I Just Hosed My Computer: A Question About DOS

My other computer started acting up the other day. Programs like IE, MSN, Easy CD Creator and System Restore would not work but would instead sit there and then give me the “This program had to close” error message. So I tried to reinstall Windows with my XP cd but it told me I couldn’t because my version of XP was updated (Service Pack 2). I tried uninstalling Service Pack 2 in the Add/Remove window but it said the file could not be found. I then tried to install XP by booting it up when the computer started. It started to do it, but stopped abruptly and said that the signature in a file in System 32 could not be verifyed and that sp1.cab and sp2.cab could not be removed. Now my computer restarts. Now it goes back to the Windows Setup screen and quits and gives me the same error message before about not being able to verify the signature and the cab file issue. My computer restarts. For some reason this cycle cannot be broken, it just keeps trying to install Windows again.

I can get to the DOS screen (or at least that’s what I think it’s called, the one that is all black with white writing) but i don’t know the command to type in to load XP (if it’s still there). Any one know how I can get back to my desktop? Any suggestions what to do from there?

P.S. I scanned with several programs but couldn’t find any viruses. It started acting up right after I had downloaded a small update from Windows (but not Service Pack 2).

From my understanding, Windows XP does not use/have DOS. It has a DOS emulator under the Start Menu.

As far as you problem, sounds like you should format the hard drive and do a fresh install. But before that, what kind of computer is it? Have you contacted their tech support (if available)? Did you save any importaint information before trying the re-install? Are you using a receovery disk or an original XP CD? Does your PC have a recovery partition?

Disclaimer: This information is neither garunteed correct nor warrantied. Use at your own risk.


It sounds like a problem with your hard drive. As the other person replied, you can try reformatting and installing XP from scratch, however, in my opinion, this kind of error usually signifies a problem w/the disk itself and if you just reformat and reinstall, it could come back again.

Also by reformatting and reinstalling you lose all your data, as in EVERYTHING.

My suggestion is to buy a new hard drive, install it as the primary and your original hard drive as the slave.

Install XP fresh, onto this new hard drive plus whatever other software you want to install. After installation of XP you should be able to see two hard drives under Windows Explorer and therefore you can retrieve all your old data.

Hard drives are cheap these days.

You don’t need a second HD - you can install XP in parallel with itself if you choose a different directory (ie - c:\WinXP as opposed to c:\Windows). This would allow you to access your data, but repairing the original installation at this point would be unlikely. (Though I don’t see a way of repairing it at this point period). I recommend saving important stuff and re-installing the OS.

Thanks for the help guys. I took your advice pace and transferred all my old files to my other computer from the hard drive. I cant believe I hadnt thought of that before. Then I formatted the old one and reinstalled. Everything seems to be working fine now. Thanks again.