Accessing "Documents and Settings" before boot

This is a discussion on Accessing "Documents and Settings" before boot within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Windows is giving me problems... Again. It says something about not being able to boot, maybe because of recent changes ...

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    Accessing "Documents and Settings" before boot

    Windows is giving me problems... Again. It says something about not being able to boot, maybe because of recent changes in hardware (which there aren't). I've tried all options it gives me (Safe mode etc), but none of them work. I get the Windows logo and loading bar, then a black screen and after a while it simply reboots.

    Anyway, before doing anything else, I want to backup my data. When I boot the Recovery Console from the Windows CD, I can only access C:\WINDOWS. But most of my things are in the "Documents and Settings" folder! It gives me an Access Denied error when trying to go there. Does anyone know how to get there?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Boot to safe mode and try.

    However it sounds like you may have a virus. Set your folders so you can view all types and also check show system folders. If you cannot get into Documents and Settings from Windows Explorer try it from the command prompt.

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    But I can't even get into Safe Mode. When I select that option (or any other option, like "Most recent hardware configuration that worked") it shows the Windows XP loading screen, then the screen goes black and after a few seconds/minutes it reboots.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Reinstall?

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    But then I'll lose everything? Or is it possible to install Windows without formatting my C:\ partition?

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    It is. You will probably loose access to some programs and need to reinstall them since your registry and possible shared files in windows/system and windows/system32 will be overwritten. But other than the windows folder, your whole disk structure will remain intact.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    {Jaxom,Imriel,Liam}'s Dad Kennedy's Avatar
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    You can get a Slackware Linux boot & root to gain access to all of your data on the drive. You'd need either bare.i from the bootdisks and the install.1 and install.2 for the root disks. If you don't have a floppy drive, you could download an ISO image which will be bootable. You'll just need some place to put your data.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I don't recommend installing Windows on top of itself.

  9. #9
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    > I don't recommend installing Windows on top of itself.

    ...

    Just install windows on top of the old one, that will get you to back to the system again. Make backup copies of everything you need, wipe out your disk, and do a clean install.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  10. #10
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    First of all, I can't think of what could possibly be in your Documents and Settings folder that would make you fail to boot Windows, especially in Safe Mode. Your problem almost definitely is in your WINDOWS folder, however if you don't know what it would be, Windows offers a clean way of fixing your WINDOWS

    Insert your Windows XP CD and select to do a fresh installation; It will then search your hard drive and identify that you have a broken installation on your hard drive. From then you can press R to repair the partition, which will replace everything in your Windows folder with the defaults on the CD. As Mario said, this will probably cause some applications to have problems, but once your back in Windows, you can easily fix them by going to Add/Remove Programs and selecting to repair the installations of the broken applications.
    Sent from my iPad®

  11. #11
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    Instead of Slackware for a rescue CD for backup, I'd recommend a real live CD distro like Knoppix.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
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