Even the best of us mess up and today I made a epic blunder on a customers computer. I did manage to fix the issue so I will document it quickly so that if any one else makes the same mistake they may not have to go through what I did to get it fixed. So I had a badly infected laptop with a host of programs which wouldn’t uninstall. Some of the classic registry-tune and health-optimize programs were installed and I had to remove them. To be perfectly honest I was working on many things at once and so in my distraction I saw a folder/program called PC Health. Sounds like another one of those annoying virus ridden fix up programs so I proceeded to force delete it along with all traces from the registry.
I get all that stuff finished and then I go to the run box and type in “msconfig” in order to do little start up optimization on the customers computer. Expecting the traditional dialog box which comes up when you run msconfig , you can imagine my shock when I got this:
Now granted I am more of a Linux guy however I am pretty good with Windows computers and have never gotten this message from msconfig before. So I do a little research and it turns out that PC health is actually a Windows folders which contains tools such as…… right! msconfig. So I think to myself I will just copy one over from another machine. Well with out going into a lot of detail, that method did not work.
So what did work?
Well turns out its not to hard to fix however you will need a XP install cd of the same version for example a xp pro disc will not do it on a home install and vice versa. SO in my case I had a XP Home service pack 3 install so that is the disc I used to fix it.
First thing to do in open up the run box and type in: %systemroot%\inf
That command will open up the inf folder as the top level user. Next we want to locate the pchealth.inf file. Once we find the file we want to right click on it and choose install.
Once we choose install a new dialog box will come up. What it is asking for is the path to our i386 folder which is where the files we need are located. Now of course you drive letter may varry or your install method but in this situation I used a .iso of windows XP and pointed the dialog box at the i386 folder at the root of the drive which in this case was E:\
Once we do that the files will install and msconfig and whatever other tools which reside in the pchealth folder will work again.