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Reinstall all drivers XP

by TylerH
Tags: drivers, reinstall
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Jan5-13, 10:37 PM
P: 737
Hi, so I broke my dad's computer by forcing it to power down. Some how this really messed something up. At first it wouldn't boot at all. But I fixed the MBR with rescue mode on an XP disk. After that, it managed to boot correctly, but it blue screens every time within 30 seconds. The odd thing is that if I boot in safe mode it doesn't BSOD at all, so I'm guessing a driver must have been corrupted when I forced power off. Is there anyway to get XP to reinstall all its drivers, thereby replacing the corrupted one? Or an alternative solution? (Anything but reinstalling Windows.)

Thanks for any help, Tyler.
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Jan5-13, 10:48 PM
P: 4,579
Hey TylerH.

Try going to safe mode and removing all the drivers by uninstalling them all.

Then on a reboot what will happen is that it will re-detect everything and then you can do a re-install of all appropriate drivers.
Jan5-13, 10:53 PM
P: 737
Is there a tool to do that automatically? Uninstalling 100+ drivers by hand isn't my idea of a good time... :) Also, if it has no drivers and thus no internet, how does it get the drivers to reinstall them?

Jan5-13, 10:57 PM
P: 4,579
Reinstall all drivers XP

I think you can uninstall drivers but if you have the files in some windows directory, then it maintains all the drivers and information files there.

Also with the re-installation what I would do is download all the drivers before-hand (not all of them just the mother-board drivers with sound, LAN, wifi, graphics) and only get rid of those ones.

Windows will always install standard drivers (and there are a lot of them) where-as the motherboard drivers will be asked for.

You can go to your computer website and get the drivers specifically for the above and it will probably be about 10 files maximum.
Jan6-13, 03:05 AM
Borek's Avatar
P: 23,727
I don't remember details, but I believe when Windows starts it logs the driver information in some text file - so you should be able to check which particular driver crashed the system.
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Jan6-13, 05:09 AM
HW Helper
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P: 6,189
It's highly unlikely a driver was corrupted by powering down.
The only thing powering down can damage (nowadays) is a file that is being written to disk, which will obviously be corrupt afterwards.
But Windows itself is not dependent on any such file.

Much more likely is that something was installed that made itself part of the boot sequence that broke it.
After that, you wouldn't have been able to boot anymore anyway.

Quote Quote by Borek View Post
I don't remember details, but I believe when Windows starts it logs the driver information in some text file - so you should be able to check which particular driver crashed the system.
Indeed, here's a couple of nice links I found googling for "windows startup log":

In particular they both refer to the "msconfig" tool (part of Windows) that you can use to further diagnose and possible fix your problems.
Jan6-13, 12:31 PM
P: 737
Yeah I know how weird it sounds, but it was working perfectly before. But the only variable is the forced shutdown, so unless the program that inserted itself into the boot process has laid dormant for a considerable amount, it can't be that. It did just occur to me that the antivirus could have been updating when I shut it down, and with how anti viruses patch the kernel, it's very possible for it to cause a BSOD. If reinstalling the drivers doesn't help then reinstalling the antivirus will be my next attempt.
Jan6-13, 02:16 PM
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 7,292
Can you get into Safe Mode and then do a System Restore to before when you trashed it? (Start menu - All programs - Accessories - System Tools)

That shouldn't delete any "user" files, but make a backup of anything important first just n case!
Jan6-13, 02:31 PM
P: 737
Haha, if only there were any backups to restore. :)
Jan6-13, 06:38 PM
Sci Advisor
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P: 7,292
Quote Quote by TylerH View Post
Haha, if only there were any backups to restore. :)
Windows System Restore should be on all the time by default. I didn't even know you could turn it off. Any time the Windows configuration changes, it automatically creates a "restore point". The attachment is from my XP system.

If you can get into safe mode, you can make a backup of all your dad's data files onto a USB memory stick or something. I would do that anyway, in case the problem gets worse!
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Jan7-13, 10:49 AM
P: 293
If your system is working correctly in safemode but not working correctly in normal mode, then the issue is some 3rd party software that is running on your system.
I would start with disabling all non-microsoft services and any startup applications you have.

Reboot the system into Safemode, then do the following.
Create a restore point.
Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore
Then create a restore point.

Start> Run> msconfig
This will open up the system configuration utility
Under the general tab, select "Selective Startup"
Remove the check mark from "Load Startup items"
Click on the services tab
Place a check mark next to "Hide all Microsoft services" <-- Very Important
Then click "Disable all"

This will instruct your system to disable most everything that is not required for the system to boot and run correctly.

Click OK and restart your system. Let it boot to normal mode then test to see if the system works correctly or not.

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