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Staudte
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XP repair installation keeps restarting over and over, while a normal installation works

Hi Experts,

I have PC here where the XP installation was somehow messed up. After some fiddling around I decided that the easiest thing would be to run a repair installation - that something I have done many, many times.

However, after the system rebooted the first time to continue in graphic mode, it displays the full-screen XP logo with the running bar for a short while and then reboots - over and over again. Hardware can be excluded, because I have imaged the system to a completely new PC, too, and that made no difference. However, if I do a full reinstallation along with formatting the partition, the setup continues nicely in graphic mode - only when I do a repair installation it dies as soon as it gets into the graphic part of the setup.

How can some old and (more or less) messed up configuration cause the setup (that is supposed to overwrite it) to crash? I could, of course, just reinstall cleanly, but I want to save myself the effort of reinstalling all the applications...

Do you have any suggestions out of this misery?

Thanks a lot!

Thomas
Windows XP

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Last Comment
Adam Leinss

8/22/2022 - Mon
avilov

It looks like some driver is having problem loading

did you try to boot into safe mode?
Staudte

ASKER
Sorry to ask, did you read my question? The issue is not running Windows, but installing it?

I couldn't get into safe mode anymore - that's why I started the repair installation. It also is no driver or defective CD issue, because the same CD installs fine when I do  a normal installation, and fails when I do a repair installation. Consequently it must be something on the harddisk that bugs the installation during the repair setup, but what could that be? The setup shouldn't really be looking into anything on the harddisk while it's setting up?!?
marcokrecic

a corrupted hard disk structure is a common issue that cause this problem .
Run a "chkdsk c: /f" in system console and then repair your system.
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Walt Forbes
Adam Leinss

Break out of the install with Shift-F10, then look at setuperr.log and setupact.log:
http://techtracer.com/2007/03/12/xp-installation-the-34-minute-hiccup/ 
Should be in C:\windows
Staudte

ASKER
chkdsk did not find anything, except for some free space that was adjusted. The Shift-F10 procedure didn't work, because the setup restartet before it even asked for the installation CD again. However, I've used a PE CD to look at the drive and didn't find _any_ recent setup*.log files - all of them were dated back to 2006 where the PC was installed the first time. I would assume that the system now rebooted before it actually began to write to the logfiles.
Adam Leinss

If it's getting to GUI portion of the setup, you should be able to hit F8 and get options.  Try the option "Disable Automatic Restart on Failure" and see if you get a BSOD.  If you do, post it here.
Otherwise, pick the option "Enable boot logging" and then inspect C:\windows\Ntbtlog.txt from your WinPE disc
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Staudte

ASKER
Ok, that's getting us somewhere... it's giving a stop 0x7f (0x0d, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00). Googleing around, I found a link to this issue here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316526/en-us, but it didn't help. I have tested the reinstallation on both PCs now, playing with various F5 options (standard PC, ACPI PC, ACPI Uniprocessor PC) and it didn't make any difference. Unfortunately, I also couldn't get then ntbtlog.txt - it's not on the drive, nowhere. I've also played with BIOS Options, enabling/disabling different ACPI options, no change.
Adam Leinss

I'm wondering if this is related to MS10-015: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistawu/thread/73cea559-ebbd-4274-96bc-e292b69f2fd1
Can you try copying atapi.sys from a known, good, clean system to your PC and copy it over using WinPE?  Worth a shot and take less than 5 minutes.
Staudte

ASKER
The issue on MS10-015 sound very familiar - the problem started on 10-feb-2010 where the user couldn't get into the PC anymore... after ruling out the usual suspects (RAM, registry corruption, etc.) I attempted the repair installation and this didn't help either... right now I'm bringing up the PC and test the atapi.sys, will be back shortly.
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Staudte

ASKER
I'm still workin on this. I have the feeling that copying an older atapi.sys wasn't a good idea, as the system didn't even want to go into the recovery console afterwords (yet to speak of continue the installation process) - it just restartet after I select the Windows version. I've copy the previous atapi.sys back, but that made no difference, still no recovery console. I am, therefore, unsure what caused these additional problems. I'll now recover the image I took before and will keep you posted in 30-60 minutes.
Adam Leinss

When you say older atapi.sys, was it the same build and service pack level of XP?  Changing files on the disk shouldn't affect the recovery console at all.  It runs independently of anything on the disk.
Staudte

ASKER
I took the one from my PE CD, which was dated 2004, while the one on the disk was 2006. However, I share your opinion that that shouldn't make a difference to the RC, so I'll restore it to a known state before any further tests...
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Staudte

ASKER
Ok, here's the current situation. As far as the atapi.sys is concerned, changing this to a proper (i.e. non PE) version made no difference, no better, no worse. (I have checked the file in between restarts of the repair installation, and it was always a properly and newly copied SP2 file.)

On the issue being unable to access the recovery console, the problem was in front of the keyboard... I kept hitting just enter when prompted for the windows installation directory, rather than type 1 and enter. Leaving the field blank causes an immediate reboot...

An finally as far as the initial problem is concerned, the system did have the culprit hotfix installed, so I'm quite certain that that caused the problems from the start. However, I don't have a clean backup anymore, only one where the repair installation was already startet (and which failed). So even if I uninstall the hotfix (either manually or by using the ERD commander) or if I rollback to a previous system state using the ERD commander, I'm still stuck with a repair installation that is stuck, as it always reboots after the text portion of the setup...
Staudte

ASKER
Ok, I'll give up here and build the PC from scratch, but I'll summarize my findings:

1- ERD ist apparently a great tool and could have saved my day, had I not started a repair installation without having a backup (just to excuse myself, I had good reasons). It allows you to revert back to prvious saved system states and to uninstall hotfixes easily. (This can also easily be done manually, see the next point.)
2- The problem itself was most likely caused by the recent hotfix MS10-015 issued beginning of February 2010. To cure that, see http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistawu/thread/73cea559-ebbd-4274-96bc-e292b69f2fd1
3- A Windows XP repair installation DOES still rely on files that exist on the harddisk, i.e. it can't fix everything. (I have, for example, deleted some nvidia drivers out of system32\drivers, started a fresh repair installation and at the beginning of the GUI portion, it complained about these missing drivers.)
4- One CAN press F8 at the beginning of GUI portion of XP setup to stop the automatic restart and see the bluescreen stopcode, just like with any other XP installation.
5- If there are compatibility problems prohibiting the installation of XP for some reason, one can press F5 during the F6 prompt of an installation and select different PC types (for what it's worth).
6- It's worthwhile checking the Windows directory for setup*log-files, if there are any problems during installation.

Thanks, aleinss, for looking into this and helping me out!

Thomas
Staudte

ASKER
see author's last comment for a summary
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William Peck
Adam Leinss

No problem.