Program folder "disconnected" on XP reinstall

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Thread Starter
Sep 12, 2004
I had a crash yesterday where I lost a config file in XP. I had no luck with trying to get to the repair section of the CD that came with the computer (Dell Inspiron 2650). I didn't know what to do when I got to the C: prompt after I chose the 1. I'm DOS illiterate.

I managed to get to the reinstall of XP and proceeded knowing that I might well lose everything on the computer. When it finished, it looked like a brand new computer with little in the Program folder. However, when I look on the C: drive, the program folder contains everything that was previously installed, but I'm not able to open any of the programs from within their folders. I'm guessing the registry is gone.

My question is, is there a way to reconnect all of these installed programs? If yes how, if not, how do I get rid of them so I can reinstall? If I just start reinstalling programs, will they go back into these folders and reconnect themselves or am I going to be using up additional hard drive space? I only have about 1/4 of the disk left. If I don't want to use some of these programs any longer, do I dare to just delete the folders at this point?

I had a backup of the My Documents folder so I have most of my own data. I just don't know if I should reinstall what I want and trash the rest, trash things first or try starting over with another Windows reinstall.

Any help will be appreciated.
Jun 28, 2004
depending on whether or not you got two different programs depends on how much disk space is used up but if theres one then they should just reinstall to their destination folder and if yr lucky you may recover any data previously installed but just to be sure then try it with one of them first.........
Jan 17, 2003
Sounds like you did not boot from the CD and perform a clean install . . to do that, prior to installing, enter BIOS ( Setup ) and make sure the CD/ROM the first boot device. Put your XP Disc in the drive and disconnect all external peripherals except the keyboard and mouse, and be sure those are not USB.

Once you set your BIOS to boot first from cd . . when it restarts you will see a black screen with a prompt "Press any key to boot from cd" . . do that and you will be able to delete partitions and recreate the ones you want and proceed to formating and installing XP.

That message can pass quickly, so have a finger on the keyboard when you boot. This will delete all data on the drive so be sure you have your important data backed up.

You can get a reinstallation guide specific to your Dell here

This is also a good guide for reinstalling on a Dell: Procedures.htm

This is a good guide to reinstalling XP . . you might want to print it for reference during the install.

as is this:

You will have to reload drivers and applications, After the installation, you will need to download and install the MicroSoft Critical Updates. Alternately, this would be a good time to install SP-2, while windows is clean. Prior to connecting to the internet you should enable the XP firewall.

Good luck and have fun! . . wrs
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