Failed XP Repair instalation

Posted on 2011-02-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I had a computer that the owner said had a virus on it and wouldn't start up, so I decided to use an XP cd to do a repair install to get the computer running without deleting the files.  As it turned out, in the middle of the setup it asked for the cd key.  I used the key found on the tag (wouldn't work) and used the key on the CD (Which is a volume license version) (wouldn't work).  

Now I'm stuck. I can't go back and cancel the install.  It won't let me use another XP CD (it wants the original CD that I started the repair with) and I don't know how to delete the temp install files.  I put the Drive in another computer and backed up some files, but would like to take another route to fix windows.  
Question by:sethag
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Expert Comment

ID: 34873145

The key is probably the vendor's OEM key which is pre-integrated into the installation and not necessarily the one you see on the case. HP, Dell and others use thi system.

You really need to run a repair from a recovery CD for that machine?



Author Comment

ID: 34873182
Well I thought it would be the quickest way to get the computer in operation so I could figure out what's going on.  I had previously tried running a  - chkdsk /r   -  and found some errors, but the computer still wouldn't get past the windows splash screen.  

At this point I just want to delete the install files so I can start over in a new direction.

It's a dell and the Alt F11 wouldn't work.
LVL 62

Accepted Solution

☠ MASQ ☠ earned 500 total points
ID: 34873403
This might help - or at least point to where things went wrong:

There should be no reason why a repair over the top of this with a matching Dell OEM SP3 CD won't work.
LVL 46

Expert Comment

ID: 34873429
Connect the drive to another machine - update there MBR of the drive. This will brake Dell restore point (if any exists, btw is there any?) but should let you interrupt the process of installation.
Did you clean the temp folder directories?

Author Comment

ID: 34874045
noxcho:  No I didn't clean the temp folder directories.  How do I do that with the hd in another computer?

How do I update the MBR.

Do I really want to brake the dell restore point and why?

Author Comment

ID: 34874067
MASQUERAID:  I don't have the dell sp3 cd.  At the time I didn't think it would matter which cd I was using to do the repair.  Apperently I was wrong.  I would Like to if I could.
Scale it in WD Gold

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LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34874277
Dell still sell their reinstallation CD's (and the customer probably has/had one) or if you are prepared to take a chance with eBay they regularly turn up there - look for Dell reinstallation CDs
LVL 46

Expert Comment

ID: 34874972
Can you connect this drive to another machine, boot into Windows then get to Windows Disk Management and take screen shot of it? I would like to have a look on the partitions layout you have at the moment.
Also get to system partition of this drive while being in different Windows and take another screen shot of this partition (plus Windows folder) so we could see what Windows did write there.
You can update MBR with Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Home trial version,com
LVL 46

Expert Comment

ID: 34874977
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 34875459
If it is a newer XP CD, it will let you bypass the point of putting in a key - just press next.

Author Comment

ID: 34909967
Problem resolved - Several things have happened though, and several lessons learned.  I finally downloaded the new version of Key Finder and was able to find the XP key by putting the drive in another computer. the new version of Key finder allows you to load the other drive into the program.  (I had the old version and didn't know that.)  Well by that time I had already ran fixMBR (per someone suggestion) to try to break the setup operation, but then I couldn't see the partition at all.  (big mistake)  To make a long story short, I was reloaded windows from scratch, but then found DSRfix from somewhere on the Dell website.  After running that file I was able to access the Dell Restore partition again and then was able to restore the computer to it's original state.  I saved the files, but lost all of the programs.

If I would have known about Key Finder in the first place, it would have been a quick and easy fix.  Live and Learn.  

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34910105
Didn't help me fix the problem, but did help me to undersatand why the key I had didn't work

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