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XP Desktop Not Responding


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#1
elijahmobile

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I'm trying to help a family member restore his laptop to normal use. It's a Dell Inspirion 5100 laptop, running Windows XP Home Edition SP1, and it's not connected to the internet.

Existing symptoms are: It appears to boot to a normal Desktop, the mouse works, but nothing responds - nothing opens or runs, including Start and the rest of the taskbar. Tried several times to System Restore in F8 Safe Mode with the Command Prompt. System Restore seems to work fine until it displays the large white window at the very end - but bombs (locks up) before any text is displayed.

The only fix idea I have come up with is to try to repair Windows XP using "How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP" http://support.micro...kb;[LN];Q315341
I see your forum has a pinned post "Repair Windows XP" showing how to perform it as well.

Is this the way to proceed, or do you have other suggestions first?

Edited by elijahmobile, 29 August 2005 - 11:58 PM.

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#2
Retired Tech

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If You have the XP CD then this would be the way to go

http://www.geekstogo...ws_XP-t138.html
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#3
elijahmobile

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Thank you for your quick response, Keith.

Does this MS warning still apply, or was it corrected with XP SP1 and following?

Microsoft Support Article
"You May Lose Data or Program Settings After Reinstalling, Repairing, or Upgrading Windows XP"
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#4
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That seems to be about an upgrade installation, this is to repair

http://www.geekstogo...ws_XP-t138.html

and says

Windows XP repair feature won't delete your data, installed programs, personal information, or settings. It just repairs the operating system

This is a variation on a theme

http://www.theelderg..._windows_xp.htm

The last in list, Windows installation CD to repair the current installation, which says

data and settings are not destroyed

Both will require a visit to Microsoft Update to replace the service packs etc
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#5
elijahmobile

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AT LAST my relative finally found the original DELL Reinstallation disk for Microsoft Windows XP Home edition.

In reviewing again the Microsft Article 312369 "You May Lose Data or Program Settings After Reinstalling, Repairing, or Upgrading Windows XP", I thought it did apply to our situation: 1. "Windows XP was preinstalled by a computer manufacturer", and 2. "We would repair Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP CD-ROM, pressing ENTER to set up Windows XP, and then pressing R to repair the selected installation". The article wasn't real clear, but it looks like it was fixed in SP1. However, we weren't able to determine whether our laptop actually had SP1 or not.

Figuring it couldn't hurt, I followed the instructions for manually removing the suspect file and in F8 Safe Mode with Command Prompt entered: del /a /f %windir%\system32\undo_guimode.txt, which returned without any error message.

Once we got the Bios adjusted to let us boot from the CD, the repair went as advertised and it did indeed fix the problem without any apparent loss of anything.

Thank you again Keith, and Geeks To Go!
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#6
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Glad we were able to help

Make sure you visit Microsoft Update

http://update.micros...t.aspx?ln=en-us
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#7
elijahmobile

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The original problem has intermittently resurfaced - so I may have to do another Windows XP Repair.

My question is: Can I use a newer DELL Reinstallation Disk? This computer came with SP1 installed and a SP1 Disk. My computer came with SP1 installed, but with a SP2 Disk. So it would seem that it would be ok to use the newer SP2 Disk. I just want to make sure this won't cause any problems. It would seem that it would be better to upgrade to SP2 (this computer has no internet connection - and therefore can't download the SP2 installation).
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#8
The Skeptic

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I tried what you suggest lately and it didn't work. I think that you would be better off reinstalling the original disk. After that, if possible, use another computer with internet connection to download sp2 from Microsoft (http://www.microsoft...&displaylang=en), burn it to a disk and install on the laptop.
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#9
elijahmobile

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This Microsoft file is 266MB - is that because it includes updates for all versions of Windows XP? Will it update a plain Windows XP Home Edition to SP2 the same as if you could use the Automatic Update?
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#10
The Skeptic

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Yes, it will. By the way, there over 30 updates which are not included in sp2. If you don't have connection to the Internet You can search at Microsoft and download all of them, using another computer, burn to a disk and install on your computer. It's a bit tedious but recommended. Another thing, can't you move your computer to a friend who has an internet connection and do all the updating there? This will save you a lot of time.
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#11
elijahmobile

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How's the weather in the Galilee - they say it's often like Southern California and it's around 70 here and generally dry?

Do I understand you correctly. If I execute the 266MB application on this computer- it will do a Windows XP Home update to SP2 and also do an additional 30 updates? If that is true - that would be the simpliest and most comprehensive thing to do.
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#12
The Skeptic

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It's beautiful here, not only weatherwise.

The 30 odd updates are not included in sp2 and should be downloaded seperately.
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#13
elijahmobile

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Thank you Y.A I followed your advice - used both the Developer's SP2 file on CD to update to SP2 and then was able to connect to my cable broadband connection to get the total of 40 updates from MS Updates Site. Best of all, I found the culprit program that was causing the recurring problem and removed it, eliminating the need to do another Windows XP Repair.

You were a big help - Thank you again.
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