XP Pro (upgrade) repair install

  [email protected] 19:54 19 Nov 2007

I have searched/read the forum files and Googled stuff but can't find the answer I want.
This morning a friend brought me a crashed PC which has refused to boot since Friday.
I have fitted the HDD to my own PC and was able to recognise it and back up the data. (when I booted up, my PC recognised something wrong with the HDD and launched into it's own disc check. I had hoped the dud PC would boot from it afterwards but no. There are no discs with the PC but I have the OS Key.
I have read that it is possible to do a Repair install with a generic XP Home disc, so I tried with my own. The problem is - I don't get the "R" option.
I get as far as 3 options:
1 Format the partition (quick)
2 Format the partition
3 Leave the current file system intact
It's the last option that I have read nothing about in all the searches I have done so am unsure if to proceed with it. My main worry is ending up doing a fresh install with my XP Home disc and the OS not recognising the Windows OS key which is for XP Pro (upgrade).
When I try to boot the dud PC normally, it runs through some checks (white letters on black background) then asks for a "system floppy" which of course I don't have. Anyone enlighten me please and thanks in advance.

  skidzy 20:04 19 Nov 2007

Not sure about upgrades wotbus,but it should be pro for pro and home for home basically like for like.

So i think your going to need a pro disc to repair.Though i could be wrong of course.

  [email protected] 20:08 19 Nov 2007

Hi skidzy. I read that it's the I386 folder it wants which is the same for both but I have to say it's all a bit misty at the moment :-(
I think FruitBat is the man to clear it up...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:41 19 Nov 2007

If the option to Repair Install is NOT available and you continue with the install; you will delete your Windows folder and the Documents and Settings folders. All applications installed that place keys in the registry will need to be re-installed and will require the original install media.

You should exit setup if the repair option is not available and consider other options. I have found if the Repair option is not available, you have a few paths I have listed below to try before XP requires a Clean install.

A. Stick it back in your machine and check that the files NTDETECT.COM and NTLDR are in the root of the drive.

If not then you can copy them from yor C: drve to his drive

*** you cannot do a Pro repair with a Home CD ***

B. Possible Fix by reconfiguring boot.ini using Recovery Console.

1.Boot with XP CD or 6 floppy boot disk set.

2. Press R to load the Recovery Console.

3. Type bootcfg.

4. This should fix any boot.ini errors causing setup not to see the XP OS install.

5. Try the repair install.

C. One more suggestion from MVP Alex Nichol

"Reboot, this time taking the immediate R option into recovery consol and if the CD letter is say K: give these commands

copy K:\i386\ntldr C:\
copy K:\i386\ntdetect.com C:\

(not needed if you did A above)

(two other files needed - just in case)

1. Type: attrib -h -r -s C:\boot.ini del C:\boot.ini

2. Type: BootCfg /Rebuild

which will get rid of any damaged boot.ini, search the disk for systems and make a new one. This might even result in a damaged windows reappearing; but gives another chance of getting at the repair"

  [email protected] 20:46 19 Nov 2007

That's what I call SERVICE :-)
Thanks FB. I have shut the dud down and will proceed as you suggest. I was afraid of the clean install. Assuming all else fails, just what are the options: Do I (or the owners) have to find an XP Pro disc to repair install?

  [email protected] 20:59 19 Nov 2007

I had already prepared a floppy with NTLDR and Ntdetect.com from my PC, so just to see what happened I put it in the dud PC and switched on.
Something new:
After some boot process I got the message "Invalid Boot.ini file...booting from C.
I then got the following message:
"Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.
Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk harware.
Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information".
There are 2 HDD's fitted, master and slave.
Does that throw any light?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:08 19 Nov 2007

Try woodchips emergency boot floppy

It takes just one floppy disc,

First format a Floppy disc

Run type
Format A: /u

Then open Notepad and copy and Paste this

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="First harddisk, first partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="First harddisk, second partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="First harddisk, third partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="First harddisk, fourth partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Second harddisk, first partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Second harddisk, second partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Second harddisk, third partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Second harddisk, fourth partition" /sos
C:\="Previous Operating System on C:\"

Save as

in Notepad as BOOT.INI

Then in search find


Add these to the floppy disc

you can now try starting your computer with the floppy disc

  [email protected] 21:17 19 Nov 2007

OK and thanks for all the guidance. I would like to continue this evening by we are +1hr here and I think I am reaching the "make bad mistake mode ;-)"
I will report back tomorrow and thanks again.

  [email protected] 21:30 19 Nov 2007

Good job I had one more go as I realise I know nothing about DOS. The Format A bit goes OK then it asks for a label. From there I don't know how to open Notepad and continue :-(
I have the "NT" files waiting on my desktop to be added but I am a bit stumped with building the first bit of the floppy.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:02 19 Nov 2007

Put a floppy in the drive

Start - Run... type
Format A: /u
in the box and press OK

Windows will format the disk and add the system files

Drag to (or send to 3.1/2 drive) the NTDETECT.COM
NTLDR files to the floppy drive.

Open Notepad by Start - Programs -Accessories - Notepad
copy and paste into notepad.
File - save as - navigate to 3.1/2 floppy (A)
Filename type in boot.ini - click save the file will be save to the floppy

put foppy in defective machine and boot if windows starts then its the boot.ini file on the HDD that corrupt

  Spark6 23:32 19 Nov 2007

Having a similar problem with an 'inherited' box I'm interested in the outcome! One of my problems appears to be the remains of Prevx 2.0.

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