I have a Windows XP system which is having very serious issues. Windows boots okay although a long delay on "Windows is starting up...". However when the wallpaper appears, the system stops loading anything. Neither the desktop icons nor the taskbar appear.
The same happens in safe mode. I can not get to control panel.
I can open Task Manager, however I seem to be locked out of it in some form. I cannot change the affinity of any of the running processes ("Access is denied"). Nor can I start any programs, including explorer.exe, regedit.exe, msconfig.exe, cmd.exe or anything else useful I can think of. If I try to run anything like this, when I click OK, Task Manager simply disappears.
I have tried to overwrite Windows from the CD (reinstalling without reformatting). This has predictably downgraded me from SP2 to SP1. However it has not fixed the problem.
Does anyone have any different spin on these techniques? I do need the data and I can move the drive physically, but this system was working ship-shape not long ago, it seems ridiculous to suddenly lose it in such a dramatic fasion in such a short time.
Thanks for any help you can give. It's much appreciated, believe me.
P.S. Please ignore the specs attached to this post. They're for the wrong machine, but without getting to Control Panel I can't give you anything more useful. Sorry...