Heres the scenario:
I accidentally tried to repair an oem version of XP Home with a retail CD. (Dont ask....too many boxes on the bench on a particularly hairy day :) D'oh!). When asked for the Product Key i entered the clients key from the sticker on the box and it didn't work...this is how i came to the conclusion that i was an idiot and had used a retail cd from my bench by accident. I swapped to the oem cd and shutdown the machine. When i turned it back on, i chose to boot from the cd and start the repair process again this time from the proper cd hoping i would get to the prompt and the product key would work.
What actually happens is setup is still looking for a retail cd key. If i try to not run setup and boot back to the original windows installation i get the dreaded "setup will now restart" message. I know how to backup data and reformat reinstall etc....this is not really an option as there are 2 irreplaceable apps installed that need to be kept if at all possible.I cant seem to locate resources indicating how to stop this attempted repair.
Does anyone know how I might suceesfully abort this original repair installation in order to start one with the proper cd and product key? I definitely call this one difficult.