Can't logon

A user ran an antvirus/spyware program before shutting down her computer, it deleted an important file on accident. Now, she starts up her computer its fine until she logs on and then it immediately logs back off, just flashing the user's desktop. I'm told its may be that the userinit.exe file was deleted along with malware. How do I resolve this problem?
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flubbsterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Enter the Recovery Console

Boot the system using the Windows XP CD-ROM. In the first screen when the Setup begins, read the instructions press "R" (in the first screen) enter the Recovery Console. Type-in the built-in Administrator password to enter the Console. You'll see the prompt reading C:\Windows (Or any other drive-letter where you've installed XP)

Type the following command and press Enter.

(If that does not work, try CHDIR SYSTEM32)


Quit Recovery Console by typing EXIT and restart Windows.

You'll be able to login successfully as you've created the wsaupdater.exe file (now, a copy of userinit.exe)

Now, change the USERINIT value in the registry (see Phase II in this page) and change it accordingly.

NOTE    If you don't have a Windows XP CD-ROM, you need to use Windows XP Setup floppy disks to enter the Recovery Console.

 Phase II  -  Fixing a registry entry which causes the Quick Launch issue (not retaining the settings)

Click Start, Run and type REGEDIT. Navigate to:


In the right-pane, change the value of Userinit to "C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,"

Type the above value exactly as given, including the comma - exclude the quotes. Also, change the path to userinit.exe appropriately, if Windows is installed in a different drive.

Close Registry Editor and restart Windows.
preshomesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
To replace userinit.exe:
1. Boot using Recovery console
2. Locate the System32 folder    cd Windows\System32
3. Expand d:\i386\userinit.ex_ userinit.exe (or Copy d:\i386\userinit.ex_ userinit.exe) where d: is CDROM drive and need to expand compressed file to full file.
4. type Exit to reboot
bobox00Author Commented:
Unfortunately, the computer is a personal computer, not owned by the company we both work for. If I use one of the company's XP CD's, will I be asked for a CD key? I'm trying to avoid abusing the company's licenses.
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preshomesCommented: are just copying a file from the CD to your PC
Sorry Lee... forgot to copy the link. My bad..

Feel free to remove my comment from this post if you feel it is necessary.
bobox00Author Commented:
The user has windows XP Home edition on the problematic computer. I also have Windows XP Home edition on my personal laptop. Can I copy the needed file from my laptop to her computer? Is this something I could do in safe mode?
preshomesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Can I copy the needed file from my laptop to her computer? Is this something I could do in safe mode?

I would copy it from the XP CD. It would be best to use recovery mode or take the hard drive out, install it into another computer or USB hard drive enclosure and copy the file over that way.
flubbsterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Be aware that simply replacing the userinit file may not do anything, unless the file is simply damaged but still exists. You need to replace the file as detailed above and perform the required steps in the registry to truly repair the problem.

good luck
bobox00Author Commented:
You guys have been very helpful. I'll implement the instructions as laid out above.
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