The PC was misbehaving - Outlook Express kept shutting down, and then IE started doing the same thing. I went into MS site to download any updates and got an error message about ActiveX. It appeared then that Spybot had intercepted something to do with the ActiveX downloader and marked as bad. So I uninstalled that program.
Still no luck getting to the websites I needed, so I decided that I'd better reinstall Windows XP Home over the top.
It got to 39 minutes to go and then came up with an error:
The signature for Windows XP Home Edition is invalid. The error fffffc06.
The system cannot find message text for message number 0xfffc06 in the message file for syssetup.dll.
Setup failed to install the product catalogs. This is a fatal error. The setup log files should contain more information.
Well .... that's all very well but how do I find the log files. No matter what I do, it always comes back "Restarting setup ....." and then to the same error message. If I get to safe mode, it tells me that setup cannot run in safe mode and then it reboots back to the "Restarting setup...."
I found a suggestion in MS KB which said to use Shift+F10 and rename the file catroot2 to catold. When I try this it tells me that access is denied. So I tried copying the folder to a new name - this time it told me that the files were being accessed by the system so I figured this is why access is denied.
So then I downloaded the floppy disks to startup. It gets all the way to the last disk and then comes up with an error:
STOP: c0000221 UNKNOWN HARD ERROR
How can I recover the system from this point?