Userinit.exe unable to locate component

I have an old Think pad  laptop.
Suddenly I am unable to get any icons appearing on the desktop, just an empty blue screen appears.
When I start the machine I get the message

Userinit.exe unable to locate component
and later another message
The application has failed because oleaut32.dll was not found.

I tried going into safe mode but that shows no desktop.
I can get the task bar and a cmd line
johnhardyAsked:
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bluemelnCommented:
The file is probably corrupt. There are two ways to replace corrupt system files.
One, do you have another Windows XP computer? If so, copy the oleaut32.dll from the other computer to the bad one using a USB stick and DOS because the file is in use by Windows. You will have to use Safe Mode with DOS prompt or the Windows Installer CD's Repair Mode  It is usually located in c:\windows\system32. Once in DOS, navigate to the USB drive, probably d:, and use a simple copy command d:\> copy oleaut32.dll c:\windows\system32\oleaut32.dll, and say Yes to overwrite, then reboot with Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Two, run an operating system repair by starting the computer from the Windows XP CD. Do not select Repair Mode but act as if you are installing Windows XP. When you select the current partition, it will give you the option to choose between repairing an existing operating system (what you want) and replacing it (don't do that). System repairs replace system files only so they do not touch your personal files and photos, however, they can alter Windows settings and revert them to default.


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bluemelnCommented:
oleaut32.dll is attached from Windows XP SP3, free from viruses or spyware.
oleaut32.dll
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Sudeep SharmaTechnical DesignerCommented:
You could check the Registry of your system and see if there is any entry apart from "Userinit.exe" in "HKEY_USERS \ MyXPHive \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon" section.

Below is tutorial on how to do it.

How to edit the registry offline using BartPE boot CD ?
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/peboot.htm

I hope that would help.

Sudeep
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
Thanks bluemeln
I have copied the file to a usb drive but the laptop does not seem to recognise it correctly
I placed the usb into the slot and carried out a
C:\>cd d:
this resulted in
D:\      then immediately back to
C:\>
I the took the usb stick out with the same result.

I then tried cd a: and the error was
The system cannot find the drive specified (same for b e f g )

I tried copying the files as suggested but the system cannot fing the path specified
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
Thanks SSharma

Re:
How to edit the registry offline using BartPE boot CD

I am always uncertain if its wise to use software like this?

How can one be sure its safe?
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Sudeep SharmaTechnical DesignerCommented:
Yes, BartPE boot CD is safe and there are similar CDs like UBCD4Win (http://www.ubcd4win.com/)

Sudeep
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rpggamergirlCommented:
Since you can get to your taskbar,
Have you tried to bring up "explorer.exe" using Task manager, 'File' menu > New task explorer.exe

Have you also tried replacing the files using System file checker(windows CD needed) -->
sfc /scannow
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
Thanks rpggamergirl
I tried to bring up explorer but was unable to do this.

The windows cd does not seem to run.
If I start the machine with the windows disc inserted the disc gets ignored.
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
Thanks rpggamergirl
I tried to bring up explorer but was unable to do this.

The windows cd does not seem to run.
If I start the machine with the windows disc inserted the disc gets ignored.
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bluemelnCommented:
If it's an older computer, it won't recognize the USB drive. When you boot up to Windows, you probably get that blue desktop in all modes, including Safe Mode. If not, can you copy the .dll to a location on the hard drive (c:\temp or similar) for later use? Can you burn it to CD and put it in the CD drive? Older ThinkPads usually have diskette drives, can you use that to transfer the dll?
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rpggamergirlCommented:
Did you get an error when you tried to bring up explorer?

So explorer.exe, userinit.exe and oleaut32.dll seem to be missing or corrupt.
This sounds more like a file infector is at work there... it may be a good idea to just wipe and start again. I don't usually advise reformatting, only when file infectors are at work which seems to be the case here.
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bluemelnCommented:
If the CD gets ignored, did you check the BIOS to make sure the boot-up order places the CD drive ahead of the hard drive?
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johnhardyAuthor Commented:
A friend managed to get the data off the computer, said it was easy using ubuntu.

We found a couple of bad sectors on the disc using hirems boot cd

So thank you all for the great support you gave and the time spent.
Regards
John
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