On my other PC I tried to operate partition magic from the CD in order to change the partitioning of an external drive. Unfortunately the process stopped before it finished and could not re-start Partition magic to retrieve the process. When I tried to re-start windows (XP SP3) it went through starting up to the welcome screen and shows the wallpaper but no desktop, tray, start menu, or icons.
I tried regcure which found a large number of errors and said it had fixed them but the problem remains the same. I have used SFC via the task manager to check and correct the system files but this has not made any difference.
Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty sure there are multiple faults here I have tried to use Restore to get back to a previous setup but it can't find any of the previous restore points, though I'm pretty sure the restore files are still there. Precisely what do you mean by a 'Repair Install of the OS'? Every time I have tried installing windows to an existing folder in the past I have found that either the process fouled up at some point or all my previous settings were lost and the programs all had to be re-installed.
Is there some trick in doing this that I have missed all these years?
After booting from the Windows setup disc alot of people make the mistake of hitting the "R" instead of hitting "Enter" when presented with the option to set-up Windows. This option is for the recovery console.
The option to hit "R" to repair the Windows installation appears further on.
Windows repair is not 100% fool proof, but I have seen many occassions where the repair has been successful.
If you have a back up utility such as Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost you could create a back-up image of the current system state then perform the repair install. If it goes awry you still have the image to revert back to, so that other methods or ideas may be applied.
Thank you, I have Macrium Reflect installed, but never before used, and find that it will work from Task Manager so it is making a backup of the 'C' drive as I write. When the backup is finished I will try a repair/re-install and hope that clears the problem.
Most of the programs which will open from task manager seem to operate well without a desktop so I'm hoping this means that the faults are not too deep seated.
That sux! It depended on the root cause and how bad it was. The symptoms sounded like explorer.exe was hosed. The problem seems to run deeper than that. If the repair doesn't work, the re-install will.
Thanks to all especially btk1w1, the re-install/repair worked fine with almost everything just carrying on where it was before the original failure. I think this is the first time I have managed to re-install without any problem afterward (Am I counting my chickens ---?)
As with any big system changes, such as a system repair, you could be counting your chickens, but the evidence of a failed repair install is almost immediately evident.
Use the computer, open applications, run some demanding programs (games, photo / video editing apps) and if your system holds up you should be good to go.
If you don't encounter problems, that's a very good sign.
Use your imaging software to keep backup of the system as it is now because if you do come across little quirks with the OS you will be able to troubleshoot and repair... knowing that you have a good backup makes the process that much easierif anything goes wrong.