Previous installation of XP not detected

By hitech0101
Jun 10, 2011
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  1. I want to do a repair of win xp but i am unable to see the existing installation whenever i try to do a repair the previous installation never shows up always i end up formatting & doing a fresh install, the OS is win xp sp3.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,295   +44

    For a 'repair' you change the boot order to enforce a boot off the XP install disc (which should be an SP3 slipstreamed full retail version). Maybe you are doing that.

    http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/Reco...erform_a_repair_installation_of_Window_XP.htm describes the process reasonably well, but note the caveats about having to have SATA drivers available somewhere. That is probably your problem. Fixing requires you to set your HDD sata drive to IDE mode.
  3. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 423   +19

    The fix is for in case the drive is not recognized in my case i can clearly see the drive it just does not recognize the previous installation also there isn't an alternate option given there it just tells to format in case previous installation is not detected.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,295   +44

    The only suggestion I have is that the XP boot manager or one of it's files is not visible or not correct in some manner. You need to find boot.ini - this is a hidden, system file, so you need to set windows explorer able to see hidden, system files.

    Along with boot.ini, there should be ntdetect.com and ntldr

    These should all be at the root of your c: drive, but can be elsewhere. So the first step would be to find those files, tell us where they are, and what their parameters are - all hidden, system, read-only. Also double-check that there is not more than one copy of each of those files somewhere else. Assuming all is well there, please report exactly what is in boot.ini

    As I don't see how XP can even start without those files present and correct, perhaps you should also explain why you want to 'repair' the installation. Because the OS will not boot, perhaps ?

    If that is actually the case, the solution could conceivably be as simple as fdisk /mbr or sys c: or similar. Please give more detail on your problem.
  5. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 423   +19

    XP works fine i format it occasionally but every time this is the problem it does not detect the previous installation sometimes i want to repair instead of a full format but I always end up formatting which is way too time consuming also its the same version & same xp disc so i do not understand why this happens.
  6. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 2,048   +8

    And this happens often in dual-boot systems.
  7. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 423   +19

    I am dual booting but even before I dual booted the problem existed so dual boot is not the problem here.
  8. akannitaoheed

    akannitaoheed Newcomer, in training Posts: 99

    I understand this problem to some extent. This happens when some of those windows critical files have some issues: the system may still boot even if this happens but there will be quite some hitches in operation. So in the case you try to repair and the previous installation does not appear, boot to cd again and enter the recovery console through the first repair option you get when running windows xp setup. Use these commands: fixmbr- this will fix the masterboot record file and : chkdsk -r. This will fix as much file and file system errors as possible and probably correct the problems with those critical windows files. If this does not work and this has happened several times on the same HDD, then it means your HDD's intergrity can't be guaranteed. Prepare to buy another HDD.

    After the whole process, try the booting windows from HDD first and if the problem is resolved, no need for the other repair you were trying but if not, go ahead with it as a second stage to the repair process. Hope this works for you.
  9. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 423   +19

    But still it does not explain why this problem repeats itself after full format & fresh install the hdd is in great condition because i have used other tools to check it also i tried win xp sp 2 the repair option presents itself but when i do a sp3 install it disappears also i installed using the same disc on another machine there were no problems there too.
  10. akannitaoheed

    akannitaoheed Newcomer, in training Posts: 99

    That you checked with some tool does not mean the hdd is okay. you can get a pass even when there are errors on the drive: I have read about this from somewher I cant remember and have also experienced it. since you said you installed on another machine and there was no problem, that should tell you the hdd is possibly fidgetty.

    why not use the hdd as external storage and get another for use in your system.. just a suggestion.
  11. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 423   +19

    HDD gives me no trouble except for the repair part nothing unusual has happened also the hdd is still in its warranty period so removing hdd over this problem is not an option Thanks for helping guys but if still there's something i can check or do different please let me know.
  12. Prithwis Jana

    Prithwis Jana Newcomer, in training

    1. Perform chkdsk -r in recovery console
    It will repair the bad sectors in hard disk and will detect window installation
    2. Start Repairing window instalation from Window Installation CD. It will promt fot restart after performing necessary disk repair.
    3. After Restart boot from hard disk (instead of CD). And start window with "Last known good configuration" from Advanced option.

    Window will start with previos instalation................ enjoy


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