John’s Recon

February 10, 2009

How I turned a boat anchor into a shiny PC in simple English

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Prichard @ 5:00 pm

Reformat and Reinstall they all said — from Sony phone and Sony store — no one cares about the 3 weeks of work configuring Vista into submission — as far as they are concerned a computer is a play thing to be reformatted and reinstalled at a moment’s notice.

Here is how I changed my boat anchor back into a shiny PC in 20 short simple steps. Fortunately my particular situation that caused the Reduced Functionality Mode and the blacK Screen Of Death (designed for software pirates) was a corrupted directory for event logs. Somehow this targeted me as a brigand and a scoundrel and the internal Vista policeman crippled my computer to teach me a lesson I will not forget soon.

No one knows which triggers may be causing the issue. A couple are described here with their appropriate fixes. I have been looking for several days to try out the first issue but it turns out that mine was caused by the second issue which is a whole lot easier to fix.

Once you boot to a black screen with a white cursor and nothing works. Press the shift key 5 times and the disability dialog comes up. Click the link in the dialog and the system is forced to open an explorer window to respond to you. Now type in the link window “msconfig” so that you can run a real tool.

In msconfig, uncheck both the Windows Event Log and Windows Event Collector so that the system won’t load them. Save and reboot. If the system comes up you are halfway there but you can do the Balki Bartokomous Dance of Joy if you want to at this step. I did it and I’m a little old and a little rusty and don’t have my son with me. (my grandson is a little to small to catch me).

After you catch your breath and the glow of success has started to wear off it is time to put the event log back. In C:\windows\system32\winevt, Rename the old directory of logs to BadBadBadVistaLogs and create another logs directory for the system to use. You can do this since the directory isn’t in use because the service wasn’t loaded this time. Now go to services and set the event log back to automatic and the event collector to manual.

It is advisable to set a restore point since there may be a next time.

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