Friday, April 13, 2012

XP corrupt system 32 and activation error fix

This week has been a busy week. I could bore you with the details or I can just get to the point of this whole thing. I was about to train a user on a new program when she was prompted to restart. When she restarted she received a boot error. The error was that a file in System32 had been corrupted and we needed the original boot cd to fix it. No problem just throw a XP iso CD in there and run the repair. During this process you are required to put in an activation  code..Well everything seemed to be working perfectly. UNTIL....

We restarted, we would get an error that essentially said that "You are unable to activate this product". At this point you would see the background only. No start  button, no icons, nothing at all.. So after scratching my head PB suggested I google the hell out of that rascal. This is what I found

Boot to safe mode. From there run the cmd EXACTLY as listed

found thanks to


rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk

*NOTE: The "Oo"'s in Oobe are "oh's" - not "zero's"  There is one space after rundll32.exe.

When I say copy it exactly, make sure to copy it EXACTLY..Keep in mind that this is case sensitive for some reason. The all powerful PB found out that even Microsoft cmd's can be case sensitive. At least this one seems to be.  Go ahead and restart.

After restarting we were hoping we were home free. Turns out we werent. For some reason you need to have a copy of IE8 installed on the computer. So we had to go back to safe mode and install a copy of IE8. Luckliy safemode allowed us to install it. Once installed we logged back in using the administrator credentials. At this point we were still a little worried when we didnt immediately see something happen. But finally we were prompted to activate our version of XP. Turns out that all of the original drivers had been disabled so we weren't able to get internet access to let the activation process run through. So we had to use the automated Call in option. This process was bad and only took 5 minutes. We were able to activate XP and finally get the the user up and running.

The whole reason for this article is really to help out with the solution to the problem. The icing on the cake is that the user was soooo happy, she gave my boss and I a hug. I sometimes find that I.T. is a thankless job. Dont get me wrong, having the best boss and an awesome place to work everyday is thanks enough for me. But users tend to just expect things to work and if you get a half ass thank you after fixing something thats usually a lot. But as PB said "It feels good to be the hero sometimes" It does for sure....

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