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Sunday, December 21, 2008

XP no-reformat reinstall technique

Start your PC with the setup CD in a drive, and hit a key when you see "Press any key to boot from CD"-See How To Boot From CD?

Once your PC starts to boot from the CD it will to mention of "Repair" here is " a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console..." but that's not the no-reformat repair/reinstall we are seeking.

The repair option we do want--a nondestructive, no-reformat reinstall--is actually hidden beneath the Setup option, "To set up Windows XP now, press ENTER."

So hit Enter, just as if you were setting up Windows afresh and from scratch.
Press F8 to accept the licensing terms and to go on.
Next setup begins to refer to a Repair option. Here, Setup should have found your damaged XP setup, which you can select and then press R to start the nondestructive repair.

Highlight your damaged copy of XP in the list box to select it and press R to start the repair process. The Repair process then selectively deletes system files in the \Windows folder and subfolders and copies undamaged replacement files from the setup CD to their proper locations. The Repair process then works on the current setup's Registry, leaving much of it intact and rebuilding the rest.
The system then needs to reboot and will do so automatically. If your setup CD is still in the drive, remove it so that the system won't try to boot from it.
The first Repair reboot will take longer than normal. Don't be alarmed. Also, don't be alarmed when Setup resumes. Once again, it will appear that you're performing a full, from-scratch setup; there's nothing on-screen to indicate that you're repairing an existing version of XP. But although the setup screens are the same as what you'd see in a full install, it's still a repair process, as will become clearer in a moment.

The first two of the Repair setup screens ask for your language preferences and product key. Enter these normally. Many of the next few Repair screens will also be familiar. The "installing devices" screen, for example, is identical to the one you normally see during a full, from-scratch setup. But Repair is actually retaining much of the current setup's configuration and so will move through these steps faster than in a full setup. The "completing installation" screen means most of the heavy lifting is done, and you're just minutes away from finishing the repair operation. Setup then reboots your PC again, and this reboot will also take longer than usual. This is normal. After the reboot, you'll be brought to an abbreviated version of the "Welcome To Windows" setup pages.

You'll be asked if you want to register and--depending on how badly hosed the previous installation was--you may or may not be asked to reactivate the copy of Windows. Next, the setup software handles the final networking details and then offers a "thank you" screen. In most cases, the system will now reboot for a final time. The Repair is done. It's a normal boot, bringing you to the normal choices for login. if all has gone as planned, the only significant change will be that whatever problem your copy of XP was previously experiencing will now be gone!

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