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I have this exact problem:
http://www.daniweb.com/forums/post171392.html

However the solution didn't work because I messed with the registry :-( I couldn't install Windows installer 3.1, so I couldn't update my repaired version of windows (which was working AWESOME, btw!) I set restore points and stuff "just in case" after messing with the registry per this thread:

http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/Windows-XP-Installation-Microsoft-Windows-Installer-3-1andquot-t153864.html

I went into HKEY and messed with Permissions... a few websites had that fix... although it wasn't working for me. I'm assuming that this is the root of my not being able to load personal settings. My assumption could be wrong, obviously.

With my great luck at reinstalling the OS without wiping out any data, I chose to do that again last night, probably wiping out any restore points that were there, and when it finished and booted I ended up with the same 2 tone blue screen with the xp logo in the middle and the mouse working. It's right before "loading personal settings" would normally come on.

Please help. I feel like such an idiot. If I load the repair console is there a way to go back and change those permissions? Or any other ideas?

Thank you much.

Gina

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Last Post by Dortz
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http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/Windows-XP-Installation-Microsoft-Windows-Installer-3-1andquot-t153864.html

Quote form forum in link above:

go to the location: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\IMsiServer
Right-click on IMsiServer -> Permissions
Click on Add -> Enter the exact name of the local user account name in which you are logged in and click on Check names.
Highlight the username and make sure there are check marks under Allow for Full Control and Read.

The quote above from the forum link you provided shows where things went wrong. This is a problem where it may be impossible to fix depending on what you changed.
So first log into your admin account (the account that was created when installing windows on your computer and do the the below instructions.

1) Be sure to be in the location of the registry: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\IMsiServer
2) Right-click on IMsiServer -> Permissions
3) This step is where you will need to modify the permissions. So, from here, you will need to find the set of permissions you added. To do this, you will need to find where the functions (read and write) are and for all accounts have read ticked. For the administrator account and the system creator account you will need write ticked.

If you can not understand the instructions above, try the second way below. Remember that the second set of instructions below will only work for Windows XP Pro. Also, you may need to try these instructions in each account as your altering of account permissions (shown in the quote) may make a user account have admin privileges and and admin account may not. So try the following if you can not understand the above set of numbered instructions.

1) Open 'My Computer'
2) Right-click drive C and select Properties.
3) Find the permissions tab then click it.
4) Under the permissions tab, make sure the all types of accounts can read. Then make sure the administrator and system creator can write.
5) Click ok
6) Click on the start menu
7) Depending on how your start menu is organised, you will need to put you mouse/cursor over setting then click on control panel. You may find that there is no settings section and that you may be able to go straight from start to control panel.
8) In the control panel, select classic view on the left hand side.
9)Double click 'User Accounts' in the control panel.
10) Select the 'Create new account' option on the new window then set to account to administrator account. If you do not get this option then you will need to try it in a different account.
11) Click accept and ok to any questions that come up while closing the windows that you have just opened.
12) Restart the computer.
13) You will find a new account from the blue accounts screen. Click on it.
14) If the account loads up successfully, move all files from your previous administrator account into the new account that you are in. Remember: Do not move the system files such as programs installed into your old account folder. This includes dll files and exe files that have been opened and through an installation process.
15) You should now have a new account which can install your software and the new account should be able to do your updates.

If you have any more questions on this topic then just pm me and/or let us know.

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Unfortunately the boot stops right before it would normally say "Loading Personal Settings". A 2-tone blue screen with the XP logo in the middle. The mouse works yet.

I can't get in thru safe mode, or any of the F8 choices. Recovery Console off my XP cd asks for the admin password, that's the only place I've found that I can log in, but from there I'm pretty well lost besides just running a chkdsk.

I did find out one other thing. If I hit ALT+TAB from that screen, a small box comes up that says "Log On to Windows" on one side and "Windows Logon" on the other. I can move the box back and forth between those options, but neither of them does anything. I tried that after reading http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q816873

Also read through http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318027 and it confirms that "Your user account settings are corrupted" .... but the solutions listed didn't seem to apply. I don't get any kind of "Log in" screen, even if I do CTRL+ALT+DEL twice when it's booting.

The only time I've been asked for a login is booting to Recovery Console on the XP cd, and i was only offered the admin login there. It worked. But that's the closest I found to a login. Damn I'm just sick about this. Everything was working so well, best it had run in months and I go screw it up thinking "I have a restore point set"... that's sure a false sense of security.

I wonder if one of these pc places like geek squad or milw pc would be able to fix this. I don't want just data recovery and a fresh install, but I'm afraid to crawl around in dos trying to restore the registry... I think I've messed up enough. :-(

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Gina

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Thanks. Yeah, without being able to ghost the hard drive and have backups of everything, I'm just not comfy going in there "behind the scenes" and doing it, unless I can figure out how to copy whatever I'm messing with to a different spot. ~~Still Kicking Myself!!!~~

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restore points are good if the computer boots to where you can run system restore !
any hers the info you need to do what you don't want to do from what you call dos .but is actually system recovery .im sure that any good computer repair shop/person can do this .i have done it once myself long ago!!
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545/en-us
http://www.housing.hawaii.edu/resources/support/restore-point.htm

CaperJack,
I was peeking around the directories using your second link. I see one restore point in there, so that's good. I did not do anything except cruise from directory to directory (I used to work in DOS many many moons ago!). I found everything mentioned except when I typed
cd snapshot
then it said it wasn't found. "snapshot" isn't a command, is it? I hope not, it's possible I did do it the first time I ran through the directories. I didn't do any of the renaming, etc. Just wanted to look. I wish I had something to copy this drive to, and I wish it was not saturday, but I can wish all day long =) I better just pull the plug out of the power strip until monday I suppose. :-/

Gina

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ok... I must unplug, lock, mail away the key, etc... darn computer is my home!

The owner/manager at Milwaukee PC said he understood what I said/did, and if indeed that is all that needs to be done it would be about 40 bucks! I told him I don't want data recovery and my drive wiped, and he assured me I was correct when I said that's all I would get from Geek Squad (and charge me a minimum $150).

Said something about them not using the Restore Console but something else, and then getting into windows and getting that restore point back. I told him I looked and there was only one restore point, the one I used prior to my monkeying with the registry. He said yep, when you reinstall Windows it wipes your restore points. I'm glad I did make that one. I do have a registry cleaner in there that also backs it up into my My Docs folder as well.

Looks like the wait will be Friday, I don't know if I can wait that long. Priority service is an extra $36 and would get me in on Tuesday afternoon, so I might go that route just because I feel like I have one arm tied behind my back without my pc. ... :)

I suppose even a mirrored drive wouldn't have helped me in this case, right? Except I could possibly mess with it myself and still have a copy of the original in tact? Advice is welcome :)

Gina

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well, I have proven, as many have before me, that you do not mess with the registry without taking proper precautions. The Windows Repair install wiped my restore points... yes, there was one left - and indeed it did not have a "snapshot" folder. There was nothing to restore. I took my pc home frowning.

My data was safe, everything can be looked at, but XP was not going to run again. I restored some *.reg files that Uniblue and other registry programs had backed up, it changed the problems (constant reboots, black screens, etc.), but couldn't solve them. I made a UBCD for Windows which was like looking into my PC's soul.... and it couldn't do it either. It would've grabbed those restore points if it could have. It did allow me to save the current (bad) registry, and merge those old ones in, but I couldn't do anything. When I got the boot system good and messed up I tried a repair install again, and it hung during the install - said it would reboot and finish installing. It reboot and then began its constant rebooting act.

I ordered a new Seagate Barracuda drive. Meanwhile I took out my HDD, labelled it, 10 times :). Found an old small drive, formatted and installed XP on it, and set up my HDD as a slave, just so I could go in and look at my stuff. I'm currently in process of setting up my new drive with twice as many gigs, researching partitions, and backup strategies - as well as digging out all the application discs that I want to reinstall. So we can call this thread closed. I'll ask my other q's in a separate thread.

Don't mess with your registry! Make Restore Points! Don't immediately reinstall windows to try to fix a problem! Consider a third party registry backup program. Make a boot cd like UBCD just in case. Did I mention, don't fiddle with your registry just because a forum tells you to? (without a backup!) :)

lesson learned.

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tough luck on the hard lesson limetwist. The first thing I tell 'anybody' who has an operable computer when the post a problem, is to backup all their stuff.

Because even if you do everything right, there's always a chance something won't work.

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