A Windows repair installation or a Startup Repair is valuable when you need to reinstall important Windows files but keep all of your personal files and programs intact.
A repair install can be thought of as a "copy over" of Windows. A Startup Repair is a smarter version of a repair IInstall.
A Startup Repair or repair install is very often a relatively easy fix for many serious Windows operating system problems. Since these Windows repair options don't erase anything from your computer, they are simple ways to restore important Windows files.
The specific steps involved in performing a Startup Repair or repair install of Windows can differ considerably depending on the operating system used:
- How To Perform a Startup Repair in Windows 7
- How To Perform a Startup Repair in Windows Vista
- How To Repair Install Windows XP
Note: In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, Startup Repair exists in place of the repair installation option that was available in Windows XP. Startup Repair replaces only damaged or missing Windows startup files. In a Windows XP repair install, all Windows files are replaced no matter if they need to be or not.
Important: While the repair install process in Windows XP is not designed to remove any files, I recommend that you play it safe by backing up your important files. You should also prepare to reinstall your programs just in case the repair install damages any of their installations. I don't think it's worthwhile to worry about this possibility in Windows Vista or Windows 7 considering the differences in how Startup Repair works.
Note: If you're using a restore disc from your computer manufacturer instead of an original Windows Setup disc or download, a Startup Repair or repair install as described in the linked guides above may not be possible.
Please reference the documentation that came with your computer or contact your computer manufacturer directly for directions.