How can I restore my operating system after messing things up?

Kat August 21, 2011

I recently downloaded items that should be “no big deal” and uninstalled them as well. I might have removed folders or files that have affected the rest of my operating systems and my restore is not allowing me to go back far enough to fix the problem. To make things worse, icons are showing up as “tool pictures” and notepad is showing up on start up.

I’m lost in a mess of “OMG” WTF did I do and how can I go back to normal???

    August 21, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Hello, can you explain a little bit more about "no big deal" downloads?  First thing I would do would be to run the sfc command.  In order for you to run this command you need to have the installation disk for your operating system or the i386 folder installed on your harddrive.  The system file checker command compares the protected files on your computer with the original files from from your installation disk.  If there are some files missing or corrupted, it will copy the files from the disk to your operating system.  To use the sfc command do the following:

    -- insert your installation disk on your drive
    -- click on start (if running vista/windows 7, just type command prompt on search bar)
    -- run
    -- type cmd
    -- once command prompt opens, type the following:

    sfc /scannow

    -- press enter
    -- let the command run until it finishes

    Once that is done, make sure to update and run full scans with your antivirus/antimalware....

    • Aibek
      August 22, 2011 at 8:21 am

      i second the suggestion offered by FIDELIS. that should fix it.

  2. Anonymous
    August 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Can you BBot to safe mode and try Windows restore point, are icons clickable in safemode?

    Use a boot cd to Load registry hive for offline registry editing

    Download and Burn into Cd Ultimate Boot Cd
    You can try the regreswiz under registry tools, it will only copy the registry from a Restore point so basically you will restore registry and file associations.

  3. Mulder
    August 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    If you're using Windows, you have two options:

    1. Save yourself and the rest of humanity — just get a Mac.
    2. If you're running Windows XP on certain Dell systems, it has a restore feature that you can use to go back to a previous state before your problems began:

    If you're running and HP system, various models have a similar feature, which you can also use to make your own recovery disks:

    Otherwise, if your system doesn't have either feature, you'll have to reinstall Windows from scratch, after backing up any critical files you need. And if you don't have the original Windows install disc(s), then you'll have to try to get them from the manufacturer of your PC.

    • Guest
      August 21, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      Mac lover i see.....what are you doing answering windows questions then

    • Guest
      August 21, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      Mac lover i see.....what are you doing answering windows questions then

    • Jacki
      August 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

      So the only 2 PCs out there are Dell & HP? Save humanity by getting a mac? Something that if ONE part breaks you have to replace the WHOLE system? can you say landfill?

      To the OP, simple if you have done a backup, you can go to the last one that worked. Same as a system restore. You should ALWAYS do a backup or system restore point before installing ANYTHING...just in case.
      Safe mode - system restore. If that does not work. Backup point. Failing that try everything FIDELIS has said as well.

      • Mulder
        August 24, 2011 at 3:26 am

        You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Claiming that if one part is defective on a Mac that you would need to replace the entire system and thus send it to the landfill is absurd on it's face.

        It truly shoes the depths of delusion that Windows users suffer from.

        Perhaps you should go back to school for remedial education before you spout off on something you know nothing about.

        • Tina
          August 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm

          You had the option to simply correct a wrong statement in a calm manner. Instead you generalized and turned your comment into a personal attack. At least that's how I perceived it.

          With your comments you actively contribute to shaping our perception of Mac users.

  4. Tina
    August 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm


    can you please provide more details?

    What did you install and uninstall? And what is your operating system?

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