XP Repair Install

I'm trying to install XP in repair mode on a computer.

It got so far, then it's asking for an SP2 CD, which I don't have.

From this computer, I downloaded SP2 from Microsoft & saved it. It's an exe file. Do I just write that file to a CD and put that CD in the other computer CD drive?

I know that won't work, what do I do?

Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAsked:
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If you Slipstream XP and SP2 onto the CD you'll be fine.
I use CDBurnerXP vice the burning software recommended in the above article. It's free, reliable and easy to use.
You need the original media to repair. I suspect the PC was shipped with SP2 installed if the medias not available and you only have XP media you can try slipstreaming SP2 and creating a bootable CD.

http://www.helpwithwindows.com/WindowsXP/winxp-sp2-bootcd.html should help.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
If this is a Tablet or Media Center edition then you may have used the wrong media to repair with.
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Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
To David-Howard:

The link on how to slipstream doesn't work when trying to combine the sp2 & xp.

The suggest CD burner software will not install, it has a virus that my virus software catches & end the install.
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:

That link addresses doing it on the same computer. That can't work, my computer is unavailable, I'm doing this on ANOTHER computer.

Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
To all,

If I go to a store & buy XP wth Sp2, then boot from that will that allow me to do it in repair mode so I don't loose everything?

I actually suspect I need sp3. Don;t know how I can find out, I didn't look before I started.

I don;t have time to wait to order a CD in the mail.

If I get Win 7, can I install it without loosing everything (all my programs, etc.)? I have all my critical data backed up.

I've heard win7 is a problem, no Outlook Express, etc.

Thats fine rkorts, on your working computer,
copy your Windows XP CD to your hard drive. Just create a folder (XP-CD), and copy all the contents of your Windows XP CD in that folder.
Then follow the instructions from there and you should be able to slipstream SP2
You won't be able to go to a store and buy XP.
If you get Win 7 you should be able to upgrade and save all your files.
Have you tried contacting the manufacturer to see if they have a cd online you can download, if the message was asking for SP2 its looking to repair using a XP install with SP2 slipstreamed, common practice for OEMs
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
To dswatt:

I tried that & I get the attached.
@ rkorts

Do you still want to make your own XP SP2 Disc?  I can help you obtain and use tools and give you instructions as required, but I don't want to start coaching you through this process if you are already planning to do something else.

A repair install depends on using an XP Disk with the same level of Service Pack that is already installed.  If your existing install is SP2, you have to use an XP SP2 CD to repair, otherwise the existing SP1 or original XP system files will be incorrect, therefore the setup program does not allow it.

The full version SP2 272MB EXE file, is a self extracting archive that could be extracted without actually running the EXE in the normal manner that updates an earlier XP installation.  

Inside the archive, an I386 folder exists with all the files needed to update a previous XP CD's files to SP2.

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Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:

I was getting nowhere with the first one, that's why I tried another.

I see now there is another comment on #1, I will respond to that.
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
To Jim-R:

I have tried that once, it failed but I probably didn't do it right.

I would welcome your help, I'm basically dead with my main computer now.

Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
To Jim-R:

If it helps, the CD with XP that came from Dell says "Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Version 2005 with Update Rollup 2".


The Media Center Version adds a new twist.  It is the only version of XP that came out in 2 CD's (in retail stores).  One has the XP and the other has the Media Center components.  That being said, Dell likely only gave you one disk (as others have reported) which must have the contents of both "retail" Disks on one.

The Update Rollup 2 on the label I'm thinking implies SP2.  Now when SFC is asking you for a SP2 CD (which you don't have), it is wanting a standard XP SP2 disk which the Dell disk is not.  You are not alone.  The general consensus on the internet is that the SFC command simply DOES NOT WORK with a Dell XP MCE disk.  Period. End of story.  Also, apparently the official MS standing is that SP3 is NOT supported when it comes to slipstreaming into XP MCE.  See Also Windows XP Service Pack 3 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers which states:

System requirements

Supported Operating Systems: Windows XP Home Edition , Windows XP Professional Edition, Windows XP Service Pack 1, Windows XP Service Pack 2

Note the lack of "XP MCE (Media Center Edition) on the list of "supported" OS's

However, there ARE reportedly "working" ways to work around the problem.

If you don't have SP3 installed, you don't want to make a SP3 Disk, at least not immediately.  I reiterate my earlier post that stated you need the same level service pack disk as the one presently installed.  You'll have to confirm this for me, but I think you have SP2 (hence the Rollup2 on the CD label).  It is possible, through updates, you have SP3 installed via windows update which was apparently the only supported avenue to SP3 for MCE (from SP2, for which support has now died of old age)

I think I've given you enough to digest for now.  One more link for you to ogle which I believe is part of the complex solution to your problem.

Slipstreaming XP SP3 into Windows XP MCE 2005
I'm not sure why your system is detecting the link I gave you as a threat. But if you need the software you can go through the official site vice CNet.
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
To JimR,

I don't understand what you are suggesting.

What would happen if I tried to install XP (a non Media Center version) from another XP CD I have in the NON-repair mode?

Does it wipe out all my programs? Will it even work?

I can probably live with that, given the point I'm at now

This article will help you re-install XP.http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978788

Method 2: Repair install of Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP CD
Note If Windows XP was preinstalled on your computer, you may need the installation CD to reinstall. Contact your computer manufacturer to make sure that you have the installation CD for a repair installation.

To reinstall Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP CD, follow these steps:
Insert the Windows XP CD into your computer's CD drive or DVD drive, and then restart your computer.
When you receive the "Press any key to boot from CD" message on the screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.
The following message on the Welcome to Setup screen will appear:
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer: To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER. To repair a Windows XP installation by using Recovery Console, press R. To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
Press ENTER to set up Windows XP.
On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.
Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to reinstall Windows XP. After you repair Windows XP, you may have to reactivate your copy of Windows XP. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310064  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310064/ ) How to troubleshoot Windows XP Setup problems when you upgrade from Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
To dswatt:

I understand how to do the repair, I have tried it 3 or 4 times.

It does not work, as outlined in prior posts on this question.

Now, I am asking this.

I have ANOTHER copy of Win XP with SP2 on it, NOT related to this computer. I want to know what happens if I boot from that CD & act like I'm NOT doing the repair.

Will it recognize that there are programs  (i.e., the folder Program Files) & save them or does it start from scratch?
It will ask you if it finds another copy of windows if you want to re-install into the same folder. It will then let you boot up and you will need to SP your machine. Progams like Office have Dlls hooked into the system32 folder, that will require you to have the installation media handy and will then self repair.
Answer to your question is difficult as the document linked points out this is a last ditch attempt to get up and running.
The bottom line here is that XP Media Center Edition was NEVER meant to be installed as an upgrade.  It was only meant to be installed clean (formatted hard drive, you lose everything)  In addition to this, your install key is MCE specific.  It will not activate a standard (non-MCE XP) install from your "other" XP CD you have (explained later).  You could probably obtain a standard XP Pro CD key from other sources (no longer available in stores).  Your location is unknown to me, but I am in Canada so a search on eBay found many XP Pro disks for sale.  For example

Windows XP Professional SP3

Any clean install wipes all your programs and everything else.

As I suspected, your Dell install media IS already SP2 (referred to as Rollup 2 by MS on the MCE type of XP).  Because MCE wasn't designed with upgrading in mind, I suspect this is why "repair" installs do not work in spite of the two XP OS's being almost identical.

From Aaron Stebner's WebLog (A Microsoft Employee)

Aaron Stebner's WebLog - How to install Media Center from CDs

I have seen questions from fellow Microsoft employees regarding how to install Windows XP Media Center edition on a brand new computer using the OS installation CDs.  This question has very rarely been asked by customers outside of Microsoft because Media Center is typically only available via an OEM reseller and comes pre-installed on the computer.

Later in the blog he explains the license key aspect:

Enter a valid product key that matches the OS type you want to install

After launching setup with one of the above command line parameters, the other step required to install Media Center instead of the standard XP Home/Pro OS is to enter a valid Media Center product key when prompted during OS setup.  Doing so will cause OS setup to install the .NET Framework 1.0 and Media Center components in addition to the standard XP Home/Pro components.  It will also cause your OS to be branded appropriately (for example - the left side of the start menu if you have your desktop configured for Windows Classic view will display "Media Center" instead of "Windows XP").

Also, if you enter a Home/Pro product key, OS setup will not end up installing the .NET Framework 1.0 or the Media Center components, and you cannot use Media Center on the Home/Pro OS that you have just installed.

Conversely, if you attempt to use a MCE CD key on a standard XP install, it will definitely not activate and you will have wasted your time.

When it comes to slipstreaming SP3 into MCE, MS does not support it, therefore the only way to officially get SP3 installed is from Windows Update whose support for your OS is no longer available.  This leaves you on your own.

From the last posting I wrote, some people have found a work around for slipstreaming MCE.  At the time of my last posting, I did not realize that you already had a Rollup 2 of MCE and it was because MCE isn't designed as an upgrade that your repair install failed, not because your installed version didn't match your install disk.

At this point in time, given the situation you have, you are going to be forced to do a new clean install.  The only other decision you have is will it be:

1.  MCE with your existing license key and Dell media (DL & install SP3 afterwards)
2. XP Pro with another license obtained elsewhere.
3. Windows 7 (you'll want at Pro if you have XP programs) if your hardware supports it.

Win 7 pro comes with Windows Media Center integrated and an XP Mode license which is basically Windows XP running in a virtual machine within Win 7 for Win 7 incompatible programs.  Win 7 versions less than Pro or Ultimate do not come with the XP Mode license.

Obviously, Win 7 is the most desirable, but given the age of your original OS, Win 7 is not likely to run as well as you'd like it on your hardware.  XP came on a CD (700Mb max)  Win 7 comes on DVD and has way more bells and whistles than your present hardware may be capable of handling.

The least desirable, yet most practical is starting over with your existing MCE.  Just the fact you can't do a repair install would set me running in the opposite direction, but support for XP is also quickly dying out, so you may want to start scraping your shekels together for a new PC.
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
I am splitting the points for your efforts. You were basically right, I had to just bite the bullet & install XP Pro as a new OS; lost all my programs, etc.

I apologize that the full 500 points I assigned are not available. A moderator decided this was the same as another question & put both at 250.

I'm sorry.

Thanks & look for more of my questions as I am already having a bunch of issues getting going again.
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