Repair Install XP problem

  alain 17:51 02 Jan 2008

My XP CD is unable to find prec=vious versions on my hard drive when trying to do a repair install on my XP home system, which will not boot up.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:02 02 Jan 2008

1. Boot the Recovery Console from the Windows XP installation CD.

2. When you're at the Recovery Console command prompt, change into the root directory of the system drive with the cd command (i.e., cd \).

3. Change into the System Volume Information directory by typing cd system~1 on most machines, or cd "System Volume Information."

(The filenames with ~1 are generated by default to provide backwards compatibility with programs that only recognize 8.3-format filenames. It's possible to disable 8.3 filename generation on NTFS volumes to gain some speed, but the speed gained by doing this is generally pretty small and it can have the unintended consequence of making it impossible to use 8.3 filenames in contexts like this. If you can't use 8.3 filenames to navigate, 8.3 name generation might be disabled. See Microsoft's support document called How to Disable the 8.3 Name Creation on NTFS Partitions.

4. The System Volume Information directory contains a folder name _restore followed by a GUID in curly braces. Change into it by typing cd _resto~1; if that doesn't work you'll have to type cd "_restore{GUID_STRING}", with the full GUID string in place of GUID_STRING.

5. In the _restore directory are a group of subdirectories starting with the letters RP and followed by a number. These are the different restore points available for that volume.

6. Check the date on each directory and look for one that corresponds to a date before you began experiencing problems.

7. Change into the appropriate directory. If the directory is named RP74, for instance, change into it by typing RP74.

8. Inside that directory will be a subdirectory named snapshot; change into that directory as well (cd snapshot)

9. The snapshot directory holds backup copies of the SOFTWARE and SYSTEM Registry hives, named _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE and _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM, respectively.

10. The target directory for these files is \Windows\System32\Config, and the hives there are named SOFTWARE and SYSTEM. Rather than overwrite those files entirely, you can rename them to something else. Typing ren \windows\system32\config\software \windows\system32\config\software.bak and ren \windows\system32\config\system \windows\system32\config\system.bak will rename them to software.bak and system.bak, respectively.

11. Copy in the backup hives: copy _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE \windows\system32\config\software and copy _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM \windows\system32\config\system.

12. Type exit to leave the Recovery Console and restart the computer.

  alain 18:14 02 Jan 2008

Thanks for the reply Fruit Bat. I had already tried that when the system would not boot up. I then decided to do the repair install from my xp cd. but it could not find any previous versions of windows.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:19 02 Jan 2008

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

5. Try the repair install.

One more suggestion from MVP Alex Nichol

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

copy K:\i386\ntldr C:\
copy K:\i386\ C:\

(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"

  alain 22:39 02 Jan 2008

Fruit Bat Tried the above recovery console finds windows installation Ok, but still will not boot up (blank screen). Repair install from xp disc finds no installations.

  woodchip 22:44 02 Jan 2008

Looks like you Have a Master Boot Record Problem. In console you could use the


to see if that lets you back in

  alain 23:30 03 Jan 2008

Thanks for your help Fruit bat got system to do repair install still (after several attempts)would not boot properly. Kept comming up with various missing/corrupted hive files even after restoring them from various restore points. backuped drive to retrieve data and done full reintallation system now working. Will reinstall other software once sure of system stability.

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