I use KNOPPIX to copy files out. Here's an article on it. http://tips.oncomputers.info/archives2004/0401/2004-Jan-11.htm
I'm SOL. Problem: selected a cursor for my mouse, I don't know what or where from (it was just in the pointer options). Then my desktop froze. On reboot, and now whenever I boot, startup freezes at "Loading personal settings..." There is no error message. No key combination does anything. If I click the mouse, the cpu beeps, immobilizing the cursor. Then nothing. I can shut it down by holding down power button for 4s.
I have tried: safe mode start, start with last known good configuration, safe mode with command prompt, booting from legit Windows XP Pro disk and trying to repair the Windows XP installation, and "chkdsk /r" from the C:Windows prompt. nothing.
Setup: Dell Dimension 4600, WinXP Pro SP1, primary boot = S3 Trio 64 Vcard (which has been working fine for a month +/-), then everything else and primary video card last, AND I have it set up to auto-login so it bypasses the welcome login screen and just freezes on personal settings.
Thanks in advance for any advice. I'm just trying to save my data.
Any thoughts on installing a C:Windows2 parition, getting to a desktop, bailing some data from old C:, crashing, and reformat/reinstall?