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Nondestructive reinstall of Win XP RRS feed

  • Question

  • My Win XP settings got corrupted and I was advised by Symantec that I should reinstall Windows XP because I could no longer boot into any of the SAFE modes, last good settings, or any option.  This was during preparation to move to Win 7.  I want to get XP working again so I can do a good backup and the Win 7 upgrade disk recognizes that I have a working XP system to allow the upgrade.

    I have the Microsoft XP home system reinstall disk, as well as a valid code from MS from the back of my Gateway PC.  I have no passwords on my system.  I have run disk diagnostics (full CHKDSK)and there appears to be no sector damage.  I Ghosted the drive before attempting to repair, so I have a way of going back, to an albeit damaged booting disk.

    When I did a repair booting from the CD, the system accurately determined that Win XP home was installed on C:\WINNT. The system deleted some files and copied some new ones.  It then rebooted to the familiar XP startup, followed by a blue screen saying that setup was continuing, and then the system booted into SAFE MODE, at which point I got a message that setup could not continue because I was in SAFE MODE. 

    How do I get past this "Catch 22" to continue Win XP setup?  Is there a way to force a NORMAL or SETUP boot, rather than a SAFE MODE boot that prevents setup from continuing?  I know F8 sometimes works to force SAFE MODE.

    Again, I want to avoid a destructive reinstall... which I know I could do easily.  And I do have access to the XP Recovery console, but don't know what to do with it - a lot of the powerful commands look like they might make things worse.

    Thanks

    Thursday, November 24, 2011 3:17 AM

All replies

  • 1. Specify the system corruption better and the step you did to recover. What does this mean? This was during preparation to move to Win 7

    2. What is your target configuration? XP in one partition and the W 7 in second? I tried both XP/W7 and W7/XP and configured the boot menu with EasyBCD

    Regards

    Milos

    Sunday, November 27, 2011 5:29 PM
  • Original goal (3 weeks ago) - To ensure that my XP SP 3 system was healthy so I could back it up and then do a clean upgrade  to Win 7.  My primary hard drive is only 78 MB, and is almost 8 years old, so I had planned to make the larger, newer and faster second drive (used for infrequent data backups for the last 2 years) the boot drive, by switching the two disks on the dual (ATA?) cable.  My intention was to use Norton Ghost to transfer a "good image" of the c: drive to this newer drive, to improve reliability until such time that I felt comfortable to do the System 7 upgrade.

    [ Curious about this... but not super important right now... I did not know I could install a double-booting system, but that sounds like a good option if I can do it.  Could I keep XP on one drive and install Win 7 on another, or do both booting partitions have to be on the same physical drive? ]

    Description of system corruption - I allowed Symantec to take over remotely to try to activate Norton 360, so my virus protection could be reactivated.  This should have been a simple procedure of typing in a product key on their website, but even when the tech tried remotely he couldn't do it either.  After I was told to reboot, I was no longer able to do so, in any of the three safe mode options, last known good configuration, or normal mode.  My assumption is that my Windows boot up configuration was corrupted during the remote session.  The Symantec tech denied this, saying it was a coincidence.  At that time, the options I was aware of were to do a system recovery or a repair.  I don't know any further details about what specific system corruption occurred.  I didn't know how to use the recovery console, so I attempted a repair.  The XP install disk I have is for SP1. 

    As I mentioned in my first post, I was able to image (Ghost) the C: drive before I attempted any changes, so I might be able to get back to the state my system was in right after the interaction with Symantec, if that is important.

    When I did a repair booting from the XP home installation CD, the system accurately determined that Win XP home was installed on C:\WINNT. The system deleted some files and copied some new ones.  It then rebooted to the familiar XP startup, followed by a blue screen saying that setup was continuing, and then the system shifted/booted into SAFE MODE, at which point I got a message that setup could not continue because I was in SAFE MODE. 

    How do I get past this "Catch 22" to continue Win XP setup?  Is there a way to force a NORMAL or SETUP boot, rather than a SAFE MODE boot that prevents setup from continuing?  .....  Again, I want to avoid a destructive reinstall...

    Current goal - to get the XP repair to work so I can bring XP back to working order - with hopefully all the functional drivers and programs and settings.  When I'm ready, to run the paid-for but-unused Win 7 upgrade.

    Maybe you have other suggestions?  If I could get an install disk for XP SP2 or 3 would it make a difference?

    Regards,

    David

     

    Monday, November 28, 2011 3:50 AM