XP Recovery/Data Recovery

  Patrick Peterson 21:52 07 Aug 2007

I’m looking for some novice-level help, please. Recently XP failed to boot with error message, “Application failed to start because DNSAPI.dll not found”. XP hanged after the windows intro screen. Attempts to start in safe mode had same effect with another warning about lsasser.exe file. Is this a worm virus?
Needless to say my backups are not up to date and I need to try and recover docs, jpgs etc. The hard disk is not partitioned.
Based on warning on MESH recovery disk, spoke to them they suggested housing drive in external USB enclosure and accessing corrupt disk an external drive, otherwise recovery disk will overwrite all files. Have removed drive from PC and tried using an Akasa Integral enclosure as a USB device attached to a Laptop. PC eventually reads disk as drive F:. However, it won’t allow access to read files/folders. Eventually, the only option that comes up is to format drive F:.
PC Advisor threads suggests, for similar problems, reinstall problem disk in original PC and do a repair installation (not a recovery console) using the MESH recovery disk. Is this worth a try? Other threads suggest the use of PC Inspector to access the files. Is this worth a try? Should I try PC Inspector before a repair installation? Or any other suggestions that may allow file recovery. Any help welcome.

  Stuartli 21:59 07 Aug 2007

Depending on whether it opens with an i or an l, isasser.exe can be a worm.SeeL

click here

click here

You can obtain a copy of DNSAPI.dll from:

click here

or by typing in

sfc /scannow

into the Run box (note the space); you may need your XP installation disk handy.

  Patrick Peterson 22:09 07 Aug 2007

Stuartli - Wow, that was quick, thanks. The problem is I can't get as far into XP to get the Run box. XP just 'sticks' after the blue bar but before the welcome screen.

  Stuartli 22:38 07 Aug 2007

Try the Repair route (configure the Bios first to boot from CD) - note the point about NOT using the Recovery Console.

Keep selecting Install (twice I think) until you can choose Repair. More info at:

click here: (click on the How to Repair Install).

You may/will also need to reinstall SP2; updates can be obtain via AutoPatcher's latest July edition:

click here


click here

  Stuartli 22:46 07 Aug 2007

Just one other thought. When booting up, have you tried pressing F5 (or it might be F8!) to bring up the opportunity to go into Safe Mode, select Last Good Configuration etc?

Pressing F5 and F8 alternatively should bring up the screen shortly after the reboot.

Last Good Configuration might do the trick.

  Patrick Peterson 21:09 10 Aug 2007

Stuartli - Thanks for the advice. Will try over the next couple of days, and let you know.

  Patrick Peterson 21:28 14 Aug 2007

Following all the good advice, while attempting the XP Repair Installation using Windows XP disk, at the 7th screen to select the XP installtion for repair, after windows has searched for previous versions, my screen shows 2 options:

C: Partition 1 [Unknown] 117224MB <117224MB free>. This line is highlighted and below it,
Unpartioned space 16MB

If I press R=repair will this overwrite/destroy docs, jpg, apps folders etc., cos the disk is not partitioned?
Or will only the Windows files be installed without affecting the rest of the data?
The screendump on Simplyguides shows example, C:\WINDOWS "Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition".

  Strawballs 22:07 14 Aug 2007

A repair installation should leave all of you data untouched, just repair windows.

  Stuartli 22:14 14 Aug 2007

As Strawballs correctly states, an XP Repair should leave programs, applications, configuration etc as before.

I've done it at least twice without any setbacks after new motherboards (XP doesn't always take to a new motherboard and a Repair overcomes any potential problems).

You'll need your Product Key more than likely.

  woodchip 22:16 14 Aug 2007

It must be Partitioned for it to show C:\

  woodchip 22:17 14 Aug 2007

Ethere a Virus or MBR partition info corrupt

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

How secure is your Wi-Fi?

AMD vs Intel: we put the most powerful desktops for designers and artists head-to-head

iPhone tips & tricks

Les meilleurs ordinateurs portables 2017