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Unable to boot in any mode after installing Windows XP Service Pack 3

By mamsie ·
Please help, I installed Windows XP Service Pack 3 via Windows Update, now my PC won't boot in any mode, I can't get to the desktop. The PC is an HP Compac DX2200 Micro Tower, Pentium 4 with an Intel processor.

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Well - what CAN you do ?...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Unable to boot in any mod ...

Saying that your PC "won't boot in any mode, I can't get to the desktop." - does that cover invoking Safe Mode but then opting for System Restore rather than the Desktop?

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This may be of assistance here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Unable to boot in any mod ...

Though I have personally yet to have a Problem with SP3 for XP if it actually installs it tends to work. The only problem that I have encountered is where it fails to install and rolls back to the previous installation, event hen it tends to work OK till it gets repaired.


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Your best bet is to Re-install your WIndows XP, but before you do....

by Peconet Tietokoneet In reply to Unable to boot in any mod ...

Get the SP3 pack ISO here and burn to a cd:

Get another hdd and (if IDE, make it "master") connect it to your motherboard, if it is a SATA hdd then just take out the problem hdd and install the operating system on the new hdd. When you get to the desktop insert your XP SP3 disk of which you burnt to disk earlier and just follow the instructions. When you have all of the updates installed then connect the old drive (if IDE make sure to make it "SLAVE") to the motherboard, with this in place you will be able to access your docs and files.
Hope all works out for you.

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Unable to boot in any mode after installing Windows XP Service Pack 3

by mamsie In reply to Your best bet is to Re-in ...

Thank you all for your helpful comments, I ended up reinstalling Windows XP. I was able to copy my documents etc. onto another hard drive, reformatted my original drive and installed XP anew and copied back my data. So far so good, but I haven't installed Service Pack 3 as I'm still not comfortable with it! I also have not seen any solution offered by HP to resolve this, after all the comments that they applied the AMD image onto Intel machines, which mine is.

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While Officially this only applies to AMD CPU's

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Unable to boot in any mod ...

The reality is that any CPU may be affected by this depending on what was used to make the original Slipstreamed Image.

I have had some Acer Intel CPU Machines with the exact same problem and they have been sorted by following the direction on the M$ Knowledge Base 949377. The main bit you want to look at is this

Method 1: Reset the registry and the file permissions
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 ( ) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
To reset the registry and file permissions, follow these steps:
Download and then install the Subinacl.exe file. To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site: (
Start Notepad.
Copy and then paste the following text into Notepad.
cd /d "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Resource Kits\Tools"
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure. However, they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.
Save this Notepad file as Reset.cmd.
Double-click the Reset.cmd file to run the script.

Note This script file may take a long time to run. You must run this script as an administrator.
Install Windows XP SP3.
If this method resolved the error message and if you successfully installed Windows XP SP3, you are finished.

If this method did not resolve the issue, go to the "Next Steps? section.

Ideally if you have had to reload that was the ideal time to attempt to apply this Service Pack just after you finished the install and before you started to reinstall any Software which may cause problems.

Gramnter I'm not an Expert in SP3 for XP but I have installed it several Thousand Times now and other than this issue where it fails to finish the Install I have not run into any problems with it.

But now you can Slipstream it to your Install Disc with nLite available for free download here

Just remember to read the Instructions here

If you make a Install Disc and Include SP3 it will save you a lot of downloads from the Windows Update Servers at some point int he future if you have to reinstall the OS again. I have used this hundreds of times where I make a Individual Install Disc for different systems without so much as a single problem.


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Unable to boot in any mode after installing Windows XP Service Pack 3

by mamsie In reply to While Officially this onl ...

Thank you very much, I'll keep this handy for future mishaps.

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