These is the order of events as they unfolded:
this morning, when I started my windows XP Pro computer, it opened in glorious 4-Bit graphics, max resolution 640x480. Opon restart, the same. When accessing system restore, I get an error. I restart again (but miss the "press F5 to start safe mode") and the graphics seem fixed. However, I get a LOT of errors from a variety of programs:
Cfp.exe: the application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000142)
Quickstart.exe: the application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000142)
avira free antivir: load main resource failed
epu-4 engine: cannot open file: c:\program files\asus\epu-4 engine\resource\pentagon.png.
I also get errors trying to open firefox and Run (!). Eventually I get a BSOD where "The Application or DLL \??\ C:\windows\system32\msctf.dll is not a valid windows image. Please check against your installation diskette".
Now, I have 2 partitions, one which has almost everything and another that was used for scrap. I took my xp installation disk and reformatted the junk partition, and installed xp pro on it as well. This xp pro is extremely stable (but can't access documents and settings and so on...).
When trying to start the original drive/windows in safe mode, It usually stops when loading "Mup.sys". Once it got through to load safe mode, I chose to load a system restore point from last saturday, but it didn't fix the problems; what's more, I have been unable to access safe mode (on that windows installation/partition) since then.
Any idea how I can fix this other than to do a reformat of the partition? I'd rather not nuke the thing at the moment, there is a lot of stuff I need to make backups from.