Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

August 23, 2007

Corrupted Windows Registry

A few days ago, I went to my main computer at home and saw that it had blue screened. I hit the reset key and figured it’d go ahead and boot up. But it didn’t.

It came up with an error I’ve seen (and fixed) before, which indicated that it couldn’t find the boot files. No big deal. You just boot from the CD, go into the Recovery console, and type fixboot and fixmbr. That’s worked every time.

Except this time.

The Windows logo would show up but then it’d crap out with an error. Some research on the net suggested that I do a chkdsk /r, which I did (at this point I was beginning to think I had a hard drive issue). Chkdsk got to about 35% and crapped out. I ran it again and it completed, showing that it had repaired a few sectors.

Time to bring out the big gun in drive repair I figure. So I booted my Spinrite disk and had it go over the drive. Sure enough, it found a few sectors that were bad, but it was able to recover them. Wish I’d run Spinrite before chkdsk.

Anyway, I restart the computer and it still comes up with the error. The error indicates that the registry is corrupted. I Google “repair corrupt registry” and come up with a Microsoft page. As I scanned the page it looks like exactly what I need.

I also saw this little deal called “Guided Help.” Here’s an excerpt from the paragraph about Guided Help:

Guided Help is available to help recover a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting. Guided Help can automatically perform the steps for you.

Great. That’ll save me some time. Then I read further:

Requirements to install and to use this Guided Help

  • You must be logged on to Windows by using a computer administrator account to install and to use this Guided Help.
  • You must be running Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Media Center Edition, or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition to install and to use this Guided Help.

Huh? My computer won’t boot into Windows, and Microsoft helpfully has a “guided help” utility that will fix it, but I’ve got to be logged into Windows to use it?

Who checks these things at Microsoft?

I’ve yet to try the solution (either manually or using the “guided help”) as I write this. I’ll update this post (hopefully from the fixed computer) with the outcome.

UPDATE: Well, I tried Microsoft’s solution for this problem. No joy. I tried running the Guided Help version from the recovery console, and surprise! It wouldn’t run. Using the manual version, I was at least able to log into the computer. Now it’s time to move everything to the new computer I built a couple of months ago, and wipe this one (I guess it’s about time; it still has remnants of Windows 98 on it).

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