I fixed my computer last night, and managed to recover all of my files. Hurray for me! And now I’m about to majorly geek out about it.
I’ve gotten pretty good at fixing stuff on computers lately, and it can be a really empowering experience. It doesn’t really take much in the way of brains or expertise — really, you just have to be smart enough to type your error message into Google, read a few different sites to get a consensus of the solution, and then follow the instructions exactly.
That’s almost what I did first yesterday. I had written down the stop code I was getting and looked up some articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base relating to that code to get an idea of what to do. Here’s an excerpt:
This article describes how to recover a Windows XP system that does not start because of corruption in the registry. This procedure does not guarantee full recovery of the system to a previous state; however, you should be able to recover data when you use this procedure.
Warning Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives.
You can repair a corrupted registry in Windows XP. Corrupted registry files can cause a variety of different error messages. See the Microsoft Knowledge Base for articles about error messages that are related to registry issues.
Please note the entire second paragraph, as that’s the one I chose to ignore.
So I spent all this time carefully using the Recovery Console to copy, rename, delete, and replace the registry hives, and then when I’d done all of that and went to start the system back up, I found myself dealing with the lsass.exe boot loop that I totally caused myself by ignoring the second paragraph in the kb article.
So then, I couldn’t load the OS under any circumstance or configuration, and I couldn’t log back into the recovery console to make any more changes to the hives. Using the recovery CD to “repair the setup” did nothing to stop the loop. Everything I read on the internet suggested that I’d have to ditch the whole thing and reinstall from scratch, and I was moments away from killdisking the stupid thing when I decided to try just a few more things based on about fifty articles I’d looked up.
This time, I installed XP into a new folder on the same hard drive. I had read that this would let me see my old files, but would prevent me from actually accessing them, and that I’d have to download some kind of file utility thing to get them back. But that was not the case. I can access them with no problems.
So hurray, now my computer is back, at least for now. I still don’t know what caused the crash in the first place, and I have read that it could be a bad hard drive, bad RAM, or some sort of conflict caused by the GeForce video card. All of these came with the computer and I don’t really want to deal with replacing them, but I am concerned that it may crash again. At least I can get all of my files backed up before that happens.
In other news, I did spend my 25 dollars and about 75 of their friends at the pharmacy today. I went in to get my yearly round of hideously expensive prescription allergy medications and steroid nasal sprays and other such things, and as the nurse was checking me out she was all, “Hey, did you know you’re running a fever?” and I was like, “I thought I just had allergies,” and then the doctor informed me that I have a sinus infection and gave me a very friendly “hey, dumbass” talk about how it’s important for me to come and get antibiotics when I’m having these symptoms and running a fever. Because, see, I’ve been feeling kind of crappy for almost two weeks now (and was feeling especially crappy today) and just figured it was allergies. So anyway, I got to get some antibiotics too.
Have I ever told you guys that all of my prescriptions say HO WAITING in big black letters at the top? I’ll get a picture of that posted as soon as I can, because it’s pretty funny.
I can’t believe Easter is on Sunday. It doesn’t feel like Easter at all. I did, however, get my once-yearly Cadbury Creme Egg at CVS today. I ate it in my office a little while ago and promptly went into insulin shock and died. But I’m back alive now, if a little feverish.