Repair install stuck in loop, help!

Discussion in 'Windows XP Installation and Setup' started by Chuck, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Hi folks, newbie here with a headache-inducing problem that I'm wondering if anyone could possibly help me with. I've been trying to do a repair install of Windows XP Home Edition SP1a, but it gets caught in an endless loop with a message saying set up is installing, then going to the Windows XP Home Edition logo and back to the set up message. It was only after a bit of Googling (on my brother's laptop, which I'm posting from!) that I discovered that I should have uninstalled service packs 2 and 3 first, although I must point out that I did foolishly unplug the computer during an early attempt, hope that hasn't proved fatal (as you can see, I'm no computer expert...). I've tried rebooting in various modes, looking up fixes to use with repair console etc. but to no avail.

    Obviously a clean install isn't an option, since there are files on the computer which I haven't backed up... I just hoping they haven't been wiped out as it is. I any case, I would be eternally grateful if anyone could help me out.

    Thanks,

    Chuck
     
    Chuck, Oct 6, 2013
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  2. Chuck

    Elizabeth23

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    here are instructions to burn a copy of Hiren's boot cd, with this in mini xp mode, you can back up your files to a cd or flash drive and then you will have to reinstall your OS.

    Courtesy of Jose Ibarra
    Make yourself a Hiren's Boot CD which you can download from here:

    http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

    The ZIP file is large, so the download will probably take a little while to complete bit it is worth it. Then unzip the download to extract the Hirens.BootCD.ISO file that will be used to create your new bootable CD.

    Creating a bootable CD from a .ISO file is not the same as just copying the .ISO file to a blank CD. You have to use software that understands how to burn a .ISO file to a CD to create a bootable CD.

    In the Hiren's ZIP file are the BurnToCD.cmd file that you can double click to launch it, but I have never used it and prefer to use ImgBurn.

    If you need a free and easy CD burning software package, here is a popular free program:

    http://www.imgburn.com/

    When installing ImgBurn, DO NOT install anything from UniBlue or the Ask toolbar (never install the ASK toolbar for anything).

    Here are some instructions for ImgBurn:

    http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?showtopic=61

    It would be a good idea to test your new bootable CD on a computer that is working.

    You may need to adjust the computer BIOS settings to use the CD ROM drive as the first boot device instead of the hard disk.

    These adjustments are made before Windows tries to load. If you miss it, you will have to reboot the system again.

    When booting on the Hiren's CD you will see a menu of options. Choose the Mini XP option. Then it will appear that Windows is being loaded and you will be presented with a desktop that has the look and feel of the Windows Explorer interface you are already used to using.

    One way to check the disk for errors is to open My Computer and right click your afflicted drive and choose Properties, Tools, Error-checking, Check Now... put a check mark in both the boxes and then Start.

    Sometimes that doesn't work, so you can also click Start, Run and in the box enter:

    cmd

    Click OK to open a Command Prompt window and enter the following command (assuming XP is installed on your C drive)

    chkdsk c: /r

    This disk checking can take a long time (perhaps several to many hours) depending on the size of the volume, the amount of data on the volume and what the disk checking finds to do.
    Let chkdsk finish and correct any problems it might find.

    Depending on the the speed of your system, the size of the volume, the amount of data on the volume and what chkdsk finds to do, it may take a long time for chkdsk with error correction to complete (several to many hours) or it may appear to be 'stuck'. Be patient. If the HDD light is still flashing, chkdsk is doing something so don't interrupt it. It will finish eventually one way or the other. Keep an eye on the percentage amount to be sure it is still making progress. It may even appear to go backwards sometimes.

    You may have to run the chkdsk c: /r more than once.


    -----------------------------------------

    I would burn the cd and do a checkdisk first as described above and then see if you can now boot normally into your xp.

    If not then copy your files and reinstall.
     
    Elizabeth23, Oct 6, 2013
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  3. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Thanks a million for the advice, haven't got around to trying it yet but will update you on my progress as soon as I get sorted. In any case, thanks again! :)

    Chuck.
     
    Chuck, Oct 7, 2013
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  4. Chuck

    Elizabeth23

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    Okay will check back.
     
    Elizabeth23, Oct 7, 2013
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  5. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Okay, I've managed to get the computer going with Hiren's, thankfully the documents are intact. I ran a disk check, but it doesn't seem to find anything wrong, although the OS is definitely missing files - I can't run anything with cmd... I tried to run Windows File Checker and failed. I've been messing around with the various tools, Recuva and some of the other recovery progs can recovery some missing system files, but I don't know how to reinstall them. I even ran the Windows XP CD with the Hiren's desktop, I can get the menus and stuff up but I can't find a repair install fuction that way. Looks like I may have to copy the docs onto an external hard drive and do a clean install, unless there's anything else I can do?!
     
    Chuck, Oct 8, 2013
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  6. Chuck

    Elizabeth23

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    if you know exactly what files are missing and your system is 32bit xp pro, then I can upload the files to my skydrive and you can then download them and install them in the proper folders.

    Will check back to see if you want to do this or, with instructions for clean install, let me know.
     
    Elizabeth23, Oct 9, 2013
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  7. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Sorry about the delay in replying... I managed to move all the documents onto an external hard drive and do a fresh install, still had to do a bit of wrangling and reinstalling etc (there was no LAN connection until I installed an important Dell driver, for instance!), but basically things are working fine... EXCEPT that Windows Update is giving me a massive headache, although there was problem with that beforehand - it was part of the reason I was repairing Windows in the first place. I'm going to post a topic about that in the relevant section, if I'm not being too much of a pest!

    In any case, thanks a mil for the advice! :)
     
    Chuck, Oct 14, 2013
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  8. Chuck

    Elizabeth23

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    what service pack are you on?

    the updates will not work without service pack 3 which has to be manually installed:
    http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=24
    …you can ignore the text that says that it is for network installations and also ignore the text advising Windows/Microsoft Update if only updating one PC.
    Reboot twice after installing.


    on a Dell there is a certain order to install drivers:

    ORDER FOR DELL INSTALL DRIVERS

    Desktop System Software or Notebook System Software
    Chipset or SMBus driver
    Processor Driver (if applicable)
    Video
    Audio (sound)
    Input Drivers (keyboard/mouse)
    Modem
    Network Card

    all drivers for a dell can be downloaded from the dell website:

    http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/DriversHome/ShowProductSelector

    on the above page insert your express service code which is located next to your COA, the list will be drivers for your specific dell.

    Below are some instructions for a clean install, I hope you followed the proper procedure:

    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/operatingsystems/ss/instxpclean1.htm
    With pictures of clean install
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-xp/help/setup/install-windows-xp
    http://www.windowsxphome.windowsreinstall.com/sp2installxpcdoldhdd/indexfullpage.htm
    http://www.blackviper.com/os-install-guides/windows-xp-professional-install-guide/
    Clean installs of XP sites
     
    Elizabeth23, Oct 15, 2013
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  9. Chuck

    Chuck

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    I did install SP3, but didn't know I should boot twice... also didn't realise I had to install Dell drivers in a specific order. Again, thanks a million for the advice, will give it a go!

    P.S. Apologies for starting a new topic on Windows Updates, bit pointless really! :D
     
    Chuck, Oct 15, 2013
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  10. Chuck

    Elizabeth23

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    no problem will check back if you have further issues.
     
    Elizabeth23, Oct 15, 2013
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  11. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Okay, still getting the same problems... the one Fix-It can never solve is 'Service registration is missing or corrupt'.

    I was fairly sure I installed the Dell Drivers in the correct order, although there were a couple of things I was unsure about, so maybe the problem lies there. I'll give full details of my set up and do a run down of the drivers:

    Dell Dimension 4600.

    Windows XP Home Edition SP1a
    - this is the basic set up that's on the installation disk (just to make clear, I installed SP3 and rebooted twice as you recommended). After installing the Dell drivers, I also re-installed Net Framework and a few other little utilites and Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003 which is on a seperate disc.

    Video: Intel Extreme Graphics 2.

    Sound: SoundMAX Digital Audio.

    Dell Drivers:

    From the Dell Resource CD... I was a little unsure about some of these... there's a list of the main drivers, but also diagnostic and application utilties listed, some of which are under the main 'Driver's list:

    Desktop: -?

    Chipset:

    Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility Rev: A13.

    Controller Diagnostics - Adaptec IEEE 1395a Controller Rev: A00 - asks for floppy disk, didn't install.

    Audio:

    Analog Devices ADI 198x Integrated Audio Rev: A12.

    Video:

    Intel 845 G/GL Integrated Video Rev: A00

    Input:

    Dell Enhanced Multimedia Keyboard.

    NMB Wireless Mozart Rev: A00.

    Network:

    Network Diagnostics - Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet Rev: A00.
    Intel 10/100 LOM Rev: A05.
    Microsoft Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) Rev: A01.

    Miscellaneous Drivers:

    Microsoft DirectX Rev: AO3 - is this a video driver? I couldn't install it, maybe it doesn't work on my set up or the disk is faulty?.

    Microsoft USB 2.0 Supplement & QFE Rev: A01 - I didn't know what heading this comes under, do I install after everything else?

    Miscellaneous Utilities:

    Dell OS Tools Rev: A01 - this is a Java Runtime Environment application, do I really need it? The first clean install I did it worked okay, second time it wouldn't unzip all the files... maybe I damaged the disk?

    System User's Guides:

    Dell System Help Rev: AO3.

    There are also ATI/nVidia driver files, which are obviously not applicable.

    Dell Support Updates:

    Video:

    Intel 82865G Graphics Controller, Version: A08.

    Intel Springdale G Integrated Video, Version: A06.

    Network:

    Intel 10/100 LOM, Version: A05 - this was already installed from the Resource CD.
    Intel 10/100 LOM, Version: A06.

    Diagnostics:

    CDD1236 and MAKEDD - these open cmd windows, don't know what they're for!

    Removable Storage:

    HLDS GCC4481-B HH 48X32 Combo - don't know what this little utility does.

    I didn't install the Conexant updates as I didn't actually re- install the Conexant Modem application from the Tools CD as I don't seem to need it... same with an update for Sonic Solutions Record Now and a patch for Cybelink PowerDVD.

    ...Phew! Hope I haven't over-complicated things, just wanted to give as much info as possible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
    Chuck, Oct 17, 2013
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  12. Chuck

    Elizabeth23

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    from here

    did you go here for your drivers?

    When loading from a resource cd, you get all the bloatware that came with your original installation. You only need the drivers.

    uninstall all fixits, and lets work on the issue, most fixits are just general.

    I need the exact error message you are receiving.
     
    Elizabeth23, Oct 17, 2013
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  13. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Still a bit of confusion... the Resource CD actually has a link, which I previously overlooked, to a page giving instructions for installation order like so:

    1. Desktop.
    2. Controller.
    3. Video.
    4. Communication (network drivers?).
    5. Input.
    6. Audio.
    7. Miscellaneous.
    8. Patches, utilities and applications.

    Dell's support site doesn't feature the audio driver on the Resource CD, and the two video drivers are updates that were released a year or two later. Oh yeah, and actually both the network drivers are the ones on the CD.
     
    Chuck, Oct 18, 2013
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  14. Chuck

    Elizabeth23

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    Elizabeth23, Oct 19, 2013
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  15. Chuck

    Chuck

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    The strange thing is it doesn't list the audio driver for the SoundMAX card that's on the CD, even when I enter my service tag. Hmmm...
     
    Chuck, Oct 19, 2013
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  16. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Okay, just a couple of things... I can install the audio driver from the Resource CD, so that's not an issue... I know some of the things on the CD are unnecessary, but there are a couple of things I may install again just in case. The only input-related drivers are little two little utilty things for the keyboard that bring up a little volume control panel thing, I think they're extra things and not specifically input drivers. Also, I've been having problems extracting some of the additional files, they keep getting stuck and won't unzip properly. Would it be okay to install some drivers from a USB stick? I know you're meant to unplug hardware before installing drivers.

    I may have to make inquiries on Dell's forum, they don't exactly make things easy!
     
    Chuck, Oct 19, 2013
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  17. Chuck

    Elizabeth23

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    Elizabeth23, Oct 20, 2013
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  18. Chuck

    Elizabeth23

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    Also please give specifics on drivers, when I reinstall, most of my stuff is on a flash drive.

    I do not have any problems installing off a flash drive.
     
    Elizabeth23, Oct 20, 2013
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  19. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Chuck, Oct 20, 2013
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  20. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Okay, I've actually asked about the drivers on Dell forums, I'm fairly sure everything's installed properly - my system seems to be running okay - but still getting problems with Windows Update. Again, it could be a driver issue... I'm still getting the 'Service registry is missing or corrupt' report from Fix It, at a bit of a loss now!
     
    Chuck, Oct 24, 2013
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