How does one fix and replace damaged drivers in WinXP?

Ronald Epstein

Jul 3, 1997
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Here's the problem....

I downloaded an official WindowsXP patch from
Microsoft over a week ago. I may have picked
the wrong patch to install, as since the patch,
I ocassionally get a little Yellow
Warning Icon w/Exlamation Point
in my task
tray. It must be an icon warning me of low
memory, because the computer tends to freeze up
for moments (then resume) and sometimes just dump

I also get a notice on my screen that critical
XP files have been replaced with corrupt ones and
will cause instability in system operations
The notice prompts me to put my WindowsXP disc in
my drive to replace the BAD files with GOOD ones.

Inserting the WindowsXP disc upon this prompt
does nothing.

I have two choices here....

1. Completely reformat my drive and start a
fresh install.


2. Somehow replace the damaged files that are
causing my system to become unstable.

How do I attempt Step #2?

I tried booting up with my WindowsXP disc, but
there is no FIX option anywhere to be found. I
can either do a system recovery (which doesn't
sound like what I need to do) or a completely
new install with format.

Anyone know how I can simply reinstall the damaged
files (I have no idea which ones) while retaining
my current WindowsXP configuration?

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Jason Merrick

Supporting Actor
Mar 2, 2000
Simi Valley, CA (Los Angeles)
Real Name
Jason Merrick

You should try using System Restore to put everything back the way it was before the problem started. Hopefully you have a recent restore point to use. See this page for more information. That page may, or may not, work for you since it seems to be about setting a restore point. However, once you get into the system restore box, you should be able to figure it out yourself.

I am at work on a Win98 computer, so I don't have the ability to check out the exact walkthrough myself... sorry!


Supporting Actor
May 8, 2003
Unless you can figure out what the files are, system restore would be the way to go.

Jeff R.

Stunt Coordinator
May 31, 1999
If you know which patch might have caused the problem, you can try uninstalling it from the add/remove programs. All the Windows patches are listed at the bottom of the programs list. If it isn't listed or won't uninstall, then I agree with using the system restore feature.


Second Unit
Jun 7, 2003
I'm no expert, and have little or no experience with XP, but if I may.....I'm not sold on the exclamation point idea. I would remove my connection to the internet and start by shutting down all non-essential programs to see if it goes away. Dig down to see if something has put itself into your startup at boot.

I've never gotten an upgrade or patch from MS that was anything other than one THEY told me I ought to have. I'd rule out getting an incorrect one. Corrupt maybe, botched install? Hmmm. Wrong one? Nah.
I've rarely seen a patch that can be removed once installed....and I've never seen one show it's face in my add/remove program list. Prior to you executing the download of any upgrade and/or patch they always suggest you read the info. page. It will say whether or not is can be uninstalled later. Maybe this is an XP thing.
How about going back to the MS upgrade page and try running it again? You posted at the top that it might be a driver that is acting up. Drivers are easy to get out there, but this doesn't sound like a driver issue.
How 'bout a scan of your drive? It might just do the trick. How about a defrag too?

I am real fussy when it comes to keeping my own system tight. I subscribe to an on-line service that lets me scan my PC for crap on my drive that need not be there. It's cost is a bargain if it saves me from an reload of my O/S.
I also run any number of other programs for detecting spyware, dumping hidden cache, washing E-mail, killing pop-ups, cleaning the registry, etc.
I never experience the kinds of "things" that have all sorts of folks re-formatting their drives about as often as I might change underwear. When I hear these kinds of stories from friends and others, I find the majority of them pay no attention to the maintenance or security of their PCs.
Firewall? What's that?
Anyway, good luck...and don't be so quick to inflict pain on yourself when the glitch might be a simple fix.


Feb 25, 2000
Cary_H said:
"I've rarely seen a patch that can be removed once installed....and I've never seen one show it's face in my add/remove program list."

XP is a little I look, I've currently got 20 of them listed in my add/delete programs list. All are hot fixes and security patches from the windows update site!

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