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User Profile, corrupted, but "works"

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Hi all, I've recently had an issue with my PC user profile. It's corrupted, but it "works" meaning no start menu, bar, or whatever. If I am going to use something, I have to go through the Taskmanager. Sure in most cases whatever, but I would like to A) know how to access the control panel through the Task Manager, or B) do I have to reinstall XP? I honestly don't want to do the latter, due to my backup disks not being available to me.

The error I get is that the profile is corrupted, but it assigns a temporary (same one) one so I can use stuff. I've tried going through Safe mode (with and without command prompt) but I just dont know how to get rid of the temporary profile, so I can get back to "normal" without having to reinstall XP.

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Have you tried system restore to back to when the profile was working?

Few links that may help.

How to copy data from a corrupted user profile to a new profile


UserEnv Returns Corrupted Profile


Working with corrupt user profiles


Good luck

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no start menu, bar, or whatever. If I am going to use something, I have to go through the Taskmanager.

Sounds like your 'explorer.exe' process isn't starting. It should be the first process you run from Task Manager. Literally just run 'explorer', and that should get you your user environment back.

As for the Control Panel, just run 'control' to bring up the window.

As for reinstalling XP, you can do a repair installation, which will not touch anything on your system except Windows files. Basically, it reinstalls XP over itself, but doesn't require a format, doesn't require a reinstallation of your apps, etc. Please note that this is very different from the repair console.

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Thanks Tinker, Dannik... looks like I have to find an XP disk. I tried the links but it still didn't work. I tried "Control" and "Explorer" but it's not working as it should, the control environment isn't coming back, so I'll try the XP disk route and eventually see how that goes. I did run CHKDSK and it said four areas were unreadable, which I surmise is the four areas that are causing the problem...

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looks like I have to find an XP disk.

Something that may help with this: In order to run a repair install, you don't need "your" XP disk, just one that's compatible. This means that if you are running XP Home, you can use any XP Home or Pro disk. If you are running Pro, you do need a Pro CD, I believe. It doesn't matter if your install is corporate, retail, OEM, etc. A repair install doesn't delete XP and replace it, it merely fixes any bits that differ from a clean install.

Note that if you after a repair install, your system is entirely unpatched (unless you use an XP CD with SP2 or even SP1 already applied), so don't go online until you have a firewall safely in place, and then hit Windows Update like mad. The last thing you need is Blaster all over again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I did that, and for the first day, it didn't seem to work. I think what had happened was the explorer.exe (Spybot said that it was Virtumonde or some such bot) that was causing the issue. Now I think Windows Update by itself fixed the problem, as when I woke up this morning, it is now "fixed" somehow, to my happiness. In retrospect though, it was actually after a bit, quite easy to navigate without all the stuff, so regardless I appreciate the help! :thumbsup:

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