Win XP SP2
September 12, 2004 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Win XP problem. I installed Service Pack 2, now my computer won't load. (more inside)

The computer tires to load windows but can't. It doesn't even get as far as showing the desktop, but merely the opening windows screen. I did safe mode and it shows what all is loading and it shows that it's loading wup.exe, it gets stuck and restarts. What can I do, if anything? If I reinstall my old version of WinXP which came with the computer, would it remove all of my files? This would be VERY bad.
posted by graventy to Education (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It wouldn't remove all your files (unless they were inside the 'desktop' folder, in which case you are fucked). You will need to reinstall all your software, though.
posted by signal at 2:09 PM on September 12, 2004

If you load from your windows XP CD, you will be given the option of the recovery console. You can either try to fix it from that (fat chance -- but you could rename wup.exe and cross your fingers), or, better yet, skip that and choose the repair windows XP installation option.

It will remove all service packs and obliterate all updates you've done to XP. Your files should remain intact, however, you may find you need to re-install some software.

HTH. That's how I normally fix problems like that.
posted by shepd at 2:18 PM on September 12, 2004

I've heard this problem is often caused by not having the most up-to-date drivers for your video card, monitor, sound card, etc, etc. You might want to try getting as many newest drivers as you can and install them, either with a checkpoint before SP1 (if that's possible) or in safe mode (if that's possible). Oh, and make sure you have a backup of all your data. In terms of reinstalling XP, make sure the disk you have is not an some "restore" disk, because those often do erase everything.
posted by skynxnex at 2:22 PM on September 12, 2004

Response by poster: I have resigned myself to just reinstalling winxp. the problem is that winxp doesn't allow the user to go to a DOS Prompt. Is there a way to get to the My Documents folder through recovery or boot disk? Safe Mode does not work.

This is all made more difficult because right before reintalling an older version win xp over win xp, it says that 'the my documents folder may be deleted'. whether it actually does get removed, even the computer doesn't know. anyone have past experience with that?
posted by graventy at 3:56 PM on September 12, 2004

winxp doesn't allow the user to go to a DOS Prompt.

You mean a native DOS prompt? Because you should be able to open a command prompt by Start -> Run -> "cmd"
posted by yerfatma at 4:52 PM on September 12, 2004

Here is a boot CD or floppy that will let you get into your files (most likely on an NTFS partition).

You could also use a CD-only Linux distribution like Knoppix if you're at all familiar with Linux or can find someone to help who is. That would let you mount the NTFS (Windows) drive read-only and also get on the network so you have somewhere to copy your files to.
posted by mcguirk at 5:03 PM on September 12, 2004

Also, I believe if you do a reinstall you will destroy your Documents and Settings (including My Documents), which is why you really want to try the 'repair' option first. 'Repair' is not supposed to delete any of your data, but of course it's better to back everything up first if you possibly can.
posted by mcguirk at 5:08 PM on September 12, 2004

I'd use Knoppix, or BartPE. Either would allow you to move files into a new folder, so they don't get wiped out. They can be burned onto a bootable cd. You boot from cd, move the files, then you can try the reinstall.
posted by theora55 at 6:18 PM on September 12, 2004

I was told that SP2 can be uninstalled via Add/Remove Programs in safe mode; that is, of course, if you can get your computer into safe mode. Good luck!
posted by Lynsey at 7:28 PM on September 12, 2004

Is there a way to get to the My Documents folder through recovery or boot disk?
Boot from CD and use the recovery console. It is gives you a command prompt for XP and from there you can look for your files.

When you reinstall windows (or repair it), you will not have any updates while XP reinstalls itself, so you better do it offline. I got myself a “msblast” this way. Yes, for 20 minutes while windows was working on itself. It is a very good idea to have SP2, an antivirus and a firewall (optional - sp2 has one) downloaded already, before you connect to the net.
posted by MzB at 8:17 PM on September 12, 2004

I have heard of many problems with people that have ATI cards. If you didn't have the latest drivers, that is the problem.
posted by eas98 at 7:08 AM on September 13, 2004

Mine was hosed yesterday, can't even boot in safe mode. My plan is to try and repair the install with the XP disk and failing that load XP on a spare disk and then get all my data off. I too have an ATI card.
posted by zeoslap at 9:40 AM on September 13, 2004

Response by poster: I reinstalled XP and even though it stated that 'the my documents folder may be deleted', the files were all saved. including everything that was on the desktop.

thanks everyone for their advice and be very careful about SP2!
posted by graventy at 10:09 AM on September 13, 2004

Glad you got it fixed. For what it's worth to any other latecomers to the thread: if you have another working PC available, a good way to recover data from a computer that won't boot is to slave the offending hard drive to the hard drive of the working PC. You can then move the data over to the working PC, plug the hosed hard drive back where it goes and then screw with it to your heart's content. I do this quite frequently (mostly with both PC's running the same version of Windows, but I would bet you could do it as long as the formatting is compatible on both disks.)
posted by Cyrano at 12:40 PM on September 13, 2004

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