I must have lost a few screws today, because after many years I decided to upgrade my system from WIN2K to XP. Its XP Pro with SP2 on the install disk.

Everything was fine until the middle of the install, the system came with many beeping sounds, with the messege to the effect? Do not have access or permission to ...System32\config\..., etc. But it kept going with the install and my finger got a good work out! The installer finished, as if all was well, I knew better. Upon re-boot, it showed "all" the usuers in the system, except me, with admin. The other user names were unfamilar. Next it would not accept my password, yes, I tried it many many mnay times.
So, I tried one of the user names and got in to the sys. All my old desktop stuff was still there. I was getting happy, until Uncle Bill came with a stick, now I can not even run CMD.exe (can not find or I do not have privilages, although I could explore to it and see it plain in front. Double-click in explorer does not help!
Since I did not know if the account I logged in with had privlages, I thought I try to add a user, again same, can not access anything on control panel.

Things get even more fun, now I try to get in to the password file, and a google search shows a nice easy method, install XP again and when device drivers are being installed, press Shift + F10. (Here is the link that got me more fun: http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/pub0009/LPMArticle.asp?ID=305)
All this procedure did was to install XP on a different hard drive, this time I can run CMD.exe and actually let me setup new passords. There are two bads to this one, before I started on this adventure, I had 4 drive letters on the system (C and D, same physical, but part. for sys and data, the other two drives were G and H, two different devices; the E and F are my CD drives). The bad is that all the desktop stuff is gone, and am looking at re-install all the software, I hope I have all the disks, its been so many years.

I hope one of you can help find an easy path out of this mess. If not ...more fun ahead.

tech newbie

Sounds like you may have a few corrupted sectors on the harddrive or if during installation a few steps were skipped. I'm not sure if I remember reading about something like this in google news but if I remember correctly, there are a few difficulties upgrading from Windows 2000 to xp. I would suggest doing the following in the order as typed below:
- First putting all your files on a disk/flash memory stick or something along those lines ready for your drive being formated.
- Make sure the surface of your xp installation disk is not scratched or damaged.
- Insert the disk and format drive C with all of its partitions.
- Make sure no external devices are plugged into the computer.
- Take out the disk then reinsert it. Then reinstall windows on drive C.

- If the problem continues then reboot the computer into safemode else ignore this paragraph. To get into safemode, while the computer is turning on, keep on pressing the F8 key. But when rebooting, check if there is a beep noise. If there is a beep noise then that means you have a hardware error.
- Now when in safemode, windows will look a bit poxy as only 16 or 256 colors can be displayed.
- Select the account that you created when reinstalling windows.
- Click 'Start' --> 'Run' and type 'dxdiag' without the quotes and click ok.
- A question will appear and answer no to the question.
- Now a new window will appear. In the window you will see a piece of text saying what operating system you have. Make sure it does not say 'Microsoft Windows 2000'. If it does say 'Microsoft Windows 2000' or something refering to Windows 2000 then it means the harddrive has not been formated correctly and you may need to find another way to format windows.
- Also check in the dxdiag window that it shows the correct amount of RAM to see if your RAM is damaged. If it does not show the correct amount of RAM then you may need to get the RAM checked out as damaged RAM will interfear with installation.
- Now close that dxdiag window. The pieces of information you should have gotten in those instructions are
a) Can you get the permissions in safemode.
b) Is there a hardware error (by checking if there is a beep at startup)
c) Is there a problem with the RAM
d) Does formatting the harddrive with all partitions wipe out the error which may have been left from Windows 2000.

Although this post does not cover all areas of where the problem may be, but it shows some of the most obvious places.

With that new installation of Windows [the one you did not want] on the different drive, naturally your old desktop will not be there. It should not have been there with the original reinstallation either.
Run chkdsk on the C: drive, then unplug the drive that has the second windows on it [you do not want that one to be detected by Setup], format C: and install.
Your third party pgms will require reinstallation.
I don't think that game on the website you quoted works with SP2 installations...?

I am not sure what happened in the intial install, but I have checked my hard drive, no errors, same with the RAM and the install CD. Somehow being logged in as the Admin (first in the users list) is the only thing that I can think of that may have caused the issue.

So, I have just wiped the dive and re-installed XP, no problems this time!
Now just have to load all the software up again, that will keep me busy for a while.

Thanks for the help.