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Windows XP Repair Question



4:57 am on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I hate to post a question without answering a few others before but unfortunately this is quite urgent for me. My motherboard died on me very unexpectedly and after 5 1/2 great years, I had to buy new processor, video card, ram, you get the point.

Unfortunately for us in the web development field, getting the information off a hard drive in such a situation is critical. I am going to attempt a repair install of Windows in the hopes that I can get back in to backup my e-mail, get my Photoshop files etc. and back them up.

I've never done this before and I put the CD in, went to set Windows up like I was told and it copied the setup files, then asked me to agree to the EULA. I froze. I wasn't sure if I had to agree before it would look for previous installations to repair or if it would go right into installing Windows and most likely killing all my files along with it.

Can anyone let me know if I have to agree to the EULA before it will let me have the option to repair Windows or is I should have had the option to repair before agreeing to the EULA?

Thanks a lot, I really really appreciate it.


6:01 am on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just pull the hard drive out and put it in an external case. Reinstall the OS on a new drive (they're dirt cheap these days. You should then be able to access all the files to transfer them over.

I just went through this. Set aside at least one complete day for the process, since you will surely discover problems along the way. In my case it was corrupt data in outlooks .pst file that needed to be repaired :(

You will end up with a nice backup drive when all is said and done ;)


7:02 am on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I agree that pulling the drive out and backing up the data is best (I use a USB adaptor).

But to answer your question, there are two repair options from the XP installer - the first is command line and you get it by pressing R instead of Enter at the initial prompt, and you might (depending on the problem) run something like "fixboot" from there.

The second repair option comes after agreeing to the EULA - you should see another choice of pressing R or Enter, and if you press R then Windows will attempt an automatic repair.

If you don't see a Repair option at this point press Esc to cancel, or power down.



4:24 pm on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well in the end it didn't matter. Repair wasn't an option so now I am going to put a spare 300 GB hard drive into another computer, put everything onto an external drive then put my 160 GB that has Windows on it in and see if I can get everything off there. If I can't repair it through the recovery console after that then I will just do a clean install of windows.

I would hate to lose all my programs but the most important thing is my files.

I'll keep you posted.


6:35 am on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Off-Topic @willybfriendly
In my case it was corrupt data in outlooks .pst file that needed to be repaired :(

How did you repair that? Any tools to recommend? I am suffering from dismal OL performance and haven't found a way to bring it back to original speed. Maybe something is wrong with the pst file.

Go with a new HD and a fresh install. Although it takes some time to also re-install your applications, system performance (esp. data access) should be much better than when doing a repair.

mspencer 80126

4:31 am on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Look for scanost.exe and scanpst.exe utilities in microsoft.com website, they repair the outlook files.

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