I uninstalled a program yesterday which gave me the option of deleting, or retaining, various files the program had been using. I always click on the button to keep the files, because you never know what harm will occur otherwise.
But. . . It now looks like I clicked the wrong bl**** button (I was distracted by other things occurring at the same time).
As a result, Windows XP won't start today because it's missing the samlib.dll.
It's asking me to reinstall the dll. . . but how can I do that if I can't get Windows to launch?? (I have my original Windows XP disk that came with the laptop but the machine isn't booting off it). HELP!
Sincere thanks to everyone for the prompt advice given here -- pure 7th cavalry riding-to-the-rescue stuff, and greatly appreciated. (VoG: I've never come across those guides before: outstanding, so a very special thanks for the various links).
As this was very much a self-inflicted injury, I feel a complete berk having to come here and ask for help, so apologies to everyone for any inconvenience caused.
Will post back here when I've followed through the advice on the laptop.
Great, isn't it? Life gets more complicated by the hour. There's no 'administrator password' for the laptop because I never set one. I switch it on, click on user name, and that's it, WinXP runs. Now though, the Recovery Console keeps asking for the administrator password and, because there isn't one, I simply click enter in hope of moving on.
But it doesn't go any further. It's obviously waiting for a non-existent password to be typed in. Ah, wonderful. Not!
Tried again, for some reason pressing enter works this time and we're in recovery console. The options as to what to do next are unclear: we KNOW what the problem is, we merely want to get the samlib.dll off the XP CD ROM and into the relevant Windows folders on the laptop -- simple, really.
We don't know which console option to use though, whether it's one that writes a new boot sector (why?) or one that 'rebuilds' the boot. . . so we've picked 'rebuild'. The console has then scanned for 'a Windows installation' and found it. We assumed it was scanning for a 'complete' installation, not a defective one, but that's obviously asking too much.
Instead, it seems to have found the installation we already know is faulty. We didn't know that, of course, but gave it a load identifer etc when prompted, switched off, and rebooted.
The laptop still won't work because it says the samlib.dll is missing and should be reinstalled. Which is the same error message we had six hours ago when this mess first started.
Ye Gods. You'd think there was a simple way of doing this. . . or am I asking too much??