Fixing a failed XP Pro repair install

Posted on 2007-11-14
Last Modified: 2008-08-13
When I placed my old hard drive into my new machine with a different motherboard in it, Windows booted up and ran fine.  Immediately after installing the new motherboard drivers, Windows re-booted  to a blue screen. To fix this, I figured a simple repair install of XP Pro would work fine, but instead, I get a blue screen again when Windows attempts to boot.  I know that the correct solution to this would probably be to just do a fresh install, but I REALLY would like to avoid reinstalling all of my Programs again.

I was able to access Windows in safe mode after the initial BSOD, but not after the repair install. I do have some backups of the registry, and I'm pretty confident that I can still access the files on the hard drive. How can I fix this BSOD, and avoid a reinstall?
Question by:Zraxius
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Expert Comment

ID: 20281805
Id try this,

in the recovery console do a fixboot and fixmbr


Author Comment

ID: 20281916
I apologize, I forgot to mention that I did do a FIXBOOT in the recovery console. Is FIXMBR the same thing? Do I need to do one or the other, or do I need to do both?
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 20282027
The fixboot command is a Recovery Console command that writes a new partition boot sector to the system partition that you specify.

The fixmbr command writes a new master boot record to the hard disk drive that you specify.

It's best to try both.

Author Comment

ID: 20282076
Tried both, neither worked.

Accepted Solution

level9tech earned 300 total points
ID: 20282138
Yeah id say reformat and install the amount of time it would take to figure this out would probably more than the 45 minutes it would take to install windows
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 200 total points
ID: 20282415
I agree with level9tech. Although it'll take a lot longer to install your applications and settings.
A repair install after a motherboard change will be messy.
For future reference, if you change a motherboard again run Windows and Office Save my Settings wizards before removing the old board.
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Expert Comment

ID: 20283757
It's been a while, but is there a repair install on the first menu screen booting up from the CD?

It seems to me that there is on some installations and this one is just a fast repair that I have found to not be nearly as effective as choosing install windows and then there is another option there to repair windows that seems to work better.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 20284035
Just in case there's some confusion here, this is the way to do a repair installation:
Repair installation of Windows.
This leaves all your programs and data intact while reinstalling Windows.

1.  Boot the computer from your XP CD (if this won't boot, you may need to change the order of boot devices in BIOS setup).
2   Eventually you will see the "Welcome To Setup" screen. Press the Enter key to start Windows Setup.
3.  Be careful NOT to choose R, which is "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console".
4.  Accept the License Agreement.
5.  Windows setup will search for existing Windows installations.
6.  Select the XP installation you want to repair (there is usually only one) and now press R to start the repair.

More complete instructions on how to do this, complete with pictures, are here:

Author Comment

ID: 20284881
The repair install was done in the manner that vallis has explained.  I'm a little confused about the "Save my settings" wizard though.  Do you mean the "Backup" wizard found in Start\All Programs\Accessories\System Tools?  Doesn't that wizard simply back up files & not programs?
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 20295513
Windows XP File & Transfer Wizard:
Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Files and Settings Transfer Wizard.

It backs up files AND settings but not programs. You can choose which items to back up and which not. It doesn't backup programs. This saves your Windows setup data - Desktop settings, Windows Explorer settings, IE, My Documents - you can choose what to move. It also transfers settings from some other programs.

No use in your present quandary - as I said, I mentioned it for future reference because when reinstalling Wndows the most time consuming part is restoring settings - not so much installing programs.

If you have MS Office 2003 you can use:
Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools > Microsoft Office Save my Settings Wizard.

This transfers all your Office Settings (except email passwords) including email account settings, dictionaries, templates - the works.

Author Comment

ID: 20296636
Well, for me it's definitely much more time consuming and nerve wracking to install the programs. Thank you for all input though, I've already done the reinstall on another drive, and now I'll just go back through the program re-installation process as needed at this point.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 20299371
I suggest that you invest in imaging software so that if you have a problem in future reinstallation is just a matter of a few mouse clicks and 20 minutes drinking coffee.
See here:
and here:

Review comparison:
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BootItNG is cheaper, just as good as Acronis but less user friendly:

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