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A number of functions  in my OS (Windows XP Home) not working.  How do I repair

Posted on 2013-01-22
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I want to repair a number of items on my operating system (Windows XP Home Edition)

The help function is not working. When I run msconfig it fails. I have got round these problems by locating the exe files elsewhere (with your help) and can open them. More recently I notice that that the DVD drive is not showing up in the My Computer box. These problems occurred when I was in a place where I could not lay my hands on my installation disk. I now have got that disk. Can you advise on running a repair.

My computer is a Dell Inspiron 1501.
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Question by:Michael Murphy
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Expert Comment

by:Justin Yeung
ID: 38805976
use the windows xp disc to boot up and run a repair of the OS.

note, run a repair but not reinstall the OS
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 38806164
Repair install instructions:

http://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?showtopic=61918

If you have the Dell XP install disk, a product key should not be necessary. A royalty key tied to hardware is automatically used.

The Install CD must have the same SP level as installed. You can slipstream SP3 using Nlite.
http://www.nliteos.com/guide/

If you have IE7 or IE8 installed, they need be uninstalled or you can slipstream IE8 onto the install CD using Nlite.
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38806868
Since you now have the correct CD, why not try running a System File Check before doing a full repair install?

To do so, simply do the following:

Click on Start>run, and type in the following (note the space after "sfc"

sfc /scannow

If it finds corrupt or missing windows system files, it will ask for the CD.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38806966
I ran sfc /scannow.  It discovered some unrecognized file versions and asked me to insert Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 CD

I dont have that CD. As far as I remember Service Pack 3 came as an automatic download.

In any event since I dont have the CD, can I download it and burn to a CD? I have software for burning (Nero)?
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 38806994
Look at my post about slipstreaming SP3 onto your CD using nlite.
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38807036
See if you have the following folder:

C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38807129
Yes, I have found this (C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386)
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Assisted Solution

by:flubbster
flubbster earned 250 total points
ID: 38807174
ok... Since youi have the latest files from the service pack, you can edit the registry that tells system file checker where to find the files.

Start>run and type in regedit
Open registry editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup

Look in the right hand pane for the "SourcePath" entry
Double-click on it and a box will open allowing you to edit the entry. It probably has D:\ in it now. Change it to the following:

C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles

Exit the registry and try sfc /scannow again. There is also another location that it might use, but try this one first. It should now look at that folder for any files it needs to fix the damaged or missing ones.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38807257
How do I slipstream SP3 onto the CD using nlite? I have successfully downloaded and installed nlite
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 38807984
I gave you a link to the instructions. Click on Part 1 near top of web page.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38808154
I followed the instructions with regard to the registry and succeeded in inserting C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles in the source entry.
However when I ran sfc /scannow after a few moments I am told that files required for Windows to run properly have been replaced by unrecognized ones and that to maintain stability Windows must restore the correct ones. It asks me to insert the Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 CD. No progress therefore
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38809729
As I said, it is possible it could be using the info from another registry setting. Look here:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SourcePath

Notice that the original used "Windows" and this entry uses "Windows NT"
If this registry key exists, modify it also. Basically, we are telling the system where to look for the files since you do not have an XP SP3 CD.

Also, please verify that there are files in the i386 folder. As a matter of fact, do a search of the system files, looking for i386 and see if it is located elsewhere. In the search options, set it to include Hidden files and folders.

You may have an i386 folder in a folder called. C:\Windows\source
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38810204
1. I tried your latest suggestion (Windows NT), but I got the same response.

I have done a search, showing hidden files and folders, for  i386 folders. I attach a screenshot of the result.
The folder at C:\i386 contains  eleven folders and a large number of files (several 100's)
The  folder at C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles contains  one folder (Lang) and a large number of files (again several hundreds - nearly a thousand).


I
Screenshot.bmp
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38810418
It should work. Since it isn't, try this:

Open the c:\windows\servicepackfiles folder

copy the i386 folder from there and paste it to the root of the C drive. You will end up with C:\i386

Now go back into the registry and change the source path entry to "C:\"  (no quotes)

Change it in both locations.

BTW... I know I didn't mention it, but did you reboot after making the changes to the registry? If not, try rebooting and then running sfc /scannow again before copying the i386 folder as I stated above.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38811648
When I copied the i386 folder and pasted it into C:\ I was told there is already a folder of that name in the C:\ . I am asked whether to replace this (which contains over 4,000 files)  with the one which appeared  in the ServicePackFiles folder (which contains over 2,000 files). Should I?
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38811678
Move the one that is there now to another location, like C:\backup. The service pack files folder will have the latest files. Also, go to your folder options and enable to view hidden files and folders. You never mentioned that you had that one which means it is hidden. Make sure the one you copy there is not hidden either.

One more point... In your initial post, you state that you are running XP Home edition. But you also state that during the system file check, it is asking for XP Professional SP3. There seems to be a conflict. You also stated that you found the CD. What CD is it?
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38811728
I'll look at all these questions and get back to you tomorrow.  However I will send you a screenshot now of my system specifications. I got a re-installation disk when I bought this laptop. But that did not contain Service Pack 3. As far as I remember I downloaded this from the internet - or it presented itself to me as an automatic download - not sure about this.
Screenshot.bmp
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38811887
You have Windows Media Center. MCE is an add-on so it is asking for Pro. Do as I said earlier with the copies and backup. Make sure you REBOOT after changing the registry. Even better, reboot and try it BEFORE doing the copy if you haven't yet. A reboot forces the changes to be read by windows and makes the SourcePath change active.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 38812486
Slipstreaming SP3 onto an XP MCE disk is not an option. So you need to follow flubbster's advice.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38815260
will do. Give me a few days
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 38815735
Just checking - if you have the Dell XP MCE 2002 reinstallation CD is it marked as SP2?
That may give us another route if flubbster's suggestion doesn't work.  It should be possible to uninstall your SP3 and downgrade.

In any event now is a good time to check your reinstall CD contains a folder called CMPNENTS

(@willcomp it is possible to slipstream XP MCE to SP3 but the resultant image is fractionally too large for a CD and needs to be burnt to DVD - not straightforward though)
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38815812
@MASQUERAID

Good suggestion as far as downgrading from SP3 if he has an SP2 CD. Never even thought of that  :)
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 38815897
@MASQUERAID - Yes, it's possible by copying and replacing files. I still encountered some weird glitches. Since it is somewhat complex and I had spotty results, I don't recommend it.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38819923
I have the following disks:
1. Reinstallation DVD, MS Windows XP Media Center Version 2005 with Update Rollup 2

2. For Reinstalling Dell Inspiron 1501 Computer Software (Contents: Device drivers, Diagnostics and Utilities)

Is it a question of uninstalling Service Pack 3 and then reinstalling disk No 1 above.?

If I need to uninstall SP 3, you will have to advise on how to do this.

Also I do not want to lose existing programs and documents on the laptop.
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38820022
To remove service pack 3, you need to go into:
 
Control Panel
Add/Remove Programs
Check the box for "Show Updates"
Select Service Pack 3
Click remove/uninstall
Reboot when completed

Having said that, have you tried SFC since rebooting? If it didn't work, have you tried copying the i386 folder as I suggested? This includes changing the sourcepath setting in the registry to c:\

If you remove SP3 and then want to use the CD to do the sfc, you will need to change the sourcepathsetting to point to the CD drive. Make sure you know what drive letter it is (usually "D"). The sourcepath setting will then have to be changed to D:\
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Accepted Solution

by:
willcomp earned 250 total points
ID: 38820041
In Control Panel, select Add or Remove Programs. Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Windows Internet Explorer 8 (if installed) should both be listed. Uninstall IE8 first and then SP3. Programs and data files should not be affected other than those dependent on SP3 such as MSE or other anti-virus programs.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 38820049
I reiterate - Uninstall IE8 or you'll be sorry.
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38820080
@willcomp

Good point!!! Totally forgot about that.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 38820171
A word of explanation. A repair install from original disks will install IE6. If IE6 is installed over IE8, IE will quit working and that includes Windows updates which rely on IE. MS has a fix but it is complicated and doesn't work consistently. The best approach is to uninstall IE8 (easiest) or slipstream IE8 onto the XP install disk(s).
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38820329
I follow that.
However when I look for SP3  to uninstall it, I dont seem to find it in the Program folder.
I am sending two screenshots showing the relevant parts of the program folder.

(There is reference to SP 3 in the Screenshot 2 (Microsoft .... Parser)
Screenshot.bmp
screenshot-two.bmp
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 38820385
Should be listed as "Windows XP Service Pack 3 "
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Expert Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 38820437
You need to place a checkmark in the "Show Updates" box at the top, as I mentioned earlier.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38820610
I have rechecked with 'Show Updates' Clicked.  No sign of Windows XP Service Pack 3
I have removed Internet Explorer 8

Can I go ahead and install the  version Windows XP Media Center Version 2005 with Update Rollup 2 - for which I have the disk?
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Author Comment

by:Michael Murphy
ID: 38821274
I went ahead. It worked. It is 3 am in the morning in Cork, Ireland. I have checked the previously installed programs and they all seem to be working. Also all the documentary material is intact, although I took the precaution of saving it to an external drive.
You gentlemen are 'goods' the way you stick at it and stay with it, despite my poor performance and lack of attention to detail. However it seems I have got there. What is most important is that all the functions that were not working when I posed the problem are now working perfectly. I have checked them. This problem arose when I was in Nigeria for 6 months and had forgotten to bring the installation disks with me. Experts- Exchange got me over a number of the most serious hurdles - sorted out serious issues for me taking into account that I did not have the installation (re-installation) disks. But when I returned to Ireland I decided I needed to deal with several less important  (but annoying) issues - such as inability to run msconfig, to access the help file directly from the help button etc. Now everything seems to be working perfectly - although I will check more rigorously in the next few days. I will award points later... but you all deserve the maxi
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