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XP wont boot (can only see desktop)


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#1
starchland

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Hey everyone, Im looking for some insight please.

Win XP will start but it will only go to the desktop (I can see my background, I hear the XP boot up sound, the mouse works and sometimes I get the hourglass).

I can CTRL ALT DLT and get the Task Manager but any commands,etc dont work. I did however get the Registry editor but that seems to be it.

What happened...when starting the computer I got an error saying SYSTEM file is damaged or corrupt. I did CHKDSK /R it found one error and fixed it. After restarting I got blue screen saying USB something error. Then restarted again and it got as far as loading the desktop background...but thats it. Safe mode does the same thing. Last good configuration and system restore dont work either. Its almost like CHKDSK did something where win xp cant find the location or something?!

I wish I could figure this out. I would like to get my files back. I always have fixed my own issues but this seems above my head. Anything I can do?! First time I asked for help on a forum. suggestions would be great ty :)
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#2
Ztruker

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How to recover from:

What you are trying to do is get the system to boot to Safe Mode so you can do a System Restore.

File is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
File is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE
  • Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD
  • At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
  • Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair. Typically this will be #1
  • Enter in the administrator password when requested (usually just press Enter unless you added a password for Administrator).
  • Enter cd \windows\system32\config
  • Depending on which section was corrupted, enter:
    ren software software.bak
    copy \windows\repair\software
    or
    ren system system.bak
    copy \windows\repair\system
  • Take out the CD ROM and type exit
  • Press F8 to get to the Windows Advanced Options Menu.
  • Select Safe Mode
If the system boots to Safe mode then run System Restore to go back to a date and time before the error occurred. You get to System Restore as follows:

Click on Start then Programs (or All Programs). Click on Accessories then System Tools and finally System Restore.
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#3
starchland

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I need to get my hands on a win xp cd. Will give it a shot and report back. thanks.
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#4
Ztruker

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If you don't have an XP CD, download and run ARCDC by Artellos. It will download the required files from the Microsoft Web site and create a .iso file. It will also offer to burn the iso image to a CD for you. If you don't do it then, there is a good freeware burner called ImgBurn which will do it at a later time. If you're unsure how to do this, you can follow the tutorial here: How to Burn an ISO File. This can be done from any computer.

Boot the CD and at the first opportunity, enter R to start the Recovery Console.

Continue with previous directions.
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#5
starchland

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Sorry for the delay, computer access has been spotty. I found my win xp cd and im hoping that it will work for the fix, which I havent tried yet. Is there a chance that the repair will knock out existing files on my system? Good to know there are options out there as far as where to find the required files.

I read that running chkdsk is often required to run more than once before it can fix the problem? It was interrupted once but then the 2nd time it ran it found/fixed a problem. I have a better description of the error messages that I wrote down, in which I will update to this thread before I try to recovery.

ps thanks for the help
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#6
Ztruker

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If I run chkdsk and it fixes anything I always run it again to make sure it runs clean.

As for a Repair Install, it "should not" touch your data or installed programs, keyword there is "should not". If I were you, I would definitely backup my data before doing it. Remember Murphy's law: if anything can go wrong it will
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#7
starchland

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sorry guys, still havent got around to trying the Win XP cd. Ive been busy but also afraid of screwing up the computer and losing information. Also forgot what website I had asked for help from. will update eventually. thanks again
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