My XP machine was freezing after bootup and I could not access utilities to detemine the error. Could not access Sys restore, so my only option was to initiate a an XP repair using my Win XP SP3 disk. I messed up the first time as I missed entering the repair option, so when I noticed the disk was creating a separate install I immediately cancelled it. However, upon reboot I now had two XP installs on the same partition - the original and the incomplete one I had attempted to cancel.
At this point I could not edit the boot.ini file to correct that error, so I started the repair on the correct Win XP install and this completed without any errors. Or so I thought until I logged in and found a generic desktop with ALL icons gone AND Start/ All Programs was empty. My documents was also empty, so I navigated to the C drive and found the folders containing my files and programs and it appears everything is there...
So how do I get my start menu/ All Programs back AND restore the desktop icons for each user on this machine? I've heard about 'unhide.exe' to restore icons/ desktop shortcuts and even if that is a proven solution it does nothing to restore the 'All programs' issue. I also found a hotfix - #941248 (http://hotfixv4.microsoft.com/Windows%20XP/sp3/Fix204655/2600/free/322217_ENU_i386_zip.exe) - in the Microsoft knowledge base but it was desgned to restore the start menu after a malware attack. I'm not sure this was the case and would appreciate your thoughts on using this. FYI - I tried to perform a Sys restore once the repair was complete but all the restore points are gone. Backup is toast, so I have to work with what I've got!! I need to get this operational ASAP - so your help is requested NOW!
I'm not proud - HELP!!