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Repairing Windows XP in Eight Commands

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  • Options
    edited Nov 2010
    Notice how not a single one of those have anything to do with the registry. That's because in the likely event the registry breaks enough to break Windows altogether, there's nothing you can do about it but reinstall.

    There's a REASON only Windows uses a binary database for system configuration, it's because EVERYONE ELSE has better ideas on how to design an operating system than Microsoft. It;s because EVERYONE ELSE knows what a horrible idea it is to actually use a database for storing any configuration whatsoever, especially one as inaccessible as the registry.

    The registry pretty much guarantees that NO rescue disk whatsoever will succeed at fixing Windows if the problem lies within its stores. Compound this problem with the fact that the registry has a horribly low tolerance for invalid data stored inside it, no matter how innocuous. Thus, if the registry breaks, the ONLY system that can fix it is the system you can't boot, since the registry is COMPLETELY closed to outside systems. No boot disk can access it, not even Microsoft'd own crippled recovery console can do anything about it.

    This, along with things like drive letter access, the fact that its still really a single-user system, and the fact that Microsoft can't secure it properly largely BECAUSE it's a single user system, are all reasons why Windows is a horribly inferior operating system. Poorly designed. VERY poorly designed. To the point you only get a handful of options for even fixing it if it breaks before you have to reinstall it. Which is horrible because the drive letter system makes reinstalling it a real hassle, as not only do you have to reinstall your software, but backup and reinstall ALL your data.

    This is why Linux and OS X are starting to kill Windows on the desktop, because both of them more or less do it CORRECTLY. You can fix both with even basic text editors from boot disks, no matter what the configuration is that's broken. I can even fix a broken initramfs from a boot disk. And of course, the UFS they deploy allows me to reinstall them all I want and even share the EXACT SAME /home between operating systems on my machine. You just can't do that with Windows. Period.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Nov 2010
    lol-why-you-mad-tho.jpg
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Nov 2010
    This is why Linux and OS X are starting to kill Windows on the desktop

    091128-derp.jpg
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2010
    This is the only statistic I care about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems#Supercomputers

    That's because I don't just computer, or computer hard... I SUPERCOMPUTER HARD
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Nov 2010
    I guess he's never seen offline registry editing, which is entirely possible and I have used it before.

    tumblr_kyby7pa0J81qzxzwwo1_500.gif
  • Options
    TomTom
    edited Nov 2010
    Thank you so much, this worked a treat!
  • Options
    edited Nov 2010
    I have had this error many times & fixed it without a problem. Well got used Dell and my God its a pain. I can finally get to the recovery console but when I type "R" or "Enter" or ANYTHING it does absolutely nothing... Just freezes up on that screen and only option is to hold power button for 7 seconds as ctrl-alt-del does nothing also. Any help would be wonderful!

    Thanks!!!
  • Options
    edited Dec 2010
    The problem for me is when I type "CD", it doesn't show C:\> next.

    Instead, it looks like this:

    C:\WINDOWS>CD
    C:\WINDOWS
    C:\WINDOWS>

    I went past this or ignored the fact that it wasn't C:/> by doing the other steps, but when I got to typing:

    C: ATTRIB -H C:\\boot.ini
    C:ATTRIB -S C:\\boot.ini
    C:ATRIB -R C:\\boot.ini

    It said something along the lines that they couldn't find it.

    Totally lost as to what to do.
  • Options
    edited Dec 2010
    UPDATE:

    To be more specific, after I put the:

    C:\WINDOWS>ATTRIB -H C:\\BOOT.INI
    C:\WINDOWS>ATTRIB -S C:\\BOOT.INI
    C:\WINDOWS>ATRIB -R C:\\BOOT.INI
    C:\WINDOWS>DEL BOOT.INI

    It says "No matching files were found."

    I continue, though, with the bootcfg commands all the way down to the

    C:\WINDOWS>CHKDSK /R /F

    But it says "The parameter is not valid. Try /? for help."

    I have a Windows XP x64 Edition. It's a dinosaur, and remember that my commands have "C:\WINDOWS>" instead of just "C:\" because it will not allow me to just have C:\.

    Anyone know what to do?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Dec 2010
    type "cd .." to go down a level to c:\ (no quotes)
  • Options
    edited Dec 2010
    I have to admit I'm an OS X user, but I am always having to help my 70 year old parents with their PC which they first took up a few years ago. The problem is I know nothing about XP so I'm always stuck with using a combination of common sense and Google. I got stuck with a Config error last week and could not fix it, had to send to the repair guys, but now I know, thanks so much for this... bookmarked.
  • Options
    benben
    edited Dec 2010
    hi pro... i have reached the step of bootcfg/rebuild
    but i got the following massage :

    error: failed to successfully scan disk for window installations. this error may be caused bu a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning. use chkdsk to detect any disk errors...

    what should i do next ? please help thanks
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Dec 2010
    ben wrote:
    use chkdsk to detect any disk errors...
    Says it right there. chkdsk /r
  • Options
    edited Dec 2010
    You are a star. Once I located an XP boot disk, took me half an hour to recover the computer. Thanks
  • Options
    edited Dec 2010
    Fellow Geeks, this procedure worked perfectly on a Dell 4600. Thanks much and Happy Holidays to all.
  • Options
    edited Jan 2011
    Worked great but I also had a second windows boot option come up. Is there a way to get rid of the old version?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Jan 2011
    Sometimes (all the time) a little googling can be of assistance: changing boot options xp in google yields lovely results
  • Options
    edited Jan 2011
    Worked great. Thanks!
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Jan 2011
    You're welcome
  • Options
    edited Feb 2011
    LOVE IT, Cheers :)
  • Options
    edited Feb 2011
    After the question "Which windows installation would you like to log onto" I have tried 3 and 2 and get "Invalid selection." Whehn I try 1 and ENTER the computer freezes up and nothing follows. Help please!
  • Options
    PVBPVB
    edited Feb 2011
    Got to recovery console.
    Unfortunately every command:
    "No matching files were found" OR
    "The system cannot the file or directory specified".

    I have cloned the drive in question and tried this process on the original and the clone with the same results.
    Could somebody please help?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Feb 2011
    Moose wrote:
    After the question "Which windows installation would you like to log onto" I have tried 3 and 2 and get "Invalid selection." Whehn I try 1 and ENTER the computer freezes up and nothing follows. Help please!
    What are the things listed on your drive?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Feb 2011
    PVB wrote:
    Got to recovery console.
    Unfortunately every command:
    "No matching files were found" OR
    "The system cannot the file or directory specified".

    I have cloned the drive in question and tried this process on the original and the clone with the same results.
    Could somebody please help?

    You get into recovery console, it lists an installation, you enter that installation, and then cannot complete any of the commands? Can you type "dir" (no quotes) and get any output?
  • Options
    PVBPVB
    edited Feb 2011
    yes i do get output when type "dir".

    I should point out i've have had a major crash.
    i can boot into windows but the screen is blank.
    Next i control/alt/del then "file" on the task manager top left. i then type something like msconfig or system restore. After i've done this the desktop icons begin slowly to appear.
    Now what happens is that every application in startup IE. antivirus, firewall, updater, and about 20 others come up with a dll error (not a valid win32 etc check against the installation disk) message. Browser, Outlook, AVG, and just about everything else comes up with the same error. there is also an ntvdldr cpu error (or something like it) and a dos error, an SVCHost could not be read, and on it goes.

    I have a backup and the errors were all automatically backed up to that as well as this happens on both disks. I have 2 other operating systems on their own HDD's: Vista 32 and 64 on the same computer and they work fine (for M$ at least).

    Now i have managed to go through this above process in safe mode and execute a system restore (3 times now).
    Always the same errors.

    I bit the bullet and decided to do a rtepair install, but you guessed it, repair is not an option. i tried to manually copy the file c:\windows\repair\system to c:\windows\system32\config, but just comes up cannot find the file or directory specified.

    BTW: i booted to vista and ran a full virus check and IO bit scan on the XP OS and nothing. i did this twice.

    I am trying very hard to get this system up as you can see. i will probably do a fresh install, but i would very much like to do, at the minimum, a repair install (not in Recovery console) first.

    System specs are Gigabyte ud4p board, i7 920, 6GB corsair ram, 3x 500gb Western Digital Black HDD's and 1 x 320GB seagate(for XP backup), gtx 295 Graphics card, Corsair HX 1000 watt PSU and the usual other stuff.

    I am now determined to get this operating system going again, even if just for the experience (rather than the recovery of the data, because it is all accessible from Vista and in duplicate).

    Also, I have run Chkdsc from recovery. it took 4 hours and still the same.

    Thanks in advance,
    Paul.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Feb 2011
    It sounds like you are borked. Try the repair install, but you will probably have better luck pulling off w/e data you want (w/ that many OSs floating around, your data should have its own partition anyways) and doing a fresh install.
  • Options
    edited Feb 2011
    Oh my god... you're a lifesaver! This is instantly my favorite page in the universe
  • Options
    PVBPVB
    edited Feb 2011
    Quote:
    "It sounds like you are borked. Try the repair install,"

    Every O/S is on its own HDD.
    The Repair install is not an option on the setup XP setup page. I don't know why.

    For the purpose of any repairs, the computer is on its side and all non relevant HDD's have their power cords disconnected(i scratched into the paint on each drive what O/S was on each drive when i upgraded all my HDD's 6 months ago).
    This is a basic precaution that i would recommend as yes i almost caused a disaster one time before! easy to do with all those cables.
  • Options
    edited Feb 2011
    You sir, are a godsend. This fixed up my issue immediately. Thank you so much for posting this.
  • Options
    edited Feb 2011
    Is there any way to force the bootcfg /rebuild command to work if the scan fails because a part of the drive (not the Windows portion) has problems?
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