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System Corrupted after latest Windows Security Updates


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#1 drdx

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:19 PM

Received security updates on my server yesterday from Microsoft. After installing them and rebooting, the system is stuck in a reboot loop. While the timer is counting down to reboot a message on the screen says something to the effect that a recent hardware or software update has failed and the system needs to reboot. It keeps doing this over and over.

I interrupted it to try and start in Safe mode but the same thing happens. I tried to boot to the last restart point but it failed as well. I have a recovery disk that was made when the system was updated to SP3 and I booted from that. I chose the option to fix the system files but had to walk away for about ten minutes. When I got back, it was already installing XP and was at the point it was asking for the product key.

I figured at least if it went through, the files and data would be intact so I entered the product key but it said it was invalid. The computer is a Compaq Presario S5000V that came with an OEM version of Windows XP Home Edition. The Key is on the case and I had some time ago run Keyfinder to verify that key was correct. I'm stuck at the point that every time I reboot it says it is restarting the install.

I tried booting from another XP disk and chose recover so I could get to a command prompt. I was able to edit the boot.ini by copying it to a USB drive and editing it on my laptop to get rid of the lines added by the recovery install. That still didn't help as I am sure the registry value for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\SystemSetupInProgr is probably set to 1.

Worse case I could reformat the drive and use the System Restore to put the computer back to factory condition but I have thousands of files on this computer that need to be backed up first. I can't access any directory other than the root and windows on C: so I can't copy the directories or files to my USB drive. I don't really want to go through the trouble of reinstalling all the software and service packs if I don't have to. I don't have another XP desktop that I can put the drive into to edit the registry.

Is there a way to figure out what the key is on the recovery disk? I can always change the key back to my OEM Key after recovery. Is there a way to Slipstream a new recovery disk with computer in the state it is in? I really need to do this A.S.A.P. as it is the file server for all the other computers in the house as well as my entertainment system. I do have another XP disk with another Key but I want to make sure that if I install XP from it that it can write over top of the Service Pack updates and not have to reformat the drive.

Help! :thumbsup:

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#2 alan12345

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 03:34 PM

Perhaps the same problem as
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/294533/bsod-after-win-update-2-09-10-xp-pro/

Post #7 appears to solve the problem

Alan

#3 drdx

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 03:50 PM

Thanks for the response. The problem is similar but my computer got to AGP440.sys before rebooting. I saw some other issues with that file being corrupted but the point is moot now. I need to get out of the Setup sequence. You can bet I am not going to run anymore updates on my other XP computer until I get this one fixed. Once I get out of the sequence if any files are corrupted I can copy them from my laptop which is at the same level.

#4 garmanma

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 04:11 PM

Just heard about the update problem this morning
I haven't finished reading up on it yet
I do know you're going to need a retail Windows disk or a Windows boot CD
Mark
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#5 drdx

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 06:10 PM

So, I have a retail XP disk with key. I can put my OEM key back on after the install. One thing that I need to know, will the retail XP install over the current OEM version with SP1-SP3 updates? I understand if it does I will have to reinstall those service packs. I am more worried about ending up with some bastardized system that won't work and end up having to format to get out of it.

I'm still at a loss as to why I can't get into the other directories on C:.

#6 Budapest

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:08 PM

These are the updates that were installed:

KB978262
KB978262
KB971468
KB978037
KB975713
KB978251
KB978706
KB977165
KB975560
KB977914

You can "remove" these updates using the procedure given here: http://windowsxp.mvps.org/spuninst.htm

After you remove the updates your computer should boot into Windows again.

Try removing this one first as I have read that it is the problem update: KB977165

Edited by Budapest, 10 February 2010 - 08:13 PM.

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#7 drdx

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:45 PM

I know that this can be done to get back to the pre update level but,,,,,, I need to get out of the Setup to do that. Even if I can remove them there is still the matter of being able to edit the registry to get out of the setup process.

#8 Budapest

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:57 PM

You could try to edit the registry with this:

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/peboot.htm
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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#9 drdx

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:11 PM

Sounds promising. Downloaded the package and created a BartsPE CD using the SP3 Recovery disk. Will try tomorrow morning to edit the registry with it and try to clean up this friggin mess. Thanks for the suggestion. It was the first I saw on this subject that was on topic. Too many people want to fix the source and not address the result. Got to get the thing working first!!! Thanks. :thumbsup: Will post the results.

Edited by drdx, 10 February 2010 - 11:11 PM.


#10 drdx

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 01:07 PM

Well so far no good. I was able to boot up with the BartPE disk and edit the registry. The following were set:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\SystemSetupInProgr (1)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\UpgradeInProgress (1)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\RestartSetup (1)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\CmdLine (setup -newsetup)

I set all to 0 except for the CmdLine which I changed to null

This allowed the computer to boot and load windows, however when it got to the point of choosing the User, it came up with the registration screen.

I tried putting in the product key and regenerating the identification code but it came back with nothing. I tried contact MS but got the usual runaround about paying for support, blah blah blah.

I found a topic about the unattend.txt file on the installation cd having the product code so opened that on my recovery disk and copied that code. I went back to reboot and get back to the registration screen but go the following error:

A Problem is Preventing Windows from Accurately Checking the License for this Computer

So I went back to the setup that was in progress and used that code as the product key. It is now continuing. So that's where I am right now. As long as XP reinstalls I should be able to ge back to where I was, I hope. I may have problem with the activation screen again but will respond after I get through this process.

Well it got through the install but now it want's to activate windows and the product key is not being accepted and the automated process won't work either. Going to now explore getting around the activation message, and before anyone chimes in about this being illegal, this is a OEM computer that was previously activated and registered. I can't help it MS recovery is a POS!

Resuming thought process now.....

Edited by drdx, 11 February 2010 - 01:38 PM.


#11 drdx

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:18 PM

OK, I am able to boot into safe mode without getting the activation message. I still get it if I boot Windows normally or if I try to boot into safe mode with networking. I downloaded Product Key Modifier and tried to run it but it gets an error in Safe Mode and won't modify anything. Keyfinder verifies that the product key is the one entered during the recovery/install. I have all my programs and files available but I now need to get past the activation so I can use Product Key Modifer to put my OEM Product Key back.

I have looked at hundreds of threads on this subject and still no clear path to fixing this activation crap.

Any ideas?

#12 hamluis

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:27 PM

Phone call, phone activation?

During my XP years, I have always found the persons working there (if you talk to a person) to be helpful and pleasant.

Louis

#13 drdx

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:35 PM

Already went that route. The Identification number won't work and if I try to change the product key and update the ID# it says the key is bad and does not get a number. I tried calling them and they will not help with a bad number and don't want to hear that I have the correct key. They gave me another number and it was automated and when I tried going through the process it gave me the option of going to their support site and finding the bulletin on the subject (KB312295) which was no help or being transferred to someone who would allow me to buy support. I'm not paying for something I already own and it was MS's fault it got screwed up in the first place. They should be paying me for the aggravation!!!

Still need to get past this activation without MS help.

#14 drdx

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:16 PM

Tried calling HP and was told my computer is obsolete and they no longer have the original disks for it. So getting an OEM install looks like it's not an option either. Was also told to go through their online chat but it doesn't work so the Activate screen hack looks like my only option here.

#15 drdx

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:06 PM

Well after all this and no one seems to be able to figure this out or doesn't want to share. I found a couple of apps on a torrent site that bypasses the Windows authentication and activation checks and still allows you to download updates and service packs. I didn't want to have to go this route and tried my darndest to stay legal and by all rights I still am only the product key is not the correct one, I still own a valid key for that computer.

Everything is back up to the point before the update and MS updates are now popping up to be installed so I guess everything is hunky dory. I ran XPPID.EXE which should allow you to install a new key (or my original key). I couldn't get it to finish it's process without choosing to log off in the activation screen. XPPID.exe says it successfully changed the key and I had to reboot. I rebooted and checked the ID with KeyFinder and it had not changed. So it runs but I have the incorrect Key installed. I will to leave the WGA/WPA hacks in place as the bad key could cause problems.

So lets review.

Original Problem: Recent MS Updates caused a reboot loop that could not be resolved by booting to Safe Mode or Last Restore Point.

Action taken: Used Recovery disk from last Service Pack install (SP3) to update files not install XP.

2nd Problem: Could not stop installation by any suggested method and could not let it continue as it wold not accept the Product Key as valid.

Action Taken: Use another computer to look at I386\unattend.txt on Recovery Disk to determine the Product ID burnt into CD. Used that to let the install continue.

Result: Was taken to Activation Screen and the Activation ID would not work and it would not accept the original Product Key as valid. Could boot up in Safe Mode but not with networking as that again needed to be activated. Could run RegEdit and tried some suggested fixes but none worked and Registry was restored to original state.

3rd Problem: Computer was stuck at activation and would not accept the product key as valid. The key burnt into the recovery disk also would not create a valid activation ID. Tried HPPID.EXE to restore original Product Key in Safe Mode but it failed to run.

Action: Found a Torrent that included a hack to get around the Windows Genuine Athentication and Windows Activate process. Instead of running these aps at the Activation screen as directed, I ran them in Safe Mode and then rebooted:

Result: The computer booted without the activation screen and no mention that the system was not authentic. Tried to run HPPID.EXE to restore the original Product ID but failed. Computer works and everything is the same as before the problem except for the Product Key and the WGA/WPA hacks.

Good luck to anybody with the same problem!




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