XP boots to wallpaper after hardware upgrade

May 31, 2009 at 00:26:38
Specs: Windows XP, Athlon X2 4200+ (2.2GHz)/1.5GB DDR
A frustrating problem. I recently upgraded my system (mobo, CPU, GPU and PSU) on my desktop running Vista Ultimate. NO problems, running beautifully, a BIOS upgrade is all I had to do after installing the hardware. My partner has a much older desktop, running XP Pro, rather than chucking it, I took my perfectly running old mobo/CPU/GPU/PSU combo and in turn upgraded hers but we haven't been able to get it to boot fully into windows at any stage...

Powered up, got to the initial mobo (Asus A8n32-SLI deluxe) screen, didn't get to any win XP screen, before doing it all again, going into a continuous boot cycle. Shut it down.

Powered up again, this time it went to the "would you like safe mode etc" screen automatically. I said thank you very much, and then it proceeded to go into the same boot cycle. All the other options on that screen yielded the same result.

Went online and serached various forums and as a result, did a repair installation, which seemed to go well, BUT during the last part of the install, I got 3 error msgs, the first two were about being unable to load two files, specifically inetcomm.dll and msoe.dll. I clicked OK and on went the install. Then a big box came up with a big red dot with a cross in it which said "(big cross) has failed windows logo testing to verify compatibility with windows XP. the software will not be installed." It didn't actually elaborate on which software it didn't like. I clicked OK and the install completed.

NOW on power up, it seems to boot normally until it gets to the user logon screen. I choose a user, the hourglass appears briefly (never to be seen again) then after a good 2 minutes possibly more, the selected user's wallpaper appears, but nothing else, no icons, no taskbar etc. A big McAfee logo flashes briefly but then nothing.

On this blank wallpaper screen
-left or right clicking the mouse does nothing.
-ctrl-alt-del brings up task manager and I can see a good 30 or so processes computing away. EXPLORER.EXE is NOT one of them.
-the winkey combo's don't work but I can use the task manager file menu to open a run command box. I can type whatever I like (explorer.exe for eg) in the box, on hitting "enter" task manager disappears and leaves me alone with my wallpaper. Similarly, leaving the box empty and clicking the "browse" box also immediately sends task manager packing. I can get into safe mode but get the exact same result (except I don't get the wallpaper of course)

I seem to be so close but a mile away from getting this machine to boot!

Any assistance gratefully received.

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May 31, 2009 at 07:24:46
I didn't read your entire post, but did you run a Windows Repair after changing all the hardware?


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May 31, 2009 at 09:01:06
you have basically created a new computer and, a repair install is the least action required. But, that may not always work, you may need to format and reinstall from scratch.


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June 2, 2009 at 05:51:09
Thanks for your replies guys. Yes, I had done a repair installation (with the 3 error msgs as mentioned in original post) That got me from the initial continuous boot situation I had immediately after upgrade to the blank wallpaper no desktop situation I had when I posted.

A happy ending though. After staring at the machine for a while, I concluded that it must be a software prob, so I dug out my old genuine XP Pro CD (I now run vista) and used that to do a repair install, and voila! no error msgs during install and booted up into windows no worries.

FYI. I then upgraded the machine to SP3 and arrrrgggghhhhh! back to the continuous boot! Another internet search - Apparently a bug with some AMD CPU machines. Beware. At least I could boot into safe mode and uninstall SP3 and the machine was happy again.

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