Repair Screen Saver File Association (Context Menu / Right-Click)

Windows XP Screen Saver does not launch (open) as expected when double-clicking a Screen Saver file. A configuration (settings) windows for the screen saver is displayed instead of the Screen Saver preview. The default verb for the context menu of the Screen Saver was changed to ‘Configure’ which will display the Screen Saver configuration window.

Screen Saver File Association set to Configure
Screen Saver File Association set to Test (Default)

NOTE

Ensure your computer is malware free before applying the following solutions.

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows XP Registry, please backup your Windows XP Registry using the direction from "Using ERUNT to back up the Windows XP Registry".

Manual Steps Using Windows XP Registry

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Navigate to:

    HKCR\scrfile\shell

  5. Right-click (default) to select Delete.
  6. Quit the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

    NOTE

    If the above steps did not solve your problem then use the Automated Fix Using an Registration File method below.

Manual Steps Using REG ADD

  1. Open a Command Window.
  2. Type:

    REG ADD "HKCR\scrfile\shell /ve

  3. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard.

    NOTE

    If the above steps did not solve your problem then use the Automated Fix Using an Registration File method below.

Automated Fix Using an Registration File

  1. Download ScrnSvr.Assctn.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click ScrnSvr.Assctn.reg to select Merge.
  3. Now the registration entries are added for you.

NOTES

The ScrnSvr.Assctn.reg file is from my web server (http://lprf.homeserver.com).  You also can view the contents of the ScrnSvr.Assctn.reg file by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions
Related Articles

Version 1.1
Edited: May 13, 2012

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"Access Denied" When Installing Service Pack 3 for Windows XP

When installing Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, the installation may stop and a "Access Denied" message may be displayed. The installation of Service Pack 3 is aborted.

I find this is one of the most common problems when installing a Service Pack for Windows XP. The solution is pretty simple and applies for Service Pack 1, 2 and 3 for Windows XP. Microsoft has a KB article about this problem (‘You receive an error message when you try to install Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1: "Access is denied"‘) but their solution can be very tedious and stressful. Microsoft has another KB article for Service Pack 3 that deals with this problem (‘Error message when you try to install Windows XP Service Pack 3: "Access is denied" or “Service Pack installation did not complete”‘). The solution I am providing should only take an half hour or little bit longer and it is much simpler.

Restore File, Folder and Registry Permissions Using "SubInAcl"

Windows XP Home users should use "SubInAcl" to restore permissions since Windows XP Home does include "secedit.exe". Windows XP Professional users can use "SubInAcl" or "secedit.exe" to solve the "Access Denied" message when installing Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.

  1. Download and install SubInAcl from Microsoft Download Center.
  2. Click Start to launch Notepad (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad).
  3. Copy and Paste the following contents in Notepad:

    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f

    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=system=f

  4. Save the Notepad file at C:\Program Files\Windows ResourceKits\Tools folder and name the file as restore.ACL.cmd.
  5. Click Start and then Run.
  6. Type cmd.exe to open a Command Prompt window.
  7. Type cd\.
  8. Type cd C:\Program Files\Windows ResourceKits\Tools.
  9. Type restore.ACL.cmd to start the process of restoring the permissions for the SYSTEM account and the Administrators group.

    NOTE

    This process may take 10 minutes or more, so please be patient.

  10. When the process has completed then reboot your computer and try to install Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.

Restore Default Permissions for Windows XP Professional

Windows XP Professional users can restore the permissions back to default using "secedit.exe" but Windows XP Home users cannot use "secedit.exe" because the executable file is not present on Windows XP Home systems. Windows XP Home users can use the "SubInAcl" method mentioned above.

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type cmd.exe to open a Command Prompt window.
  3. Type the following to restore the permissions back to default for Windows XP Professional.

    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose

    NOTE

    This process may take 10 minutes or more, so please be patient.

  4. When the process has completed then reboot your computer and try to install Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions, 32-bit 
Related Articles

Version 1.2
Edited: May 14, 2012

Security Center and Automatic Update Notification Icons Not Appearing

Today, I was removing malware and spyware bits from a Windows XP Professional machine. When the infected machine was cleaned, I checked the machine for updates using our in-house WSUS server. I noticed two things which were the Automatic Update notification icon was not appearing and the Security Center notification icon was not functioning at all…no notification icons appearing in the Notification Tray.

The Windows XP Automatic Update notification icon appears when updates are ready to be downloaded and / or updates are ready to be installed. The Windows XP Security Center notification icon appears when the firewall is disabled. no antivirus product is installed or definitions out of date, or Automatic Updates are set to Off.

Automatic Update and Security Center Notification Icons

I checked if the Security Center service was running using the following commands:

sc query wscsvc

sc qc wscsvc

The Security Center service was started and the startup type was set to Automatic. I also checked if the Security Center Alert Settings were disabled. The Security Center Alert Settings were not disabled, refer to Image below.

Security Center Alert Settings

I started to think the WMI repository were somehow not consistent or corrupted, so I rebuilt the WMI repository using this blog article "Security Center not Accurately Reporting Anti-Virus / Firewall Status for Windows XP" and the notification icons still were not appearing.

I checked if the Customize Notification icons were set to Always Hide for the Automatic Update and Security Center notification icons. The notification icons were not in the Customize Notification icons list, refer to image below.

Customize Notifications

In was a little bit puzzled after I check for any Group Policies that may have been enabled by the malware and spyware to enforce some machine or personal settings and I could not detect any issues with Group Policy settings.

I open the "WindowsUpdate.log" and found some interesting clues which were:

2008-03-25 12:29:55:578 848 634 Service WARNING: GetUserTokenFromSessionId failed with error 800704dd for session 0
2008-03-25 12:29:55:578 848 634 AU WARNING: AU found no suitable session to launch client in

I did some searching and found this knowledge base article, "Error messages that you may receive when you try to download and install updates from the Windows Update Web site, from the Microsoft Update Web site, or from a WSUS server: "0x800704DD," "0x80240020," or both". I check the registry and found the following subkey missing:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify\SensLogn

I re-created the missing registry subkey and its entries. Rebooted the computer and the Security Center and Automatic Update notification icons appeared.

NOTE

To enlarge the images, simply click on the images you would like to view. With Internet Explorer 7, you can right-click on the image to select Open in New Tab.

Manual Steps to Repair / Re-created the ‘SensLogn’ Registry Subkey for Windows XP

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Navigate to:HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify
  5. Right-click Notify to select New > Key.
  6. Name the new key SensLogn.
  7. Right-click SensLogn to select New > DWORD Value.
  8. Name the new DWORD Asynchronous.
  9. Double click Asynchronous to assign a value data of 1.
  10. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  11. Name the new String Disconnect.
  12. Double click Disconnect to assign a value data of SensDisconnectEvent.
  13. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  14. Name the new String DLLName.
  15. Double click DLLName to assign a value data of WlNotify.dll.
  16. Right-click SensLogn to select New > DWORD Value.
  17. Name the new DWORD Impersonate.
  18. Double click Impersonate to assign a value data of 1.
  19. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  20. Name the new String Lock.
  21. Double click Lock to assign a value data of SensLockEvent.
  22. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  23. Name the new String Logoff.
  24. Double click Logoff to assign a value data of SensLogoffEvent.
  25. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  26. Name the new String Logon.
  27. Double click Logon to assign a value data of SensLogonEvent.
  28. Right-click SensLogn to select New > DWORD Value.
  29. Name the new DWORD MaxWait.
  30. Double click MaxWait to assign a value data of 1.
  31. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  32. Name the new String PostShell.
  33. Double click PostShell to assign a value data of SensPostShellEvent.
  34. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  35. Name the new String Reconnect.
  36. Double click Reconnect to assign a value data of SensReconnectEvent.
  37. Right-click SensLogn to select New > DWORD Value.
  38. Name the new DWORD Safe.
  39. Double click Safe to assign a value data of 1.
  40. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  41. Name the new String Shutdown.
  42. Double click Shutdown to assign a value data of SensShutdownEvent.
  43. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  44. Name the new String StartScreenSaver.
  45. Double click StartScreenSaver to assign a value data of SensStartScreenSaverEvent.
  46. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  47. Name the new String StartShell.
  48. Double click StartShell to assign a value data of SensStartShellEvent.
  49. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  50. Name the new String Startup.
  51. Double click Startup to assign a value data of SensStartupEvent.
  52. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  53. Name the new String StopScreenSaver.
  54. Double click StopScreenSaver to assign a value data of SensStopScreenSaverEvent.
  55. Right-click SensLogn to select New > String Value.
  56. Name the new String Unlock.
  57. Double click Unlock to assign a value data of SensUnlockEvent.
  58. Exit the Windows XP Registry Editor.
  59. Reboot Windows XP.

Automated Fix to Repair / Re-created the ‘SensLogn’ Registry Subkey for Windows XP

  1. Download to senslogn.reg a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click sendlogn.reg to select Merge.
  3. Now the registration entries are added for you.
  4. Reboot Windows XP.

    NOTES

    The sendlogn.reg file is from my web server (http://lprf.homeserver.com). You also can view the contents of the sendlogn.reg file by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit. You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2
Related Articles

Version 1.2
Edited: May 11, 2012

Security Center not Accurately Reporting Anti-Virus / Firewall Status for Windows XP

Windows XP Security Center may be reporting inaccurately when you uninstall an anti-virus and / or firewall application. Windows XP Security Center may still identify the security applications are still monitoring your system when the applications have been uninstalled. Windows XP Security Center may be reporting the uninstalled application is still monitoring your system even if you have installed a different ant-virus and / or firewall applications. Administrative privileges are required to perform the solution.

Manual Steps

  1. Click the START button to open the Start Menu.
  2. Click Run… to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type:

    services.msc

  4. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  5. Locate and double-click Windows Management Instrumentation.
  6. Click Stop to stop the service.
  7. Navigate to:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbem\Repository

  8. Delete all contents in the Repository folder.
  9. Reboot the computer.

Manual Steps Using Command Line

  1. Click the START button to open the Start Menu.
  2. Click Run… to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type:

    cmd.exe

  4. Press ENTER on your keyboard.

    NOTE

    A Command Prompt Window should now be open.

  5. Type the following in the Command Window:

    net stop "Windows Management Instrumentation"

  6. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  7. Type the following in the Command Window:

    rd %systemroot%\system32\wbem\Repository\ /S /Q

  8. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  9. Type the following in the Command Window:

    mkdir %systemroot%\system32\wbem\Repository\

  10. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  11. Reboot the computer.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions

Version 1.1
Edited: May 11, 2012

Repairing Search for Windows XP

Repairing Windows XP Search is quite simple. You may need your Windows XP Installation CD for the following procedure. Administrative privileges are required to perform the solution.

Manual Steps Using INF File

  1. Click the START button to open the Start Menu.
  2. Click Run… to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type:

    %windir%\inf

  4. Press ENTER on your keyboard.

    NOTE

    Windows Explorer should open at %windir%\inf. Typically, the located is C:\Windows\INF.

  5. Locate and select srchasst.inf..
  6. Right-click srchasst.inf to select Install.
  7. If prompted for your Windows XP CD then insert the Windows XP CD into your CD / DVD Drive.
  8. Reboot the computer if prompted to do so.

Manual Steps Using Command Line

  1. Click the START button to open the Start Menu.
  2. Click Run… to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type:

    cmd.exe

  4. Press ENTER on your keyboard.

    NOTE

    A Command Prompt Window should now be open.

  5. Type:

    rundll32 syssetup,SetupInfObjectInstallAction DefaultInstall 128 .\srchasst.inf
     

  6. If prompted for your Windows XP CD then insert the Windows XP CD into your CD / DVD Drive.
  7. Reboot the computer if prompted to do so.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions
Related Articles

Version 1.2
Edited: May 11, 2012

Repairing Scheduled Tasks Manager for Windows XP

Repairing Windows XP Scheduled Tasks Manager is quite simple. You may need your Windows XP Installation CD for the following procedure. Administrative privileges are required to perform the solution.

Manual Steps Using INF File

  1. Click the START button to open the Start Menu.
  2. Click Run… to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type:

    %windir%\inf

  4. Press ENTER on your keyboard.

    NOTE

    Windows Explorer should open at %windir%\inf. Typically, the located is C:\Windows\INF.

  5. Locate and select mstask.inf.
  6. Right-click mstask.inf to select Install.
  7. If prompted for your Windows XP CD then insert the Windows XP CD into your CD / DVD Drive.
  8. Reboot the computer if prompted to do so.

Manual Steps Using Command Line

  1. Click the START button to open the Start Menu.
  2. Click Run… to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type:

    cmd.exe

  4. Press ENTER on your keyboard.

    NOTE

    A Command Prompt Window should now be open.

  5. Type:

    rundll32 syssetup,SetupInfObjectInstallAction DefaultInstall 128 .\mstask.inf
     

  6. If prompted for your Windows XP CD then insert the Windows XP CD into your CD / DVD Drive.
  7. Reboot the computer if prompted to do so.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions
Related Articles

Version 1.2
Edited: May 11, 2012

Search is Missing (Restricted) – Start Menu

Windows XP Search link is missing from the Start Menu and is also missing when you try to customize the Start Menu using the Taskbar and Start Menu applet in the Control Panel. The most likely cause of this is malware utilizing Group Policy Objects which enforces policies for system settings and/or user accounts settings. The Group Policy for Remove Search menu from Start Menu will cause the Search link to be restricted/disabled (removed) from Start Menu when enabled.

Group Policies are typically applied at businesses to control access to programs, system properties, and user account settings. For Home users, Search link can be removed from the Start Menu by these Group Policies but usually malware is the culprit. If you are a home user and the Search link is missing from the Start Menu and looks like the pictures below then there is a good chance you are infected with malware.

Search Missing – Start Menu
Search – Start Menu
Search Option Missing – Taskbar and Start Menu Properties
Search Option – Taskbar and Start Menu Properties

NOTE

Ensure your computer is malware free before applying the following solutions.

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows XP Registry, please backup your Windows XP Registry using the direction from "Using ERUNT to back up the Windows XP Registry".

Manual Steps Using Group Policy Editor

NOTE

The Group Policy Editor requires Administrative privileges and is only available for Windows XP Professional Edition. Windows XP Home users can use the Windows XP Registry method to remove the Group Policy restriction.

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. In the Group Policy Editor navigate to:

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar

  5. Double-click Remove Search menu from Start Menu.
  6. Select Not Configured.

NOTE

If the Search link is restricted/disabled (missing) from the Start Menu on a per User account basis then the above method will not work, you will need to use the Registry Editor to remove the Group Policy.

Manual Steps Using Windows XP Registry

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Navigate to:

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

  5. Right-click NoFind to select Modify.
  6. Change the value to 0.
  7. Navigate to:

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

  8. Right-click NoFind to select Modify.
  9. Change the value to 0.
  10. Quit the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Manual Steps Using REG ADD

  1. Open a Command Window.
  2. Type:

    REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer" /v NoFind
    /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Type:

    REG ADD "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer" /v NoFind
    /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  5. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  6. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard.

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Automated Fix Using an Registration File

  1. Download SearchStrtMnu.Allow.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click SearchStrtMnu.Allow.reg to select Merge.
  3. Now the registration entries are added for you.

NOTES

The SearchStrtMnu.Allow.reg file is from my web server (http://lprf.homeserver.com). You also can view the contents of the SearchStrtMnu.Allow.reg file by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit. You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions
Related Articles

Version 1.1
Edited: May 11, 2012