Boot up Issue when attempting to use xp error checking program

By BillAllen55 · 8 replies
Aug 13, 2008
  1. I'm having an issue with using the error checking process with Windows XP Home edition.
    The issue is this: When I go to "My Computer" clicking on asking it to run the error checking program - it then asks if I want the error checking program to run the next time that the OS starts. I click on yes and then proceed to restart the machine.
    What I encounter next is VERY disturbing. When the machine attempts to restart I get a blank screen that provides no information as to why it is blank - nothing. (long story longer, I'm very disturbed about this situation.) Acting as if it has not found the root directory to boot my XP program.
    When I attempt to go to the Safe Mode - it will not load the necessary drivers.
    When I click on 'Return to most recent working configuration' it is a coin toss if this resolves the situation of the computer successfully booting. However once the machine decides to successfully reboot (using the Return to most recent working configuration' it then will continue to properly reboot (warm boot up, cold boot.) untill i decide I'm ready once again to attempt a error checking fiasco!
    Which once again starts the same as it initially did not start. Last piece of the puzzle for one to consider that has more computer savvy than myself is that prior to this occurrence I used a program call 'Ultra Defrag" I'm hoping this is not the cause for the issue but can't think of anything else that may have caused my computer to act up this way. Can anyone help?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Re: Xp

    Start-->Run--> sfc /scannow -->ok
    You may require your Windows disc during the scan

    More info on Xp SFC /ScanNow:


    Some info HERE

    Verify the Integrity of Windows Vista System Files

    Run SFC /ScanNow

    Have an administrator command prompt open (by right clicking on Command Prompt, and running as Administrator)

    Type: sfc /ScanNow on the command line, then press ENTER

    You may need your Vista Disc during the process
    It is also stated to disconnect Internet, and temporarily turn off Antivirus and any 3rd party Firewalls, during the scan.

    Note: No user data will be hurt during the scan, but it is always recommended to have backups completed

    By the way, Please put your Operating System version in your Profile (instead of the message, as you have done)
  3. BillAllen55

    BillAllen55 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 368

    A Status report on suggestions of using the sfc program

    Knowing this is a forum to assist people in their computer questions I will make my initial comments as brief and to the point as is possible. I want to commend this forum for providing the general public valuable and time saving suggestions (unfortunately) not in this specific case but in every situation prior to this one the answer to the queries made without consideration of how simple or elementary it may seem. point blank to you Kimsland Thank you!

    The suggestion you made I had never heard of before using the SFC scan. I tried it, went through the process. Attempted to run the error checking program. This resulted in no change to include the OS failing to allow me to use the Safe Mode or to go to the 'Return to last working configuration' What happened next I'm sure you are way ahead of me. I then in total frustration Fdisked the HD and then reinstalled my XP program. After all was up and running and had set everything back up as it was before the meltdown I then fearfully attempted another error checking adventure. To my total disappointment - I received the same results. Computer would not boot would not do anything when asking it to run the error checking program to automatically fix system errors - Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. To say I felt like a man with one leg in a bu-t kicking' contest would be understating my feelings. I then went back to square one thinking about what is recently different since the last time I ran a similar scan.
    The only thing I could think of that possibly was different was that I recently had changed my system appearance from that of the traditional XP appearance to what is known as the Crystal Vista Transformation. Long story longer after changing back to the XP traditional appearance - I attempted the scan and all was happy and gay Gleefully dancing about, running the scan as if it had just been waiting for me to have this change occur to me. Just an update in case this should ever happen to anyone else.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Under fault conditions: System File Checker retrieves the correct version of the file from the %systemroot%\system32\dllcache folder, and then replaces the incorrect file.
    If the %systemroot%\system32\dllcache folder is corrupt then sfc /scannow will repair the entire dllcache folder from using the Windows CD

    This is very strange, and I'm not aware why this corruption would happen
    I am aware that any scan on a faulty HardDrive (or system) can (on very few occasions) corrupt the Operating System. This can be caused by:
    Physically faulty HardDrive (Bad spots/sectors) Try chkdsk c:/r to confirm
    Virus/Trojan/Malware (who knows what these things can do) Always run scans
    Compressed disk using DriveSpace or DoubleSpace (this feature is widely not used any longer)

    Quote from MS;EN-US;310747
    Other than that, they do not provide any other warnings!
    I wonder if you have stumbled upon something that no one else has ever tested
    To actually confirm that this is a fault in SFC, we would need to run it on other computers, and also load the "Crystal Vista Transformation Pack" (Presently I am not in a position to do this)

    I welcome any one to run further tests on this, but remind users always to have backups completed (as mentioned originally)
  5. BillAllen55

    BillAllen55 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 368

    Error Checking, Crystal vista transformation

    After reinstalling my XP OS and returning to the conventional XP gui, as I stated I went to the error checking scan and it scanned the system without apparent issue.
    I have not done the chkdsk c:/r yet to confirm the well being of the harddrive.
    I run AVG as my virus scan tool that monitors communication over the internet, on a 'live' basis.
    I use Ad-aware and Spybot SD to scan for adware and viruses. Doing this on a once a week basis.
    I have heard of DriveSpace and DoubleSpace but have never attempted to use the programs.
    I enjoyed the new Vista Interface and would like to reinstall it. What I am getting from your feedback is: at this point in time it is not clear if the files used to create the Crystal XP Vista Transformation are suitable to run over a XP environment.
    Or that the change in interface is 'not' the issue but an issue that the SFC has an error correcting all issues that pertain to replacing all necessary dll to an original state.
    My question is: Is it an obvious mistake to reinstall the Crystal XP Vista transformation files? After re-reading what you sent I am not understanding if there is concern reverting to the Vista gui understanding that when I would wish to run an error checking program the OS would have to be changed back to the original XP configuration.
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Ok I just spent over 2 hours on this (I like to be certain)

    I now don't believe it was from any transformation pack (although I still haven't specifically run the example as yet)

    sfc /scannow once finished creates an event in event viewer that you can read to see what changes were fixed

    Vista uses %windir%\logs\cbs\cbs.log (Definately a much better way)

    Now, it seems you can run SFC /Scannow will only restore the correct MS files (if required to) But if the following happens it may fail:
    The restored files are corrupt (from CD)
    The files were not restored (ie skipped)
    Also the above post (About faulty hardware HDD and possibly faulty Ram and so forth)

    I can only think that the files were spipped, or basically for some reason not written back correctly to Windows or basically your HardDrive (ie Possible Hardware fault)

    At this stage, I do not think the theme has caused SFC to corrupt Windows


    I am aware that the theme changes c:\windows\system32\SHELL32.DLL and also Desktop.ini file contents
    Shell32.dll can be restored to default by doing the following:

    Boot from the XP CD, and press [R] then [C] at the Welcome screen to
    start the Recovery Console and then type:
    cd \windows\your_shell.dll_directory
    copy SHELL32.DLL c:\windows\system32
    If the DLLs aren’t in the Servicepackfiles folder, you have to extract
    them from the XP CD directly by typing:
    expand D:\i386\shell32.DL_ C:\windows\system32

    Therefore I would say, make a backup of this file SHELL32.DLL
    And also a backup of Desktop.ini files (these are hidden system files, by the way)
  7. BillAllen55

    BillAllen55 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 368

    I understand perfectly what you are saying. What has confused me is that after fdisking the OS reinstalling the XP program. installing all of the MS updates (to include SP3) 'and' reinstalling the crystal vista themes I then once again attempted to run the provided error checking program from Windows. When faced with the same unacceptable outcome I then removed the program that ran the Crystal Vista Theme and then once again attempted the error checking program which then successfully ran. Without argument from the error checking program.
    One thing I'm wondering if you are clear about is that when I attempted to run the error checking program while still with the Crystal Vista theme (post Fdisk) was that once the system had closed down windows there was nothing but a blank screen showing. Same response as pre Fdisk The hard drive was blinking away practically without hesitation obviously attempting some type of activity. 'Remembering that after this occurred I then removed the Crystal Vista without doing anything else and the error checking program came on as if it was just waiting for me to rid the
    OS of the theme.
    Question: does this behavior seem consistent with a harddrive/MB issue?
    The point of my questioning your response is do you feel that further hard drive mother board scanning is necessary?
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523


    /SCANNOW Scans all protected system files immediately.
    /SCANONCE Scans all protected system files once at the next boot.
    /SCANBOOT Scans all protected system files at every boot.
    /REVERT Return scan to default setting.
    /PURGECACHE Purges the file cache.
    /CACHESIZE=x Sets the file cache size.

    Lots more info here:

    I am thinking the SFC /SCANONCE may be a better option
    ScanOnce will start the scan after the next system startup, instead of scanning whilst Explorer.exe has started (in Windows)

    If you are still interested, I would like you to try the ScanOnce option with the pack installed

    I agree, that I am also leaning away from HardWare (Still on the fence on this :confused: )
  9. BillAllen55

    BillAllen55 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 368

    Light at the end of the tunnel

    So, I do as you ask running the 'SFC /SCANONCE. Then restarting the computer.
    I then fearfully loaded a new copy of the Crystal Vista Transformation pack.
    After installing it I was asked to reboot the machine. Everything went as expected until the machine got back to reloading the XP program. The GUI that shows that XP is loading (with the blue bars running across.) came up. This was not as it was before the fdisk operation. Before when running the Crystal Vista Pack this would not show. I recognized immediately this was a different process than what had been prior but I did not immediately realize this to be the answer to the issue.
    After the OS had loaded I had the new version of Crystal Vista on my machine so I then went to My Computer to properties and then to error checking asking it to scan my OS. When it rebooted I once again saw the same XP GUI showing that windows was loading. After that the process went directly to the error checking program without issue. (WHEW).
    I said to myself (myself) how strange. Why did it do this? Then it occurred to me that before fdisk I had set the Boot.ini part of the msconfig to disable the guiboot at start up. That is I set it to show /noguiboot. :((
    I went to this switch set it back to /noguiboot (as it had been prior to the fidisk) and recieved the same result that when I asked it to run an error check on the program there was no graphical interface (just a blank screen with no prompt) only that the hard drive (as stated earlier) was running as IF it was doing an error checking. I waited for it for as long as one would expect for the error checking to complete and then the system rebooted and then loaded the windows program.
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