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

Help, I installed Windows Vista then installed Windows XP. Where is the Boot Manager?

"Where is the dual boot screen? I have just installed Windows XP in a second partition or second hard drive. In the first partition or first hard drive I have Windows Vista installed."

I have heard and read the above question a few times so I thought I would share a few things with you. When Windows Vista was installed then the Windows Boot Manager was also installed to tell your computer where or which volume (partition) Windows Vista is installed on. The installation of Windows Vista also writes to the MBR to tell the boot sector what type of a Boot Manager is installed and where to find the Boot Manager. If you have only one operating system installed then typically you will not see the Windows Boot Manger when you start your computer.

Now you install Windows XP as a second operating systems on a different volume (partition) than Windows Vista. Windows XP will write its own Boot Manager and will overwrite the MBR. When Windows XP overwrote the MBR then the MBR is not referencing to the Windows Vista Boot Manager but the Windows XP Boot Manager. The Windows XP Boot Manager does not know about or cannot boot Windows Vista therefore Windows XP thinks it is the only operating system on your computer. And this is why your computer offers no Boot Manager screen to select the operating system and simply boots into Windows XP.

Don’t worry, Windows Vista is still on your computer. All we need to do is a few simple steps as outline below to use the Windows Vista Boot Manager and have Windows XP listed as one of the operating system choices.

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.

What I Used

  • Windows Vista DVD (Retail)

How to Replace Windows XP Boot Manager with Windows Vista Boot Manager

  1. Insert your Windows Vista DVD.
  2. Restart or start your computer.
  3. Boot from the Windows Vista DVD.

    NOTE

    You may have to change the boot priority in the BIOS of your computer. Please refer to your computer manual for instructions.

     

  4. Press any key on your keyboard when you see Press any key to boot from CD or DVD…. Refer to image below.

     

  5. Select your Regional settings then click Next. Refer to image below.

     

  6. On the Install Now screen, click Repair your computer to access the System Recovery Options from the Windows Vista DVD. Refer to image below.

     

  7. Select the Windows Vista operating system located on drive C. Click Next to continue to the Windows Vista System Recovery Options on the Windows Vista DVD. Refer to image below.

    NOTE

    You may need to load drivers for your hard disk if the OS is not detected and presented in the list of operating systems.

     

  8. Click Startup Repair in the System Recovery Options window. Refer to image below.

     

  9. When the repair process is finished then click Finish
     

    NOTE

    The computer should now boot into Windows Vista. The Windows Vista Boot Manager will not offer Windows XP as an option yet.

     

  10. Continue with the next section if you would like to have Windows XP listed on Windows Vista Boot Manager when starting your computer.

How to Add Windows XP to Windows Vista Boot Manager

NOTE

The following method assumes Windows Vista is installed on drive C and Windows XP is installed on drive D.

  1. Open an elevated Command Window, refer to my blog post "Opening an Elevated Command Prompt" for instructions.
  2. Type:

    bcdedit /create {legacy} /d “Windows XP”

    bcdedit /set {legacy} path \ntldr

    bcdedit /set {legacy} device partition=c:

    NOTE: if the Boot.ini file and ntldr file are located on drive d then use "bcdedit /set {legacy} device partition=d:"

    bcdedit /displayorder {legacy} /addlast

    bcdedit /timeout 30

  3. Restart your computer. Now you should have the ability to select Windows XP or Windows Vista to boot from the Windows Boot Manager.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows Vista x86 Versions
Related Articles

Version 1.2
Edited: May 12, 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