Windows XP repair/install woes.
March 28, 2009 11:53 AM   Subscribe

My install of Windows XP got borked by a virus that necessitated the deletion of a number of .exe files needed by the operating system. I was kind of hoping to do this without re-formatting my C: drive, so I've been selecting the option to Repair the C:/Windows installation. It says that it successfully copies its setup files, and then restarts the computer. Upon restarting, it shows me a black screen with a mouse pointer but does not continue the install.

If I boot from the Windows CD again, it says "Setup has already attempted to upgrade the following Windows installation." And it gives me the option of "Retry upgrading to Windows XP" or "continue installing a fresh copy of Windows XP without repairing."

Just a couple days ago, I successfully ran a repair from this disk. (In order to get it running long enough to scan everything with Avira, which deleted a bunch of infected .exe files, thus leading to the install I'm trying to run now.)

Are there any other ideas I can try before I start backing up the many files I'll want to save from my C: drive?
posted by RobotHero to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
When you launch the XP install CD, it gives you two different options (if it detects an existing Windows installation):

1. To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.
2. To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

Did you use #2, the Recovery Console option?

If so, I would suggest trying what's called a "repair install," which peforms just like a new installation but retains your data. If it's possible to back up your data beforehand, do it. Nothing about this system is foolproof.

Choose the "setup Windows XP," then accept the license agreement. After that, you should be shown the existing Windows install location and given an option to press R to repair. (If you are not given that option, then don't proceed, as doing so will wipe your data.)

The repair install will seem just like the intial install process, only once it finishes, your existing user account and Documents & Settings folders will still be intact.

I have done this several times successfully.
posted by camcgee at 1:45 PM on March 28, 2009

does it go into safe mode?
posted by dozo at 2:38 PM on March 28, 2009

What devices are plugged into that computer? Unplug any usb stuff except mouse and keyboard. Remove any peripheral cards. Disable sound in the BIOS. See if it still hangs.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:01 PM on March 28, 2009

Response by poster: camcgee: The repair install describes what I was already trying to do.
dozo: Safe mode doesn't seem to load fully, either. If I could make it load, it would save me the trouble of finding a boot disk to copy over my files.
damn dirty ape: Just monitor, keyboard and mouse. I'll try it without the firewire card.
posted by RobotHero at 12:56 PM on March 29, 2009

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