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how to recreate deleted registry key: XP Home Recovery Console

Posted on 2006-05-11
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Unfortunately, I deleted the following Registry Key in XP Home:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
"Userinit"="C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\userinit.exe,"

Now when I log in, it starts 'loading personal settings" and then quickly logs me back off

I have access to the recovery console.

Can the key and value be recreated?

Any other ideas will be appreciated.
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Question by:grampositive
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Expert4XP
ID: 16664241
Did you power off, then power on, press F8 repeatedly until you get choices.  Choose Last Known Good Configuration.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315222

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Author Comment

by:grampositive
ID: 16664251
Last known and save mode exhibit the same symptoms

everything appears wll, I see the wallpaper and then real quickly it starts logging off and retruns to the user welcome screen
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Author Comment

by:grampositive
ID: 16664294
I found a Pre-Installation Boot Disk that allows me to access the registry, adding the userinit key and value, did NOT Resolve the log in issue

Just to be clear:

I start the XP SP2 Home PC and make it to the Login Screen as expected.

It reports that it is "Loading my personal Settings", then quickly disconnects and Logs me off and takes me back to the login screen.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 16664298
can you boot to safemode?
Tap f8 choose safemode log onto the administrative account, press enter at this to avoid inserting any passwords.
Once this desktop has loaded, run the regestry editior and re-create this reg file you deleted.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
"Userinit"="C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\userinit.exe,"

Have you checked the recycle bin to see if it is in there then restore it.

userinit.exe (User Initialization) - Details
The userinit.exe process is executed by windows when you log on to your computer. It will run various network and user-setup related tasks to initialise your session on the computer/network. You should leave this process running to ensure that you are logged on correctly.

userinit.exe is flagged as a system process and does not appear to be a security risk. However, removing User Initialization may adversly impact your system.
The Spy Bot database currently registers userinit.exe to Microsoft.
This is part of Microsoft Windows.

If you have S&D spybot maybe you can use the last scanned log to restore the saved reg files. Or adaware.
========================================
Lets try some quick tweaks.
The Welcome Screen Appears then Logs off
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_wel_screen.htm

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.

In the right pane under Userinit, Change the key to read:
C:\Windows\System32\Userinit.exe,

Or download and run the reg file on line 263 (right hand side), if Windows is installed on C:\Winnt.  If not, modify the edit manually.
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm
Or:

Place your XP CD in and navigate to the Recovery Console.
Change the C:\Windows prompt to: C:\Windows\System32 and copy userinit.exe to wsaupdater.exe

Reboot into Safe Mode and modify:

change userinit in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon from wsaupdater.exe, to userinit.exe,


Good Luck
Merete
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Accepted Solution

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Expert4XP earned 2000 total points
ID: 16664305
Are you familiar with The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows?

http://www.ubcd4win.com/

It allows you to create an offline boot cd, which you can then use and run the Registry EditorPE and repair your XP registry problem offline.

Very handy boot cd, but you need a running xp system to create it, along with your original XP startup cd (which sounds like you have)
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Expert4XP
ID: 16664318
grampositive, I just saw your previous post about already having bartPE cd, and attempting (unsuccessfully) to fix it by adding the registry key.  So ignore my post about ubcd4win
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Author Comment

by:grampositive
ID: 16664361
Regarding Merete's suggestions:

I was able to edit the key with an UltimateBootCD, but the problem persists.

Begins log in, splashes wallpaper for microsecond, then logs off back to welcome screen.
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Author Comment

by:grampositive
ID: 16664414
The UltimateBootCd even had a registry restore feature.

Viola, I am logged in again!

Your post encouraged me to browse the CD thoroughly and therein I found the appropriate tool, which answered my initial question and solve my problem.

Thanks for everyone's quick post.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Expert4XP
ID: 16664427
Great.  That offline registry editor can be a real life saver (as you found out) to make XP registry modifications when you can't boot.

Nice to have a happy ending!
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