Failed XP repair installation

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Thread Starter
Apr 22, 2010
Hi there. Need a little help.

Everything was running fine with my desktop PC till I turned it on this morning.

It booted fine, Windows XP started and I entered my password.

My desktop background appeared as standard but i had no taskbar,
no start button and i was geting no response from either my right or left mouse
buttons from clicking on the screen. I tried to get into task manager by using
CTRL+ALT+DEL hoping I could get my explorer processes running again, but
nothing happened other than a brief appearance of an egg timer.

I powered down and started again hoping it was just a glitch. I was too
optimistic. So I tried again, again and again achieving the same results.
I had no luck getting into task manager or accessing any functions at all.

I assumed that if explorer wasnt providing me with rudimentary functionality
and if task manager was refusing to work either my only option was to attempt a
repair installation of XP using my Windows setup disk to fix the problems.

After 3 hours trying to find the disk I then proceeded to begin to repair my
operating system. Everything was going fine until I encountered the famous 34
minute device hold up. I waited patiently then went online on my laptop and
discovered this was quite common and nothing to worry about, so I restarted the
machine, without prehipheral devices, and let the repair install continue.

Same problem. I repeated this several times as the advice said it might take a few
attempts. I gave up on this approach. I restarted and pressed SHIFT+F10 to see
if the log would show me which device was causing the stall, but all i was rewarded
with was a black screen with a large cursor. Oh No. This cant be too good I thought.
I restarted again.

Now all I get is "disk read error press ctrl + alt + del to restart" on startup everytime
I turn on my computer unless I prompt it to boot from a CD in which case it enters
windows setup. I tried a repair install again, but this time it asked me to partition
the C: drive as there is already an instance of windows installed and that a new
installation would conflict. Its not allowing me to repair it although its obviously there.
I didnt create another partition as i had no idea what would happen and i didnt want
to overwrite and lose all my data. Is there any way I can access the failed repair
installation of windows on my HDD and ressurect it through the recovery console or
otherwise. I am totally clueless.

Please help, I want to see if i can save and repair this instance of windows without
having to do a clean install and formatting my HDD.

Dec 9, 2000
It sounds like a failing drive. Have you tried running chkdsk /r from the "recovery console"?

You might want to try creating a boot disk, either from your installation disk or using a Puppy Linux disk to access the drive. Otherwise it would have to be removed and booted as a slave to recover data.

Also the "34" minute error (as I recall) has to do with device driver installation -- so I would remove any unnecessary drives, printers, devices or hardware during the setup process.
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