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Repairing a Windows XP Installation


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If you find that Windows XP is behaving oddly or you are met with an error message that you cannot seem to budge. You might consider repairing a Windows XP installation.

The repair installation will simply reinstall Windows XP, but your documents, applications should remain intact. So once the repair installation has completed you can pretty much continue to use Windows XP without installing any applications.

The Exception: Any previous installed Service Packs and Windows Updates will have to reinstalled.

Before you attempt to repair a Windows XP installion it's advisable to make any appropriate backups.

To repair a Windows XP installation...

Boot from the XP CD

When you boot from the CD you will have to to Press any key to boot from CD failure to do so will not boot from the CD and you cannot continue with the repair installation

So when you are asked simply press any key. [see pic below]


Now your computer's hardware configuration will be inspected. [see pic below]


The Windows Setup will now load all files that are needed. [see pic below]


Now as were Repairing Windows XP Home Edition press Enter Do not get confused with a repair installation and the recovery console. [see pic below]


Now you will have to accept a License Agreement to use Windows XP, so press F8 to Accept. [see pic below]


The Windows Setup will then look for previous versions of Windows. [see pic below]


Now as were repairing a Windows XP installation press R [see pic below]


Now files should be copied to the Windows XP installation folders. [see pic below]


Your computer will now be restarted in 15 seconds however by pressing ENTER you can force a restart. [see pic below]


Windows XP should then start to Install just as it did when you first installed XP. The difference however is that your documents, applications should remain intact.

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  • 2 years later...
thanhs unfortunately i only have a recovery disk which does not let me just re-install windows without losing everything else / i have an old xp pro disk would it work with this?

If your current machine is XP Pro, it should work just fine. This process just repairs system files, and does not change any settings or modify any programs.

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