Windows File Protection Problem

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DaveRatch

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Sep 10, 2009
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To save space on my 149gb harddrive my friend suggested a few things for me to do, be A: disk clean up and B: compress my harddrive, all of which could be easily found and done. Disk clean up was fine and easy, after that I started my computer compressing my hard drive, well when I woke up in the morning to check my comp, the compression was done, but I had this error screen. WINDOWS FILE PROTECTION

Files that are required for windows to run properly have been replaced by unrecognized versions. To maintain system stability, Windows must restore the original versions of these files.

Insert your windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 CD now.


So as far as I know I'm running windows XP media centre, and do not have a service pack 3 CD. What do I do?
 

DaveRatch

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Sep 10, 2009
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Edit: Going to try downloading XP Professional Service Pack 3 from internet. Did create a system restore point. Hope this works
 
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Media Center Edition (MCE) is XP Pro, just has the Media Center bits added in.
It's asking for a Windows XP disk that includes SP3, not just for the Service Pack files.

Most MCE installs have the i386 folder on the hard drive, and if you installed SP3, it should also have the service pack files. Could be the registry does not have the proper locations

Open Regedit
Navigate to here:
Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup
Check these two values:
SourcePath
ServicePackSourcePath


SourcePath is usually pointing to either the CD-ROM drive letter, or your Windows drive (C:\) if the i386 folder is on your hard drive at C:\i386.
ServicePackSourcePath should be pointing to C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles

If you've changed your CD-ROM drive letter, either by partitioning, or adding a drive, it will just constantly prompt for the CD even after inserting the correct one, as it's looking at the SourcePath location, not the actual CD-ROM drive.

If both point to the CD-ROM, it will prompt for the CD. If the first points to the CD-ROM, it will still ask for the CD, and may reject it if the CD doesn't include SP3
If setting those two values doesn't work, you can integrate SP3 into your i386 folder (or a copy of it if you wish to keep the original intact), then set both registry settings to point to the C:\ drive (or the parent folder of the copy).

It's generally not recommended to compress the entire drive, but rather selected folders. It does incur a performance penalty, but with modern systems might not be too noticeable.
One thing to be aware of is it can make it difficult if not impossible to recover files should you accidentally delete them, so be sure you have backups of anything you compress.
 

DaveRatch

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Joined
Sep 10, 2009
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3
Oh okay thanks for clearing up the Media Centre Edition spot.

So I followed your instructions into Regedit, ServicePackSourcePath is fine its the SourcePath which is pointing to : D\
So I'm going to set it to point to :C\ , because I really don't know what the i386 folder is.

Alright I won't compress my entire drive again. Yet another question, would you recommend uncompressing my drive? The only difference for me was that I freed up 10gb of space, but that's not incredibly crucial to me as I'm considering either buying a removable hard drive or just adding more memory to account for all the movies I have on my system.

Thanks
 
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You'll want to make sure that C:\i386 actually exists.

The i386 folder is the folder that contains all of the Windows files. Most OEM systems will copy that folder from the CD to the hard drive and set the SourcePath value to C:\ so you can add and remove components without needing the CD. If the folder doesn't exist, it will prompt for the CD.

As for uncompressing, if you are not seeing a significant slowdown in performance, I would leave it as is. Just make sure you have your data backed up. I have an old Win2K system that has the entire drive compressed, except for ntldr and ntdetect.com, for several years and have had no problems with it, but it is noticeably slower.

There is no sure way to see if compressing a particular Folder/File is saving you any space except by comparing the folders Size on Disk size before and after compressing.
Files that are already compressed, like jpg, mp3, wma, avi, mpg, etc. might not be compressed much if any, so there is no benefit to compressing them.
System files like EXE and DLLs can vary widely in how much they can be compressed.

Files smaller than the cluster size used by your drive (typically 4 KB=4096 bytes) won't save space by being compressed. All files will use at least one cluster, so a 4000 byte file that gets compressed to 100 bytes will still use 4096 bytes of disk space. In fact, you can actually increase the space used by some files, as compressing the file adds the "dictionary" used to de-compress the file. 4000 bytes compressed to 3500 using a 1024 byte dictionary is now 4524 bytes in size, and will use 8 KiB of disk space instead of 4 KiB.
 
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