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userinit.exe Disaster


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#1 Jay4

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 09:35 PM

Hello,

I have an IBM ThinkPad T60p, XP Pro, SP3. This morning I had odd stuff happening on my homepage and so I ran SuperAntiSpyware, which found a few problems after running for two hours. A couple Vundo variants, plus what has turned out to be a false positive which I very foolishly checked, and clicked next. The suspect item had userinit in the name - I thought better of it and was going to uncheck it but there was no "back" option and I didn't want to wait another two hours. Stupid. Anyway my computer boots properly until I enter the windows password and then it says "logging off".

From research on this site and others I gathered that I had inadvertently deleted the subject file, and probably an important registry value as well.

A complicating factor is that my original XP disk for this machine is at work (I hope). I used an XP disk from another machine here at home and got the computer into recovery console mode. It opens with a C: prompt and I cannot CD to any other directory, except the CD-ROM drive. I don't know if this is because my system is messed up, or because there is some sort of mismatch between XP versions.

I have repeatedly tried the F8, last good config with same results.

This laptop has the IBM recovery program and I have been able to use it to copy userinit.exe back to c:\windows\system32. Unfortunately, it still cycles into same old logging off problem - I think this means I need to also add the right registry value but I don't think the IBM rescue program will let me view or edit the registry.

I gather one solution would be to do a repair install but I would dearly love to avoid this for several reasons...

Any ideas?

Thanks
Jay

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#2 dc3

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 11:48 PM

Hi Jay4, and welcome to BleepingComputer.

Can you boot into Safe Mode? If you can do a System Restore to a date prior to this problem.

If you can't you may need to do a repair installation. The installation disk that you have, is it for the same version of Windows that you have installed?

Note: The system repair function will remove any updates you have previously installed that are not included on the CD. Drivers will also be reverted to their original XP versions, as well as some settings (network & performance settings may sometimes be reset to their defaults). It may be necessary to reactivate your Windows XP as well. When finished, you will have to download all of the updates from Microsoft Windows Update, because they are all replaced during repair.

Boot the computer from the XP CD. You may need to change boot order in the BIOS so that the CD-ROM is the first device in the boot order.

When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the options below

This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.
You do not want to choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R.

Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair. If Repair isn't one of the option end the installation, this will mean that you will need to do a fresh installation of XP.

The repair will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot, the repair installation will continue after the reboot.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#3 Jay4

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 12:00 AM

Thanks for your help!

I cannot boot into Safe Mode. I would guess the disk I have now is not the exact same version as what is on my laptop - can't be sure since I don't have both handy. But the recovery console seems buggy, now the dir cmd has stopped working.

I guess I am stuck until I get to work on Monday and can use the right XP disk to run the repair installation as you suggested. Is it likely to trash my data?

Its frustrating because I can see all my recent files using ThinkVantage Rescue & Recovery, but there is not option to move them to my portable USB drive.

The ThinkVantage R&R does have an option to "restore only the windows operating system and applications" to a backup I made in 2006 (I have a data backup but its a month old), and it says it will "preserve current data". I am tempted to try this but don't want to make things worse....

Grateful for your advice.

#4 dc3

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 12:10 AM

The ThinkVantage R&R will return the computer to the state is was in when you first got it, this means that you would lose all of your personal files. A repair installation will not effect your files, the only changes will be the ones that were mentioned in the note.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 Jay4

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 12:17 AM

The TV R&R actually gives 3 options: 1) restore entire hard drive, and it warns that all personal data will be lost; 2: restore the OS and applications, and it says personal data will be preserved and 3) restore to original factory state.

I think you have helped me think this through and it would be better to wait - IF as I think - option 2 above will save my data but I will have to reinstall many programs, but the XP repair install would be more of a surgical fix that would require less work to get back to normal.

Thanks
J

#6 dc3

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 12:28 AM

Thanks for the information on the TV R&R, I'm not really familiar with it. I did a quick google to see what the options were, but it only mentioned the one, I'll add this to list. :thumbsup:

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