When I was running XP and had system problems, I used a repair reinstall several times with good success. It will replace all the critical system files from the CD but leave your programs and data. Note that if you have a corrupted partition this will not help. A backup of your data first would be a good idea.
Here is my canned tutorial:
>Insert your XP Cd in the drive; note down your key number, you will be asked for it; reboot.
>The XP installation screen will appear.
>You will see a screen asking you if you would like a fresh install of XP or a repair install as follows:
The following options will appear on the screen:
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
Windows XP to run on your computer:
>To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.
>To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.
>To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
>>Do NOT choose the Repair Console, Choose the first option (Windows XP setup), press ENTER.
>You will now be asked if you want a Fresh install of Windows, or Repair an existing installation.
*Choose to REPAIR an existing installation. DO NOT CHOOSE A FRESH INSTALL OF WINDOWS or you will lose all your data and programs. A repair install will replace only the critical system files and leave your data and programs untouched.
The rest is merely follow the prompts. Be aware that the computer will reboot several times so don't be startled when it does-just leave it alone and it will continue on.
**One thing to note: M/Soft set up a booby trap for the uninitiated; when the computer reboots, at the bottom it will say "Press Any Key To Boot From The CDrom" - DON'T DO IT. Just leave it alone, and in a few seconds the installation will continue normally by itself. If you press a key and it starts to boot from the CD it will corrupt the reinstallation, and could necessitate a fresh install so that you lose all your data and programs. I have no idea why M/Soft did that, but they do a lot of things that leave folks scratching their heads so I guess its par for the course.
Edited by ranchhand_, 23 December 2016 - 11:08 AM.