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XP Repair Procedure


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#1
jelliott3

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I am attempting to recover from a corrupted config file on my HP nc6230 notebook. I have the OEM XP recovery disk and have gone thru the repair process as described in the pinned article on repairing XP. Very comprehensive.

However, on the "Windows XP Professional Setup" page, I am not given an "r" repair option. The choices are:
ENTER to set up (I guess reinstall) XP
C to create a new partition
D to delete the partition

The partition highlighted in the box below is called "C: Partition1 [NTFS]"

My questions are:

1. Does this mean that my XP installation is too corrupted to repair, or am I overlooking something? Is my only choice to re-install the OS?
2. If so, is there any way to recover personal files, including Outlook folders. Unfortunately, lots of important stuff on the disk.

I'm holding off attempting a full reinstallation for now.

Thanks for you help!
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#2
stupidhomer

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Most OEM setup disks try to be automatic, so you can't use the recovery console from there, you'll have to either find a recovery console disk off some site or find a different XP disk.

Also, if you want to recover any personal files, I recommend you try making a BartPE disk and use that to backup any files to an External Hard disk

Edited by stupidhomer, 07 November 2009 - 02:34 PM.

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#3
jelliott3

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Thanks for the reply.

My OEM recovery disk follows directly the procedure outlined in the pinned instructions on this forum -- except for the options allowed in the last step. Curious that I am allowed an "r" repair option earlier in the Welcome to Setup" screen. (Prior to pressing F8 to get the license agreement). When I depress "r", I go directly to the Win XP Recovery Console. Then can log on to C:Windows>. Not sure whether I can repair from this; the procedure from the command line are beyond my pay grade. Any suggestions?

FYI, the message at startup that necessitates the repair is "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM"

Also, what is a BartPE disk?
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#4
Broni

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    Kraków my love :)

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You can't perform repair installation with recovery CD.
You need full version CD.
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#5
jelliott3

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Sorry. To be more precise, I am working off the Windows XP Professional Operating System CD that came with my pre-installed OS. I assume this contains the full version of the OS installed on my system.
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#6
wannabe1

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If you press the R key on the Welcome to Setup screen, you'll access Recovery Console.

If your recovery cd contains the option for the repair (some do - most don't), you'll need to press Enter on the Welcome to Setup screen...just like you want to install the OS again. Then you should see the license agreement screen (some OEM disks skip this step)...then be offered the option to press R to repair the selected operating system.

Guide for XP Repair
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#7
jelliott3

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Thanks for the note. While the HP documentation clearly describes the "repair" option procedure after accepting the EULA, this option is not available on the menu. Either an error in the documentation, or the SW is intelligent enough to know repair is not an option (unlikely). Very frustrating.

It appears I may have to attempt to rescue my personal files in some way and reinstall the OS, unless someone has an idea of how to initiate repair.

Julian
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#8
wannabe1

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HP/Compaq does not offer the repair option...one of many who don't. Sorry, I didn't see that you were working on an HP machine.

HP does, however, have an option for a non-destructive recovery available from the recovery partition. You should be able to access this option (and others) by pressing the F10 key repeatedly as the machine starts. It may take a couple tries to get the timing down, but if the recovery partition is intact, you should be able to get to it in this way. Be sure to choose the non-destructive option if you have data aboard that you want to preserve.

If data is not an issue, the full destructive recovery will likely give you a more stable machine.
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#9
jelliott3

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Thanks for the positive reply. I assume you mean the ROM setup accessed via the f10 key on startup? Where would I find access to the recovery partition here? Would this be the "Restore from floppy" option? (How quaint)

FYI, I can get to the Recovery Console via the Windows Setup screen, and get a C:\WINDOWS> command prompt. Not sure if this is what you are referring to.

Sorry for seeming dense...
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#10
wannabe1

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I don't know that this will get you into Windows or not, but I've seen a disk check do things I didn't expect before.

At the C:\WINDOWS> prompt, type chkdsk /r c: and press Enter. If you're told the drive is busy and asked if you want to run this on the next boot, type Y and press Enter. Type exit and press Enter to quit the command session...if you are in a command session.

Reboot.

Let this check run to completion...it may take upwards of an hour...perhaps longer if the file system is really messed up. When it's finished, it should attempt to boot to Windows normally. If, for some reason, you end up back in the command session, type exit and press Enter.

Let us know if this helps.
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#11
jelliott3

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Have started the CHKDSK process. Haven't used the command line since the old MSDOS days; very rusty. Going to lunch now. I'll report the findings. Thanks for the help.

I'm curious as to what I should have seen using the F10 procedure on startup. Should I have been able to access a repair option from the ROM setup?
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#12
jelliott3

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I ran ChkDSK which notified me that an file error had been corrected. However, would not boot.

Ran CHKDSK a second time. Still won't boot.

Perhaps the best path at this point is to rescue my personal and Outlook files if possible and reinstall Windows.

Since the COPY command will not copy to external devices, any suggestions on the best way to save my files prior to reinstallation? Unfortunatley I'm not well versed in the system processes, and a google search turned up dry.

Thanks.
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#13
wannabe1

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Let's see if we can run a system restore using Recovery Console.

Boot from the Windows XP installation CD...after the first several screens load, you will be given a choice to choose R for Recovery Console. You will then be asked to log in. Choose the installation to be repaired by number (usually 1) and press "Enter". When you are asked for the Administrator password, leave it blank and press "Enter".

When you get to the recovery console prompt:
  • Type cd \ and press "Enter".
  • Type cd system~1\_resto~1 and press "Enter".
  • Type dir and press "Enter".
After you press enter you will see a list of folders (like rp1, rp2) If the list of restore points has more than one page then press the "Enter" key until you reach the end of the list
  • Type cd rp {number of the third to last folder in the list} and press "Enter". (Example: Type cd rp8 if rp10 is the last restore point.)
  • Type cd snapshot and press "Enter".
  • Type copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system and press "Enter".
  • Type copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software and press "Enter".
  • Type exit and press "Enter".
Your PC will reboot.

If you get an access denied error when doing the above, then do the following at the recovery console:
  • Type cd \ and press "Enter".
  • Type cd windows\system32\config and press "Enter".
  • Type ren system system.bak and press "Enter".
  • Type exit and press "Enter".
Your PC will reboot, go back into the Recovery Console and start from the beginning.
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#14
jelliott3

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Well, you are definitely a rock star. This procedure worked perfectly. I was able to roll back to a previous session without a problem. I am assuming that I can forgo the pain of reinstalling, since I performed a legal rollbback?

My wife (it's her data) insists I make a donation to your favorite charity. I'm glad to do so. Let me know what's best.

Again, thanks for your help. I also learned some things along the way.

Julian
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#15
wannabe1

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Yup...no need to reinstall at this point. I'm glad we were able to get things going for you. :)

As far as a donation goes, the donate button in my signature is to an account I use to purchase parts I use in refurbishing computers that are given to promising students whose families cannot afford to purchase the technology. No cost to the student or their family.

Or, if you prefer, please feel free to donate to the cancer charity of your choice.
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