XP repair from installation CD problem

By seeder9 ยท 10 replies
Dec 2, 2009
  1. So...I managed to delete an essential .dll file.... wininet.dll I think it was, that prevented Windows XP from loading, so using the installaion CD I repaired my copy of XP from booting from the CD, and replacing the system files. Now XP is alive again, deleted my old log in profile and made a new one. All my software and settings are in place and working. However, all my documents, music, videos, images, etc are gone.

    Judging by the fact that my software and preferences are still in place and the lack of space on my hard drive I take it that my documents are somehow accessible, but can anyone enlighten me? Date recovery program...or somehow access the old profile I was using on XP?


    Is this just what happens when you do a XP repair and they're gone or am I a fool and my old files are waiting for me in some hidden part of my hard drive.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Here's the guides to follow to Repair Windows: (Please choose your OS version)

    Microsoft's Windows XP Professional Repair Install step by step

    Microsoft's Windows XP Home Repair Install step by step

    Microsoft's Windows XP Professional X64 Repair Install step by step


    Note: You may have accidentally done a clean install of Windows :(
    Because doing the above will not lose any data

    First up just do a search for all files and folders, of any picture or document and see if your old stuff comes up in some other location on your drive (lets hope ;))
  3. seeder9

    seeder9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the reply.

    those insructions follow exactly what I did. I've retained all my old sofware and programs so i wasn't a clean install / reformat, just a repair job....but when I use search to look for Word docs, mp3s, video files, etc, none are found.....hmmm....it's like XP managed to wipe every single document type but retain every single program.....I still think they're on my sysem somewhere, just the new log-in profile when I repaired windows is not linking to them through My Documents, the new desktop, etc...
  4. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    Try running this: http://windirstat.info/

    It shows everything on the drive & may help you to locate your data.

    By rights, all your Docs etc should be where you left them, but if it was a password protected account, they may be hidden & need to be taken ownership of.

    Hope that helps.
  5. seeder9

    seeder9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for that but they don't show up through that either.

    It was a password protected XP account, just protected through the windows log-in. Any ideas how I would take ownership as you say?

    Even if the files are unaccesible it's annoying having about 60 gigs of hiding files taking up space on my HD
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    You can remove the User password by going to Control Panel > User Accounts
    Then select your original User Account, and remove the password
  7. seeder9

    seeder9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks so much for the help, I'm nearly there...

    Where i'm at now is I know the documents are definitely still on the system. If I use Explorer I can go in and see and see that there are files stored under c:\documents and settings\Adminisrator\Desktop\ but if I try to go into these directories it tells me I'm not authorised, because i'm logged in under this new profile...the problem is that when I go to User Accounts, the older Administrator profile doesn't show up...

    The question being how can I access my old Administrator profile when it doesn't show up under User Accounts in the control panel....

    The files are still there because when I run a virus scan or anti bot program it scans these files on my system....

    ...So any thoughts on how I can access the old profile on my system when it doesn't show up under User Accounts?

    ...Again, thanks for all the help so far...
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    You may not see Administrator account in Windows Normal Mode
    You need to start your computer in Windows Safe Mode, by pressing F8 key before Windows starts to load.

    Once in Safe Mode, go back to User Accounts and remove that d@^^* Administrator password :D
  9. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    If that doesn't work, in Safe mode, right click on the folder/s, Properties, Security and grant your new account access - I'm not in front of an XP machine, so I can't do a step by step, but thats the idea.
  10. seeder9

    seeder9 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    By going into safemode i automatically boots up in the old profile. I removed the password but it still won't let me access the files under the new profile. I'll try that last idea above in a minute, but even if it doesn't work I can use safe mode to salvage my old files and put them on an external HD. Happy days.

    Thanks a million for all the help.
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I am :rolleyes:

    But I'm going for the Safe Mode option as the easiest and likely resolvable area ;)

    Also thanks to remind me know about passworded accounts not showing.
    I really had a mental blank and forgot this.
    I do remeber when I first had this issue myself (who knows 7 years ago :confused: ) Anyway, I formatted not realizing that the data was likely still there. Never again :cool:


    Cool :)
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