Various Fixes:

ActivationBlazefindBoot FloppiesFaviconsI386 FolderInstall TroublesPlug-insRestore pointsSafe modeTake ownershipTrojan Removal

Activation Trouble:

Click start/run, type "regsvr32 regwizc.dll" (without the quotes) and click "ok". Then do the same for "regsvr32 licdll.dll". You should get a successful message for both and it should resolve the error message. If not, then try these steps:

Start the computer in Safe mode by hitting F8 at startup. Click start/run, type regedit and click ok. Expand the branches in the left pane by clicking the plus (+) signs to reach these keys:


Click on the folder representing each key and delete them one at a time. You may want to create a backup before doing so by clicking file/export and saving a copy to the desktop. If there is a problem after deleting, you can put the key back by double-clicking it. If there is no problem, you can delete the key later. When finished, restart the system normally after closing the registry editor.

Note: If you used reset5 to crack the Windows XP installation previously, the above steps will not work.

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Blazefind problem:

The userinit value may have been corrupted by the removal of blazefind. It adds wsaupdater.exe to the logon value in the system registry, sometimes appending it, sometimes replacing it. Running Adaware or other cleaners detects and removes wsaupdater.exe, but doesn't correct the registry damage. If this is the case, then you may need to load the registry hive from another installation and change it. You can use something like Bart'sPE to do this, or you can load it from another networked installation provided remote registry has been enabled. This is the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

The Userinit string value in the right pane should be:


On the damaged installations it's one of these:


Another "quickie" method of resolution is to load the Recovery Console (see below), copy userinit.exe as wsaupdater.exe from the command prompt, then restart normally. Once in, go and change the registry value back to what it's supposed to be and delete the copied file. To do this, use these commands:

C:\Windows>copy C:\Windows\system32\userinit.exe C:\Windows\system32\wsaupdater.exe

Then you can exit once completed.

HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP

This can also be done by using the 6 disk boot floppy set mentioned in the above article, as it loads enough of the Recovery Console so that you can copy the file. This is particularly useful if you have an OEM installation that includes only a Restore CD, or no disk at all.

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The icon you see when you initially save a web page link is a favicon, and it is stored in your Temporary Internet Files (TIF for short) when you first visit the page. When you add it as a favorite, the link uses the stored favicon (.ico file). The way the TIF folder works is that as new information is added, older information is pushed out (hence the term "temporary"). Once the favicon is old enough, it gets pushed out (deleted), so the system reverts back to the standard "e" icon for web page links.
So, this is how you can prevent that from happening: First, if the favicon is already gone, you need to get it back. Sometimes, you can grab it from the web page itself, but more often not. So, delete the saved favorite, then go to the Control Panel/Internet Options and on the general tab you want to delete the current TIF files. Now reopen Internet Explorer and type in the address to that page. You can now re-add it as a favorite.
Next, open your TIF folder, usually here:
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
and start looking for the .ico file for this favicon. When located, copy it from the TIF folder to a more permanent location. If you have a lot of them you want, create a folder like C:\favicons for them to make it easy to find. Once saved, you will need to make one last change. Go to the favorites folder:
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Favorites
and right click the previously saved link. Choose properties, and on the Web Document tab, click the "change icon" button. Go to the location where you just saved the .ico file and select it. Click ok/apply/ok and you now will have that icon permanently associated to that link.

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I386 folder

(The following procedure can be used by owners of generic or retail WinXP CD's to save having to have the disk handy, they simply need to copy the I386 folder from the CD to a location of their choice on the hardware before making the indicated registry changes)

A very common way for manufacturers to supply the system file set on preinstalled (OEM) machines is to place them on the hard drive. This is done because in general you cannot directly expand files from the image disks or recovery partition that is provided with the system. The problem is that the image used to install the system references the system file set (I386 folder) as being on the installation CD - and most of the time the user does not have one of these. When the system requires one of these files, the user is prompted to insert the setup disk that they do not possess, and most times there is no option to redirect the search to another location. Therefore, what needs to be done is that the reference to the I386 folder needs to be changed. This is done in the system registry, but first you need to locate it.

Open Windows Explorer and look for an I386 folder. Usually it is under C:\Windows \I386 or simply C:\I386. If you cannot see the I386 folder on the system, it may be because you are set to hide system folders. Go to the Control Panel/Folder Options, and on the View tab, set the options so you can see hidden and system files. Specifically:

Enable (check) "Display the contents of system folders"
Enable (check) "Show hidden files and folders"
Disable (uncheck): "Hide protected operating system files (recommended)"
I also recommend that you disable (uncheck) "hide extensions for known file types". Now you should be able to easily locate the I386 folder in Windows Explorer.
In order for the system to automatically expand the files from this location, you need to change the sourcepath entry under these keys in the system registry to the parent folder housing the I386 folder, or you will continually be prompted to insert the CD. Click start/run, type regedit and click ok. Expand the plus (+) signs to reach these keys (one at a time):
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
Double-click the sourcepath string in the right pane and change it as follows: If the folder is at C:\Windows\I386, then enter just C:\Windows. If it rests on the root, or C:\I386, enter only C:\. Wherever it is, enter the path to one folder level above I386. Click ok and then close the registry editor once changed, you should not need to reboot for this to take effect.

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Installation Problems:

Try cleaning up the installer. Click start/run, type services.msc and click "ok". Scroll down to "Windows Installer" and double click it. Stop the service if it is running, set the startup type line to disabled. Click apply/ok and reboot.

Delete the contents of the temp folders, there may be a file in there interfering with the setup routine of the installer. Check both:

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\local settings\temp

Now reverse the first set of steps and re-enable the Windows Installer (You can just set the startup type to manual). Reboot.

Turn off all other running programs, especially your antivirus software. Use ctrl+shift+escape, if necessary, to "end task" on everything.

Now retry installing some software. If everything goes ok, but you see that it is only installing for certain users, or you are having trouble with limited accounts, please see this page on running software in a WindowsXP environment. You may also find it useful to run the installer cleanup utility:

Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility

Updating the Windows installer can help as well:

Windows Installer 3.1 (v2) is available

If it doesn't help, here are some further articles that may:

"Error 1719. The Windows Installer Service Could Not Be Accessed" Error Message When You Try to Add or Remove a Program

Windows Installer Error 1619 When You Install from NTFS-Protected Directories

OFF: "The Windows Installer Service Could Not Be Accessed" Error Message When You Try to Install Office

There is also a known problem documented on systems that have SP2 installed. The fix is downloadable from this article:

Computer stops responding when you try to install an update in Windows XP Service Pack 2

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Direct links to the boot floppy sets

How to obtain the Windows XP Setup boot disks:

To use these, you download the file indicated for your operating system (do not mix the sets or use the wrong one) to any Windows installation. Double-click the file and it will prompt you to insert the first floppy (you will need six of them). Then set the BIOS on the intended/damaged machine to boot from a floppy first and insert disk #1. Start the system, follow the prompts to load all six disks. This will give you a limited version of the Recovery Console where you can run some operations like copy and chkdsk (for this, if prompted for the location of autochk.exe, indicate C:\Windows\system32). The more complex commands, such as fixboot and bootcfg, require that you load the Recovery Console from the CD.

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Managing Plug-ins:

Errors when opening Internet Explorer are often caused by malevolent or damaged plug-ins. These are small program files downloaded to support some features in web pages. To fix it, you must first log into the account experiencing the trouble. Then in the Control Panel under Internet Options, click on the programs tab, then on the button to manage add-ons.

Click on each non-microsoft plug-in and then disable it on the lower left. Repeat for the entire list, then apply/ok your way back out and reboot the
system. Log back into this account and see if you can now open IE without any error messages.

If successful, you can slowly reenable the plugins a few at a time to isolate which one is causing the problem. Leave the problematic one
disabled, or delete it from the C:\Windows\downloaded program files folder.

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Removing System Restore points:

There are three ways to easily remove restore points. You should not do this selectively by deleting files in the System Volume Information folders.

1) Start/run cleanmgr.exe (disk cleanup), there is a "clean up" button on the "more options" tab to remove all but the newest restore point.

2) Control Panel/System/System Restore tab, go to settings and reduce the amount of space allotted to System Restore. This will remove older restore points, how many depends on how much space you require for a point, and how much space you leave.

3) Control Panel/System/System Restore tab, click the "turn off system restore on all drives" box. This will eliminate all restore points. Once re-enabled, the system will begin creating new ones. You should reboot in between doing this.

Also, if the System Volume Information folders are corrupted, then you should delete them after System Restore has been turned off. This way new ones will be created once the function is restarted. You may find that you need to "take ownership" of the folders in order to do this, as normally these folders are restricted to the system administrator.

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Starting in Safe mode:

Starting in Safe mode sometimes proves to be difficult in a WindowsXP installation. It's really a matter of timing. The secret is "when" to hit F8. When a system starts, it goes through a self-test also known as a POST. At this point the user will see either the system enumerating the hardware and a memory count, or they will see the system manufacturer's splash screen. This is too early to hit the F8 button, as accessing Safe mode is a function of WindowsXP and it isn't loading yet. Hitting it at this point may affect something in the system BIOS, but that's about it.

When the POST finishes, this is when it initializes the boot files on the hard drive. NOW is when you want to do this, just as Windows XP's boot begins. Too late and you will miss the chance to invoke the boot menu. If you miss it, you will need to restart and try again. There are several options on the boot menu, but Safe mode works for most troubleshooting. Some may find the "Safe mode with command prompt" useful if the user interface (GUI) is damaged preventing access.

If you can boot a system normally and wish to force a Safe mode boot, you can do this through the system configuration utility. Click start/run, type msconfig and click ok. Go to the boot.ini tab and enable the /safeboot option. Click apply/ok and restart when prompted. This will force the safe mode boot without further intervention on the part of the user by adding /safeboot to the load section of boot.ini. To start the system normally, you will need to either reverse these steps or manually edit boot.ini to remove this section.

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Taking Ownership:

Sometimes, in order to get access to a folder, you need to "take ownership" of it. To do this, you must be using an administrator account, or an account that has either a higher level of privileges or privileges equal to the account currently in control of the folder. First, you must be able to access the security tab of the folder properties. For the security tab to appear in a WindowsXP Pro system, you must disable simple file sharing in the control panel/folder options/view tab, it's at the bottom of the advanced settings. For a WindowsXP Home system, you must restart in safe mode and logon as administrator.

Right-click the folder, select properties. Go to the security tab and click advanced. You can take control of the folders on the owner tab by clicking on your user account, then click apply/ok. Note also that these sorts of permissions are only available when using the NTFS file system, they are not supported in FAT or FAT32. More details here:

HOW TO: Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows XP [Q308421]

An additional note for WindowsXP Pro users: This procedure will not help you recover data if the files are encrypted. All you will be able to do is delete them. To recover encrypted files you will need the original encryption certificate or a Recovery Agent from the installation under which they were encrypted. Without one of these, the files are not recoverable.

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Removing a trojan file

Follow these "relatively" simple removal steps to remove a randomly named trojan (virus) file:

Restart in Safe mode by hitting F8 as Windows first begins to load on boot. Logon as administrator.

Start/search/files and folders, look for <trojan_filename> and delete it wherever it is found. If it is not found, your antivirus software is doing its job in that it removed the offending file. The problem here is that many of these programs do not remove the startup references that the nasties were using. Click start/run, type regedit and click ok. Expand the plus (+) signs to these keys, one at a time:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MSConfig\startupreg

Click on the key, then look in the right hand pane for the string or strings that load that file. Delete just those strings from the right pane that contain the reference. Do not delete other strings or the keys from the left pane. Close the registry editor when completed, make sure you check all strings.

Restart the system normally. Update your Antivirus software, run a full system scan.

If all seems to be clean, go to the Control Panel/System/System Restore tab. Check the box to "Turn off system restore on all drives". Click apply/ok. This will remove all restore points, however you don't want them back as some or all of them will contain the virus depending upon how recently you got infected. Restart System Restore and immediately create a new point.

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This page was last updated on Saturday, September 08, 2007.

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