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Tampered with Windows XP registry now I can't boot

by Vueiy_Visarelli / September 20, 2008 4:44 AM PDT

I recently deleted some registry entries (following instructions listed on HP's website in order to remove their software), now my computer "sees" my harddrive but it says it needs formatting (i.e., I can't access it all, neither as the boot, or as a slave).

I don't recall the exact registry entries I deleted (had to do with "installation"). there were 3 I deleted, (and yes I backed up my registry). At first I rebooted saw something was wrong, and thus tried to restore the registry copies but got an error stating that the files were in use. i kept trying and suddenly my computer stopped booting up all together. I have norton systemworks on it so when I insert the boot disc, it shows my drive, but it says it needs formatting (i can't see any files in it). I know that my hard drive is not the problem, I've run chkdsk, etc. and I'm sure I caused it when I messed with the registry. I've tried setting up my drive as a slave drive (SATA), but when i click on it, I get the same message stating that the drives requires formatting. I can't run windows repair either. Can anyone please help!?

I do have an acronis image backup of the drive that is ~6mos old, if it were possible to reinstall/fix the registry without booting up, I could possibly restore the backup image onto a different hard drive, extract a copy of the registry and then try to reload it to the troubled drive, but 1) I don't know of such software, and 2) I don't know for sure that this solution would work.

i'm running windows xp (latest service pack). I hope someone can please help, thanks so much in advance!

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Too light on details. Try
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 20, 2008 4:49 AM PDT
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From the symptoms ...
by Kees Bakker / September 20, 2008 5:03 AM PDT

it seems like a drive problem.

- What happens if you do a repair install of Windows? You only say you "can't".
- If you run Norton Systemworks from its own bootdisk and it can't find the hard disk (and it could before) that doesn't seem a Windows problem (because it's unlikely Systemworks when booted from its own cd uses the registry).
- How did you run chkdsk after this failure occurred if you can't even boot?


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Message when trying to run windows repair
by Vueiy_Visarelli / September 20, 2008 7:49 AM PDT
In reply to: From the symptoms ...

Hi, thanks for the question, when I try to do a windows repair install it doesn't allow me to do it it states:

"The partition is either too full, damaged, not formatted, or formatted with an incompatible file system. to continue installing Windows, Setup must format this partition"

I'm very perplexed because I know this seems like a hardware issue but I'm fairly confident its not (I did manage to run chkdsk via system the restore panel (I think thats what its called)).

Thanks for all your help, I hope this can offer a little more insight.

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by Kees Bakker / September 20, 2008 8:21 PM PDT

I don't understand "system the restore panel".

I still think it's a hardware issue. Better install Windows on a fresh new hard disk, mount this one in external enclosure or as a slave and see what you can do to salvage it.


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Acronis True Image Backup
by cmmer31 / September 20, 2008 10:38 AM PDT

Have you tried your Acronis CD?
Put your Acronis CD in and start your computer. It should go straight
to Acronis to allow you to run your backup.

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by Vueiy_Visarelli / September 20, 2008 12:25 PM PDT

The reason I can't simply restore from Acronis is that I unfortunately hadn't backed up in several months (very stupid).

I did purchase some software called "search and recovery" and this seems to be able to get some files from the drive, but they're all in .CAB format, its in process right now but I have no clue what I'll do with these files once I have them.

Does anyone know how I can repair/convert .cab files back to their original format?

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by Vueiy_Visarelli / September 20, 2008 3:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Acronis

The drive is a maxtor drive, so I installed MaxBlast. Maxblast can see the drive details and it states that it is FAT16 type. I have no clue how this is even possible.

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Re: .CAB
by Kees Bakker / September 21, 2008 6:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Acronis

That's a standard compression format (cabinet). Winrar or Winzip or free Tugzip should be able to open it.


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