Before I start I would like to mention that Microsoft is about to release SP3 which will make SP2 obsolete. If you wait a few weeks and try to install SP3 instead maybe you will not get the same errors. If you have the same problem with SP3 then you can use the same methods I am about to mention to install SP3 on your system.
Sometimes I run into a computer that refuses to let me install SP2. There are errors and it stops part way through. I think this might be caused by permission settings in the registry or damage from viruses. (removing them doesn't always repair all of the damage) Caution: Before you attempt any kind of install of windows make sure that your computer is virus free. My personal anti-virus preference is AVG free edition.
The easiest way to get around the errors is to do a repair install using a XP install disk that has SP2 integrated into it. If you don't already have one, the easiest thing to do is buy one or borrow one from someone. Also, If you have an original stand alone XP installation disk, but it does not have SP2 integrated into it, you can download the stand alone version SP2 and slipstream it into your installation disk. The stand alone version can be downloaded here
. Instructions on how to slipstream can be found here
. Note: this method will only work with an XP disk and not a system restore disk. For example, my Emachines computer came with a disk that restores all sofware to its original state. It wipes out the hard drive and does not include a stand alone XP disk.
Once you have created your slipstreamed XP install disk do a repair install of windows using the new disk. If you are able to get into windows, the best way to do this is start the disk in Windows and choose the upgrade option. Make sure you are connected to the internet and Windows will do a dynamic update that can enhance the process. If you can't get into windows, follow these instructions
. to do a repair install at bootup.
One other thing to be aware of is that you will need a product key to install windows. The key will be on the side of your computer somewhere or possibly on the sleeve or case that windows disk is being stored in. If you cannot find your key, run magic jelly bean keyfinder and write your key down before you start the installation process. It can be found on this web page.
Some anti-virus programs may detect it as malware, but I assure you it is safe. There is a trend in the anti-virus community to blacklist all hacker ware, even harmless ones like the keyfinder. Also, if you have borrowed a disk from someone make sure you borrow the same version, i.e., if you have XP Pro, you must use an XP Pro disk, XP Home for XP Home, etc.
Finally, once the repair install is complete, you will want to get all of the latest updates for XP. Go to Start->Programs->Windows Update Select custom install and install 1 update. If it intalls correctly, then windows update is working properly and you can go ahead and get the rest of your updates. Sometimes after a repair install of windows, windows updates will not work. In this case you will have to repair or reinstall the windows update manager.
First uzip and run the bat file found on this page
Restart your computer and try windows update again. If that doesn't work, try the official microsoft fix found here
I prefer Method 2 and have used it many times successfully without fail.
I hope I have covered all the bases. Please let me know if you have any questions. I would also like to know if you try it and if it works.
--Sarah Jane Smith
Edited by Sarah Jane Smith, 08 April 2008 - 11:27 PM.
Revised some information about borrowing a CD and activation