I've installed SP2 a few days ago. I also moved my swap file to another partition and left a 256 minimum swap on the root drive. I have 1 GB of ram and swap is 256 mb on root drive and 1600 MB on the other drive (this one is fixed size (min=max))
I also made some cleanup, by deleting some folders (%windir%\$NtServicePackUn
ad\ (the content)) and maybe some others which I don't remember, but I always googled for them before I removed (for ex this article: http://www3.telus.net/dandemar/spack.htm
Now, the PC is used by my father and sister. My dad doesn't remember if he did anything other than the usual, and I doubt he did, and my sister was not around.
The SP2 install kit is from an "official" SP2 CD I got from Microsoft. I have the same installed on my laptop for months (but without doing the above mentioned "tweaks").
So the problem was that every single time I tried to execute a program, anything, control panel, cmd.exe, absolutely any program after windows started up, I would get the error from the title.
If I was to ctrl+shift+esc -> task manager, that works. starting any program from task manger via new task, works.
I also ran a memtest, no errors. Ran avg full system scan, nothing. Spybot search and destroy is installed for months, so I don't think it's from there. zone alarm is also up and running as usual, so I don't think anything came in
The funny thing is, that if I ran normally, from explorer, I cannot start anything. If I start task manager, new task -> total commander, and then start things from there, everything works just fine.
So I figured (after reading a lot on google) that maybe my service pack installation got corrupted. So I tried a reinstall of SP2. now, after the reboot, I keep getting the error from the title on migrate.exe and some regsvr32.exe (but I dont' know which dll is it trying to register as it's obviously not saying).
again, starting task manager and total commander from there, and some of the program can be started and worked with, even though windows is not fully up yet (explorer is not running yet since I'm assuming that the SP2 install is doing those registrations and who knows what else).
The thing is, right now I cannot do anything with the computer. rebooting and choosing last known good configuration does nothing:
And I'm one of those guys that never re-install windows, unless it's completly dead. Like it appears to be now. But I still believe it can be fixed without a reinstall. I always seem to find a solution but right now google doens't turn out anything.
Oh, and there was another workaround, which I actually found first: I could place a shortcut in the startup folder (start-all programs-start up) and that program would start just fine.
Since I can run anything through task manager, it's not a memory issue, moreover, it's not hardware.
Given the original first workaround I found, I would say that there must be some program that messes things up (including explorer.exe or some otehr thing from SP if it got corrupted). I killed everything that was not critical (critical system processes, avg, zone alarm and some others) and still the problem persisted.
One otehr thing I forgot to mention, which makes me think that something could have gotten corrupted: I installed SP2 in order to be able to upgrade from avg 7.5 to avg 8.0. However, for some reason, the avg 8 installation was corrupted. the AV seemed to run, but there were some issues when starting the interface, like some strings were not recognied and the configuration was not usable (kept giving some error). there was also some space problem which had as a side effect that there was no more space for the page file (the reason I broke it in 2). I then made space, made 2 swap files as mentioned, and things appeared to be working for a few hours when the error from title came back. and then again it was all messed up.
I also made a check disk, on the 2 partitions in question with repair and force check, it came out clean. no errors.
I'm out of ideas.