2003 Standard Server will not execute programs

A client has an issue I have never seen before.  His tape backups through NTBACKUP are not executing & has not executed in over a year so I went there to investigate.  In the task manager I can see the program running.  I end it then restart and the item runs in task manager but no program comes up to manage.  I try to run a belarc advisor to get a snapshot of his environment but I can not even load that.  I have restarted the ML350 without errors.  Service Pack 1 is not loaded so I tried to install that with zero success.  Any ideas?

mentisgroupAsked:
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scrathcyboyCommented:
"I can not install any new programs."

Then your setup is trashed.  Reinstall the OS clean, if you cannot install any programs, your windows setup is trashed.  Backup My documents and and other important files you have to directories with different names than "C:\My Documents" -- and reinstall CLEAN -- do not upgrade, it will inherit the same problems.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
You are probably dealing with a corrupt install that never worked to begin with.  Lots to tape software goes through the motions of working, but they actually do not do any real useful backups, and worse still, no one ever tests whether they can restore from the backup -- why do that until everything has failed mentality.

You are probably best to remove ALL the tape software, and even remove the tape drivers from device manager -- then reboot and make sure windows reinstalls the tape drivers automatically.  Once this happens, use windows backup, which is good enough to test the tape and media.  Do a backup of the system state (this is crucial to recovery), as well as some crucial directories.

Now reboot, and try to restore the files with windows backup, to the working server.  This is the only valid test of the tape and tape drive -- if it works, you know the hardware is working.  After that, it is up to you if you want to test this other backup software ... otherwise, tell them to use windows backup.
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mentisgroupAuthor Commented:
I may have mistated myself earlier - NO programs are able to load on this machine.  I can not install any new programs.  
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mentisgroupAuthor Commented:
That is kind of where I was heading anyway.  I appreciate your input.  It is a DC.  Are there any documents that you know of telling me precisely what files to save?  I would think the ntds.dit but not sure on the others.  
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scrathcyboyCommented:
There are no documents to tell you what files to save -- basically, you have to go through Documents and settings, and look for the links in "All users" and "administrator" and your "login name".  Probably the best way is to backup ALL of My documents, and all of "documents and settings" to a different location on the hard disk, as these will contain all the links to program files, etc.  I copy all of these directories under a folder called "old setup" -- so you can refer to it after you reinstall.   Good luck !!
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