I was shipped a computer - XP PRO SP2 - DELL Dimension - from my employer in a different city in a different country. I set it up and it ran fine, but after running the updates and restarting, after about an hour it crawled to a stop, locking up. After letting it sit for a half hour to see if it would right itself, I powered it down and restarted.
Now when I try to restart it, I get a PCI.SYS is missing or corrupt warning. After some searching, I tried to run the recovery console, but get Access Denied when I try to access any folder, including the system WINDOWS folder, which documentation says should be accessible to an expand command.
I can reinstall the OS, but that entails losing a number of installed programs on it that would be difficult as the original disks are in storage and hard to access and I'd have to not only get them shipped here, but convince someone there to dig them out of storage.
I get caught in the trap of not being able to run the system to load the security snap in to give permissions to change the AllowAllPaths variable to true.
I have other computers, but they are all ati drives, and this is a sata machine. If I could do this, I could add a drive and then boot from that.
One thing that occurs to me is to create a partition using Diskpart and install a second OS on that, then use that to repair the one that is out - but I'm afraid this will totally futz the drive.
I'm looking for any suggestions short of a reinstall - I'll do that if I have to, but I'll potentially lose a number of valuable programs.