Can't get out of Windows installation

By TomServo
Jul 27, 2009
  1. Windows XP Pro SP3.
    Acer AMD Desktop.

    I had some corruption last week, and tried to use my Windows install CD to (R)epair the system (not Recovery Console, but "Install" - "Repair").

    Setup went through all the prelim file copying, switched to the graphic progress screen and then only got so far, first it asked for the NVOL for the chipset drivers (which I had on another CD, and successfully pointed setup to them) but then it complained something along the lines of "Could not find driver for MEDIA" (wish I could remember the exact verbage, but I can't), and restarted. Went right to the "setup is initializing windows" screen, through all the prelim copying again, got to the graphic progress screen and now complains about a whole plethora of missing drivers and other problems and restarted again.

    But at no point in the process does there ever seem to be a way to get OUT of the cycle. I don't even seem to be able to get back to the menu to choose a fresh install rather than a repair. Not that I really want to.

    Is there a way to remove setup from the bootup? Any chance of getting back to even my corrupted Windows. Since repair obviously doesn't work, and it looks like reinstalling is the only option, I have to copy over a number of files.
  2. magaman598

    magaman598 TS Booster Posts: 188

    Nope, there isn't a way to remove the setup, and about getting back in the Corrupt Windows, I'm not too sure. As for asking for Drivers at the Windows Setup, I think that's a bit weird because if I remember correctly, Windows uses it's own Drivers during the Install.
  3. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    You can't go back to your old Windows now, it's too late for system restore. What type of Windows CD are you using? It sounds like it's either from a totally different system, or chances are, the CD is corrupt.
  4. TomServo

    TomServo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks @magaman... that's exactly what I thought, too. When I originally installed (using the same CD), it used it's own drivers... and I installed the chipset, video et al after Windows setup was finished. I just figured the "repair" route was a little different.

    @strategic - I suppose anything's possible with regard to the CD being corrupt... but it's the same CD I used to install originally. Of course, the system on the box was at SP3... and the CD was SP1... but I really didn't figure that should matter. It's supposed to restore back to SP1, and then I should be able to patch back up to SP3.
  5. magaman598

    magaman598 TS Booster Posts: 188

    I would suggest just completely reformatting the Computer than just doing a repair install.

    It sounds like you're going to be in for a long night if you dont. :p
  6. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    If by chance you have important files on the computer, the only thing I can suggest is to reinstall from the beginning AND do not do a complete format (only the quick format). This way, you can recover at least some of the files. Another option would be to 'slave' it on a different system to recover anything. You never mentioned anything about recovering files, but I thought I'd throw that at you anyway.
  7. magaman598

    magaman598 TS Booster Posts: 188

    Strategic, at my Work we used a Program called File Scavanger or something along those lines to pull Data off of HDD if the Client needed. I don't know if it works with a Reformat, but we used it on Thrased Drives. (Or the Drives were getting there pretty fast.)

    Just thought I would throw that out there. =D
  8. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Well, put it this way, most of us know that when we delete files, they're not really deleted (and I'm not referring to the 'recycle bin'). Same thing, you can do a quick format when you install windows, and you can do a full format, which takes longer which means all the data is permanently lost. With the quick format, the files are still there. A lot of the files will get erased because when the o/s is installing, there is a lot of copying and moving and anything else you can imagine on your HDD, which is why it's important to defrag after installation [but thatr's a different topic].
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    1) I was once caught in a similar "Windows repair install / setup loop" and (at least for my case) also found it necessary to do a reinstall
    2) Here's another approach to try to first access and COPY your data prior to a reinstall See How to recover your folders/files when Windows won’t boot
    3) Finally, depending how concerned you are with data recovery you might also consider booting from a disk ghost backup rescue CD in order to first create a sector-by-sector ghost image of your hard drive before running any recovery tools (which will modify the HD in the process of trying to recover)
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