|"Tags:Dell Dimension e510 desktop"|
"Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002 Service Pack 3"
Most Dell models I've come across that had XP Home or Pro on them originally came with Recovery disks, one of which is a Dell labeled "XP Re- installation" CD or similar. There was no second partition on the original hard drive brand name software installation that had all the data necessary to load the original brand name supplied contents of C if they had that slightly altered OEM Windows XP disk.
When you have the "XP Re- installation" CD or similar for Home or Pro, running the Repair installation of Windows procedure MAY fix your problems and it takes less than an hour to run, and you will NOT lose the personal data you have added to the partition Windows was installed on (if something goes wrong during the procedure that causes Windows to not load properly afterward, your personal data is still there for you to copy another way in any case when that happens, if the physical hard drive is NOT in the process of failing).
See response 10:
Scroll down to:
"- If that doesn't help, you can try running a Repair installation of Windows"
The situation is different for XP MCE versions.
All MCE versions are OEM versions that have additional data that such that there is more data than can fit on one CD.
I have the official Microsoft OEM 2 CD set for MCE 2005 - I got it for a generic desktop system. It costs more than Microsoft's official OEM XP Home, less than Microsoft's official OEM XP Pro 32 bit. My brother has that set too. I've installed it at least a half dozen times (on the same computer that has had three different mboards).
Some places on the web were still selling the official Microsoft OEM 2 CD set for MCE 2005 the last time I checked.
All MCE versions have all the features XP Pro 32 bit has, except for a few features most people don't use.
A brand name system with an MCE version on it is likely to have a Recovery disk set that is a multi disk archive you must install all in one go to install all of the original software rather than just the MCE version.
If your system is an exception and has either the two CDs to install the OEM MCE version, or the DVD equivalent of that which I've never seen (Microsoft itself doesn't make that), you can run a Repair installation of Windows and NOT lose the personal data you have added to the partition Windows was installed on.
However, all the MCE versions Setup's have bugs.
When you run the Repair installation of Windows procedure, you can't load files from the second CD because of one of those bugs - Setup will not recognize the second CD as a valid source of files no matter what you do. Most of or all of the files on the second CD are for the Media Center feature, it's associated files, and additional multimedia support.
When you install a MCE version from scratch, after a lot of files have been installed from the first CD, you are prompted to insert another CD, but the title of it it asks for is NOT CORRECT. At that point, eject the first CD, insert the second CD, in the SAME drive you had the first CD in. Setup will install a lot of files from the second CD, then you are prompted to insert another CD, but the title of it it asks for is also NOT CORRECT. Eject the second CD, insert the first CD, in the SAME drive the second CD was in, Setup will continue to it's end, and MCE will have been installed successfully.
If problem missing or corrupted Windows files were replaced by running the Repair installation from the first CD, if you quit MCE's Setup after it asks for the second CD, Windows will probably load fine, if your problem was with Windows files it loaded from that one CD
If running the procedure didn't replace the problem file(s), the problem(s) will still be there, and Windows may NOT load properly.
If Windows works after that, at the very least, you must re-install the SP3 updates in order for them to work properly.
- you can't make a "slipstreamed" CD that has the SP2 or SP3 Windows updates integrated into it for any MCE version. (Your MCE version probably has SP1 updates integrated into it originally ; MCE 2005, possibly MCE 2004, has SP2 updates integrated into it.)
- you probably CAN make a "slipstreamed" CD from the first CD that has had SATA controller drivers or other drivers or Plug-n-Play IDs of devices integrated into it, however.
- since you can't make a "slipstreamed" CD that has the SP2 or SP3 Windows updates integrated into it for any MCE version, you cannot successfuly run SFC /SCANNOW unless SP3 updates have not been installed in Windows or have been un-installed in Windows before you run it, and for any XP version the SPx updates on the source are the same as the ones installed in Windows. E.g. if you do have an MCE CD and point to that as a source of files, it can't have higher than SP2 updates integrated into it - yours probably has SP1 updates integrated into it.
However if your hard drive partition Windows is on, or the second original partition on the hard drive, has the \i386 folder with all of it's files like many brand name installations do (so you do not need to insert the XP CD when something not installed by default from the CD needs to be installed) , if you point to that as a source for files, doing that MAY be a valid source of files for SFC, or SFC may not even ask you to insert a CD or point to the source - it may find it automatically.
If you don't have the Recovery CD set,
- you MAY have a second partition on the original hard drive brand name software installation that has all the data necessary to load the original brand name supplied contents of C. Consult the info about Recovery in your User's or Owner's manual, or find that info on the Dell web site in the support for your model. possibly in the Service manual.
- if your model came with a Recovery disk set but you bought the computer second hand and they were not given to you, or if you remember having them but don't know where they are now....
Recovery disks for your model are available here:
... however, I have no idea whether they have the CDs or DVD to install just MCE (or run a Repair installation of Windows procedure), or they're a multi-disk archive that you must install all in one go to install all of the original software rather than just the MCE version.
You could try emailing someone on that site.
".... a chkdsk /r and the result was windows found and fixed some files then windows booted normally but slow.."
CHKDSK checks one hard drive partition at a time. If you specify no drive letter with a colon character after it, it checks the partition that has the drive letter Windows has loaded from, which is usually but not always C in XP.
If you didn't check other hard drive partitions on the same physical hard drive, there may be bad sectors on that other part of the drive.
Were you looking at the screen while it was running? If yes, if anything about bad sectors was mentioned, test the drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics, rather than just the Dell diagnostics.
If CHKDSK truncated (chopped off) any files, the resulting flies won't work properly, or perhaps not at all.
CHKDSK makes folders when it has recovered lost cluster chains, and make files of the recovered clusters in the folders.
I don't have any of those at present, but here's an example:
".... I have gotten a FOUND.000 folder on my usb drive. I guess from running chkdsk once. It has three files in it:
Usually the contents of those files are hard to figure out what they were for, especially if they have a lot of machine language characters rather than text.
"A single .CHK file may contain
•a single entire file (or multiple entire files),
•a part (or multiple parts) of a file (or multiple files) or
•a really messy mix of the above.
Most often recovering something useful from those .CHK files is an extremely complicated (though, not entirely impossible) thing to do, thus, most often, it is just less of a headache simply to delete them and forget what happened.* "
NOTE that the FOUND.xxx folders may be normally hidden.
You don't have the option of using SFC /scannow to replace corrupted or missing essential Windows files except in specific circumstances - see the info about that after Other things... above.
Windows often loads more slowly the first time after you have run CHKDSK /F or /R, but it shouldn't load as slowly after that.
Look in Device Manager - make sure there are no yellow ! or red Xs there.
Make sure your drives are running in their proper modes.
DVD burner drives made in the last 5 years or newer should be running in Ultra DMA mode 4 there. DVD drives older than that and all CD only drives should be running in Multiword DMA 2 mode or similar, or some newer CD burner only drives in Ultra DMA mode 2. Most hard drives should be running in Ultra DMA mode 5 or 6, or 4 for old drives
If any are in PIO mode, if trying setting them to a higher speed doesn't work, you need to
- make sure whatever problem that caused Windows to do that has been removed.
e.g, check all your data cable connections for the problem drives, try changing the data cable. IDE hard drives capable of UDMA66 or higher burst speeds, and IDE DVD burner drives made in the last 5 years or newer, must be connected to an 80 wire data cable.
- then you need to remove certain lines in the Registry Windows has put there to limit the drive to PIO mode.
Start - Run - type regedit, OK, choose Edit - Find - type masteriddatachecksum - delete all the entries on the right that have that - press F3 to search again (there is usually more than one); do the same for slaveiddatachecksum; exit regedit - reboot - your drives should be running at their max DMA, or the mboard's max DMA if that's less.
NOTE - regedit in 2000 and XP saves the location of where it was in the registry the last time you used it. To make sure it searches the whole registry when you search for something in it, in the left column, make sure My Computer is selected and highlighted at the top of the list BEFORE you search for something.
"I somehow double clicked on the taskbar and it disappeared I tried moving my mouse around the corners of the screen it's nowhere to be found,"
That could be cause by data damage or by malware.
"I cannot boot in safe mode I just get a black screen with the words safe mode on the screen and the computer's specs,"
If you're not familiar with Safe mode (without networking), when it works properly, you see a screen filled with lines that show which programs are loading, then it stays that way for the last screenfull for as long as a minute or more, then the Logon screen appears with at least the built in Administrator user and your user listed, you pick a user, then the desktop screen loads, a large window pops up and you are asked if you want to run the computer in Safe mode or choose something else. (Whatever you choose, you can run System Restore to load a previous restore point.)
The computer freezing forever at the screen filled with lines that show which programs are loading doesn't necessarily indicate the last line listed on the screen is loading the program that's is causing your problem with Safe mode, but something is definitely wrong with Windows.
Malware often doesn't load in Safe mode, if it does load there are usually fewer symptoms, and I have never encountered malware interfering with you being able to get to the desktop screen in Safe mode, and it probably wouldn't.
"Explorer doesn't open at all, not even through the task manager by using the option "new" app "explore.exe" which when run it opens up my documents instead of internet explorer,
Explorer.exe = Windows Explorer - that's what loads your desktop GUI interface. If that isn't loading you see no desktop screen.
When you load Accessories - Windows Explorer you're loading a second copy of it with a switch that makes it appear the way Windows Explorer appears.
When you select it that way, Windows Explorer always shows links to the My Documents folder and sub-folders of My Documents below Desktop at the top of it's list on the left.
To examine other things, you scroll down that list on the left and select something else, e.g. click on the My Computer folder to list all the drives, their sub-folders, files.
IEXPLORER.exe (iexplorer.exe) is what loads Internet Explorer.
How long did you wait after you first started up Windows to do that ? If the hard disk activity led stays on or blinks a lot at that time, the cpu activity can be high enough because of Startup programs that are running when you first load Windows that programs DO NOT open right away, but they DO load fine after the hard drive activity / CPU activity diminishes.
If your hard drive(s) is(are) are not able to run at their full speed for whatever reason, it will take a lot longer for those things to subside.
How to load fewer programs as Startup programs as Windows loads.
See response 4 in this:
"The icons on the desktop are locked without that option being chosen so now I can't drag files or folders to an external drive I have"
That can also be a symptom of excessive hard drive / CPU activity - if so, it will work properly when those things subside.
"....there are hundreds of mp3 files in folders on the desktop that I need to transfer to my external drive ..."
BEFORE you install Windows or the original brand name supplied software installation from scratch, you can use something that has an operating system on it that recognizes all the files on the drive to boot the computer with, then you can copy all the personal files you do not want to lose to elsewhere.
e.g. make yourself a bootable Linux CD or make something such as the Ultimate Boot CD.
If you are able to install just Windows from scratch, only the files that are on the partition Windows is installed on are deleted - it doesn't delete data on other hard drive partitions - so if you have other hard drive partitions that have enough free space you can copy your personal data that's on the partition Windows itself was originally installed on to that / those partitions.
"I forgot to mention I did test the hard drive with Dell diagnostics and there were no problems found."
That sounds good, but you should run hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics to make sure - they test the entire drive space, not just where data presently is, and more thuroughly test the drive. .
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
The Dos bootable versions of SeaTools can test the hard drive when Windows will not load properly, or even when the drive has no data on it.
It the drive itself passes the test, any data problems on the drive can be fixed one way or another.
(Only the Windows version(s) of SeaTools can test hard drives inside external hard drive enclosures.)
If SeaTools finds errors in the long test, if the brand of the drive is not Seagate or Maxtor, do the same long test with the brand's own diagnostics.
"I would love to find the taskbar/start menu and explorer, is there another way to get to system restore option to maybe to restore it back a few days before the blue screen error?"
I you're not seeing the normal desktop screen AT ALL, then explorer.exe is not loading properly. It may or may not load in Safe mode in that case depending on what's wrong.
(E.g.. I had that happen when I loaded drivers and associated software for an ATI video chipset AIW card in the wrong order - Safe mode and Enable VGA mode loaded fine.)
If it doesn't load in Safe mode there is probably no way of fixing your problem other than installing Windows from scratch, or installing the original brand name supplied software installation from scratch.
You could try selecting Last know good.... instead of any of the other modes while booting, but usually that doesn't work to get you to the desktop screen when there's something wrong.
If you ARE seeing the desktop screen but things you normally always see on the desktop screen are missing, you probably DO have malware, and the problem can probably be fixed.
Usually installing and running Malwarebytes will fix that problem.
See response 1:
Note that sometimes you can only install Malwarebytes in Safe mode - in that case, loading Safe mode with networking is required in order for it to be able to update itself.
Ignore the part about loading your latest System Restore restore point unless you did what the guy in that Topic said he did in the first post - loaded a previous restore point.