win XP home user accounts lost

Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Beeblebrox

Thread Starter
Joined
Jun 4, 2003
Messages
100
HI, I'm gonona be quick about this, cause I'm in a hurry.

I was fixing someone's computer yesterday. Disk read error. Wouldn't start. I tried various things like chkdsk. After some random scrambling it did manage to start when I chose last known good configuration. But, it was working really, REALLY slow. And when it got to the XP Home logon screen, there were no user accounts. Manual login didn't work either (Ctrl-Alt-Del). It didn't accept any of the user accounts that were there before.

I checked the cables of teh SATA hard drive. They seemed a bit loose and did seem to solve the problem. After that chkdsk ran like a charm, but still no user accounts. I repair installed without problems. Still no user accounts. Tried safe mode, can't even log in as Admin (although it's a factory build so it might have a password).

I think it all happened because I didn't check the cables right away. If I hadn't rolled back to the previous configuration I think I would have had teh user accounts (I actually did manage to boot once before the rollback but it was painfully slow and never got to the desktop, but the user accounts were there).

Som any suggestions other than wiping the HDD and reinstalling. Important documents are safe on an external now and will advise the family to keep backups themselves from now on.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
51,988
It sounds like there was some damage to the file system during all of that. The missing user accounts may be just the tip of the iceberg. And if you create new ones, the space occupied by the old ones will probably still be in use and unavailable for you to use.

If you have backups, the least painful, long-term solution would probably be a new installation. Then make periodic drive images--they back up the entire drive, all files and the operating system so they can all be restored, even to a new drive. And since the images can be mounted as drives to recover individual files from the image, no other backup method is needed.

Macrium Reflect

Or any of many others. Use a separate or external drive to store the images. Or if you have the space, do as I do on some machines and make an image of drive A on drive B and of drive B on drive A since it is unlikely both will fail at the same time.

Free Drive Cloners/Imagers:

Macrium Reflect
Clonezilla (Bare-metal restoration from image)
Partimage
Dubaron Diskimage
SystemRescueCD
EaseUs Disk Copy (Copies disks or partitions)
XXClone
CloneZilla GParted LiveCD (Complete partitioning and drive imaging/restoration tools)
Partition Saving
PCI CloneMaxx
Drive Image XML
HDClone
DriveClonerXP
Self-Image
copyr.dma (Copies disk with bad sectors for recovery)

Commercial Apps:

[email protected] Disk Image
O&O DiskImage
Acronis True Image Home
Farstone Drive Clone (Drive image, snapshots, file/folder backups.)
EAZ-FIX Professional and Easy Image
Drive Snapshot
ShadowProtect (Also online backups.)
Keriver Image
Avanquest Copy Commander
Paragon Drive Backup
NovaBackup
R-Drive Image
Norton Ghost
HDClone Pro or Enterprise
Terabyte Image for Windows
Terabyte Image for DOS (can directly access FAT, FAT32, and NTFS partitions)
Spotmau Disk Clone & Backup
 

Beeblebrox

Thread Starter
Joined
Jun 4, 2003
Messages
100
Thank you. I ended up doing as you adviced, although it was a hell of a job (which will continue today...)

During the process I cursed the fact that you need old technology to use new technology with XP (SATA floppy). They didn't know they had the floppy so I rummaged through their drawers and found it along with other critical stuff like mobo drivers... well, at least they HAD a floppy drive. Otherwise I would have been helpless. I don't have one. Wonder how the guys at the store installed my copy of XP... (gawd, I haven't had to reinstall in 2 years??!! That's an accomplishment :D )

As for the imaging software, it's a no. The people in question are way too computer illiterate and it's not my job to teach them. Family's kids seem to know the art of torrent downloads, tho... I'll tell them to keep copies of important files on a USB stick or sumthing, that's it. At least they now have Windows and Office working. All the extras I'll install for them tonight.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
51,988
XP is pretty old now and doesn't support a lot of the new hardware, including SATA. Vista will solve that problem. At least XP can be made to use SATA even though unnatural for it.

You're right. backups are about all you can do now.
 

Beeblebrox

Thread Starter
Joined
Jun 4, 2003
Messages
100
As of today the computer won't POST (no beep, nothing on screen, just the fans humming) although it worked fine yesterday. I suspect a broken CPU or mobo, as that was the case in my own computer once (not sure which one, but switching both solved it) and the problems then were very similar (filesystem corruption, increasing problems until total blackout). It's going to the store now. Not so sure how the warranty goes since an untrained amateur (me) has been messing around with it...

thanks anyway.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
51,988
Testing memory is a good place to start if it boots at all, and doesn't need a good hard drive to accomplish.

MemScope (Floppy and CD images.)
Microsoft Memory Test (floppy or CD ISO image)
Memtest86

If you have enough memory sticks, you can test them by removing one at a time and see if the problem disappears.

If you are running Vista and can boot up, go to Start > Search and type:

mdsched.exe

Choose to run a memory diagnostic on next boot. Or, you can boot from the DVD and run it from there.
 
Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 807,865 other people just like you!

Latest posts

Members online

Top