How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

Please click on the warnings below proceeding with the Repair Install.

l Warning #1

l Warning #2

It is extremely important that you backup important data that is not available from other

media sources. This backup should be located on a separate hard drive, CD, DVD,

network storage, etc. that will not be affected by the repair install.

Please check out the warning links before attempting the Repair Install. It is to your

advantage you follow the suggestions to prevent data loss and especially if you also have

the capability to boot into XP, perform the steps listed in the Warning #1 , before

proceeding with the repair install.

After completing [if Windows is still accessible] the steps listed to prevent data loss in

warning #1 and you did not remedy the no boot situation, you can use an OEM XP

Pro or Home, "retail" XP Home or Pro full or upgrade version CD of the same version

Home or Pro to perform a Repair Install. OEM Restore disks or hidden restore

folders on the hard drive will not work for the Repair Install.

A Repair Install will replace the system files with the files on the XP CD used for the

Repair Install. It will leave your applications and settings intact, but Windows updates

will need to be reapplied.

A Repair Install will replace files altered by adware and malware, but will not fix an

adware, malware problem.

You can use the In place upgrade option to change a Product Key in the event you

entered a key that was already activated. The In Place Upgrade also produces the same

result as the Repair Install. (1 of 6)8/25/2005 9:48:28 PM

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

An option I highly recommend is creating a Slipstreamed XP CD with SP1, SP2, etc..

Slipstreaming Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) Good

Another Slipstream step by step Better

AutoStreamer mirror link for AutoStreamer Best!!

Step by Step on AutoStream

Alternate options to Change XP Product Key #18 on the FAQ list.

XP Repair install

1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the

system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system

documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the options below

This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft

Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

3. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

do not choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the

Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery

Console). I repeat, do not choose "To repair a Windows XP installation

using the Recovery Console, press R".

4. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows


5. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the

repair. If Repair is not one of the options, read this Warning#2!

6. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot. Do not press

any key to boot from CD when the message appears. Setup will continue

as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain


If you get files not found during the copying stage.

Blaster worm warning: Do not immediately activate over the internet when

asked, enable the XP firewall before connecting to the internet. You can activate

after the firewall is enabled. Control Panel - Network Connections. Right click the (2 of 6)8/25/2005 9:48:28 PM

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

connection you use, Properties, and there is a check box on the Advanced page.

KB 833330 Blaster removal

What You Should Know About the Sasser Worm and Its Variants

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-011

7. Reapply updates or service packs applied since initial Windows XP installation.

Please note that a Repair Install from the Original install XP CD will remove SP1/

SP2 and service packs will need to be reapplied.

Windows XP Service Pack 1

Service Pack 2

An option I highly recommend; is creating a Slipstreamed XP CD with SP1, SP2,

etc. .

Slipstreaming Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) Good

Another Slipstream step by step Better

AutoStreamer mirror link for AutoStreamer Best!!

Step by Step on AutoStreamer

Printable Repair Install step by step. repair.txt

Warning! #1

Should you do a repair install; and is it the best choice?

A Repair Install is not foolproof, and should not be considered the cure-all fix

for non-boot situations.

To prevent loss of data or program settings, perform the following before the

Repair Install.

Manually delete the Undo_guimode.txt file from the Windows\System32 folder

before you perform any of the actions that are listed in the "Symptoms" section

of this article. To do this in Windows XP, type the following command at a

command prompt:

del /a /f %windir%\system32\undo_guimode.txt (3 of 6)8/25/2005 9:48:28 PM

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

1. From the Start menu, click Run. Screenshot Image

2. In the Run dialog box, in the Open text box, type: cmd. Click OK.

3. Delete the undo_guimode.txt file. In the C:\Windows\System32\cmd.

exe dialog box, type: del /a /f c:\windows\system32

\undo_guimode.txt. Press the ENTER key. Screenshot Image

KB Q312369

Check the link below for an option for recovering from a non-boot event.

Windows XP Crashed? Here's Help

A salvage mission into the depths of Windows XP, explained by a


by Charlie White

Also as a precaution the windows\system32\WPA.DBL and WPA.BAK

should be copied to a floppy before doing a repair install. For more information

see Alex Nichol's article on XP activation.

More articles to help prevent data loss.

Additional tips to perform before initiating the Repair Install.

You should complete the basic requirements of backing up all files and folders

that cannot be restored from other media. This includes passwords, applications

purchased and downloaded from the internet without CD support, financial

records and folders, digital images that cannot be replaced...............

Backup copies of your registry files (in the %systemroot%\Repair folder) are

also replaced after the in-place upgrade is complete. Copy these registry

backups to another location before you perform an in-place upgrade/Repair

Install. You may need to use them after the in-place upgrade is complete.

It would also be a good idea to run the Files And Settings Transfer wizard F.

A.S.T located on the XP CD.

If you made unorthodox registry changes with third party software, there is the

potential of data loss from a Repair Install. Another consideration of concern

would be a power failure during the repair install could render your system

unbootable and result in loss of data.

The likelihood of you losing the files and folders is probably of minimal risk, but

you have to expect the worst and make sure you are prepared for recovery. (4 of 6)8/25/2005 9:48:28 PM

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

If you are sure you have explored all other troubleshooting avenues, then

proceed with the repair install.

Warning!! #2

If the Repair Option is not Available

What should I do? Most important do not ignore the information


If the option to Repair Install is NOT available and you continue with the install;

you will delete your Windows & Documents and Settings folders. All

Applications that place keys in the registry will need to be re-installed.

You should exit setup if the repair option is not available and consider other

options. I have found if the Repair option is not available, you have a few paths I

have listed to try before XP requires a Clean install.

Very important!!

If you still have the ability to access the Windows XP installation, backup all

important files not restorable from other sources before attempting any

recovery console or other trouble shooting attempts.

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 (5 of 6)8/25/2005 9:48:28 PM

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

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"