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  1. #1
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    XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    My Windows XP ( Home Edition, SP 2 ) appears to be corrupted, I assume this since it will not boot my desktop computer. If I change my desktop’s hard drive to a slave status, I can boot the computer with a different hard drive set as master. When I do this, I can then go to the slave drive, and it’s partitions, and browse them and retrieve data and picture files.

    My questions are can I reinstall the Windows XP over the old one or must I first remove it? Can I remove it by just deleting the Windows folder? And having removed it this way, can I then just reinstall XP. Do I have to backup each of the partitions, or only the partition containing the Windows folder?

    Thanks…Jack

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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    Hello again, <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    If you change back the "corrupted" HDD to master (as it were), you can do anything you like with a normal install media (Windows CD), as long as that is what you have, and not some OEM recovery CD or OEM Restore disks, and install on that HDD.

    You can do an in-place upgrade (reinstallation), or a complete new installation (reformatting and/or creating new partitions etc.). But usually one does that only after some troubleshooting. And do note that after a Repair (in-place upgrade) you will still need to install updates and SPs as if you did a complete new installation. (The updates and SPs that you will need depend on what is included on the install media.)

    Here is, for example, a <post:=558,018>post 558,018</post:> from and old thread with links etc. about how to clean install. (Some old threads, as you may have seen, may sadly miss some parts of their posts etc.

    From MSFT: How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP

    If you want to do this, you should backup the files and folders where your data is, not necessarily the partition that holds the Windows folder. Or it could be on several partitions (some data on non-system partition, and let's say email on system partition).

    But on the other hand: "I assume this since it will not boot". One doesn't do an in-place upgrade (not to mention clean install) to solve smaller issues. Mentioned for example by MSFT under "When you should not reinstall" above.

    What troubleshooting have you done? Safe Mode? Recovery Console?

  3. #3
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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    Have you tried different startup options to get the system to boot with the problem had drive ??? Things like booting into Safe Mode or using the Last Known Good configuration to boot up ???
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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    Have you run any diagnostics on your original disk? There is no point re-installing on that disk if there is a physical problem with it.

    Cheers,
    Regards,
    PaulB

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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    Thanks for the reply. It won't boot....at all. When I turn it on, I get the manufacturer's splash page, then the one with the XP logo, then the next page is usually black with the cursor on it. The whole works stops with the black page, without the cursor. And nothing else happens...just black. When I make it a slave drive, I can access my data; the programs, however, won't run because the configuration is now different and require reinstallaton, according to the system message
    Jack.

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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    Thanks for the reply and the references.
    The only troubleshooting I have been able to do is when the disk is in the slave mode. From that, it seems to be physically ok, and I can access my data on the various partitions on the disk. In the boot process, I haven't been able to get beyond the black page that follows the one with the XP logo on it. From that point on, nothing happens. So from that aspect, I haven't been able to do any diagnostics on the disk when it is the Master.
    Thanks again for the references.'
    I'll followup with what happens.
    Jack

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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    Physically, the original disk appears to be in good shape, in the slave mode, the diagnostics check out ok. In the slave mode, I am able to access my data and am in the process of downloading it, as I write. (Better safe than sane, I guess.)
    Thanks...Jack

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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    No Safe Mode tried, OK. (Pressing F8 during the start process does invoke the Windows Advanced Options Menu with Safe Mode as an option, if everything else is working.)

    What I mean is (it probably isn't in this case but could be) if you have a problem with corrupted or damaged, for instance, graphic drivers, starting in Safe Mode with a basic set of drivers could be a way to uninstall and reinstall drivers or remove some problematic program just installed (CD burning etc. etc.).

    A first attempt, if one has changed something and it's the next boot, could be the Last Known Good, as Doc said.

    Then there is Safe Mode (and Safe Mode Command Prompt etc. but the "normal" Safe Mode is the first to check), as described above, you boot into Windows with limited resources but is able to work with it in graphic mode. You should try this.

    Then one can use the Recovery Console (RC) and take a look at the boot.ini et al. With the RC one can solve several boot problems and other issues. From the RC it's possible to use the bootcfg to rebuild the boot.ini. However, the bootcfg.exe isn't available in your Home Edition. One can use some edit or other means.

    With your HDD as a slave (booting from another drive), can you find the "boot.ini" file and open it in Notepad and tell us what it contain. It is a hidden system file in the root of the drive, formerly C:, now perhaps D: or E:. And if you can start in Safe Mode, we can go from there.

  9. #9
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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    Found the boot.ini file on the E drive. This is what it looks like:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=0
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Micros oft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)WINDOWS="Micros oft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    That's it. I will try the F8/Safemode attack in the morning.

    Thanks for helping me...Jack

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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    If you can't get in using Safe Mode (try that first) then there might be a problem with the Master Boot Record. Take a look here for instructions on how to fix that if you are unable to access the system in Safe Mode or try the Last Known Good Configuration option from the Advanced Boot Menu.
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  11. #11
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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    Is this an actual "copy and paste" of the boot.ini? Or did you write?

    I think the boot.ini should have a (back slash) in the boot loader and OS sections.

    The ARC path that starts with "multi" uses certain syntax: multi(X)disk(Y)rdisk(Z)partition(W)<winnt_dir>

    The NTLDR finds out where the other OS files are by the directory mentioned at the end of the path, such as the kernel (ntoskrnl.exe). This is last in the chain of the NTLDR tasks, from there on the ntoskrnl.exe (and the HAL etc.) takes over. Usually if they are not found or corrupt one gets an error message. But you could try to do this small edit, since you have a possibility to boot from another drive.

    That is, for the boot loader a before "WINDOWS":
    <pre>default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WI NDOWS</pre>

    Under operating systems a before "WINDOWS":

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Micros oft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)WINDOWS="Micros oft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    Do you have two installations of Windows XP on the HDD? As you can see from the boot.ini's OS section it points to partition(1) and partition(3).

    If you only have one OS installation on that drive, but still perhaps have several partitions, you can exclude (delete) the last line pointing at partition(3) if you like. But that is not a problem, and it can be dealt with later on. Your timeout is set to 0, so it loads (or tries to load) the default OS directly anyhow.

  12. #12
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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    You are correct...I did write it. Couldn't figure out how to conveniently do the copy and paste from the desktop to the laptop. And you are also correct about the boot.ini file, it should read:

    boot loader]
    timeout=0
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Micros oft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)WINDOWS="Micros oft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    I only have one installation of XP on the hard drive.

  13. #13
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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    I tried to access the Safe mode by using the F8 key. On the screen I get the message: "Operating System not found" . At this point, I think I will be best served if I off-load my data, format the boody thing and reload the XP .
    I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous, hence my timidity to deal with files, etc., that I know nothing about, but I do know how to start over from scratch.

    Thank you for your help...Jack

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    Re: XP Reinstallation (SP2)

    Hello Doc Watson.
    I send you the same message I sent to Argus, with my thanks for your help.

    I tried to access the Safe mode by using the F8 key. On the screen I get the message: "Operating System not found" . At this point, I think I will be best served if I off-load my data, format the boody thing and reload the XP .
    I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous, hence my timidity to deal with files, etc., that I know nothing about, but I do know how to start over from scratch.

    Thank you for your help...Jack

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