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  1. #1
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    XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Hi,

    Windows XP Home. Have a gray screen of death, and a lockup on boot, even in safe mode.

    User had had a problem, attempted a system restore, and then interrupted it.

    Attempted a ?Repair? using XP master disk and repair console. Kept demanding a password I could not supply.

    Requested an ?install?, I was offered a repair, which I accepted. Cancelled over a missing video driver, got stuck in a loop of ?missing entry point of Getiums from msdart.dll. Had to power down. Restarted repair, told system was successfully restored to 14th Sept 04 and ?successfully completed? it. Still boots to a black screen even in safe mode with ?safe mode? displayed in all four corners and a mouse icon.

    Reran install twice more ?successfully? ? no more errors but still missing video driver which I stepped over. Same screen of death upon any possible boot option selected.

    What is the default repair console password? I never set it.

    What is GETIUMS entry point of unregmp2.exe or msdart.dll?

    Any suggestions to restart this machine gratefully received.

    Machine is loaded with Norton Antivirus and Naturally Speaking for a disabled user,

    Thanks,

    Chris
    PS - Don't you guys use Opera?

  2. #2
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    I would guess that interrupting a System Restore is to be avoided at almost all costs, but that's "after the event". You may have to consider a complete reinstallation (possibly also reformatting the hard disk first) of both operating system and all applications. The disk seems fairly stuffed (to use a technical expression).

    I suspect you will find that the incidence of the use of Opera is slightly higher than that of the population, which I understand to be a couple of percent. Why? Is that what's causing the question marks all over your post? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    According to the search page at http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/viewstats....action=browsers there are 126 loungers who use Opera (which is 125 more than the lone XBox user).

    StuartR

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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    I suggest you hit Return when it asks for that password. Not everyone sets a password for the Administrator, so it defaults to nothing. The worst it can do is ask for a different password.

  5. #5
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Tried hitting return. Just get the DOS line prompt - C:/Windows>.

  6. #6
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    The reason I asked about opera is that there are no browser settings requirements for opera in this site. Only IE, NS and GDZ. I guess one can instruct it to spoof IE [img]/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Microsoft is notorious for names that are easily confused, such as Explorer and Internet Explorer.

    Recovery Console is one thing, and a Repair Install is another. Booting from CD and clicking on Repair will give you Recovery Console, where a Repair Install

    is something you do through the Control Panel for something like Office. System Restore, by which you set a Restore Point or revert to a previously saved

    Restore Point, is a program in Accessories/System Tools. This last can be so useful in messes like this that I like to have a shortcut to it on the desktop.

  8. #8
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Not entirely true for XP. If you go past the first 'Repair' which gives you the Recovery Console you'll be given the opportunity to do a repair/recovery (can't remember which term is used) install when the installer detects that XP is already installed.

    Joe
    Joe

  9. #9
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Exactly, and it is this ?Repair/Recovery? that is failing on me. Last time I had to step over it and do an ?install? (without reformat)

    Sorry for the multiple posts. Thought they would be placed in context, not all at the bottom.

    Microsoft has sold 'restore' as a panacea for just about everything and it is over used. Some are more confidently reckless just because system restore is there. One of these is my friend. She initiated a system restore ?because my programs were missing from the lower right on my screen?. Unfortunately the system restore hung hence our problem.

    I have two user friends. One is blind and consequently powers through disaster messages. The other is quad. She doesn?t always put the mouse where she intends and for obvious reasons, does not use removable media as often as she should. Both have special software to aid their use of the computer, which interacts at a low level in the OS so contentions are a greater risk. They crash often.

    I tried to help by ?repairing? their system using their master disk. Seems Windows software is still not watertight and this time it got me into a dead-end loop (missing entry point) from which I had to pull the plug. When it was restarted the restore was ?successful? so how come it won?t boot? I wonder about ?repairing? a system with an original disk after SP2 has been applied to it.

    Next step is a ?system install? without a reformat. Will keep you posted.

    Unfortunately there is only a C: drive so all personal stuff would be lost with a full reformat restore. Even with a D; data drive windows buries personal stuff in the C drive documents. They do not make personal data backups easy for the ordinary user.

    I still wonder about the ?missing entry points? of the repair. All necessary files should have been on that master disk.

    I had hoped the repair console might have been my salvation but I know nothing about it and what the default password (if any) is.

    Chris

  10. #10
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    I'd ask two questions first: How valuable is the data? and How much delay can the user tolerate? You have a lot of experts in the Lounge and are already attracting attention - I'd give it some time to see what help you get.
    I discovered that I was inadvertently replying to the wrong post(s), and that has been corrected, and I apologize for the unintended line breaks in one post.

  11. #11
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Well, let's see. First, I don't think MS has sold system restore as a panacea for anything. See System Restore and Frequently Asked Questions Regarding System Restore in Windows XP for more information. Second, neither XP nor another OS will ever be 'watertight'. There will always be problems with which to contend. Next, the best way to repair a system with SP-2 installed would be to slipstream SP-2 into the original XP and burn a new CD. Then do the repair.

    You should be able to an inplace re-install without losing any data. You'll have to reinstall all the application software.

    How many systems are having problems? For each, do you have XP drivers for all the hardware? Is all the extra software up-to-date?

    Also, see Recovery Console overview for more information.

    Joe
    Joe

  12. #12
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Edited by <!profile=StuartR>StuartR<!/profile> who added <!t>[Post#=408356]<!/t> without using the 1-Click tag panel - it really wasn't very hard!

    I still haven't mastered the 1-Click Tag business, but the link in <post#=408356>post 408356</post#> may be of interest. The thread itself was started by me, and helps explain my interest.

    One solution that is easily overlooked, if it's a desktop computer, is to open the case, unplug the ribbon cable, undo four little screws, and give it a new drive. The cost of a drive is modest, the labour to replace the hardware is modest, and it's as clean an install as you can get. If the computer is even moderately old a new drive can easily be double the size of the old with far better specifications. If there's a free bay, the old drive can be used as a second hard drive, but be sure to use the new drive as the boot drive.

    Data recovery from the old drive can thus be postponed without losing it, the user can be up and running with the new drive almost at once, and if the data is recovered the second drive can be formatted and used for backup or straight copy, something that might be especially useful to the handicapped.

    I like System Restore (and I also have VCom's Recovery Commander), and I have had success with it. Recovery Console is for advanced users, and CHKDSK with its switches is the only thing I've ever used it for.

  13. #13
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Thanks for some excellent suggestions and helpful links. Already I have learned a lot. For example, the Recovery Console is just a plain old Command session. I was in it but didn't realise. I expected some kind of prompt. I do have some time to digest all this and try a few things. If all else fails, I will suggest we pop in a second hard drive as drive C: rather than blow away all that data. I hadn't thought of that.

    Thanks all.

  14. #14
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Recovery Console is more than a plain old Command session, so be sure to do a bit of homework first. There's plenty of stuff on the web - see, for example, www.kellys-korner-xp.com for a discussion.

    When you can't boot to Windows at all, one of the most common reasons is that you have drive errors, and CHKDSK /R, which can be run from the command line in recovery console, may (with luck) repair them.

    Because your friend is running Naturally Speaking and is handicapped, certain files in that may be of great importance, since the program has to learn the user's voice and vocabulary. Please don't overlook that in recovering data or for future backups if it isn't being backed up already.

  15. #15
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    Re: XP Home Gray Screen of Death (SP2)

    Well we got everything back and working.

    As suggested, I removed the drive and daisy chained it to my win 98 desktop. (did not switch drive jumper but got away with it) Had full Explorer access. (luckily pblm drive was fat32) As with debug console, CHKDSK found no pblms. ScanDisk found and fixed the open install log.

    Ran Norton Ghost image of pblm drive to the Win98 hard drive. compressing 13gig into 6.5 gig.
    Ran Partition Magic to reformat pblm drive from one 60gig into three 20gig partitions.
    Restored user data only from ghost images to the third partition (about 3 gigs) Could have just done filecopy of user data but would have missed stuff.
    Unplugged Win 98 drive
    Installed Windows XP on new C: partition. using my desktop. (mistake)
    Removed pblm drive, visited friend, Installed her drive powered up, aberacadabera, but fatal drive errors.
    Reformatted Cartition only and reinstalled XP home on her machine.
    Reinstalled User software pointing to D: drive;
    Refreshed or imported original user data from E: drive to override folders on the D: drive where possible. Imported favorites, email and address book to windows default folders.
    Advised my friend of the importance of backups availability of remote assistance and to only use System Restore as a last resort..
    Burned Ghost files from my old desktop to four DVDs on my stuffed full laptopand gave them to my friend to keep..

    Dealer had wanted to wipe everything saying all was lost. . Your suggestions took a lot more machine time, but not much more of my time. The drive had been fine, her data was fine, only Windows was broke. Luckily I had the spare machine, spare time and spare disk space.

    All this because Windows repair could not correctly refresh its own files and restart without erasing those of the user.

    I and my friend are grateful for your support and excellent practical suggestions. I learned of your web site reading her 'Windows for Dummies' waiting for the first futile system windows repair to finish. Its a wonderful book. I learned a lot from it and from you. Hope I can pass it forward

    Chris

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