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Old 02-26-2005, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default No floppy drive, no cd drive, no command line, no OS, no...

I'm guessing this is a bad sign...

I'm using Windows XP SP2 on a Dell Dimension 8300, and I was having problems with various things (see below) so I tried repairing Windows... big mistake.

Everything was going fine until it encountered a fatal error during setup ("The signature or Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade is invalid. The error code is 426".). Now if I try booting up without the CD it tells me to put the CD in so it can finish repairing the OS. I put the CD in. It gets the same fatal errors. It reboots. Repeat ad insanity.

Safe mode doesn't help -- it just says "I can't complete the repair in safe mode, so I'm going to reboot. HA!", or something like that. So I can't get a command line or anything. My (uninformed) guess is that it's got something to do with the bios: Before I tried repairing I couldn't boot off the floppy drive, and for the repair I had to put the cd in the DVD drive because it wouldn't boot off the CD drive. So it looks like it just can't recognize these bits of hardware. It's been suggested that I try replacing components -- RAM chips, hard-drive, floppy drive, etc. But I can't see how a fault in any of those components could cause the other problems. Surely it has to be the motherboard. Reloading the bios would be nice, but since I can't get it do aything other than run around in a death spiral that doesn't really seem to be an option. Some people have suggested it might be a compatibility thing -- SP2 on the computer but SP1a on the Widows CD -- which could be sorted out by slipstreaming SP2 into XP, but again I can't see how that could be related to all the other issues.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

The problems started with:
1) Update Movielink software. It doesn't agree with my firewall so I have to turn my firewall off.
2) I boot up to find that there is no taskbar and I can't copy/paste anything (normally and in safe mode), and that my anti-virus software (McAfee) can't start saying that I may be low on memory. Also, Movielink encounters a fatal error.
3) Most applications won't run.
4) Can't boot from a floppy
5) No viruses or spyware (according to Ad-aware, Trend online scan and SpyBot).
6) So I try repairing the OS...

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Old 02-26-2005, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is a possiblilty:

This problem may occur if the Setup program does not delete all the files in the WinDir\System32\Catroot2 folder during the removal of the earlier version of Windows.

Note WinDir is the Windows installation folder.
To resolve this problem, rename the %WinDir%\System32\Catroot2 folder. For more information about how to rename folders by using the Windows XP user interface, click Start, click Help and Support, type renaming folders, press ENTER, and then click Change the name of a file or folder.

To rename the %WinDir%\System32\Catroot2 folder at a command prompt, follow these steps: 1. While the Setup program is running, and while the error message still appears on the screen, press SHIFT+F10 to start a command prompt.
2. At the command prompt, type cd\windows\system32\, and then press ENTER.
3. Type rename catroot2 catold, press ENTER, and then restart the computer.
4. Try again to finish the upgrade.

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Old 02-26-2005, 03:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's nice to see a command prompt again... but it didn't work. Same problems. It tries to continue the repair and fails. I also says "Setup failed to install the product catalogs". Does that mean anything?

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