How Do I Install Windows Recovery Console for XP + SP3

I need to install the WRC but when I try to do so following Microsoft's instructions from my XP (Pro) disc, I get an error message saying that the installed version of WIndows is more recent than the one on the disk. I assume this is because I have SP3 installed.
kilgore661Asked:
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kilgore661Author Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion but that thread does not seem to contain an answer to my question. The first thread contains a suggestion to slipstream SP3 using software I have not heard of (nLite?) and someone disagreeing with this idea. The latter comment refers to another thread where someone is told that they should be able to use their SP2 disc to install the WRC on their SP3 machine, which is at odds with the person who started the first thread.
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MariusSunchaserCommented:
Hi there.

Seems like MS recommends that you install WRC before SP2/SP3, or use any CD to use WRC.
People offer as alternative sollution to slipstream SP3 into your Windows CD, and use that CD to solve your problem.
Check these 2 threads for more details:
http://www.technologyquestions.com/technology/windows-xp/229066-recovery-console-sp3-2.html
http://forums.techarena.in/windows-xp-support/1068415.htm

Cheers.
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kilgore661Author Commented:
I have created an XP disc with SP3 slipstreamed using nLite. Everything went the way that was described in http://www.paulspoerry.com/2008/04/25/how-to-slipstream-windows-xp-sp3-create-a-windows-xp-disk-with-sp3-already-installed/.

I then tried to install the WRC using Start/Run with the command d:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons. This time I got past the "your version of windows is more recent than..." message, but I got a new problem:

"Setup was unable to create, locate or modify a critical file (C:\BOOT.INI) needed to start Windows XP. The system cannot find the file specified."

I had a look at c: and there does indeed seem to be no BOOT.INI (I have "show hidden files" etc enabled). This reminded me of an anomaly that has existed for a long time but didn't seem to cause a problem so I forgot about it: when the machine boots, after detecting hard disks etc, there is a message: "Invalid BOOT.INI, booting from c:\windows."

I think this goes back to when the machine was a dual boot XP/Linux machine.

I can't tell if the problem is a missing file or a file that is not missing but corrupt and hidden. Suggestions please?
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
Boot.ini is a "superhidden" file in the root directory of the System drive/partition.  In order to see it, you need to click on the Tools menu of Windows Explorer, select Folder Options, click on the View tab, put a dot next to Show hidden files and folder, and also remove the check marks next to Hide protected Operating System file (recommended), and next to Hide extensions for known file types.  Then you can edit it as described in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;289022
HOW TO: Edit the Boot.ini File in Windows XP

Another useful article on Boot.ini:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314081
The Purpose of the Boot.ini File in Windows XP

Another simple way to modify Boot.ini is through the Microsoft Configuration utility:

Go to Start > Run > type MSCONFIG and click OK  > on the boot.ini Tab > Check Boot Paths button
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kilgore661Author Commented:
Thanks LeeTutor, but it seems I really have no BOOT.INI. See screenshots.
Untitled.jpg
Untitled2.jpg
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
Well, you can create one using the instructions from the MS articles I gave a link for.  Then as to the missing boot.ini tab in MSCONFIG:

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/bootini.htm
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kilgore661Author Commented:
Sorry LeeTutor, the articles you mention are of little use to me. I get the general gist of what is going on in BOOT.INI but it I have no idea which lines I need and which I don't.

This is a new question in my opinion: see http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_24428693.html.
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
From the first article I agave a link for, a typical boot.ini is listed here:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

This is where you have only one operating system (not a dual boot with another OS), your disk is IDE rather than SCSI, there is only one hard drive with a single partition, and the version of XP is professional.  If your disk is SCSI, then substitute SCSI(0) for multi(0).  I presume you have only one disk and you are not dual booting; if you are, then I can tell you how to change boot.ini    Of course, if you are using XP Home rather than Pro, you can substitute Home for Professional in the last line of boot.ini
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
>I have no idea which lines I need and which I don't.

You need ALL those lines.  
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kilgore661Author Commented:
Do you want to answer my question about BOOT.INI where it is posed as a separate question for the 250 points? I will add some clarification there.
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
No, just continue posting in this one.
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kilgore661Author Commented:
OK, it seems you don't.

To continue then, it is not a dual-boot machine, but it does have two disks. I can't remember what type they are. Either IDE or the thing that came out after IDE (that has the 1/2" cable, not the 40-pin one).

Disk 0 has two partitions with C (the bootable one) being the first partition.
Disk 1 has one partition.

Does this help?
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kilgore661Author Commented:
SATA! Gee, that was hard.
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
All right, then the boot.ini sample that I gave above should apply.  As long as there are no bootable operating systems on any other partition, the boot.ini doesn't even need to know about them...;
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
By the way, if you can construct a working boot.ini (which I presume will mean as well as put that tab back in the MSCONFIG window), then normally that file is read-only and hidden, in order to protect it from most user operations that might destroy it.  You can do this by going to a Command Prompt and typing these commands:

cd \
attrib +r +h boot.ini
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Still looks like you're in a loop with missing boot.ini and contingencies of the Recovery Counsole.  This may add some insight: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184
How to install and use the Recovery Console in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654
Asta
 
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kilgore661Author Commented:
D*mn I should have given some points to MariusSunchaser:as it was him who suggested slipstreaming. How can I fix that?
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
While we're waiting for the questioner to re-close the question, it's back to being an expert again.  

Hey, astaec, haven't see you around for a long while?  Where've you been?
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Hi, Lee.... been working here in the background when time permits.  Love that you're also still here proving that "teamwork works"!  Doing well, thanks bunches.  ":0)  Very pleased that "our top notch support" reigns.  
Asta
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kilgore661Author Commented:
25 for the idea, 100 for the right idea, 125 for following through. Thanks everyone
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