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Microsoft Windows Tips And Tricks!


Restoring Windows XP when System can't boot into windows

Windows XP fix if repair option not available when harddrive is not seen as windows xp install.
Windows XP repair console on cd is used to complete this fix.

Part 1
Here's what to do: First, get the Windows XP CD you used to install your operating system. By the way, this routine only works with Windows XP, either Professional or XP Home Edition. If you don't have a bootable XP CD, get one and have it with you at all times, because you never know when the dreaded BSOD might strike.

But before you do anything with that CD, try restarting your computer again. Sometimes, for some odd reason, this works. Usually not, though. If you've tried that and everything else you can think of, and you can't even boot into Safe Mode, this is the mission for you.
Insert the WIndows XP CD and select "R" for the recovery Console when the option comes up.

Windows XP Recovery Console View

Go ahead and hit the number 1 on your keyboard, or whichever number corresponds to the operating system you were using when havoc struck. Enter your administrator password, and then hit enter. You're in! Now it's time to run with the big dogs! Do not be afraid, dear reader, I am here to help you. By the way, if you don't know your administrator password, just try hitting the Enter key, and if that doesn't work, well, there's a fix for that, too. If you are in do the following:

md c:\windows\tmp
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak1
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak1
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak1
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak1
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak1
delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

Important Addendum Note: When attempting the copy operations above, you may encounter an error message saying basically "unable to copy". The way arround this is to simply replace the copy (and delete) commands above with the following:
cd \windows\system32\config
rename system system.kpp (or use the extension .old) don't use .bak since this is used sometimes by windows.
rename software software.kpp
rename sam sam.kpp
rename security security.kpp
rename default default.kpp

now copy these default registry files into their place.
copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\system\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\system\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\system\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\system\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

Now type Exit and watch your computer restart into Windows XP again.
Your system will restart with fresh default registry files without your apps and settings showing.

Part 2
Here's where you'll copy the saved registry files from their backed up location by using System Restore. This folder is not available in Recovery Console and is normally not visible -- Microsoft is protecting you from yourself by hiding it from you and locking it away from you. But we have the keys. Before you start this procedure, you'll need to change several settings to make that folder visible:
Start Windows Explorer.
On the Tools menu, click Folder options.
Click the View tab. Under Hidden files and folders, click to select Show hidden files and folders, and then click to clear the "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" check box.
Click Yes when the dialog box is displayed that confirms that you want to display these files.
Double-click the drive where you installed Windows XP to get a list of the folders. It's important to click the correct drive.
Open the System Volume Information folder. This folder appears dimmed because it is set as a super-hidden folder. If you're using the FAT32 file system, this will be easy. If you're using NTFS, it won't let you open the folder, but here's how to get around that: Right-click on that system volume information folder and select Sharing and Security. Then click the Security tab. (No security tab? Skip two paragraphs.) Click Add, and then in the box that's labeled "Enter the object names to select," type the name of the user that's at the top of the Start menu -- that's probably you.
If you you dont have the security tab - go back to the step above. Under "use simple file sharing recommended" uncheck the box, you will now have a share and security tab avalible to this step.

NOTE : This folder contains one or more _restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".
Open a folder that was not created at the current time. You may have to click Details on the View menu or right click on a file and select properties to see when these folders were created. There may be one or more folders starting with "RPx" under this folder. These are restore points.

Addendum Note: The System Volume is NOT a subdirectory of the windows directory. So if you cannot find it, go up one directory level and look again.
Open one of these folders to locate a Snapshot subfolder; the following path is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:

"C:System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot"

From the Snapshot folder, copy the following files to the C:\Windows\Tmp folder (you can use your mouse, you're in Windows now, remember?) or to the c:\windows\system32\config:

_registry_user_.default (Addendum Note: Notice the period (".") before the word default).

Now that they will be visible to the recovery console, reboot the computer into the recovery console from the windows cd.

In recovery console do the following:
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default
delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows mp\_registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows mp\_registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows mp\_registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows mp\_registry_user_.default c:\windows\system32\config\default
(Notice the period (".") before the word default in the parameter above)

Now. You're done! Type exit and your computer will reboot into whichever restore file you chose. But wait. If it's not the right one, that's OK, you can now go into your System Restore area and pick a different restore point if you want. There's a whole calendar full of them in there. Here's how to get into that restore area if you're not happy with the current restore point:
Click Start, then click All Programs.
Click Accessories, and then click System Tools.
Click System Restore, and then click Restore to a previous Restore Point.
Pick one of your choice and follow the prompts to restore your computer to a new restore point.

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