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sfc.dll is not a valid windows image

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by oua, Oct 27, 2007.

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  1. oua

    oua Thread Starter

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    Oct 27, 2007
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    Ok, I will try to describe my problem and how it happened as systematically as possible. It started with a few quirks and now it has killed my computer. I have searched the forums and decided to start a new thread since the last thread on this question was over a year old without a resolution (also posted there if anyone is still reading it).

    2 Days ago I started to install kbuntu Linux onto a PC that was running Windows XP SP2. During the install it began to partition the hard drive, that is resize the main partition to make it smaller and allow room for kbuntu. I did not defrag the drive before I began this process, a rather large mistake, as I soon found out. The resize failed and kbuntu didn't give much of a reason, well, any reason really.

    So, I tried again, again it failed. So then I thought I might be able to accomplish this with a Windows utility and when I restarted it told me that there could potentially be a problem with the disk and wanted to scan it. Not having much patience, I skipped it and Windows started normally. I soon gave up on a Windows solution and thought I'd try kbuntu once more.

    So, try number three with Kubuntu. I go through the install steps, but this time when it gets to the resizing partition step it won't let me change the size. My only option are to use the whole drive with a format. Not what I wanted, so I restarted Windows, again skipping the disk scan utility. Windows started normally and I left the computer on over night. The next morning I had an error message (that unfortunately I did not take the time to read) and when I pulled up my start menu to restart the applications were there, but all the computer functions (run, control panel, etc...)were all blacked out. I restarted, hoping that would fix my problem and left the room. When I cam back disk scan was running and this time it was fixing a list of errors. I thought that was good so I let it finish.

    Then the real problems started. As in the previous post windows loads to a black screen with an error message that reads "The application or DLL C:\WINDOWS\system32\sfc.dll is not a valid windows image. Please check this against your installation diskette" The title on the pop up box reads "winlogon.exe - Bad Image" And that's it, when I clicked ok, nothing happened.

    So, that's part one. I have been researching and trying to fix this on my own and this is what I have come up with:

    I cannot log in in safe mode (it gives the same error)
    I cannot log in "back to the most recent settings that worked" option
    I cannot log in normally (of course)

    After this, I hit f8 before the windows box pops up and get the advanced startup utility. Here I have a few more choices (safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt, last known good configuration and normal all do not work) but I also have the option "Directoy Services Restore Mode (Windows Domain Controllers Only)" Which I select. After selecting my operating system (there is only one). It then reads "multidisk error0multi0partition" or something to this effect, it goes by very quickly. Then it boots into safe mode and the same error message appears.

    So, my next attempt to fix it was to try and repair the disk with a windows install disk. I had to borrow one since I am studying abroad and it takes about 2 weeks to get things through the mail. When I try to run the install disk, and select the repair option it asks me for the admin password. I enter the admin password and it tells me that it is wrong. After three tries it exits automatically. Ok, I do know the difference between the admin pass and the logon, I specifically set up the admin pass earlier this year. So, more internet searching and I discover this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308402/en-us The support article basically says that it is possible that Windows will not recognize the password even if it is right if the OS was installed using System Prep. I have no idea if this is the case with my computer.

    Now, I really am stuck because the work around for this, if you follow the link, is to change the settings and install the restore console from within windows (or alternately use diskettes to restore, but I bought my laptop a little to recently to have a floppy reader :) Now I don't know what to do. I am looking for simplicity (like being able to run a system restore to three days ago :) but I could do a full repair if necessary even a reinstall if there is a way to do that without formatting the hard drive.

    Thanks for all your help.
     
  2. ozrom1e

    ozrom1e

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    Messages:
    11,849
    Welcome to TSG....

    First thing if you do not have the patience for computers you will have to learn it becasue the computer is going to do its own thing in its own time and no patience usually ends up in a pile of smelly stuff....

    Do you have the recovery or restore disk set for this laptop?
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    51,988
    Chances are that your partitions are damaged beyond repair by the failed resizing. Chkdsk further damaged the installation by running with incorrect parameters about the partition and file locations on the drive. I see your only option as removing all partitions on the drive and reinstalling a clean copy of XP.
     
  4. oua

    oua Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
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    Yes, patience is not a bad thing to have with computers, however I do find it somewhat ironic that my impatience got me logged in at least a few more times :) I don't have my original XP disk with me, however I do have my original key and could get access to another copy of the disk, or could have the disk mailed, but that would take 2 weeks (again patience)

    I am also inclined to believe that the check disk was the culprit of ultimately not being about to log in at all. I've had a friend offer to help me pull what data can be gotten off the disk with some kind of Linux program and I've read that if you set the drive to slave on another drive it might be able to read the data, and can then be copied.

    One thing that is still a mystery to me though is that on the two times that I restarted Windows I examined the drive partitioning, using windows drive manager, and each time the partition was exactly as I had left it (8gb for recovery disk of which 4 were used, all the rest of the data for the main partition, of which 35gb were used and 8mb unallocated). If the partitioning in kbuntu messed up the partition table, why would it not display on either occasion?

    Thanks for the help everyone, I really do appreciate it.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

    Joined:
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    There is often a good backup copy of the partition table and all is not lost until that, too, has been damaged. That is why I recommend partitioning whenever possible (before installations or formats) so that you are insured a good partition table and a good copy.
     
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