Repair (in-place upgrade) is not an option in the Windows install. How do I rig windows enough to do a repair install?

I need to do a repair (in-place upgrade) install on a system that gives the error: load needed DLLs for kernel on bootup. It does not specify what DLLs are missing, and ntoskrnl.exe, hal.dll, and KDCOM.DLL are all there. It stops at this point and then gives the aforementioned message.

I can boot from the CD, and select to install Windows, but it does not list the repair install as an option. I'd like to retain the clients programs and all that, so repair is best.

Is there a way that I can use the repair console or something to set up the current install of windows enough so I can do a repair install? As if it matters, the system is a Dell Inspiron 8500. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance. -Kevin Souter
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MereteConnect With a Mentor Commented:
yes i see your problem, you will have to decide what to do or inform the client of his options.

Since you want to attempt to save this clients hdd ,Sootah you may want to do a backup first by slaving it., as it sounds like the hdd maybe damaged or the MBR is.
try these>
One of the most frequently used options when attempting to repair an XP installation is Safe Mode. Can you access safemode????/ if so you can use the  safemode with command prompts. my post earlier covers how to use the recovery from dos..
 press F8 and you should be taken to the Windows Advanced Options Menu screen.
Here you can chhose several options.

Accessing The  Different Methods of Repair Available in Windows XP

download a bootdisk
How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting;en-us;q307545

Windows XP Backup and Recovery all guides and steps>> too much to type so help yourself :)>>

SootahAuthor Commented:
Is there a way to make the recovery console just copy over all system files to their appropriate locations from the CD? That'd be straight spiffy.

Once again, thanks in advance.
I think you would like to save the contents of the hdd first, try slaving it to another machine and copy off all necessary personal programs and files over to the other hdd.
How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP
good luck regards M
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You May Lose Data or Program Settings After Reinstalling, Repairing, or Upgrading Windows XP
View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q312369
NOTE: The information in this article applies only to computers with Windows XP preinstalled by a computer manufacturer.

You may lose data that is stored in the All Users folder and default program templates and settings that are stored in the Default User folder after you reinstall, repair, or upgrade Windows XP. You may be missing Start menu shortcuts, items in the Startup group, and documents, pictures, or music files that are stored in the Shared Documents folder.

This problem can occur after you perform any of the following actions on a computer that has Windows XP preinstalled by a computer manufacturer (also known as an Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM):
You reinstall Windows XP in the same folder by clicking Upgrade (Recommended) after you run Winnt32.exe, or by clicking the Install Windows XP link on the "Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP" screen that appears when you insert the Windows XP CD-ROM. This is also known as performing an in-place upgrade or an in-place installation.
You repair Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP CD-ROM, pressing ENTER to set up Windows XP, and then pressing R to repair the selected installation.
You upgrade the Windows XP Home Edition installation that was preinstalled by your computer manufacturer to the retail version of Windows XP Professional.
This behavior can occur if the Undo_guimode.txt file is present in the Windows\System32 folder on your hard disk when you perform any of the actions that are listed in the "Symptoms" section on a computer with Windows XP preinstalled by a computer manufacturer. This file is created by the wizard that runs when you first start a computer with Windows XP preinstalled by a computer manufacturer.
To resolve this problem, restore the missing data and program shortcuts from a backup.

To prevent this problem from occurring, use any of the following methods before you perform any of the actions that are listed in the "Symptoms" section of this article:
Method 1
Install the latest service pack for Windows XP. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to Obtain the Latest Windows XP Service Pack

Method 2
When you are prompted by Setup to get updated Setup files, click Yes, download the updated Setup files (Recommended), and then click Next. This option is not available if you are repairing Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP CD-ROM, pressing ENTER to set up Windows XP, and then pressing R to repair the selected installation.
Method 3
Install the Windows XP Update Package, November 19, 2001, by using the Automatic Updates feature or the Windows Update Web site.

To install this update from the Windows Update Web site, click the following link and follow the instructions on your screen to scan and install the critical update:

For additional information about configuring the Automatic Updates feature, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
294871 Description of the Automatic Updates Feature in Windows XP

An update for this problem is now installed via the Dynamic Update feature of Windows XP. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
311220 Description of the Dynamic Update Feature in Windows XP Setup

Method 4
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

NOTE: If you are using Recovery Console or an MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows boot floppy disk, the steps to delete the file are slightly different.

For more information about deleting files, refer to your MS-DOS or Windows product documentation, query the Help and Support Center in Windows XP, or see the following article about the Recovery Console:
229716 Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console

NOTE: If you use the Restore CD-ROM that is provided by your computer manufacturer to restore Windows XP, you may need to repeat the steps in this article to prevent this problem from occurring again.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows XP Service Pack 1.
For additional information about the availability of an update for computer manufacturers to include on preinstalled Windows XP systems and corporate administrators to incorporate into their Windows XP deployment, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
312368 Data Loss May Occur After Reinstalling, Repairing, or Upgrading Windows XP

SootahAuthor Commented:
I know HOW to do the in-place upgrade. I want to know WHY it doesn't give me the option.

I can select the partition that the Windows install is on, but it will only let me do a fresh install on the current partition. I'm only doing a fresh install as a last resort.
did you read the first link I posted as it provides the  step by steps and what you will need to do and if any problems???
What option does it not give you??
I take it you can boot to the cd?
Have you set your bios to start from cd first.
 Can you achieve these steps from the first link ..
Boot to the cd..
Press ENTER to set up Windows XP.

On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.
Follow the instructions on the remaining screens to reinstall Windows XP. After you repair Windows XP, you may be required to reactivate your copy of Windows XP.
Method 2: Reinstall Windows XP by Starting Your Computer from the Windows XP Compact Disc
To reinstall Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP compact disc, follow these steps:

Insert the Windows XP compact disc into your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, and then restart your computer. When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message is displayed on the screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP compact disc.  
NOTE: Your computer must be configured to start from the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. For more information about how to configure your computer to start from the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, please see your computer's documentation or contact your computer manufacturer.
The following message is displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen that appears:
   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.

If not you may need a boot cd or a startup floppy.

Recovery Console

to repair a damaged system (like to fix boot problems).

Insert your Windows 2000 / XP installation CD-ROM and boot from CD-ROM :
(note : some Windows XP Revovery CD-ROM's do not allow to start the Windows SETUP,
in such cases you can try to use the create Windows XP Boot Floppy disks and boot from floppy).

SootahAuthor Commented:
I can boot to the CD just fine. I press enter to install Windows, and select the primary partition. I can press the 'r' key at this point all day, and nothing will happen. Repair isn't listed as an option here.

I can install windows without formatting, but this leaves the programs left on the drive utterly useless.
I've run into no "R" option a few times either with OEM or corporate/volume license install media (I forget which, possibly both).  That's probably your "why".

Can you boot to safe mode or command prompt and run "smc /scannow"?

Reference for the smc comand:;EN-US;310747

Win2k also has smc.exe with slightly different switches (/scannow is still the same)
SootahAuthor Commented:
No, I can't get to safe mode. And, oddly enough, there are no hive files in the windows\repair directory. It's empty.

Is there a command similar to sfc for the repair console?
This artical sounds like what your going through Sootah, if this final link cant help you I think you should consider  slaving it ,save the personal files make a back up and format it. Make sure that your attempting to install the same operating system as is on the hdd, eg xp home to xp home or xp pro to xp pro as these two cannot be installed over each other..
Have you tried the boot floppy yet??

Cannot Install Windows XP
Your hard disk has been FDISKed, formatted, repartitioned and generally belted, battered and abused because you are going insane over XP simply refusing to install. No matter what you do, you cannot get into XP or even get it to go through the set-up process without failing at some point. As soon it loads, it either dies with one of any number of error messages or it just hangs.

It is possible that your XP installation CD is damaged or dirty, or more likely that there is a hardware conflict or failure. Conflict or failure includes damage to your hard disk, faulty or mismatched RAM, IRQ issues, consequences of over-clocking, or an incompatibility of some type.
Initial Steps

Before you proceed with trying to use the sledgehammer approach outlined later on this page:

      Booting From Floppy

If you are booting from the set of six Windows XP boot floppies, make sure that you have the right set for your version of Windows XP. See the Windows XP Start-up Disks page on this site to check for and download the correct version if necessary.

      BIOS Version

Update your machine to the latest revision BIOS. Visit your manufacturer’s website and look for updates. If your motherboard is new, do not assume that you have the latest BIOS.

      Faulty or Dirty CD

Gently clean any dust or fingerprints from your CD. Also try another XP CD if you can borrow one. Read this PageWise article titled How to clean a CD .

      Other Tests and Checks

Test each of your RAM sticks by unplugging one module after another, if you can.

Disable all APM / ACPI power management, BIOS caching and all other non-essential BIOS features. If you are over-clocking, don't.

Remove all peripheral equipment not essential to booting the machine. That means scanners, cameras, printers, external modems and so on, on serial, USB and parallel ports.

If you have a desktop or tower case machine, read the article on this site about checking for IRQ Conflicts. Disable all non-essential integrated components on the motherboard and remove all cards and adapters that are not essential to getting the machine to boot. That means disable integrated modems, PCI modem cards, sound cards and network adapters.

If you have a laptop, disable all the integrated components that are not essential to getting the machine to boot. That means disable integrated modems, sound cards, secondary CD devices (not primary), USB devices and network adapters. Remove the laptop from a docking station if it's in one.

If, after stripping the machine to bare-bones condition, you still cannot get Windows XP to install, you must consider applying The Sledgehammer Approach, outlined below. You should back up any important data before proceeding to the next step, which is fairly drastic.

      The Sledgehammer Approach

You are going to boot your machine into a DOS environment and totally wipe the hard disk. Once that is done, you will install Windows XP from your hard disk instead of from the XP CD. At this point, you must have exhausted all other possibilities at your disposal and have no hair left to tear out. Make sure your system is “bare bones,” that is, apply the procedures outlined above.

      What You Need

You must have a method of booting into MS-DOS. If you only have the Windows XP CD, you will need to obtain a Windows 98 boot floppy. Download it now.

Download both of these tools and install them on your boot floppy;

WIPEOUT (Alternative site)

DELPART (Alternative site)

You will need these tools to wipe out any NTFS partitions on your hard disk. If you have not created any NTFS partitions, you can use FDISK.

      Preliminary Reading

First, get these knowledge base articles and print them out. Read them, understand them. You must have the items listed above to proceed beyond this point:

How to Start Setup from MS-DOS in Windows XP

How to Create a Windows 98 Startup Disk that Supports FAT32

How to Use the Fdisk Tool and the Format Tool to Partition or Repartition a Hard Disk

If you need additional assistance with FDISK, visit this page: Formatting / Partitioning Hard Disks and Installing XP . You will find a number of resources to help you with formatting and partitioning hard disks, with or without FDISK.

If you do not understand the articles, find someone who does and do not proceed further until you do understand them.

      Wielding The Sledgehammer

You should now have enough information at your fingertips to be able to proceed with wiping out your hard disk, format it and install XP from a DOS environment.

FDISK and both of the tools you may have downloaded above will utterly wipe your disk partitions. Try one tool first then the other if you don't have success with the first. Once the drive is wiped, follow the instructions given in the article How to Start Setup from MS-DOS in Windows XP.

Essentially, you are rebooting from floppy and running FDISK or WIPEOUT or DISKPART, creating a single active partition in FDISK, rebooting from floppy again then FORMATing C: to give you a FAT32 partition.

If XP now installs after all that, your problem is to find out which of the equipment that you disconnected or disabled caused the grief in the first place. However having got this far, you may have bypassed the issue completely and it may no longer appear. Start adding or enabling your equipment one item at a time and let XP try to detect the equipment on reboot. If it still fails, you may need to perform some exhaustive tests on the HDD. A search of google for a disk test utility would be in order, as might be taking the machine to a professional.

SootahAuthor Commented:
I ended up slipstreaming SP2 into a copy of XP Home, burning that to a CD, and then doing a fresh install on the machine. Turns out he didn't care about anything on the laptop all that much so now it's up and running beautifully.

I imagine still that it's the HIVE files that need to be intact for a repair install to be available (It is an option, I used the same SP2 CD I made on another machine and it gave me the option.) In the future, if this happens again, I'll use BartsPE to copy the restore HIVE files from the System Volume Information directory and see if it then allows a repair install.

Thanks for your help. -Kevin Souter
congratulations Sootah  long journey, glad you found the solution, yes indeed those hive files when corrupted can cause a lot of problems, if your interested I use this little tool, User Profile Hive Cleanup Service
 thanks and  best of luck regards M
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