So I finally got into Windows XP recovery console a few times and took a look around. The error message I’d been receiving was this one:
“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
…which pretty much means a corrupted registry file. This can be fixed in the console, though the fix is a touch complex: see here.
…Whoopee. So I log in again, with that list of instructions before me, ready to go, and get:
“Please type your administrator password.”
…I have NEVER used an admin password with this machine. Not once. Hit the carriage return, that’s always been the way. I now hit the carriage return in forlorn hope. “Incorrect password. Please type your administrator password…”
Gaaaah. The process naturally fails.
Rinse & repeat several times. Reboot the machine one last time and walk away in despair.
Behind my back, IT BOOTS INTO XP.
My machine is a drama queen. WHY am I surprised.
It starts running chkdsk. WTF-I-DON’T-EVEN, for this now starts throwing errors the likes of which I’ve never seen as it proceeds through the various virtual drives into which C is partitioned. “Correcting error in index.” “Deleting index entry.” “Recovering orphaned file.” And what gives me the twitches, “Insufficient space to recover…” Yes, the virtual C “drive” is very full. That’s one of the things that this has been about: emptying it out a little — specifically getting the guts of iTunes out of there.
(moan / headclutch)
So on we go. Calanda does this three or four more times. And then it once more fails to boot correctly (just to keep me interested) and once more shows me the “Windows Could Not Start…” herald. I sit down in front of it, humbled low on the little hassock I dragged up into the bedroom so I wouldn’t have to sit on the effing FLOOR in front of the machine to which I have always been very kind, and once more go through the routine to boot from the CD. Once more make it into Recovery Console. And once more get asked for a password that doesn’t exist.
…Seriously, it’s starting to feel like some weird IT-based version of The Quiet Man around here. All I need now is some little old lady running up to me and curtsying and saying “Here’s a nice hammer to beat the lovely machine with.”
BTW, thank you to all the nice people who have gone over to the Ebooks Direct store this morning and bought things, for whatever reason. You have cheered me up, because YOU ARE BUYING ME A HAMMER.
…Oh, look, Calanda has booted again, and without my blue Jupiter wallpaper! Why, this time it’s destroyed my entire user profile! And look at the notice it’s showing me:
“The system has recovered from a serious error.”
NOT AS SERIOUS AS THE ONE IT’S ABOUT TO HAVE.
Seriously, this machine is starting to make the TARDIS look well-behaved.
(ETA: Just after lunchtime, it also ate the contents of the “F” partition of the C drive, just to show it could. That’s where most of the music was. Unless I can get the backups to work, I now have to re-rip more than 200 CDs. …[sigh])