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Damaged WinXP SP2 system

By rtozer
Jun 27, 2006
  1. Hi all

    I recently went on a bit of a cleanup mission on my machine. Its quite old now and was pretty bogged down with the usual ms rubbish. I switched to Firefox and Thunderbird, installed open office. And then uninstalled anything I could find that I wasn't using. At the end of the exercise I had freed up about 6 gig, and the system was looking clean and running faster. However some things appear to have been broken. It is an odd collection, the following are what I've found so far:
    • Sharing/Securty tab missing from folder properties
    • add/remove programs in control panel doesn't work. (plays error sound but nothing happens, haven't found a log or event for this yet). Found a backup copy of appwiz.cpl created by an update that does work (corrupt file maybe?)
    • Hardware tab is missing from system properties
    • Network icon is missing from system tray. I can see the network connection on the network settings page but right clicking properties does nothing, can't view available wireless connections either. The connection is working though.
    • Windows security icon in system tray is 'invisible'. ie it is in the tray, there is a space for it, but there is no visible icon there. right clicking brings up an empty context menu, double clicking opens the web site (how I know what it is...).
    • Some text was missing from the network connections wizard.

    Now this smells like a corrupt registry, especially considering all the uninstalling I was doing. Sadly (and perhaps foolishly given microsoft's track record wrt stability) I had system restore turned off. Strange the collection of things that are missing, mostly tabs related to properties windows, can anyone see a common thread running through there? Something specific that is broken?

    Now I read this thread about using the install CD to do a system repair, but I'm asuming that will mean reinstalling everything again. I understand that it supposed to maintain your installations, but I can't see anything working correctly without its registry settings... Besides apart from not being able to create network shares or see my network settings the system is running better than it has in ages.

    So what I'm wondering is. If I were to uninstall sp2, would I be able to force a reinstall of sp2 and all the updates which followed it? And would these replace the OS files and registry settings? Has anyone out there tried this before?

    Or have I overlooked a simpler way to go about this?
     
  2. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Posts: 441

    what os did you have on the machine before xp?
    you can invoke osuninst.exe command to uninstall xp. this will revert back to the previous os, if there was any.
    in any case, if you re-install xp, you have to apply all the updates to it. unless you use slipstream service pack2 and go from there.
    i would do a repair install, and let xp fix all the problems it finds.
     
  3. rtozer

    rtozer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi alidabiri
    Thanks for the prompt response.

    The machine came shipped with WinXP SP1. I installed SP2 and have since been running windows update.

    I am trying to avoid a system repair. The system is running fine and doesn't appear to be unstable. I would rather have some bits missing than have to reinstall all the software, drivers etc again. Anyway if I was going to do that I would back up my data and format and do a clean install.

    I'm just trying to find out if there is any way to recreate essential registry settings and confirm that I have the correct version of system files installed.

    Is there a utility out there that will do this for me? Of has someone created a reg file from a clean winxp sp2 install that will patch anything that is broken, would that even work?

    Edit - Am I not understanding the system restore? Does it keep the registry settings and windows settings of installed programs and simply correct operating system settings? Or does it produce a clean install with a clean registry meaning you need to reinstall all software as well as drivers and updates?
     
  4. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Posts: 441

    doing a repair install won't hurt a thing. it will your current setup intact. but, if you do a full install, it will wipe everything out.
    you choose the option when xp setup starts.
     
  5. rtozer

    rtozer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ah.
    Thanks, thats good to know.
    I am a little weary of this option, but its good to know it should work in theory. If things get worse or I find more critical stuff broken I'll definately give it a go.

    Thanks
    rtozer
     
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