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XP Rebuild


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#1 Twisted Image

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:33 PM

Got a complicated one for you folks, hope someone out there has an answer...

I have a customer who, for some reason unbeknownst to me, deleted a s***load of Windows files. Then, having been instructed by a friend to try a repair install, he proceeded to accidentally install a second copy of Windows to C:\Windows1 (without formatting), which he did not complete the GUI section on.

Here's the problem:
I need to figure out how to repair the C:\Windows installation, because he has some (apparently) irreplaceable software on the machine, which he cannot reinstall, and which is (apparently) critical to his business. No problem, right? Just boot from an XP disc and run a repair-install.

Problem to the problem:
It appears that so much of Windows is missing, the setup process does not give me the Repair Install option, only the Repair Console, which has yet to yield any results. It can see both C:\Windows and C:\Windows1, but when I run bootcfg /scan, /rebuild, or /list, it only sees C:\Windows1. Microsoft has a procedure on TechNet regarding getting the Repair Install option to appear again, which involves copying a series of files between the \Repair and \System32\Config subfolders in Windows.

Problem to the problem to the problem:
These folders are EMPTY. I ran GetBackNTFS to find them, and was able to recover 3 of the 7 necessary Config files, and none of the Repair files. I am still, as yet, unable to get a repair install going.

Is my customer SOL? Is there any POSSIBLE way to repair this Windows, or import its registry into a clean install so that my customer does not have to lose these apps permanently? They're not portable (I checked), and require reg entries to function. Blech. Not one simple problem today.

Between Windows Repair and Sprint AirCards, I'm ready to go Thoreau and find a nice low-tech pond to haunt.

PLEASE help! I'm usually pretty versatile and clever, but this one has completely eluded me as to an equitable solution.

-Joel

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:56 PM

Well...I believe that the registry files were in the Repair folder.

Per Michael Stevens, "Backup copies of your registry files (in the %systemroot%\Repair folder) are also replaced after the in-place upgrade is complete."

If they are MIA, I don't think there's a lot of hope without doing a nuke.

I've been wrong before...

Louis

#3 Twisted Image

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 01:18 PM

Ugh. Not exactly what I was hoping to hear. I guess I'll give it another day or two before I go ahead and cap the OS in the hopes that someone has a solution. Thanks for the fast reply, though.

#4 Eyesee

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 01:28 PM

Do you know the name of the business software that he says is irreplaceable and critical?
How did he get it originally?
In the beginning there was the command line.

#5 Twisted Image

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 02:08 PM

He neglected to say, and I cannot tell from the existing files (you know how the Program Files folder can look). If it comes down to it, I guess I'll just have to do some research into a replacement software package and whatever is necessary to move the data over.

That said, I'm hoping to come out of this with a miracle. I'm usually known as the resident weird sh*t guy at our firm, but this is beyond even my Maguyver tactics. Please! I need water to wine here, people!

#6 hamluis

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 02:29 PM

You might also go over the basic theory behind...backing up.

Especially so for business files/systems...the negligent attitude of one can wind up hurting many when it comes to business records.

Louis

#7 Twisted Image

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 09:17 AM

You might also go over the basic theory behind...backing up.

Especially so for business files/systems...the negligent attitude of one can wind up hurting many when it comes to business records.

Louis


Believe me, I have. I have that conversation 8+ times a day, to where I feel like I'm going over a script. The first time I saw him in here (Limewire victim), I recommended RAID, and he refused. The second time I saw him, his HDD had died, and I recommended RAID, and he refused. This time, he has completely dismembered his OS, and I'm recommending RAID for the future, but he's not interested.

Short of "sorry, you're SOL" speeches, does anyone have ANY ideas on how to correct this before I scrub it and start over? Does System Restore keep a copy of the registry anywhere? From what I understand, a working copy of the registry and a few files I can get off the installation disc are all that are necessary to perform the Repair Install. The problem is the Windows folder is hosed. Is there perhaps something in System Volume Information that carries a registry backup?

I'm giving it until tomorrow before I scrub the thing. Please help!




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