Windows is trying to reinstall itself (I don't want it to!)

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stephannand

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I used the PC as normal this morning, then switched it off when I went to work. My mum used it again while I was at work, reported no problems and again switched it off. For the past few days the windows XP set-up disc has been in the CD drive and not done anything (I was trying to repair something and left it in because I forgot about it).

I switched the PC on when I came home from work and for some unknown reason windows is attempting to reinstall itself. I don't know if this is my own fault for leaving the disc in? Why would this happen out of the blue when the disc has been in for a while and not done this?

Anyway, I'm being taken to a setup screen and being told to insert the CD or setup can't continue. There's no way of backing out of it. Re-starting isn't helping. I've tried rebooting with last good configurations, in safe mode (which didn't work) and it's still telling me to insert the disc.

I'm assuming that following through with the install will delete everything I have and all my own configurations. Is there any way of getting out of it? Please help, I'm stuck without my PC (posting from a laptop right now). Thanks
 
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There is not much you can do but continue. An option to cancel may still appear depending where it has gotten in the process. The former registry and system files may already have been deleted to make way for the new ones. Someone had to have started the process. Hopefully, the process that was started was a repair rather than a full installation since that would retain all your files and programs.

How far into the installation has it gotten?
 
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PS.

If you have files on that drive that you want, you may want to stop the process now and put the drive in another machine to retrieve them.

If you get to a point where it asks you to format, do not do that unless you don't want to keep anything. If the format step has already been done and you have critical files to recover, stop immediately and put the drive in another machine so you can try to use recovery software before the files get overwritten.
 

stephannand

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108
Well I'm not sure because I cancelled and switched off the PC. My mum wouldn't know how to do something like that so unless it was started a few days ago when I tried to do a repair and delayed until now, I have no idea why it's doing this. It says something like 39 mins left, should I just let it run? How do I know if it's a repair as opposed to a full reinstall?

I have most of my files backed up on external hard drive but it just seems a hassle to go getting everything back to the way it was.
 
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If it is 39 minutes, it is very near the beginning. You may still be able to cancel and restore everything to the way it was. So, if you have files backed up, I think you should just continue with the setup. The worst case is that you will have a new installation. The best is that a cancel option will appear in the next few pages and using it will allow Windows to clean up and get back to the way it was.

Unless the option to repair or the format page comes up soon, you won't be able to tell if it is a repair. If the partition for the repair is already chosen, then it will just continue and repair. If it is not a repair, you will see the option to choose an installation location if that has not already been done. There is a cancel option on that page.
 

stephannand

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Okay, so if I let it run what am I looking out for to cancel? All I was seeing was descriptions like "Windows has an exciting new look... even easier to use... blah blah" Will these chacnge as the set-up progresses? Thanks so much for your help.
 
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Sounds like it is past the cancel options and into the installation process. If you need to recxover files, stop it now. If not, keep going and hope that the repair option was chosen.

This certainly could not have happened by accident, Someone had to have made several choices by now as well as agreed to the license and chosen what partition to repair or where to install. Hardly something that would get done by itself. :D
 

stephannand

Thread Starter
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Mar 11, 2005
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108
Honestly honestly, no one could have chosen partitions and stuff like that... I would have no idea how to and I haven't been at home all day. The computer was fine this morning. My mum just uses it to check her emails. Very strange. Ah well, I'll see what it does then :(
 
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Good luck and let us know. You may still get lucky and see a cancel option.
 

redoak

Gone but never forgotten
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Microsoft gremlins????

Good luck to you.

{redoak}
 
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