Repair XP Pro  installation does not see previous version

Posted on 2010-08-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
This particular desktop was loaded with windows Xp proffesional. This morning when the machine started it showed a Blue screen of Death with the message "Registry Failure". shut the machine and tried to restart in safe mode but machine freezes.
Step 2 - Tried repairing the OS with the original CD , but for some reason on the repair screen menu it does not recognize the os and wants to do a fresh installation.
The onlly problem there are custom program which will be lost with the fresh install.

Question by:dollaratpizza

Expert Comment

by:Jamie Gillespie
ID: 33515693
Put the HDD in another machine as a slave and try and recover it that way?

Or you could use a bootable CD with O/S to extract the data

Expert Comment

ID: 33515714
Have to you tried to reinstall windows without formatting the disk.  Assuming the partition is intact you should be able to skip the step where the formating is done by installing into the existing partition "C:"  

This wont be a perfect option but its more likley you will get your custom program to work again than if you were to do full reinstall including disk format.

If my memory serves me correct the install will take place into a new windows folder e.g.  windowsxp leaving the origional folder intact.  If you recreate the links to the custom app any missing DLL files ETC should still be in the old windows folder for you to transfer into the new windows folder.

Good Luck and dont forget to backup the disk before you get started.
LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 33515758
Could be that the partition table has been destroyed and the CD is seeing an unformatted disk (no partition table).

First get the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Download links are the icons at the top of the page above Overview.  Browse the page and see what utils are there for you.  Check the memory and hard disk utils especially.

Make the CD and boot from it.  Run the memory tester first - memtest -  and let it do two to three passes through your memory.  Memory might be a problem so get that test done first.

Then test the hard disk with the correct manufacturer's util for your hard disk.  Do the long test.  That will most likely tell you if your disk is corrupt.  Corrupt as in bad sectors.

Assuming it passes all those OK then run TestDisk to see what it makes of your partition structure.  If it can't find a partition structure then you know that has been destroyed.

A tutorial for TestDisk can be found at http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

As long as you don't save while using TestDisk you will be OK.

I'm assuming you have an IDE disk in this machine.  If it is SATA then the hard disk test and TestDisk won't work.

Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.


Expert Comment

ID: 33515936
Here is a very good Microsoft article that will help you resolve your issue or let you know if the problem is irrecoverable.


Expert Comment

ID: 33515974
Once you've checked the disk integrity, boot to the XP CD and go to the recovery console.  Run the following commands to try and get the Windows disk to see the Windows installation for the Windows repair option:


fixmbr c: (assuming it assigns your system drive the c letter)

reboot and see if you can do the Windows repair now
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 33518347

I think File system has been corrupted.

1. Connect this hard drive to another PC & take all of the data.

2. Open command prompt - select the c drive of hard disk which you connect.


Tushar Kaskhedikar
LVL 93

Accepted Solution

nobus earned 1500 total points
ID: 33518496
it can be a bad disk also; so run the proper diag on it - all on the ubcd  : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

here a repair guide, explaining what to do if the repair does not see your install : http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Expert Comment

ID: 33518561
Image disk, make a copy of registry (MS KB mentioned before), install win without format, restore registry. If everything works, throw away old disk.
Don't waste time with disk testing, and any repairs can make situation worse.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 33520458
I would definitely do what nobus has suggested and create the ubcd4win CD. On that CD is also a program called RegResWiz. It is essentially a slimmed down version of Microsoft's System Restore. If you indeed have a registry issue, then running the wizard on the Cd will allow you to restore a backup copy (assuming that System Restore was active at the time.) It is a simple and easy attempt to repair the system without losing any data or having to re-install your programs.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 33521934
i never posted anything on ubcd4win...i never use it..

Expert Comment

ID: 33524487
lol :) neither do i.

Expert Comment

ID: 33531967
I had the same problem with not licensed disks of Windows XP (already activated, pirates and so on).

You need original Windows XP installation disk and it should work.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33686552
Was a bad hard disk
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 33689012
tx for feedback !

Featured Post

Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

Understanding the various editions available is vital when you decide to purchase Windows Server 2012. You need to have a basic understanding of the features and limitations in each edition in order to make a well-informed decision that best suits …
I was recently poking around with LibreOffice and figured out how easy it is to add great vector clip art to one's own LibreOffice gallery collection.
The Task Scheduler is a powerful tool that is built into Windows. It allows you to schedule tasks (actions) on a recurring basis, such as hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, at log on, at startup, on idle, etc. This video Micro Tutorial is a brief intro…
Finding and deleting duplicate (picture) files can be a time consuming task. My wife and I, our three kids and their families all share one dilemma: Managing our pictures. Between desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and cameras; over the last decade…

619 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question