This may be terminal........ !

  cocteau48 11:08 13 Oct 2008

Major catastrophe over the weekend when everything froze up solid. Could not even power down. Pulled plug/rebooted (and tried in safe mode)...same result....everything frozen about half way through the loading of the taskbar icons.

OK,I thought, done this before: return to factory settings/Install Acronis/retrieve last image from ext HD.

First thing that I noticed when I returned XP to factory settings (using the disk supplied) was that my recovery partition had disappeared completely.

Second thing was that Acronis recovered the latest image OK but when it then attempted to reboot I was asked for a password at the Windows log-in. Now I have never used or been asked for a password to log into Windows before so why now?
I even repeated the entire scenario giving myself an administrators password during the re-installation of XP but that would not be accepted aither.
Booting off the Acronis disk shows that the entire image has been successfully recovered to my C drive but that I am locked out of accessing it without a password.
....together with the loss of the recovery D partition it would appear that sumt'in' 'orrible has happened.
Does anyone reckon that this may be recoverable?
(It's only the OS and programs at risk here as all personal data is securely backup up on the ext HD....and the machine is on its last legs!)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:38 13 Oct 2008

Boot to safe mode and use the Administrator account to log in

Then To stop your system from displaying the Welcome Screen, go to "Start->Run" and type in "control userpasswords2" (but without the quatations). Untick the "Users must enter a username and password to use this computer" option and click OK

  Rahere 11:47 13 Oct 2008

I think at first boot after installation if you don't type a password and press enter then you won't be bothered again.

However that is a risky strategy - Set up and use a limited user account for everyday stuff, only use admin for installs that require it. You'll be safer all round that way. Oh and turn off the guest account too, this can be a back door to your system.

  cocteau48 11:56 13 Oct 2008

Fruit Bat /\0/\
Thanks Fruit Bat ... it will take a while as the only way to get back into Windows after getting to the password request is to start the whole operation over again.

  cocteau48 10:13 15 Oct 2008

Thanks to all for your input (Fruit Bat /\0/\ - your suggestion did not work unfortunately) but I have resolved the situation.
Re-installed XP(again) to factory settings and installed all updates. Tried an Acronis backup/recovery of just that ... and it worked OK.
Fingers crossed,went for a recovery of the original full image off the ext HD and this time everything recovered and booted up fine.
I have no idea why this should have resolved everything - but it has.
I have still lost the recovery partition but as that was just a duplicate of what is on the recovery disk it is no great loss.

  T I M B O 10:31 15 Oct 2008

I don't personally use Acronics, but i hear a lot do, but if you have taken an image of ur system, and you use that same image to put you back where you were "more or less" then does that put you almost back where you were? I would be intrested to know the outcome.


  MAJ 10:31 15 Oct 2008

Have you tried using 'Acronis Disk Director' to see if it can restore the recovery partition, cocteau48?

  T I M B O 10:45 15 Oct 2008

OMG i wish i could delete what i said lol....

What i means is, the problem you had before, will you get again because of problem you re-instate??

  cocteau48 10:57 15 Oct 2008

There is no "more or less" ... Acronis puts you back to exactly where you were (when the image was taken). In my case the image was taken 24 hours before the troubles started when everything was OK so whatever caused the problems in that 24 hour period was history (as though that 24 hours had never existed).

It may have been recoverable at the time but after the XP reinstall I split the drive into two partitions and attempted the recovery into the empty half so that,if everything went belly up I still had the original installation to work with (avoiding yet another time consuming factory reset)
When it recovered into the empty partition OK I then tried a recovery over the reinstall and when that also succeeded I went for the full image recovery which also succeeded and all was back to normal.

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