XP Pro - Boots to Desktop but NO functionality

Today when I booted my computer I made it to the windows xp pro desktop.  I could see my wallpaper and even
the sound loaded.  I can move my mouse around but can not right-click.

I can hit ctrl-alt-del and bring the options for going to the task manager.  However this does not bring up the task manager.

So far I have tried:
Last know good configuration = same thing
Safe Mode = same thing
Tried a windows repair = did not find my installation to repair
Trying recovery console currently = does not find my boot.ini

Tomorrow I am going to try to download the sp2 and integrate it with my sp1 cd and burn the new installation to see
if can find my installation.

I do not want to reformat this drive, I have alot of information that I need to get off of it.  It is a SATA drive and
I do not have another computer to hook it up to that has SATA connection to back up with.

I have windows xp pro sp2
3.06 ghz processor
1 gig of ram
ati x 800 graphics
audigy plat sound

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payne311Author Commented:
To add to this...

I tried bootcfg /rebuild in the recovery console.

I get:
Error: Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations.
this error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would
prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning.  UIse chkdsk to
detect any disk errors.


maybe I should just sit back a minute and take a coffee break before I really break it :)

payne311Author Commented:
Bumping up point value
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Can you press CTRL+ALT+DEL and bring up task manager?  Open a command prompt?  Run little apps like "calc"?

Though you didn't mention an error message, this SOUNDS like the problem people have been having with SP2 and a specific hotfix.  
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payne311Author Commented:

Not one error message appears, like I said I can hit ctrl-alt-del and click on the word "Task Manager"
The mouse on my screen turns into an hour glass for about 3 seconds then returns to normal - But no Task Manager appears
before my eyes to see what is running.. grrrr...

Thanks for the quick response though!

I might just leave my computer on tonight to see if the icons appear.  There is no HDD activity though and it appears that
windows has finished loading, the only thing I am missing is the functionality of windows..

Strange though - No errors pop up through this entire process to guide me to what is wrong.

payne311Author Commented:

I was able to leave it alone for 15 minutes and the task manager finally came up!!
The only thing of interest that I can find in here is that

explore.exe is eating up 50% cpu
winlogon.exe is eating up the other 50%

I killed explorer.exe and restarted it but it remains at 50 and winlogon is a "critical process"
so I can do nothing with that.

A near guarenteed fiux is a repair load of XP which installs xp over itself.  Put in the xp cd and run setup when it gets to the point where you choose the partition to install too choose the current windows install.  After that it will ask if you would like to repair O.S. choose yes and then it will run a seemingly normal windows install after it is done you will have a functional copy of windows with all your files and programs intact.  Only thing that may need re-installed is any service packs that were not slipstreamed into the original windows installation cd.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Two more suggestions and a note:
1.  Do you have another user account on this system?  Does this happen with that user account?  Perhaps it's a profile corruption.

2.  IF the profile corruption isn't it, try booting with the recovery console and replace the system registry file.  (ALWAYS RENAME - NEVER DELETE - THIS WAY YOU CAN RESTORE!)  Boot to the XP CD Recovery Console.  Then rename c:\windows\system32\config\system to system.bak.  Then copy c:\windows\repair\system to the c:\windows\system32\config folder.  It's less potentially destructive than reinstalling Windows on top of itself

Reinstalling Windows on top of itself, in my opinion, is very dangerous because with all the hotfixes and service packs could create more problems.  Updated DLLs seeking registry keys, etc. could create more problems for you and it would be next to impossible to recover from that without a full reinstall.  I haven't tried it with XP or 2000 - but that's because of a combination of bad experience with NT4 and a microsoft support technician advising against it.  Things didn't get less complicated with the newer OSs, so I'm going to believe this is still reasonably good advice.

Besides, in all likelihood, the problem is registry based and a reinstall would preserve your old registry.
I work as a computer technichian for a large company and use a repair install time and time again for issues where you can not get any more of the desktop besides the wallpaper.  ALso if you can get to the command prompt try typing c:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe which will bring up system restore and try restoring back to a time before the problem.
payne311Author Commented:

When I try to do the restore, restore is NOT AN OPTION.  It appears that it does not know there is a current version
of windows installed.  All I can do is a full install and write over everything currently on the computer (not an option - at this point).

Leew - I am the only profile installed on this computer, it boots straight into Windows without any prompts for login.

Leew, I will try the registry file fix when I get home tonight.
bmhydro420, I will try the second method you suggested (rstrui.exe) when I get home also (I will try this one first - seems more stable)

Thanks for the suggestions guys and gals!!
um maybe your experiencing  a problem with the sata conroller/drivers
The drive may not be detected during the installation of Windows because you have not yet loaded the drivers for your EIDE, SCSI, or SATA controller correctly..
During the initial installation of Windows, you will need to press F6 almost immediately when "Setup is inspecting your hardware..." appears on the screen. You will then be asked to provide any mass storage controller drivers you may have. At this point, use the drivers supplied by your controller manufacturer. After performing the steps above, the drive will be recognized and the install should continue without problems.
Note: In many cases, specialized ATA or RAID ports, SCSI ports, and SATA ports integrated directly into the motherboard must have their drivers installed

Okay I will provide from my own saved library the steps as I recently helped a family member to install his Sata.. This from another post  provided here at EE..

your motherboard should have come with a CD, get the drivers off the cd and put em to a floppy disk
(copying the contents of disk 1 and 2 to floppy). The file you need is named Si3112r.sys. Make sure that one is on the disk.

or download the latest here>> http://www.asus.com.tw/support/download/selectftp.aspx?l1_id=1&l2_id=10&l3_id=23&m_id=5&f_name=silicon_v10033.zip~zaqwedc

Look for a make disk in that file.

Place the following files on the disk, if you can find them:

si3112r.cat (shows driver is digitally signed for Windows)

(si3112r.inf (Tells Windows what to install later in setup)<<<<<<
si3112r.mpd (used for Win9x)
(si3112r.sys (driver for the controller)<<<<<<<<
siisupp.vxd (used for Win9x)
siwinacc.sys (SATALink driver accelerator)
(txtsetup.oem (used to install XP)<<<<<<<<<

The three files tagged <<<< you should absolutely have on the disk. The others may not be required. All files listed above should fit on the disk.

For those interested in making a CD with the SATA drivers (no floppy disk required)
1. Take your Windows XP CD and copy all the contents to your hard drive (such as C:\WinXPCD)

Modify 'txtsetup.sif' for text install
2. Navigate to the \i386\ folder (you just copied it) and open "TXTSETUP.SIF"
3. Find the [SourceDisksFiles] section, and paste the following line under it somewhere (I pasted the line directly under this heading)
si3112r.sys = 1,,,,,,_x,4,1
4. Now find the [HardwareIdsDatabase] section, and paste this line under it somewhere:
PCI\VEN_1095&DEV_3112&SUBSYS_61121095 = "Si3112r"
5. Find the [SCSI.Load] section and paste:
si3112r = si3112r.sys,4
6. Lastly, find the [SCSI] section, and paste:
si3112r = "Silicon Image SiI 3112 SATARaid Controller"

Modify/create "Winnt.sif" for GUI install
7. Create a new textfile, and place the following 3 lines in it:
8. Save this file as "WINNT.SIF" in the i386 directory

Copy files for text mode
9. From the Asus Website, download the SiliconImage drivers.
10. Extract and copy the 'Si3112r.sys' file into the i386 folder

Create directory and copy files for GUI mode
11. At the root of the CD files on your drive (such as C:\WinXPCD\), make the following folder structure: \$OEM$\$1\Drivers\SATA (so you now have C:\WinXPCD\$OEM$\$1\Drivers\SATA\si3112r)
12. Now, copy the following files into this 'si3112r' folder, if you find them. (See a few posts up for description of these files):
si3112r.inf (important!)
si3112r.sys (important!)

Burn your new XP CD
13. For this last step, you must follow the instructions closely. Please use the instructions on TheElderGeek to burn the CD. When the instructions reference "Microsoft Corporation.img", download Microsoft Corporation.img


That should be all you need to install XP without using a floppy drive.

Slipstreaming Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2)http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sp2_slipstream.asp

hope this provides you with some security, if possible you could slave the Sata and save off the contents by burning an image of it.
Regards m

payne311Author Commented:

Great feedback by the way!!
I installed the correct Promise drivers when I first installed windows for the SATA drive.  I did not burn the SATA drivers to
disk first on the XP installation CD.  I had a floppy disk that I used and pressed the f6 button to install my third party
drivers, which are the ones you mention in your post.  Would burning a CD with the installation of XP and SATA drivers
on the same disk make a difference?  I have not had any issues with this drive and it has been running at (or above) specification since I first installed it.

I am leaning towards a corrupt registry entry or boot file right now.

Why would winlogon.exe STAY at 50%?  That seems to be the issue right now.  The CPU stays at 100% utilization, and I do
not want to burn up my CPU, so I am a little hesitant to leave it on to see if the icons appear for any extended period of time.

I do have hyperthreading enabled and both (real and virtual CPUs) are at 100%

Thanks again!
glad to be help, have a look at this solution provided by one of our EE on a similar subject see if it can provide any more insights>>Solution Title: CPU usage spiking and then computer eventually hangs

also this  windows logon.exe pobably means windows is having trouble loading your default profile,

how many hdd do you have?? did you have windows installed on any other hdd and if so are they Sata as well!!  if you have more than one?? windows maybe trying to access the other??
Didi you remove any other hdd before installing the Sata?  is it installed on c drive.
I know I ask a lot

payne311Author Commented:

Questions are where Answers are derived! Keep asking them, I am probably leaving out some important small details.

I only had my graphics card, CD drive and SATA plugged in at time of OS installation.  I plug in as little as possible during install.
I have two HDD now, the second one is on the Pirmary IDE master channel, labeled as F:\ in windows.
The SATA is on the SATA channel one on my mobo, gigabyte 8inxp, it is drive C:\  (Only one SATA drive in computer)
The OS is installed in only one HDD, the other is my backup.  Last night I realized that I could get a boot disk to get into DOS.
I can then manually copy files to my f:\ drive (IF WORSE COMES TO WORSER :) )

Thanks for the link  -During bootup it finds my SATA drive fine every single time, never had an issue during bootup finding the SATA.
I used the promise drivers, the latest and greatest at time of SATA install 4 months ago.  My Bios has the latest release from

I could not get into my F:\ via the recovery console.  Never tried to get to my other drive in recovery console so I am assuming this
is normal.

just checking when you boot the computer from the xp cd to do a repair install do you press f6 to load the sata drivers so windows setup can find the hard drive to repair ?
ok I'll throw any ideas that come to mind at you then.. gently of course lol

Why are you installing sp2?? It could be that simple.. I have posted some comments of others as well below..
what mainboard do you have? For compatabilty issues and sp2..
what processor do you have as i posted a subject back a bit here at EE about sp2 having problems with certain processors like AMD Athlons... Intel..>>http://zdnet.com.com/2251-1110-5302605.html

If you have an Intel maybe its an over heating problem>>
SP2 could have set your Power settings to be Always On, and that could have disabled your CPU's speed adjusting feature such as Intel's SpeedStep. In other words, your CPU could be running at full speed even when it doesn't have to be.

I'm going to paste a conversation I had with my teenager on msn, I asked him to refresh what we did the other week when he installed a new Sata drive with another drive on board as well and ran into trouble with windows not working., I have just cut out the names>> maybe it can give you some ideas regarding the drive names and their boot options... hope thats okay..
na okay - here was my deal
i installed windows onto my sata drive as c:
i already had another harddrive still with windows as c: but i had it unplugged
i reconnected it, and of course it booted up from that windows - i did this cause i needed some files i had saved on that windows
unfortunetly, it changed the windows drive in my sata disk to f:
i then formatted my old windows drive, and installed linux on it
(((( but the boot control block still had windows as being as c: on my ide harddrive))))

but it was actually now on f: after being pushed to that before
i think it changed the boot control block to start with windows again
 (cause linux takes it over after u install it)
but there was no windows under c: and it couldn't find it
and thats my story  
thats what i thikn happened anyway
End of chat on that subject..
so on that note I was wondering if maybe the problem could lie in the bios>>
Prior to installing the Sata did you>>
As you are running other ide hard drivers you will want to disable them in the bois first so that windows wont reconize them during set up because by default windows set up will want to write the mbr to ide 0 masters. disableing ide 0 will make windows write the mbr on the serail drive. after install is complete renable ide 0. after the install is complete and you boot into windows for the frist time you will want to intall the motherboard drivers .

Oh those unhappy soals...using xpsp2

  TigerTom 24-Oct-2004 11:50:00 AM
    "A downgrade"
This is the worst M software I have encountered, dropping drivers constantly. Dropping network connections and sound especially. The software crashed on the first boot up and several times after that.  

  elpedro 24-Oct-2004 11:40:02 AM
    "Care to be taken"
Results seem to be computer-specific as in it will work on some computers and not others. Definately slows computers down and the firewall is nothing special although pop-up stopper is quite good.  

  Vlado 24-Oct-2004 11:10:01 AM
It`s the worst piece of garbage i`ve ever seen!Don`t install it,your PC gonna get f..ked.Mircosoft sucks,big time  

  Liang Anmian 20-Oct-2004 11:20:02 AM
    "I don't know if I should recommend this"
I installed SP2 twice. The first time, I installed using the Windows Update. And guess what? From 30 to 40 seconds, the boot time becomes a full 3 minutes. That 3 minutes is barely enough for the laptop to load the user authentication screen. Once I enter my password, it takes another 2 minutes for everything else to load. Very bad. Applications take much longer to initialize too. After I uninstalled SP2, the after effects still exist. I don't know why. I completely forgot there is System Restore, and I'm silly enough to format my laptop just one day after I purchase it. Not giving up, this time round I download the installation file from the Microsoft Download section and launch the installation file manually. And guess what? This time it works great! No slow down at all! Even though it works this time round, but I am not sure why. As a result, I do not know for sure if I should recommend this to anyone who hasn't installed SP2. Microsoft, please make sure service packs are stable enough for everyone to install first before releasing it. You are wasting many people's time, as well as disappoint your customers.  

  Dosn't like SP2 19-Oct-2004 07:50:02 PM
    "Did it twice with all the requirements and twice I had to reinstall my os. What the h"
I would advise that you wait for this one. I backed up and all that but still had problems. It's a risk.  

  Austin Drew 19-Oct-2004 12:39:59 PM
    "Worst thing from Microsoft, EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!"
XP Service Pack 2 has done more damage to my computer than any virus or spyware. I have an excellent, top-quality, name brand computer with the most memory that one can have and more than enough processing speed. There is absolutely no reason that I should have to re-install Windows XP and all the Updates and Service Packs, only to have to format and re-install everything all over again within a 24-hour period. This is completely rediculous and utterly annoying. I have never been so upset with Microsoft in my entire life. As a Computer Science major, I find it repulusive the effects of so-called ""XP Service Pack 2"". I highly recommend that no one install XP SP2 until Microsoft comes up with a better solution that doesn't have the potential to crash every program including Windows Explorer (needed to view files and open programs).  

  Bryan 18-Oct-2004 09:59:59 PM
    "Service Pack 2 Caused My PC Not To Boot"
I received service pack 2 in the automatic updates and I heard that service pack 2 would provide more security to the computer so I installed it. The installation went good but after the installation, something fishy was going on. When I hit the restart button on my computer after the installation, the computer would not boot into normal mode. I tried it again and it still would not work. I was getting pretty worried so I tried to boot into the last known working configuration, still no luck. Last try, I rebooted into safe mode and it took a while to boot but it managed to boot into that mode. I went to the add/remove programs and uninstalled service pack 2 and after the unintall was complete, I rebooted my computer into normal mode and the computer booted wonderful and everything was back to normal.  
 Merete says>>I really like my xp pro have no problems and I have no intentions of upgrading for a while..if it isnt broke why fix it..

Thats my lot for today payne311  ;)


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payne311Author Commented:
Wow Merete,

Great feedback again!

I had SP2 installed since the first day that it was released, I like hoping on the technology bandwagon.  It was running
great up until Sunday, then all hell broke loose.

The reason for the Slipstream of SP2 disk is because my install disk that I have is a SP1 release.  I thought maybe this
was the reason that the recovery was not "seeing" my install of Windows.  Even after I slipstreamed and had a fresh
disk with SP2 still no luck with the recovery seeing my install.

I have not tried the Safe Mode option again.  I will try what Bryan (your last comment from a previous EE post)did and sit in Safe Mode for a while and see if it lets me in. I only tried safe mode once and sat there for one minute.  I am kinda impatient like that.

When I installed my OS, I only had the SATA drive and CD drive installed.  I only put the minumum hardware in during a OS install.
I put my IDE drive in after all was functional in windows.  My SATA is registered as my C:\ drive and my backup drive is my  F:\
I have never had any issues with it.  It is most likely Windows, it is not happy right now.  If I can get into safe mode, I will try
to uninstall SP2.  What is the best way to go about doing this, via the Control panel Add/Remove programs, or is there a
command line entry I can type at the Start/Run menu?

I do not like the fact that in Recovery Console you can only copy one file at a time.  With SATA you need to be booted up with
drivers loaded in order for it to recognize the drive.  A standard boot disk does not work to get data off of it.

I am leaning toward just reformatting and reinstalling at this point, I am tired of using the wifes computer.  I will have to copy
one file at a time in the recover console.

I also downloaded a linux program last night that supposedly allows you to run from the CD and get into your system.  It is something that begins with the letter 'k' kinolisk or something.  I have no idea....  I just read that it does not fully support NTFS
which kinda worries me about using it.

Thanks again.
payne311Author Commented:
I am writing this from MY OWN COMPUTER RIGHT NOW!!!
Thank you everyone for your input, it was bmhydro420 who will get the most points for the tip.

Merete, I used part of your post to try this in SAFE MODE which worked better than than regular mode.

My CPU was using 100% so it was extremely slow.  When I finally got the task manager to come up, I was able
to KILL explorer.exe.  This freed up 50% while WINLOGON was using the other 50%

I was able to click on File/New Task withing the task manager and type in cmd (this brings up the command prompt)
I was then able to type in - c:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
This brought up my system restore.  I was able to restore back to Sunday when all was well.

My computer fired right back up very quickly.  I am back to my 15 second startup time and fast as ever.
What the hell happened?  WINLOGON was the culprit and I have no idea what caused it.  

I am just happy that a solution was reached!

Thanks to all who had suggestions
Thats cool it worked I have  aPE environement that will let you run system restore without loading an operating system and it comes in handy for that sam issua time and time again.  Not a fan of system restore unless last resort to save data.
payne311Author Commented:
I actually almost turned off system restore a couple weeks ago.  VERY HAPPY I DID NOT DO THAT NOW!!
What is aPE environment, I might want to look into something like that for the future?
awsome news payne311 clock that one up as a major experienced gained, owning your own machine is really the best way too as when sharing with (wife) or vise versa or anyone else they could do some innocent action that could cause the machine to crash.
winlogon ( only a suggestion) could be that someone may have incorrectly changed the account preventing any access and or damaging the hive.. and there for windows may have been attempting to logon some damaged account causing the higher than normal resource usage. Could also have been an attack.
My tips to happy web experience...
It is a good idea to disable ( this will delete the system restore folder) occassionally as this folder cannot be scanned by any anti virus programs and some threats are written to this folder for this reason. ;)
Do you have a firewll installed. If not its a must now..
use several programs as one may miss newer trojans. stinger is highly reccomended. It has updates ofetn easy to use.
housecalls is a free online scanner if you regester ( free) it will send you the latest  virus threats and what damage they can cause and what you can do to prevent it in your email.. its excellent.. http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

Run defrag at least once a week and chkdsk the same. ( rightclick C drive..tools..
Delete contents of windows temp files  this folder can grow to absolutely huge as it stores what ever you install ..and temporary IE files regulary.
Make sure all your spyware anti virus programs are up to date and important patches installed.
If using any peer to peer that your anti virus programs are set to scan any incoming files.
Set your anti virus to scan any incoming emails  very important.
Do not keep any addresses in your mail address book as if you get a virus it will auto send out to everyone in that address book
check for updates regulary for display drivers, any hardware drivers,sound drivers modem drivers  directx versions macromedia etc.
If you have any storms unplug the power sources and especially the modem as well as a power surge can burn out your modem.
Use surge protectors and or UPS.( unlimited power supply units) protect your machine frompower fluctations.

These small steps will almost ensure a trouble free experience with your machine. At least you dont have to change the oil lol
You could look in control panel administrative tools event viewer applications and see what errors are listed there. Maybe it will show what happened.

cheers to you all and have a nice day.. regards M :)
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