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How to cancel XP installation

Posted on 2006-05-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
Very simple question:

In trying to do an XP repair, I run into full-stop, as I dont have a license key, and cant get one just now.

I cant get out of the state where the PC boots directly into the installing windows process.
How to get the harddisk boot back to normal ?
Where to cancel the install process in this state ?

Question by:ArneSvendsen
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 16759304
try booting to safemode, log onto your account, pres enter to bypass any passwords for the admin account, in safemode
r/click my computer
start up and recovery
opens the boot.ini take out the extra edits so that only your original boot.ini exists.
check the start group at start run type in msconfig remove any start up associated to setup.

Is the home or pro
here is an example or an original
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 16759326
here is mine a non multi boot. yours will have xp home if that is what it is.
I am also running xpsp2 so  you can see there is no listing for this.

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


Author Comment

ID: 16759415

When pressing F8  and selecting the first option failsafe mode - or even selection "last working win. config"  is still brings me right into the XP installation procedure.
I need some way to get around to editing the boot.ini file before anything else :-)

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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 16759494
boot from the CD, but instead of going into installation mode, select the option to repair XP from the command prompt.    From there, unhide, edit, then rehide the boot.ini.

Author Comment

ID: 16759625
combining above advices get me to the boot.ini file, which btw looks exactly as mentioned above -
but still start the XP installation procedure when booting from the harddisk.
I lost the license key, probably have to get a new one to move forward ..
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 16759882
If you are working on one of the major OEM's . . Dell . . HP . . Gateway and others, the Key will be on a sticker on the side of the tower . . bottom of a laptop
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 16759970
Change the bios from booting from cd first may help.

you will have 30 days to get a new key  if you continue to install  ArneSvendsen  at least you will have a window of opportunity to save off your files?
May I ask what caused you to start an install? without a cd key?

Are you sure it has no extra like this take out everything after fast detect>>
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect <<>>>/NoExecute=OptOut
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

Otherwise can you boot to the advanced options then choose start windows normally or last known good config.
Windows XP Setup remains in Boot.ini

How to Reinstall Windows XP Without Having to Reactivate With Microsoft

magic jellybean to retrieve your old  key
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 16760043
boot it into safe mode (with networking)
save a copy of Autoruns from >> http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/autoruns.html

 It should be obvious what is loading the XP setup program.


Author Comment

ID: 16760667
the complete story ..

I was running a win update from MS windows update (updating the correctly working SP2 XP HOME I have/had)
This update got stuck for hours, and after that reboot I have had a problem of not being able to run any EXE files or any shortcuts.  I mean like you have the "..word.EXE" associated to the .DOC file, apparently windows has some program associated to .EXE and .LNK (shortcut) files.
So - when double clickling on anything in the startmenu or on the desktop, eg.  MSWORD, NOTHING happens, no execution, no error message. The background program to run when you doubleclick an EXE file is decoupled apperently.
In practise this means, eg. to run IE I needed to find an .HTM file, click on this and the I do have explorer running, same with a .DOC file to run word.
Not being able to "execute" a .LNK files, means not being able to run ANYTHING inside eg. the control panel.
So a rather disabled windows you may say. The only program working is the FILE EXPLORER, so I have been able to back stuff out to a USB disk, but eg. no access to "eject the USB disk" as the icons in the bottom of the screen is also not working - "interesting".
Therefor I thought it was time to re-install :-)

Merete, on your last suggestions: From the F8 failsafe menu, ANY selection leeds to the start of the XP installer. The only way I could get to see boot.ini (which IS clean), was by booting from CD, run repair with CMD, as davids99 above suggested.
This "feature" of missing .EXE association is pretty consequent, ie. when I now run the Win XP install/repair process (that I was trying to get out of  only due to lack of key, that went out as a sticker on the old screen dumped lately :-), then actually in the step 4 "Installing Windows" of the process, it comes out and say "Windows cant open the file RUNDLL32.EXE - needs to know which program is attached to "open" it. And I get the option of selecting from a list, which "program" is attached to open/execute an EXE file itself - and that I really dont know..
Hope above is understandable, I find it somewhere between wierd and spooky ?!


Author Comment

ID: 16760745
The link to Autoruns will be good use in general,  just in this situation, I got it down on another PC, but cant get it on the harddisk in trouble here ..

Author Comment

ID: 16764698
.. managed to get forward thru install-repair with a license key
dit not however solve the problem of missing ability to run .EXE and .LNK files

I would like to know how to save my outlook express account, at the least before re-installing win XP from scratch,
apparently accounts are saved in the Registry, but since I cannot run e.g. REGEDT32.EXE I cant get to backup this account information.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 16764852
You can export the settings by clicking of File . . Import/Export . . save to a file you can remove

You can save the mail by searching for *.dbx and saving the folder the files are in to a plaqce you can remove

You can save the Addresses using the Import/Export in File . .
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 16765867
ArneSvendsen can open your outlook express, please go to tools options>maintinenence>see the store folder button, when you change your store folder lets say for now your desktop NEW FOLDER ( give it a name)  using the browse at change the location of your message store,
once you click on this new folder and then  apply it will immediately backup all your emails to this new store.
If you have a slaved hdd it is a good to place to back up to , or other wise you will have to burn them off.
When you next get your windows up and running Outlook Express running using the FILE/ IMPORT/ MESSAGES/Outlook Express6/Tick to  only import mail from an OEstore directory navigate to your cd. presto you will have all your mail back again.
this has worked for me everytime and I found it the simplest way to save all my emails.
I occassionally change the store directory for this reason, usually before a foramt or simply to back up my mail.

To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express mail account:

On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
On the Mail tab, click the mail account that you want to export, and then click Export.
In the Save In box, locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop, and then click Save.
Repeat these steps for each mail account that you want to export.
Click Close.

Good to hear that you made it thru your install problem well done.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 16765932
This PowerToy tweak ui  adds an "Open Command Window Here" context menu option on file system folders, giving you a quick way to open a command window (cmd.exe) pointing at the selected folder. Until you re-install windows.



Problems in Windows Explorer or the Windows shell after you install security update MS06-015
The MS06-015 security update package installs a new binary, VERCLSID.EXE, which validates shell extensions before they are instantiated by the Windows Shell or Windows Explorer. On some computers, VERCLSID.EXE stops responding. There have been reported issues where HP software causes the VERCLSID.EXE process to stop responding.
Available below is the Registry fix which automates the steps from KB918165. Download Q918165_HP_Fix.reg http://windowsxp.mvps.org/reg/Q918165_HP_Fix.reg 
and save to Desktop. This fix is for Windows XP systems only.

You may experience problems in Windows Explorer or in the Windows shell after you install security update MS06-015

Author Comment

ID: 16766760
I follow all you say, BUT my problem is that I cannot by any means start Outlook Express, as I am not able to get windows to run ANY EXE file at all.
the only programs I can get started is WORD by clikcing a .DOC file and  IE by clicking a .htm file.
I CAN e.g. open a single mail by clicking a .eml file, BUT I cannot get Outlook Express program itself started since the association between a .EXE file and the Windows kernel program executing an EXE file - that association is lost.  Therefore its not easy to backup things out.  
Haved chased the OE "database" files itself, but not found them ?

And where you normally goes to the CMD box and do things the DOS was - well, the CMD box is also an EXE file bo be run, so ..  see ?
deep water :-)
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

Merete earned 2000 total points
ID: 16767144
the reg fix give no help?
I do appreciate the pickle you are in indeed.
So do you still have sp2 installed or partially installed?
Can you see it in add remove programs?

I am wondering apart from a windows corruption you have no malware trojans?
Can you scan your computert with your up to date anti virus?
Are you able to access the internet? on this computer?
This update helps resolve an issue where Windows Installer running on Windows XP Service Pack 2 stops responding when you install an update. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.
Download Size: 760 KB
your current store folder is here:
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{B12CF550-4DDE-416C-90F1-DE4B6F55E972}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Have you tired to do this in safemode with networking using hidden administrative account,

Cannot run EXE files - Programs don't open
If you're unable to launch Regedit.exe even from Command Prompt, try this:

copy regedit.exe regedit.com

Alternately, you may download fixreg.com>> http://www.grisoft.cz/softw/70/filedir/util/avg_rem_sup.dir/fixreg.com 
from Grisoft.com site and run it by clicking onit.
 This utility fixes the exefile association in the registry automatically.
Your computer freezes while trying to install SP2.
If you have a Compaq or HP computer, you can find all the update information you need here. Dell owners should read this page carefully.
How to use the Automatic Recovery feature to recover your computer or your Tablet PC if the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Setup program is not completed successfully
Hang in there ArneSvendsen  if you keep plugging away we'll solve it and hopefuly with not much losses.

Author Comment

ID: 16767518
I am at work today, so wont get on, until to night (Denmark CET time)
Sp2 installed ok, Norman AV was running up to now, no virus - I think, as this all came out of a Microsoft update failing, but never know..
1) will look for OE folders at suggested place, when I get back on.
2) I might try the regedit.com trick from the dos prompt I can get thru XP-repair-with-prompt.
3) Question: DOES OE  actually get totalley reset when I install XP from new ?  If OE settings survives then I just have to re-install XP ?

thanks a lot for help so far ..
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Merete earned 2000 total points
ID: 16767830
Yes unfortunately everything will be gone, brand new start, however using recovery you do not.
Running setup clean installs.
But I do recomend a clean install.
If you get it all working again I would be happy to share how to back up and save your stuff on a regular basis.

Hey I was born in Copenhagen, lol was 4 years young  when I came to Australia, so long long ago.
Dont speak Danish ok :) But nice to meet a fellow dane.

ArneSvendsen  if you have another desktop computer there with xp,
Unpower your machine/ and the other/ get a small screw driver take off tower case side, using small flat nosed pliers unplug the ide and power connector to your hdd, remove screws and take it out.
using tweezers move the pin on the rear to slave, look at the diagram on top.

unpower the other machine, using the flat nosed pliers take out the ide and power connector to the " CDROM drive".<< plug these into your hdd .. Very Easy to do then sit your hdd ontop.
power in again, boot  it will be a bit slow to boot, windows will find new hardware, your hdd now as slave instead of cdrom, D: drive..
 now scan this hdd for malware.
Using outlook Express on this computer and the import emails provided grab your emails off your now slaved HDD.
And anything ele.
Scan it defrag it chkdsk it.
Then it is ready for xp install.

You can even delete the partition and format it from the C drive here using Computer Management in control panel administrative tools.

My pleasure too.


Author Comment

ID: 16776921
End of the story is..   I ended up with a clean install of XP after:

- trying regfix and finding it didnt help
- from the XP failsafe-mode-with-prompt, from this prompt I WAS able to run exe files
- from there by running REGEDIT,  chased thru reg.DB just to see problem of not being able to run EXE, COM, LNK files  was persistent -  even if registries for these files' shell commands were ok ?
- I was not aware that you CAN run a windows program from the prompt - ie. when trying to run MSIMN.EXE (outlook express) from this prompt, it actually did work and then was able to export mail and accounts.
- from there just a complete clean install as I think the missing "link" behind EXE, COM and LNK was not a virus, but some error happening in the windows update that started it all, which will never be prooved, grrrr..

- Tak, Merete for alle dine gode forslag, det var meget hjælpsomt ..
  (thank you for all the good suggestions, it was very helpful)

LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 16777309
HA! I understand that, lol music to my eyes,
 Mange tak, Det må du gerne og mig nydelse
(  thank you your welcome and my pleasure) :) ArneSvendsen

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