My userinit.exe is gone and I can't log in to WinXP or access my hard drives.
February 14, 2005 1:26 PM   Subscribe

SoftwareRAID0AndCan'tLogInToWindowsXPFilter: My userinit.exe is gone after a routine Windows update, and I can't use the recovery console or a boot disk to access my hard drives [+]

When I try to log in, I'm immediately kicked back to the login screen after Windows fails to run userinit.exe. No error message is given, but I know this is the problem (the file was deleted during an update and it wasn't recreated when I inserted my SP2 CD in accordance with Windows' instructions). Everything else is fine. I can't use the recovery console on my Windows XP CD because my hard drives are unrecognizable garbage if I don't boot off of my hard disk with the software RAID 0 drivers. I tried booting into safe mode with command prompt. However, Windows tries to log in before it gives you the command prompt, so I'm kicked back to the login window before it before it shows prompt to me. Everything is fully functional, except I can't log in. I need a way to move userinit.exe from either my SP2 CD or my SP2 directory on my hard disk to my Windows directory.

Any suggestions? Running Windows XP Pro SP2, Intel 875PBZ motherboard with Intel Application Accelerator RAID edition (via two SATA hard drives). Also, when I first installed Windows XP, I used a floppy with the Intel software RAID drivers on it by pressing F6 during the pre-install sequence. Is there a way to get the recovery console to use these drivers? Or is it already able to do this and I just don't know it? I thought of that a few minutes ago, but I can't test it at the moment.
posted by tumult to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Did you try booting into safe mode and logging in as the administrator?
posted by riffola at 1:34 PM on February 14, 2005

Response by poster: riffola, the administrator account still requires actually logging in, which isn't possible since userinit.exe is missing in action. odinsdream, that's what the recovery console is on the Windows XP CD. You may have just confirmed my idea about loading the RAID drivers first, and I'm going to give it a shot in later.
posted by tumult at 1:49 PM on February 14, 2005

Best answer: I think odinsdream is right, you should be able to use the recovery console. If that doesn't work, you could always try a Knoppix live CD to mount it — I'm pretty sure it understands the Intel IC5H, which is what I think you have — and then use captive-NTFS to copy the file to the Windows drive. (Second question in two days answered with "Knoppix," huh, I'm in a rut).
posted by brool at 2:14 PM on February 14, 2005

Response by poster: fixed. the repair console CAN load the drivers. thanks guys.
posted by tumult at 9:06 PM on February 14, 2005

For what little it's worth, I was under the impression RAID0 is generally understood to be A Very Bad Idea.

Good that you got your data back, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:49 PM on February 14, 2005


That's kinda correct. RAID 0 is a misnomer- it's not a RAID at all, but just two disks striped in a way that allows parallel data access. RAID 1, or disk mirroring, is when you actually have a Redundant Array of Inexepensive Disks.

RAID 0 is lightning fast, though. Your talking about a damn near double increase in throughput. Access time doesn't see a benefit, though. This means random data access is the same speed, but sustained data access is fast. Thus, video and multimedia setups benefit from this configuration.
posted by id at 3:27 AM on February 15, 2005

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