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7. Troubleshooting and Repair

Luckily, Microsoft gave us a quick and easy way of repairing Windows XP, and it is already on the CD, ready for you to use in case you need it.

Steps to Repairing Windows XP
1. Put your Windows XP Install CD into your CD-ROM drive.
2. Reboot your computer.
3. Let your system boot off of the CD.
4. Let the Setup go through the first part of the Installation procedure.
5. When you come to the screen in which it says "Welcome to Setup." press Enter to Setup Windows XP, do not press R as this will just start recovery console.
Click for full size

6. Press F8 to agree to the End User License.
Click for full size

7. Let the Setup search your system for previous versions of Windows.
8. When the Setup is finished searching your system, select your Windows XP Installation and press the R key on your keyboard to start the Repair Procedure.
Click for full size

This is the part that might scare the you-know-what out of you. The Setup will delete all major system files and then replace them with new copies.

You will have to download all of the updates from Microsoft Windows Update again because it replaces the files.

Don't worry, your user data is still intact. Nothing has been lost, nothing has been deleted. Your data is safe, just the OS has been repaired, so relax.

There is nothing to worry about as long as you follow the steps to repairing Windows XP.

You can also review the instructions in this MSKB article:
How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP (Q315341)

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • My pc kept looping.There was a problem with Windows XP.I had to redo my Windows XP.No virus.This info did not help my looping problem. Thank you

    2010-07-22 11:54:29

  • I have tried this and when I get to step 7 there is no choice. It says something about partitions and would I like to delete or create a new one. If I say install, it tries to format the drive. I have data that I would like to get so I don't want to format. Any suggestions?

    2008-08-22 05:53:11

by trparky See Profile edited by Kramer See Profile
last modified: 2006-06-18 01:35:49

Did you upgrade your RAM all at once? If not, make sure that you have the same type, brand, and model RAM modules.

Every RAM module has a memory controller on-board. The memory controller tells the computer how to talk to it, and sometimes, another memory module doesn't talk the same way that the other module does, thus the system gets confused since it is getting mixed signals on which way to talk to the RAM.

by trparky See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
last modified: 2002-08-24 19:56:33

Your system displays the error message.

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

That means the System Registry Hive has become corrupted.

There are two ways to get back up and running. The easy way which doesn't always work, and then there is the hard way.

Easy Way --- Note that this doesn't always work.
When you are booting your system, press the F8 key during the start of the bootup sequence, meaning after it does the Power On Self Test.

Once you press the F8 key, you will be taken to a Menu. Select "Boot Using Last Known Good Configuration".

It will now attempt to load Windows XP using a past set of configuration files.

If that doesn't work, there is the next step....the hard way.

Hard Way
Boot your system with the Windows XP Install CD, let the system boot into the Setup. Once in the Setup, choose to run the Recovery Console.

You will now be presented with a screen similar to good old DOS.

First, we will recover the System Hive.

Now, type in the following commands with pressing Enter after each line.

md tmp
copy C:\windows\system32\config\system C:\windows\tmp\system.bak
delete C:\windows\system32\config\system
copy C:\windows\repair\system C:\windows\system32\config\system

Be very careful when you are typing in these commands, one wrong move, and you know, broken Windows XP.

Also, change the C in the commands to whatever your Windows XP drive letter is.

Attempt to boot the system, if it doesn't boot, get back into the Recovery Console and do the following commands.

md tmp
copy C:\windows\system32\config\software C:\windows\tmp\software.bak
delete C:\windows\system32\config\software
copy C:\windows\repair\software C:\windows\system32\config\software

The full Microsoft Support Knowledge Base Article that I based this FAQ entry on can be found here (Q307545).

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • it works, thankssss

    2013-12-13 02:41:06

  • OMG.... Thank you so much. The first step worked for me.I can start my computer now.

    2013-08-25 22:03:51

  • Dear Friendd, when i tried both way easy as well as hard, but both are not worjked, whenevr i go for second option ''Booted system with the Windows XP Install CD,but there is not coming any welcome screen and not alowing to tyoe ,it is just showing that windows config system32 is currept plase use origional cdrom and select R option. Please suggest ,definately apreciate your suggestion ....

    2013-08-10 00:40:57

  • Repair Windows system

    2013-07-19 19:00:54

  • The Easy Way did not work for me but the Hard Way worked like a champ! Saved me hours. Thank you!

    2013-06-18 09:52:45

  • This is SUPER EASY AND SAVE TIME!(WORKS FOR ME ANYWAY) Solution: When you start the windows xp setup(Beginning part) Don't press R to go to Recovery Console, Just continue.. When you reach the that says "repair windows installation", exit the windows setup. And, You can start back your CPU! Taa-Daa! No need to type all the codes. If any damage is cause, don't say because of me. I recommended this because this works for me. TQ! God bless you all!

    2013-06-04 20:24:19

  • where i can get the windows xp install cd?? i don't have that..

    2011-10-26 11:44:12

  • Hej, I got the problem with \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE and I fixed that with chkdsk /r (run till everything went fine), that option is easier imo ;)

    2011-10-14 06:52:17

  • How to Repair Windows\system32\config\system Error Cara mudah : 1. Siapkan tool hiren (sy pakai hiren 10) 2. Boot dari hiren pilih mini windows xp 3. Buat folder di c:\config\ 4. Sekarang buka folder di c:\ System Volume Information 5. Cari folder _restore{A886072xxxxxxx} lau cari folde RPXX (cari anggka tertinggi) 6. Di folder RPxx\snapshot\ copy beberapa folder dibawah ini : _REGISTRY_USER_DEFAULT _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE copy ke folder c:\config _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM 7. Lalu rubah semua nama diatas menjadi : _REGISTRY_USER_DEFAULT DEFAULT _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY SECURITY _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE SOFTWARE _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM SYSTEM _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM SAM 8. Rename folder c:\windows\system32\config menjadi config32 9. Lalu copy (c:\copy c:\folder c:\ c:\windows\system32\ 10. Restart computer . Silahkan di translate sendiri aku cinta indonesia semoga berhasil @bossnetcomputindo (bekasi_Indonesia)

    2011-09-11 02:49:46

  • Warning<\b> Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives.

    2011-04-16 11:42:59 (Doctor Olds See Profile)

  • thank you, the first set worked beautifully.

    2011-04-08 17:59:20

  • Bravo Zulu to you. Beautiful job. TY so much.

    2010-05-09 16:52:42

by trparky See Profile
last modified: 2003-01-23 23:43:49

•The first thing you want to do is make an Emergency Repair Disk (will be referred to as ERD here on).

•Creating an ERD is a simple process, you can follow these steps.

•Make a backup copy of the windows\repair directory. Drag it with the right mouse button to a backup folder, and choose "Copy Here." Then rename the copied directory as the current date.

•You should now backup the registry. To do so, follow these steps.

•Once you receive the success message, click OK, and place the file in a safe place for future use.

•Now put in your Windows XP disk and reboot.

•It will run like a normal setup and when it gets done it will ask you if you want to install or repair.

•Click repair then choose repair with recover manually (have the ERD in the floppy drive now).

•It will come up with a DOS screen and you will see a C:\Windows, option should be to enter 1.

•It will ask you for root password and then type "fixmbr" to repair your mbr.

•Type help for more commands if you need to fix something else.

by candle$ See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
last modified: 2002-08-24 19:57:17

First, try a repair of Windows XP first. Documentation of how to repair Windows XP can be found here.

If that doesn't work, go into the Command Line Recovery Console and run the following commands.

bootcfg /rebuild ---- Rebuilds Boot.ini
This scans all system hard drives for installations of Windows and allows you to add them to the boot.ini file.

If the XP install is the primary partition, you can run the "fixboot" to reinstall the boot loader of the partition.

You can also use the "fixmbr" if the XP partition is the primary booting partition.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • With no Windows XP CD available, you cannot repair windows. When the message lost ntldr appears, you cannot access anything. F2 F8, or F12 or delete have no functionality. You cannot access the Command Line Recovery Console - all you get is the same error message for missing ntldr and to "control alt delete" on every boot attempt. Your only hope is to find a friend with a PC you can slave your HD to and copy the boot config items that are missing or corrupt to your HD.

    2011-04-21 08:21:49

by trparky See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
last modified: 2004-08-31 18:32:19

System Restore can be used to remove any system changes that were made since the last time you remember your computer working correctly. System Restore does not affect your personal data files so you wont lose changes made to these files. Windows XP creates "restore points" every day, as well as at the time of significant system events (such as when an application or driver is installed).

You can also create and name your own restore points at any time. Creating a restore point can be useful any time you anticipate making changes to your computer that are risky or might make your computer unstable. If something goes wrong, you select a restore point and Windows XP undoes any system changes made since that time.

Below is a detailed list of what is\is not restored:
  • Registry
  • Profiles (local onlyroaming user profiles not impacted by restore)
  • COM+ DB
  • WFP.dll cache
  • WMI DB
  • IIS Metabase
  • Files with extensions listed in the portion of the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK
Not Restored:
  • DRM settings
  • SAM hives (does not restore passwords)
  • WPA settings (Windows authentication information is not restored)
  • Specific directories/files listed in the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK
  • Any file with an extension not listed as in the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK
  • Items listed in both Filesnottobackup and KeysnottoRestore (hklm->system->controlset001->control->backuprestore->filesnottobackup and keysnottorestore)
  • User-created data stored in the user profile
  • Contents of redirected folders
For more information on the System Restore tool, please review these Microsoft documents:
  • How the System Restore Tool Handles Hard-Disk Space Usage
  • Microsoft Windows XP System Restore
  • HOW TO: Restore the Operating System to a Previous State in Windows XP (Q306084)
  • How to start the System Restore tool at a command prompt in Windows XP
  • Troubleshooting System Restore in Windows XP (Q302796)

    Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
    • The link to Microsoft Windows XP System Restore is showing content not found. This is the link http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnwxp/html/windowsxpsystemrestore.asp that it goes to. Can the link be updated to point to wherever that info as gone to?

      2008-09-17 14:40:39 (santy See Profile)

    by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2008-09-17 18:28:22

    The information on how to make a Windows XP Emergency Boot Disk can be found at the url below.
    Microsoft article: How to Use System Files to Create a Boot Disk to Guard Against Being Unable to Start Windows XP

    by trparky See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2003-02-11 21:37:11

    So, you got a BSOD that says UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_DEVICE, huh?

    Well, before you panic, you can repair this.

    Boot your system with the Windows XP Install CD, let the system boot into the Setup. Once in the Setup, choose to run the Recovery Console.

    You will now be presented with a screen similar to good old DOS.

    At the prompt, type the following command: chkdsk C: /r

    Replace C: with the letter of your system drive.

    This will go into the File System and repair the damage that caused the BSOD.

    Once it is complete, reboot your system as normal and it should come back to life.

    Note: This FAQ entry also applies to Windows 2000 installations.

    by trparky See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2005-12-28 19:32:47

    Yes. To do so you need to
    modify the following Registry Key:


    Locate IsInstalled, doubleclick on IsInstalled-----change value from 1 to 0

    Then download the original IE6 or IE6 SP1 as a fresh install.

    This will enable a new version of IE6 to be downloaded and will place the IE6 into your Change/Remove applet in the Control Panel.

    Now when you click on this program and click on the Change/Remove option, you will be able to add component or choose repair as in the older Windows OS's.

    by bruzzes See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2002-10-05 15:47:42

    In Windows XP, the TCP/IP stack is considered a core component of the operating system; therefore, it is not possible to uninstall TCP/IP in Windows XP. However, the TCP/IP stack can be reset to the state when the OS was first installed.
      •Go to Start Menu -> RUN
      •Type "command" click OK•In the new window that pops up type this "NETSH INTERFACE IP RESET LOG.TXT" (less quotes), then press enter.•Reboot, if you like.
    More detailed information can be found in this MSKB article:

    How to Reset Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in Windows XP (Q299357)

    by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2003-11-26 23:34:50

    Refer to this page for more details -- Explanation of error codes generated by Device Manager in Microsoft Windows XP Professional

    by DSmithLady See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2006-12-21 09:51:13

    General Repair

    How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP
    This is a common method for repairing a pretty toasted system. It reinstalls the operating system but leaves all your software settings pretty much intact. It is a lot faster then re-installing the operating system and all your software. Make sure you read the link on how this can cause a loss of data and program settings!

    Computer Stops Responding with a Black Screen When You Start Windows
    This could mean you have a significant hardware problem. This will help you determine which direction to go.

    Cannot Start Windows 2000 After You Install Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition
    You were not supposed to do things in that order, but hopefully there is an easy recovery from the situation.

    Windows XP Does Not Start on a Computer That Is Configured for Dual Booting
    Similar to the preceding article.

    HOW TO: Use the Driver Roll Back Feature to Restore a Previous Version of a Device Driver in Windows XP
    Have you installed a video driver or some other driver that drives your system bezerk?

    How to Disable a Service or Device that Prevents Windows from Starting
    Self explanatory

    A Description of the Safe Mode Boot Options in Windows XP

    When to Reinstall Windows XP Service Pack 1
    This is a common question. With NT service packs had to be reinstalled just about any time you did anything to the system. Is this the case with XP?

    Description of the Windows System File Checker Tool
    SFC is easy to forget you have as a tool, this article gives a good summary of when and how to use it.

    How to Troubleshoot Hardware and Software Driver Problems in Windows XP
    I think the title says it all

    SYSTEM RESTORE: HOW TO: Restore the Operating System to a Previous State in Windows XP
    Basic general info on how to use Sytem Restore


    Damaged Registry Repair and Recovery in Windows XP
    Have you applied SP1 yet?

    How to Recover from a Corrupted Registry that Prevents Windows XP from Starting
    Thanks DSmithLady for the link to this article! Other helpful links and tips as well as batch files bundled up in a ZIP are included in her post

    HOW TO: Back Up, Edit, and Restore the Registry in Windows XP
    Basic info, but if you are editing you registry for the first time, read this first!

    Recovery Console
    Recovery console is to an NTFS XP system like a boot floppy is to WIN9X. Here are a few articles giving you some helpful info about the feature. RC is not something you want to discover at the time you really need it. It is best configured while everything is working. Then you can forget about it.

    HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP

    Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console

    HOW TO: Add More Power to Recovery Console By Using Group Policy in Windows XP Professional



    Places to go for help with startup problems with Windows XP.

    305595 - HOW TO Create a Boot Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition in Windows XP
    The first thing you need to have on hand, preferably before these problems begin, is a boot disk. You can go here to learn how to make one

    308041 - Resources for Troubleshooting Startup Problems in Windows XP
    Great guide covering numerous scenarios.

    310560 - How to Troubleshoot By Using the Msconfig Utility in Windows XP
    The Msconfig utility can also be used as a diagnostic tool by loading selected devices and services to help determine which one may be causing your problem.

    315261 - The Computer Does Not Start After You Change the Active Partition by Using the Disk Management Tool
    Even though Windows XP says this will work, sometimes it doesn't. Go here to find out what to do.

    315403 - Stop 0x000000ED Error Message When Volume on IDE Drive with Caching Enabled Is Mounted
    Another name for this one is Unmountable_Boot_Volume. Check out this article for possible solutions..

    320252 - Error Message Windows Could Not Start Because the Following File Is Missing or Corrupt...If you are getting this message,this link will help you with the repair.

    324103 - HOW TO Troubleshoot Stop 0x0000007B Errors in Windows XP
    This problem is also know as a Inaccessible_Boot_Device error. This article describes possible causes and ways to fix this problem.

    329450 - Cannot Start Windows XP After Installing Service Pack 1 and Then Performing a System Recovery Operation
    Here are instructions on what to do if performing a system recovery to uninstall SP1 does not work.

    BootVis.exe Tool
    This is a performance trace visualization tool for use with Windows XP systems.
    This version of BootVis.exe is compatible with final release of Windows XP (build 2600) and resolves a compatibility issue when using third-party IDE drivers.

    Shutdown Problems

    Articles to help with diagnosing shutdown problems.

    266169 - How to Troubleshoot Problems with Standby Mode, Hibernate Mode, and Shutting Down Your Computer in Windows XP and 2000
    This covers a variety of possible shutdown issues.

    283096 - Improper Shutdown May Affect System Restore
    Double check your system restore points to make sure that improper shutdowns have not caused you to lose them.

    305788 - HOW TO Increase Shutdown Time So That Processes Can Quit Properly in Windows XP
    Is your computer trying to shutdown too fast causing improper shutdowns? Read this article to find out how to eliminate this possibility.

    The following are mostly self-explanatory by titles.

    307274 - Windows XP Stops Responding (Hangs) During Windows Shutdown

    311806 - Windows XP Restarts When You Try to Shut Down Your Computer

    314101 - Computer Hangs During Shutdown or Displays a Cannot Find Enough Free Resources Error Message

    315327 - Error Message When You Shut Down Computer DEVLDR Not Responding
    Getting this error message? This article explains how to get rid of it.

    315664 - Computer Does Not Shut Down Properly if Selective Suspend Is Enabled
    Check this article to see if selective suspend may be your problem.

    General Repair Section

    Troubleshoot Windows XP Professional Great comprehensive troubleshooting guide.

    101790 - Information on how Last Known Good Control Set works

    242062 - General USB Troubleshooting in Windows XP and 2000

    247575 - Chkdsk Does Not Use Backup Boot Sector to Fix Corrupted FAT32 Boot Sector

    315688 - How to Locate and Correct Disk Space Problems on NTFS Volumes in Windows XP

    System restore
    What to do if 301224 - System Restore Restore Points Are Missing or Deleted

    *** Note!
    Check back from time to time for updates.

    DSmithlady also contributed a lot of work to this FAQ as well.

    by Kramer See Profile
    last modified: 2006-05-01 14:03:31

    A: When you get your accounts and passwords set up to your satisfaction, use the instructions found in MSKB Article # 305478 to create a password reset disk for a computer that is not a domain member in Windows XP.

    The instructions for making a password reset disk for a computer in a domain in Windows XP can be found in MSKB Article # 306214.

    Make a couple of sets, put them in two different 'safe' places and sleep better, knowing that you have these on hand should you need them. One word of caution, these disks can be used by anyone to bypass passwords. If you require high security, be sure to keep these disks in a secure location. How often these disks need to be made is dependent on how often you change or add passwords.

    by DSmithLady See Profile edited by slash See Profile
    last modified: 2002-12-02 15:36:01

    Is this what you see...

    and have you been using third party Themes?

    If so, please read this MS Help Forum thread for a fix.

    by trparky See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2003-02-01 18:39:42

    Below is a series of Microsoft Knowledge Base articles that will help you understand how drive letters are assigned and what you can do to keep yours like you want them.The information provided from this WinGuides.com link goes right to the registry source.
  • Change Drive Name and Icon (All Windows) at Registry Guide for Windows

    by DSmithLady See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2003-04-01 20:37:50

    Recovery Console is a DOS-like interface that allows one to access their system files when booting into WINXP is no longer possible. From the Recovery Console prompt one can often repair their system or sometimes recover files. For a complete description of the Recovery Console read this article. Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console

    For a good summary of how to install and use the Recovery Console read this article. HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP

    Setting the group policy to allow floppy access and access to non-system folders from within Recovery Console can significantly enhance your data recovery abilities. This must be done before disaster strikes! It takes a minute to do and can save hours of work. Read this article for instructions. HOW TO: Add More Power to Recovery Console By Using Group Policy in Windows XP Professional

    by Kramer See Profile

    File permissions are the system's way of telling you what you can and cannot do with a file or folder. They are governed by Access Control Lists (click for definition).

    There are two ways of setting file permissions. You can do it the graphical way or the command-line way.

    To do it graphically, you must have Simple File Sharing disabled from the View tab of Folder Options (Professional only) or be in Safe Mode (either). Right-click on the object of your choice and click Properties. Then go to the Security tab.
    Here you are presented with a list of users and groups and a small list of permissions. More permissions are available when you click Advanced.

    Some rules of thumb:
      •Stick to the main security screen unless you're absolutely sure of what you're doing•Deny takes precedence over allow, so do not deny groups anything unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing. If you deny something to the Users group, you deny that permission to everyone who is authenticated. Use even more diligence with denying everyone anything. •If no ruling is made on a permission to allow or deny, the system defaults to denying access.•Check yourself by using the Effective Permissions tab in the Advanced dialog.

    Note: additional information can be found in this MSKB article -
    How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP

    The command-line way:
    Download Xcacls.exe from the Windows 2000 Resource Kit. It works on XP; trust me.
    Here are the usage instructions, straight from the output of xcacls /?:

    XCACLS filename [/T] [/E|/X] [/C] [/G user:perm;spec] [/R user [...]]
    [/P user:perm;spec [...]] [/D user [...]] [/Y]

    Displays or modifies access control lists (ACLs) of files.

    Parameter List:
    filename Displays ACLs.

    /T Changes ACLs of specified files in
    the current directory and all subdirectories.

    /E Edits ACL instead of replacing it.

    /X Same as /E except it only affects the ACEs that
    the specified users already own.

    /C Continues on access denied errors.

    /G user:perm;spec Grants specified user access rights.

    Perm can be:
    R Read
    C Change (write)
    F Full control
    P Change Permissions (Special access)
    O Take Ownership (Special access)
    X EXecute (Special access)
    E REad (Special access)
    W Write (Special access)
    D Delete (Special access)

    Spec can be the same as perm and will only be
    applied to a directory. In this case, Perm
    will be used for file inheritance in this
    directory. By default, Spec=Perm.
    Special values for Spec only:
    T Valid for only for directories.
    At least one access right has to
    follow. Entries between ';' and T
    will be ignored.

    /R user Revokes specified user's access rights.

    /P user:perm;spec Replaces specified user's access rights.
    Access right specification as same as
    /G option.

    /D user Denies specified user access.

    /Y Replaces user's rights without verify.

    Wildcards can be used to specify more than one file.
    More than one user can be specified.
    Access rights can be combined.

    XCACLS /?

    Basically, if you want to give user "Bob" full access to dummy.exe without being asked if you are sure, here is the command:
    xcacls dummy.exe /G Bob:F /Y /C

    If you want to deny Bob execute rights to dummy.exe, run
    xcacls dummy.exe /D Bob:X /Y /C

    Warning: XCACLS is a powerful and extremely dangerous tool. Use it at your own risk. This tool is not in any way supported by Microsoft.

    For an example on how Xcacls is used, see this thread from the Microsoft Help forum.

    by raw See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2006-08-11 17:00:10

    We have more then one member complain about missing CDROMs/DVDs from their XP system. A look in Device Manager shows an exclamation mark next to their drive(s). Microsoft attributes one of the causes of this to the removal of CD recording software, particularly (but not exclusively) EZCD Creator. Microsoft has a knowledgebase article referring to this problem. and offers a solution that seems to work in most cases.

    Also see: CDROM/DVD Drive Missing After You Install Windows XP

    by Kramer See Profile
    last modified: 2003-06-22 11:50:17

    Windows XP's Powertoys are indeed very powerful (particularly TweakUI), but sometimes changing settings in TweakUI may cause the icons to take a much less colorful, and quite ugly look, a la Windows 95 or NT.

    Now this doesn't always happen, and if it doesn't, then you needn't worry. However, if it does, there are two simple ways to fix them.

    First you can try the Repair icons feature within TweakUI itself. Its procedure flushes the cache and reload the icons. This can be done as seen in the screenshot here:

    If that does not work, don't despair. This probably means that the registry settings for the icons was changed.

    A .reg fix can be downloaded from Kellys Korner or you can attempt to do it yourself.

    If you choose the latter, simply go open up Regedit ( Start -> Run -> regedit ), then nagivate to
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\desktop\WindowMetrics
    And change the following keys to:
    "Shell Icon BPP"="16"
    "Shell Icon Size"="32"
    You can either simply refresh the desktop, log off and on again, or reboot to see if the changes take.

    by C0deZer0 See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2003-09-09 20:44:07

    If you are having trouble with any of the following:
      •How do I repair or reinstall the GUEST ACCOUNT?•Cannot access Internet Explorer from GUEST ACCOUNT after changing default browser to Mozilla.•Deleting and repairing a corrupt GUEST ACCOUNT.•I deleted the GUEST ACCOUNT from the C:\ drive, and now the GUEST ACCOUNT can not be used!

    To restore the default GUEST ACCOUNT in Windows XP, follow these steps:
      •Log on as Administrator•Go to Start > Control Panel > User Accounts.•Turn Guest Account off.•Go to Start > right click on My Computer > in System Properties go to Advanced tab > User Profiles > click on Settings > highlight Guest Account > click Delete button > click OK.•Close System Properties.•Go back to Start > Control Panel > User Accounts•Turn Guest Account on.•Log off as Administrator•Log on as Guest
    The screen will go black for a few moments while Windows recreates the Guest Account. Wait until the log on screen appears.

    When the log on screen appears, click Guest, and a new Guest Account will be in place.

    Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
    • Guest account is in place, but will not open. Thanks anyway

      2014-04-22 23:09:05

    • Wow it works

      2011-08-30 08:20:28

    by Sparrow See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2003-10-18 09:51:09

    The network service svchost.exe is in charge of running basic network chores, one of which is loading and resolving entries for the DNS cache. Normally this is fine and the process will not interfere with anything. But if svchost is running for extended periods of time and consumes 50-100% of your CPU, it becomes a hassle and will not allow you to use the internet until it's done.
    If you have access to reliable DNS servers, disabling DNS caching can put an end to svchost's reign over your internet connection.
    To disable DNS caching:
      •Type services.msc into the run command (which can be found in the start menu)•In the services.msc window, scroll down to DNS Client. Right-click on it and select properties.•Click on stop then change the startup type to manual and click apply.
    Now you'll need to ensure you have your DNS servers setup.
      •Go to the control panel, click on network connections, then right-click on the active connection and select properties.•Select TCP/IP and press properties.•Now enter your ISP's DNS servers or enter the IP address of your router if it has the capability of obtaining DNS information.

    by Ryan F See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2004-03-13 11:46:52

    While trying to install or run an application, your system displays the error:

    WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\AUTOEXEC.NT. The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications.

    If you get an error naming the AUTOEXEC.NT as not being suitable, it is an indication the AUTOEXEC.NT file in the WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 folder is missing or corrupt.

    A backup copy of the AUTOEXEC.NT file is kept in the WINDOWS\repair folder.

    To fix the error, copy the AUTOEXEC.NT file from the WINDOWS\repair folder and paste it into the WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 folder.

    Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
    • I have been trying to get this problem corrected for weeks. This soultion worked with no problems with in minutes. Thank You...

      2008-04-07 12:59:21

    by auggy See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2004-12-01 21:12:31

    Review the information and recommendations in this MSKB article for a fix: KB841571

    by Greg_Z See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2007-01-05 20:02:56

    There are occasions where file and folder ownership (permissions) are lost. This can occur when you reinstall the operating system or when moving drives from one machine to another. Fortunately, Microsoft has provided detailed instructions on taking ownership back.

    Please refer to MSKB article # 308421 - How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP

    Note - this article applies to both Home and Pro versions. In either system. you must be logged on to the computer with an account that has administrative credentials.
    • If you are running Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, you must start the computer in safe mode, and then log on with an account that has Administrative rights to have access to the Security tab.
    • If you are using Windows XP Professional, you must disable Simple File Sharing. By default, Windows XP Professional uses Simple File sharing when it is not joined to a domain.

    by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2006-03-21 19:38:46

    Help! Why are my CD-ROM drives not showing in My Computer? Why are there yellow exclamation marks by the CD-ROM drives in Device Manager?

    One of the reasons why this can happen is because the drivers that allow the CD-ROM drives to work in Windows XP have become corrupted.

    The first thing to try is this Registry File. Remove the devices in Device Manager and reboot. The CD-ROM drives should work now.

    If not, try these steps. Warning! These steps are not for the faint at heart.

    Open the Device Manager and right-click on the CD-ROM drive that has a yellow exclamation mark by it.

    Go to the Driver tab and click on the Driver Details button.

    You should now have this window...

    Look at each of the driver files that are being used for the CD-ROM drive, specifically the ones that aren't made by Microsoft. For instance, in the screen shot above is just one example of a device driver that isn't made by Microsoft. Copy all of the file names of the drivers that aren't made by Microsoft, you will need them for the next step.

    Open up RegEdit and find all instances of those file names that you copied down in the last step. Delete any and all references that contain those file names.

    Next, go into the Device Manager and delete the CD-ROM devices. Now, go to Add New Hardware and let it search for new devices. It should reload the CD-ROM devices minus the third-party device drivers, only the Microsoft supplied ones.

    You should be good to go now! :-)

    Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
    • Hi... My dvd drive not show some time, when i start up and restrt then i can see, but after some time, i can't

      2014-06-19 01:37:26

    • Awesone Man... Done... Perfectly Done...

      2014-05-04 10:26:58

    • The registry file exe worked perfect, thanks.

      2014-02-17 19:44:56

    • Had previously deleted the CD-ROM device and reinstalled; the only driver shown was "cdrom.sys" by Microsoft, so this solution did not work.

      2014-01-06 14:29:12

    • now its working.....many thanks.....

      2013-09-22 13:21:22

    • were do you look for the drivers that aren't made by microsoft in regedit?

      2013-03-25 02:18:38

    • These instructions should work fine with Windows Vista as well as Windows 7.

      2011-09-22 22:18:23 (trparky See Profile)

    • Can anyone provide an update of these instructions for Windows 7?

      2011-09-22 15:53:28

    by trparky See Profile

    When you open Add/Remove Programs applet and click an application entry, you may notice that the Change, Remove (or Change/Remove) buttons may be missing, thus leaving only the application name entry there.
    Click for full size

    Here is a method to make Windows show the Remove, Change (or the Change/Remove button together) buttons in the listing.


    1. Click Start, Run and type REGEDIT. This starts the Registry Editor. Navigate to:

    2. In the right-pane, do the following:

      Double-click NoRemove (REG_DWORD) and set it to 0
      Double-click NoModify (REG_DWORD) and set it to 0

      If NoRemove is set to 1, the Remove button will be unavailable
      If NoModify is set to 1, the Change button will be unavailable

    Click for full size

    Final result is you'll get the Change and Remove buttons back (or, the Change/Remove button together).
    Click for full size

    Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Uninstall I tried your resolution to show the Change/Remove in Add/Remove programs but whe I reach \Uninstall I can't find NoRemove (REG_DWORD) and NoModify (REG_DWORD) on the right pane. Its only showing Default. The only time the Change/Remove applet was missing was when when the fake java update appear and I tried to update the java. I already run the Anti-Spyware and the AVG anti-virus. Pls email me the solution to my problem. My email: deuelc@yahoo.com. Thanks

      2014-04-18 08:44:32

    by La Luna See Profile edited by MSeng See Profile
    last modified: 2007-06-10 14:07:43