My problem started two days ago when I notice my computer booting shower than normal and always being updated when shutting down. I discovered “software distribution services 3.0” on my computer. I found that this is one of those Microsoft files which appears to cause problems with the operating system.
Much of what I read advised to remove the SDS 3.0. Easier said than done.
I checked restore system and found SDS 3.0 loaded on every date and I was unable to restore to a time and date prior to SDS 3.0. One blog advised to boot in safe mode with Internet enabled and download a Microsoft utility tool to remove the SDS.
Now my real problems began. I was unable to boot in safe mode and was no longer able to boot period. I received a black screen message stating “missing or corrupt /WINDOWS/SYSTEM32/CONFIG/SYSTEM” and recommended booting up using F12 and selecting "R". That didn’t work giving the same black screen message. I then tried to boot from the Original XP disk. The computer stated no CD drive could be found.
A check with Microsoft revealed a method to recover from a registry crash but only if I’m not using an OEM installation. I have a Dell Latitude D830 with OEM XP Pro.
Next I purchased an external docking station for my hard drive and manually recovered as many documents as possible. That took two days.
This morning I replaced the hard drive in my computer and it booted up flawlessly. I’ve spent the past 4 hours backing up everything of value on my computer and cleaning up. I’m back to where I started and still have SDS 3.0. I disabled automatic updates but unsure if SDS will turn them back on.
I’ve run a DDS and I’ll send if needed. At this point I’m afraid to try any further attempts to remove the SDS. As a last resort I can re-install the operating system but would rather remove SDS.
Thanks for your time and any suggestions you may have. Please consider that my technical skills are just above rock, stick, etc.