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ibrahima

After running dial-a-fix, computer no longer boots and system restore points are all deleted

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Hi, yesterday I tried using dial-a-fix as someone recommended to me here: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/windows_v..._windows_update to try to fix a Windows XP SP2 computer that hasn't been able to use Windows Update since SP2 was installed on it when SP2 came out. I diligently made a system restore point in case something effed up, and then proceeded to run dial-a-fix. I selected the options for Fix Windows Installer and WU/WUAU which also selected the cryptography section automatically, and ran it. Tried WU, no success. I looked around the tools, ran the process idle commands tool just for the heck of it, ran another tool which I cannot remember, and then ran dial-a-fix again with all options enabled except for clear Temp folders and check date. Afterwards, I turned off the computer and it seemed fine. The next morning (today) the computer now keeps rebooting every time it gets past the first loading screen (where it says Windows XP, and a little blue bar scrolls across). I was able to boot it into safe mode, and tried to run System Restore but somehow all my restore points are gone. What the hell? Anyone have any idea what I can do?

It's an OEM machine so I don't have a Windows XP setup disk, just a factory image, although I think the restore disk that came with my laptop is actually a Windows XP setup disk. I suppose I could borrow one from a friend if necessary, but I was hoping someone might know what I can do like right now.

Note: The OS on my computer is Vista x64, but that computer is XP SP2. I used the latest DAF (.60something).

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It sounds like you're encountering a blue screen. When in safe mode, go to My Computer, right click and choose Properties, Advanced tab, Startup and Recovery, Settings... Automatically Restart should be unchecked. Apply, OK and restart normally. If you indeed are getting a blue screen, please provide as much information as possible from the blue screen. That includes any mentioned files and STOP codes.

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Hmm, I've decided to just back up the contents of the hard drive and maybe do a factory restore, but I'll try your suggestions out first. Strangely, the monitor goes blank for a while after the Windows loading screen but I'm not sure why.

Edit: OK, I turned that off and now the screen just goes blank, I think it might be a resolution problem. I'll try hooking up my monitor via VGA instead of DVI and see what happens. Also, there were no files in the minidump folder, which is odd. I'm now wondering whether this hard drive is failing, but the computer's a little less than 5 years old, so I'm not sure why that would be, not to mention the fact that it still gets into safe mode fine. Plus it's a seagate drive, and those have 5 year warranties and are generally considered some of the most solid drives. I'll try the memory and hard drive tests and see what happens.

OK, so right now I'm running memtest86 off the Kubuntu 7.10 cd, probably will let it run till at least tomorrow morning or something since the computer's no use to anyone anyway. After that I guess I'll back it up with some linux cd or something. I'm not exactly experienced with linux but I can manage. Is there a GUI-oriented Linux live cd specialized for backup/recovery? I can get by in the CLI but somehow I feel safer with a GUI. That way I can also look stuff up I suppose, although I guess the CLI does support multitasking (I remember when I was trying out slackware the installer boasted of how it was a true multitasking OS, and explained that I could do anything I wanted while it installed. Great, I can do anything in a CLI that I'm almost completely unfamiliar with. Kubuntu is a lot nicer in that regard, but I digress... not that I'm dissing Slackware or anything, it has the coolest name of any OS/distribution ever.) I suppose I'll use a Kubuntu disc since I've got a bunch of those, or RIPLinux that you listed on your data recovery page.

Oh, by the way, I'm backing up to an external USB 250GB hard drive if that makes any difference. (Seagate FreeAgent, was on sale and of course like all Seagates has the nice 5 year warranty, although I've always wondered what they do if the drive does fail. A new blank drive isn't very helpful.)

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