1. Computing

How To Perform a Windows XP Repair Install (Part 1 of 2)

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Plan Your Windows XP Repair Install
Windows XP Splash Screen

Windows XP Repair Install - Step 1 of 19

Repairing a Windows XP installation is valuable when you need to keep your programs and data in tact but need to restore the Windows XP system files to their original state. This is often an easy fix for complicated Windows XP issues. This guide is broken into two parts for a total of 19 steps and will walk you through every part of the repair installation.

Even though a repair installation does not alter any programs or data, other than Windows XP itself, on your hard drive, I highly advise that you take precautions in the rare event that something will go wrong and you lose data. That means that if there's anything you want to keep you should back it up to a CD or another drive prior to beginning this process.

Some things to consider backing up that usually reside on the same drive as Windows XP (which we'll assume is "C:") include a number of folders located under C:\Documents and Settings\{YOUR NAME} such as Desktop, Favorites and My Documents. Also check these folders under other user's accounts if more than one person logs onto your PC.

You should also locate the Windows XP product key, a 25-digit alphanumeric code unique to your copy of Windows XP. If you can't locate it, there is a fairly easy way to find the Windows XP product key code from your existing installation, but this should be done before you do the repair installation.

Note: You shouldn't need the product key to do a repair installation but it's good to have it in case your situation gets progressively worse and you find yourself needing to do a Clean Installation of Windows XP later.

Note: The steps and screen shots shown in these 19 steps refer specifically to Windows XP Professional but will also serve perfectly well as a guide to repairing Windows XP Home Edition.

Note: Not using Windows XP? Every modern Windows operating system has a similar operating system repair process.

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