix that, and here I am now.

My computer:
Compaq
Windows XP Pro
service pack 3

System restore was going to be my attempted solution, but I can't even get in to try it, so what should I do? ...I reeeaaaally don't want to factory settings it, as I have a lot of stuff I don't want to lose.

I also don't have the Windows installation CD... That might complicate things a bit, I expect. :D

Edited by ACher91, 20 April 2011 - 04:02 PM.

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#2
rshaffer61

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First lets protect your data before we attempt any fix.

Use Puppy Linux Live CD to Recover Your Data:

===================
***Required Hardware***
CD Burner (CDRW) Drive,
Blank CD,
Extra Storage Device (USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive)

===================

1. Save these files to your Desktop/Burn Your Live CD:
  • Download Latest Puppy Linux ISO (i.e.: lupu-520.iso)
    Download BurnCDCC ISO Burning Software

  • Open BurnCDCC with Windows Explorer
  • Extract All files to a location you can remember
  • Double Click Posted Image BurnCDCC
  • Click Browse Posted Image and navigate to the Puppy Linux ISO file you just downloaded
  • Open/Double Click that file
    IMPORTANT: Adjust the speed bar to CD: 4x DVD: 1x
  • Click Start Posted Image
  • Your CD Burner Tray will open automatically
  • Insert a blank CD and close the tray
  • Click OK
Puppy Linux Live CD will now be created
2. Set your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, Hard Drive Second
  • Start the computer/press the power button
  • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS, aka "Setup"
    (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
  • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:
    CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
  • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
  • Press F10 to save and exit
  • Agree with "Y" to continue
  • Your computer will restart and boot from the Puppy Linux Live CD

    Posted Image

3. Recover Your Data
  • Once Puppy Linux has loaded, it is actually running in your computer's Memory (RAM). You will see a fully functioning Graphical User Interface similar to what you normally call "your computer". Internet access may or may not be available depending on your machine, so it is recommended you print these instructions before beginning. Also, double clicking is not needed in Puppy. To expand, or open folders/icons, just click once. Puppy is very light on resources, so you will quickly notice it is much speedier than you are used to. This is normal. Ready? Let's get started.

    3a. Mount Drives
  • Click the Mount Icon located at the top left of your desktop. Posted Image
  • A Window will open. By default, the "drive" tab will be forward/highlighted. Click on Mount for your hard drive.
  • Assuming you only have one hard drive and/or partition, there may be only one selection to mount.
  • USB Flash Drives usually automatically mount upon boot, but click the "usbdrv" tab and make sure it is mounted.
  • If using an external hard drive for the data recovery, do this under the "drive" tab. Mount it now.
3b. Transfer Files.
  • At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
  • Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
  • Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
  • If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
  • From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.
For The Novice: The common path to your pictures, music, video, and documents folders is: Documents and Settings >> All Users (or each idividual name of each user. CHECK All Names!) >> Documents >> You will now see My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

Remember to only click once! No double clicking! Once you drag and drop your first folder, you will notice a small menu will appear giving you the option to move or copy. Choose COPY each time you drag and drop.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Simply click Menu >> Mouse Over Shutdown >> Reboot/Turn Off Computer. Be sure to plug your USB Drive into another working windows machine to verify all data is there and transferred without corruption. Congratulations!

Posted Image

Posted Image

If you're doing this to recovery from a virus or malware infection, (or even if you're not), DO NOT copy executable files (.exe, .scr. etc...) if any of these files are infected you could be copying the corruption over to any new device/computer. just copy documents, pictures, music, or videos.

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#3
ACher91

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All right, what do I do after that? :D
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#4
rshaffer61

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Once you have all your data safely backed up then we will continue.
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#5
ACher91

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Ergghh... When I open cdcc it tells me "unable to find or allocate a writable CD/DVD device." and I can't do anything with it.
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#6
rshaffer61

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Do you have a cdrom or dvd drive that is a burner or is it just a player?
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#7
ACher91

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I'm not sure how to find that out, but it's a TSSTcorp DVD-ROM TS-H352C
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#8
rshaffer61

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According to everything I'm finding on it that is a reader only and no burning capabilities at all.
A true oldie but goodie dvd player. :D
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#9
ACher91

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All right, I used a different computer and it worked. Now I'm in the process of copying all my files over to somewhere else. This might be a while...
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#10
rshaffer61

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NO problem better it take time and you know all your data is safe just in case.
FYI programs can not be copied over but just the data itself within a program.
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#11
ACher91

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Mmkay I'm done. What do I do now?
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#12
rshaffer61

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How To Run Chkdsk /r from Recovery Console:


How to run checkdisk from recovery console (Windows xp). (Courtesy dsenette)
  • Insert the Windows XP startup disk into the floppy disk drive, or insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
    Note:Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do so.
  • When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
    Note:If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.
  • When you are prompted to do so, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
  • At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following then press Enter:

    chkdsk /r

  • Allow this to run UNDISTURBED until completed (45 min or so)
  • Report any errors

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#13
ACher91

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*cough*

I also don't have the Windows installation CD... That might complicate things a bit, I expect. :D



Heh, well anyway, as I had all I wanted backed up, I just decided to do a factory restore... And it turned out to be the weirdest factory restore ever—it didn't lose any of my files! :D I didn't have to move everything that I backed up back over! In fact, it even kept almost all of my programs, including skype and itunes. So weird... :D

But hey, everything's fine now! :D
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#14
rshaffer61

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There are two types of factory restore.
Destructive formats and returns the system to factory settings like it was brand new.
Then there is a non destructive or what also is known as a Repair Installation.
This may have been what you did and that is why all your programs and data are still there.
Either way I am glad to hear you got it resolved and that you shared the resolution with us.
Congratulations Acher91. :D for a successful resolution for your issue.

I'm glad we could help and please let us know how everything works out for you.
If there is anything else we can do to help please feel free to ask. I appreciate that you allowed us to assist you with your issue and for your patience.
Thank you for choosing GeeksToGo for help. :D :D
This issue now appears to be resolved.


If other members are reading this and have a similar problem please begin a New Topic and someone will assist you as soon as possible
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