Dell / Windows XP Media Center problems

A friend of mine lent me a Dell XP gaming machine. She has 4 of them for her kids that went off to college and I needed another development environment.

After removing a bunch of spyware, I made the mistake of upgrading to Service Pack 3. I wound up in reboot hell. It would only let me into Safe Mode.

Although obviously I could reinstall the OS, I want to save the settings and not lose any data.

After trying everything I could think of, I opened a command console and tried “start msconfig”. I restored it to a restore point. It said this was reversible.

Unfortunately, now it will load into any configuration I want. Diagnostics shows that the mouse and keyboard work fine. But as soon as I load windows, both fail. So I can’t login.

It is a USB mouse and keyboard. There are no other ports to hook a serial keyboard into.

The machine is a Dell DXP051. Bios version is A02 (10/28/05).

If anyone has thoughts on what to do next, I’d love to hear it. Thank you.

Update: I can’t even reinstall. It won’t recognize the keyboard even when booting from CD Rom.

Update 2: If you are having this problem, try this, seriously…change the keyboard to a different USB port. It worked for me! Everything’s fixed!

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