What should I do to get XP up and running again

I don't know what I did, but some how I deleted the user32.dll from my wife's laptop. I thought she had a Windows XP pro machine so I grabbed an old xp pro cd and stuck it in and attempted to do repair from the cd in the hopes of replacing system files and getting the user32.dll back on there.

Lo and behold, she has a windows xp media center edition serial key. So when I get the section to enter the key.. it doesn't work. Well after more searching.. I found the original bootup CD that came with her gateway laptop, MCE and all. Pop that sucker in but now the computer is thinking it's an xp pro system and it gets a "Fatal Error" in the install section of repairing.

It stops on the Installing Windows section and says:

"An error has been encountered that prevents Setup from continuing. Setup failed to install the product catalogs. This is a fatal error. The setup log files should contain more information. Press OK to view Setup log file."

The log says "The signature for Windows XP Professional Upgrade is invalid. The error code is 800b0100."

What should I do to get this up and running again? If I have to do a clean install then I will.. but she has years of work documents stored in there and I need to get those off before I reinstall. I can't put into safe mode or anything because it doesn't have user32.dll and if I let the system go all the way through it stops at the Installing Windows because I screwed up and popped in the wrong OS Cd.

I can't boot from CD because it doesn't give me that option. It automatically goes into the Windows XP install thing. When I put back in the XP Pro disc it will work, but wants me to use a serial key.. which I don't have. There is no way cancel out of that.

4 answers Last reply
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  1. Get third party software that can perform Restore Point rollback.
  2. user32.dll Is also found in the <System drive>\Windows\system32\dllcache

    You can copy it from there to Windows\system32 folder.

    To see the dllcache, you must follow my instructions to see everything in your hard drive. Some 3rd party software will allow looking at everything and can be useful for this purpose.

    My way to see dllcache:


    Since your XP won't start, if you move the drive to another computer, you can perform this on that machine to expose contents of drive.

  3. I tried nearly everything to try to restore my old os but it was unsuccessful. I ended up partitioning the drive and installing a brand new install of win xp. I was able to access all my old documents and am back to normal. Thanks for all the input.
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