How to Repair Windows XP Using the Windows XP CD - PCWiki
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How to Repair Windows XP Using the Windows XP CD

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  • Update to Previous Document Created by MPHEnterprises and Spike*



Many forum members have expressed varying issues with Windows. Sometimes, an issue within Windows can be corrected by running the Repair function on the Windows CD. This is a relatively simple process that could save you from having to reinstall Windows. Depending on your level of expertise, you have three options:

- The Scan Now Command

- Repair Drive within Windows Setup

- The Recovery Console

Most of us within this forum avoid providing suggestions regarding the Recovery Console simply because this utility is for highly trained/skilled technicians. I will refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles later in the Document to help those who will use the Recovery Console. Here are all three options. Please use caution in choosing the option you feel is best for you:


  • Scan Now*

- Insert your Windows XP CD into the drive. If Autoplay kicks in, exit out of it

- Click on Start -> Run

- Copy and Paste this text within the text box: sfc /scannow (note the space between the sfc.........and............the /scannow)

- This command will initiate Windows File Protection Service to scan all protected files and verify their integrity, replacing any files with which it finds a problem

Be patient and allow this process to proceed completely. This will take some time. Once this process is completed, your computer will restart.



  • Repair Within Windows Setup*

- Restart the computer

- As soon as the computer begins to boot up, access the BIOS setup screen. If you are not sure how to access the BIOS, follow the steps within this WikiDocument so you can change the Boot Sequence to the optical drive first.

- Once this process is complete, restart the computer

- As the computer begins to restart, you will be prompted to press any key to boot from the CD/DVD...tap the space bar

- Once the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press Enter to continue the Windows Setup program. After you accept the license agreement, Windows searches your hard disk for an existing installation of Windows. If it finds such an installation, it offers a menu that includes a repair option. Press R to perform the repair. Please note that if your Windows XP Operating System is installed on a different partition than C:, take care to select the correct partition before attempting a repair.

- If the drive and Windows are repairable, this process will work to restore Windows and your files that are salvageable.



  • Recovery Console - Use at your Own Risk*

+Please note that if you choose this option and use the wrong command, you may have to reinstall Windows. This option is not for the average computer user and should not be attempted unless you know exactly what you are doing.+

- Follow the same first four steps as with the previous option

- Once the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press R to continue with the Recovery Console

- After a short period, your screen will go black and you will see the following message:

  • Microsoft Windows(R) Recovery Console*
  • The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality.*
  • Type EXIT to exit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.*
  • 1: C:\WINDOWS*
  • Which Windows Installation would you like to log on to*
  • (To cancel, press ENTER)?*

I learned not too long ago, those who have Dual Boot systems will have two options since you have two Operating Systems. Select the option associated with C:\WINDOWS.

- Next, you will be prompted for the Administrative Password. If there is no Administrative Password, just hit *Enter*

At this point, you have full access to the Recovery Console. From here, the command prompts are specific to your problem. Here are two Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles that go into full detail about the Recovery Console and the commands used to navigate through it:

Name City
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