May 27, 2008

Userinit Windows Logon XP Error - How to Fix

How to fix userinit windows errorInternet Browsing - Take Extra Care or Beware

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Recently a friend of mine, who loaned his laptop out, had discovered later that he could not easily logon due to a userinit.exe error (similar XP error at this forum). He had to use the task manager and create a new task to enter his programs, some which would not open due to the constant application errors. We cleaned out a stack of malware and spyware with the pre-installed Ad-Aware (which was not updated) and cleaned the registry (or supposedly) with various registry cleaners. However errors still remained, such as absent desktop icons, and systems applications not opening.

We believe (and from others on online forums) that the damage had been done. Basically a corrupt registry from spyware intrusion, in particular relating to the user log on registry parameters:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

We edited these values in the right pane:
Shell and Userinit to
Shell=explorer.exe and Userinit = x:\windows\system32\userinit.exe

We applied the above changes, which removed the login/logon error but resulted in a instant log off - i.e. another error. This suggested either corrupted files (e.g. userinit file) in the windows/system32 folder and their associated or other registry data. We could not find the hidden recovery partition on the drive, and could not restore (i.e. system roll back), even from safe mode. We tried a XP disc for a recovery (i.e. install windows over itself, as we did not want a format and new install because his personal files were not backed up). The recovery restored most applications back - except the sound and video drivers.

However he found the user manual which described how to start up the hidden recovery program, - it was a simple press the F11 key a few times after start up. I think you can also create a recovery disc. We opted for the partial recovery, so as to retain his personal files, and everything was back in order, with a few personal folders created and shifted within windows explorer. If only we had known to do this earlier. But good experience and reminded me of a few things to help prevent the userinit logon error (for XP).

- Back up (visit my post on back up with syncback and drive image xml) personal files, photos, etc perhaps on a USB drive or CD/DVD discs.
- Update spyware, anti-virus, firewall programs and manually run them occasionally.
- Regularly clean out your computer’s excess files, surplus registry entries with something like the free ccleaner and a standalone registry cleaner like Eusings cleaner. Create a restore point before cleaning the registry, or when you are about to install software programs.
- Perhaps inform and educate safe computer internet browsing to other users of your computer.
- Maybe bookmark and print off tutorial trouble shooting sites such as techrepublic (when windows won't boot) or icrontic (repairing windows in eight commands)
- Visit and ask at computer forums for help, and the Microsoft help and support site.
- Importantly get to understand how your hidden recovery program works and how to start it. Also learn how to use your XP disc for booting from for windows trouble shooting (e.g. boot issues, recovery, full install, etc).

Perhaps it's a good idea to learn how to trouble shoot problems that occur with a computer (visit my post on hard drive clean up) and windows systems beforehand, rather than possibly spending a lot of time finding and applying various solutions in frustration. Also perform regular computer system maintenance with well known trustworthy programs (visit snapfiles freeware for the popular downloads) so as to keep or your computer running efficiently while reducing the risk of issues occurring. If you have any ideas or programs that can help running a computer system efficiently, particularly for a userinit windows logon XP error,then perhaps let me know in the comments section...

Links to userinit.exe issues
kellys - korner XP (Registry fixes - Line 263 R/H side)
Microsoft Support (Log on/off issues)

pcsourcepoint - Freeware, Internet News and NZ links

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Jeramel Mingueto said...

How to fix this problem "User Log In Registry Corruption Error - Get to know your hidden recovery program". I restarted the PC but the same message will pop up again. I think some of the files of my Windows has been deleted Am I Right? I need to know the solutions of this problem.

Jeramel Mingueto

Profile - pcsourcepoint said...

Either the files are deleted or corrupted. Try your recovery program or a windows repair using the disc. There are other fixes, like comprhensive editing of the registry (I saw a example at Microsoft Support), or a scan to check the O/S;

Click START, RUN, type in
sfc /purgecache

This ensures that system files are copied from your Windows installation media, and files which may be infected with malware or corrupted are not copied from your drive.

Then click start - run, then
sfc /purgecache

This ensures that system files are copied from your Windows disc, and files which may be infected with spyware or corrupted are not transferred from the drive.

Then type in sfc /scannow

- may require your O/S disc...

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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