I have been having an accident-prone time of it with Windows XP recently and have had plenty of reason to be thankful for the ability to perform a repair installation. Here are the steps:
- Pop the installation disk into your PC’s DVD drive and reboot the PC.
- If you have your PC set it up to boot from DVD’s in its BIOS, then you at least will have to option to do this. You may find that this happens by default but I needed to tell it to do the deed.
- Select normal installation from the first menu that is presented to you by the installer.
- Accept the licence agreement.
- Press R at the next menu and that’ll repair the installation.
- Follow all of the menus from there on; it’ll be all the usual stuff from here on in and there should be no need to reactivate Windows or reinstall all of your other software afterwards.
There is a repair option on the first screen (step 3 above) but this takes you into the dark recesses of the command line and isn’t what I was needing. I do have to say that they do leave the required option late on in the installation process and that assumes on users having a risk taking streak in them, something that definitely does not apply to everyone. If your boot.ini file is not well, you may find yourself needing to do the full installation and that wipes the slate clean on you, extending the recovery process.