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Damaged Registry & Unusable System (XP Home sp3)


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#1 biby

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:52 PM

Hi,

My XP Home sp3 has never been working properly since the automatic Windows upgrade from sp2.

Things got from bad to worse at the end of last year when the automatic installation of IE8 and Windows Hotfixes was followed initially by a browser/search hijack, which I resolved by reinstallin IE8 a number of times, and subsequently by the unwarranted, recurrent appearance of a bogus 'HelpAssistant' account and relative folder that would give itself full Admin rights and automatically acquired the contents of all my own user account's folders.
I looked this up and found that this HelpAssistant is quite widespread and in some cases it's found to be a virus, however I also read some reference on the Microsoft website to the fact that a 'clean installation' of sp3 should not automatically activate the HelpAssistant account...it doesn't take much to infer from this that anything other than a clean installation could do just that. This folder behavior is indeed anomalous and appears to be on a loop of sorts.

The way I dealt with it to begin with was to opt for a 'system restore', and as a precautionary measure to reset the firewall to defaults because I noticed a glitch in it every time the HelpAssistant account activated.
This had disastrous effects because since then the system hasn't been able to read the disk:
'System Information' can't collect informatio; 'Windows Installer' stopped working both for install and uninstall, and on top of that I've been getting a selection of BSODs.

I've been manually disabling the HelpAssistant account every time it reappeared, as well as deleting all entries and traces at registry level..
Typically it would generate a new account key and and value every time anew, so the process of hunting it down manually before it started duplicating content has been effective, though frustrating.
It was therefore probably out of frustration that earlier today I probably went one step too far by deleting the default admin account (key ending with the last three digits '500'), as well as the gust account (ending '501')
The result is that although my own account has always had full admin rights and I manually made it the owner of all registry keys and subkeys, it is now unrecognized.

At present all I can do is log in and I can only access my own documents and program files folder in the C Driven however I cannot copy nor cut and paste.
I can't access the web (I got rid of IE8 because it had been unresponsive for the last couple of days, but that was no big deal because I've always used Chrome, though now obviously it doesn't work either).
The Task Manager isn't accessible (no right click/no keyboard shortcut); the taskbar is missing from the desktop and so is the control panel, therefore I can't access the registry. Safe mode doesn't make any difference because my user account is no loger recognized, therefore I cannot modify nor access any crucial function.

Because the computer in question is a Dell that was shipped with all programs preinstalled and I bought and downloaded XP online years ago, I don't know whether there's anything that can be done to even restore minimum functionality. If so, any help would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks in advance

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:37 AM

<<Because the computer in question is a Dell that was shipped with all programs preinstalled and I bought and downloaded XP online years ago, I don't know whether there's anything that can be done to even restore minimum functionality.>>

To be honest...I don't think that Microsoft offered downloads of XP online "years ago" but it doesn"t matter.

If you downloaded it, then you still have the package to install it, along with a valid key.

As for whatever initially came installed on the system...you can contact Dell and attempt to obtain recovery/restore discs.

Louis

#3 biby

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 12:27 PM

Thanks Louis,

problem solved, after reformatting the hard drive. Sorry for the mix-up: XP was pre-installed, whereas the program I downloaded from Microsoft was Office Ultimate 2007 (student offer), however the key expired, so I got a new one.

biby

#4 hamluis

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 01:02 PM

Glad you solved it, appreciate the feedback...happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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