Tried to do XP Repair ReInstallion

December 5, 2009 at 22:26:27
Specs: Windows XP
Greetings -

I tried to do XP repair reinstallation but came up with hard drive partition page

My son's laptop at college had a BSOD. He has the XP Install CD (OEM) and has been attempting to do a repair install. He has moved the BIOS to have the USB CD-ROM be a priority for booting. The system boots up and it says: "press any key to continue".

After a long list of drivers, devices, etc., he continually comes to the partition page for C and D Drives, with no prompt available. He has not been able to reach the XP Professional Setup page where it lists these 3 options: 1) To set up Windows XP, press ENTER - 2) To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R - 3) To quite Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

What is happening? Why can't he reach the setup page? Why is the partition options page the only thing he can access? Is it the Install CD?

Any help you can give would be so appreciated.

See More: Tried to do XP Repair ReInstallion

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December 5, 2009 at 22:44:17
The partition (or "where do you want to install Windows") screen only comes up when you have started the XP installation. There is no "prompt" per se, but rather just the ability to use the arrow keys and a few keys to select a partition to install on, or to change the partitions.

-Ryan Adams

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December 5, 2009 at 22:47:59

What version SP is on the original OEM XP CD? And what level of SP was the failed installation at when it failed? Likely the CD is SP-1; and the system is/was at least SP-2 level (if not even SP-3)?

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December 5, 2009 at 22:52:49
Thank you for your reply.

If the partition C is chosen (where all his current data - folders, software, etc. - are kept) will choosing this drive as the installation location overwrite everything? All he wants to do is a repair install, not a clean install.

Thank you.

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Related Solutions

December 5, 2009 at 22:54:07
The OEM CD is SP2, as is his current Windows operating system when it failed.

Thank you.

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December 5, 2009 at 23:12:04
Thanks for all your answers.

It appears to me that the computer is not actually reading from the install CD (with install options), but rather picking up what is basically on the laptop system itself, i.e., actual MB amounts for the C Drive, with partitioning options.

He selects F2 and bios, but no matter what he chooses as a priority boot, it still comes up with the partition page.

Thank you.

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December 5, 2009 at 23:39:40
What is the "partition page" you mention?

-Ryan Adams

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December 6, 2009 at 00:05:33
There's no guarantee that a repair install will "fix" a BSOD. In fact, it *may* make things worse, especially if the repair stalls & ends up in a loop.

If possible, post all the info on the BSOD...there may be a fix available.

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December 6, 2009 at 00:23:43
Presumably when bios/setup is entered and boot-order changed - so as to be CD/DVD first device... - the changes arer saved on exit? Obvious but there are times when one does pick the wrong exit option (in error)... amd exits without saving changes...

Re' showing tha partition page; presumably this is the screen/display that in effect asks where you want to install an OS? If so then I wouldn't go any further and actually start an installation - as that will almost certailnly lose all data on tthe drive; not the least teh MyDocuments folder will be erased and replaced by a blank (empty) one...

Data is obviously a serious coern here and presuming so... I advise your FIRST secure/safeguard that. To this end boot up with a Linus varian cd/dvd (Knoppis or Ubuntu are tow that come to mind). Copy all data to optical-media; and verify they are truly accessible etc - before going any further. That way you can explore repair options various without concerns re' data?

Also you say the installation is/was SP-2... As SP-3 has been around for a while and if regular updates have been applied.. it's quite likely it may well actually SP-3 (more or less). Perhaps create an XP disk with SP-3 sipstreamed into it; and then try with that disk...

Although many here will disagree with me and "out there" (and also here) will agree with me... My own experience is that if the damaged installation is too far away from the SP-level of the applied XP setup disk... that disk willl not find the installation to be repaired... All you get is an offer to install etc.., and your description of (only) being offered partition options etc. does echo my own experience here... No OS is detected, and thus no options to repair one way or other...

So first secure/safeguard data as above; then create an SP-3 version of your XP setup disk and see if that resolves it...?

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December 6, 2009 at 01:22:04
I believe that XP does not natively support installation from a USB drive. The bios of the laptop supports USB booting but once you "Press any key to boot cd" it loads up setup files into ram. Those setup files do not automatically access USB for the remainder of the installation files.

If you google "install XP from USB drive" you are sure to find the detailed instructions needed

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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December 6, 2009 at 02:41:20
That's an interesting thought/possibility and one that may well the key issue?

A trawl I dun out there does bring up assorted approaches to running an instalation froma usb device - both stick and drive...- depending on how you term the search string..

And this link provides a way to make the usb-device (CD/DVDROM) accessible - and (presmuably) remain so when XP setup starts... Esenitially it uses a "home-made" (CD) bootdisk (in the on-board CD/DVD ROM) with usb drivers included; after-which one can use the external drive etc...

Again I would tend to favour safe-guarding data first (even at this stage) prior to going down "any" repair/re-instaltion routiines - just to be safe...?

Incidentally I'd be much inclined to make bootable image set of disks (CD/DVD whichever - DVD logically better...) once the system is OK again. This will then allow an easier way to recover (as in re-install the image) in event of problem situiations recurring... I tend to favour Acronis (and v.11 is the one I like...) as it does exactly" wot it sez on the tin"...

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December 6, 2009 at 10:04:16
Thank you everyone - I will address replies.

Regarding the partition on screen, this was given:
"The following list shows existing partitioned and unpartitioned space on this computer. (it gives actual amount of MB) Use arrows to select item: 1) To set up XP on selected item (partition) press enter - 2) To create a partition in unpartitioned space, press C - 3) To delect selected partition space, press D.

The actual BSOD message is this: A problem has been detected and windows has been shutdown to prevent damage to your computer.

Technical information:
*** STOP: 0x0000000A (0x00000000,0x00000002,0x00000001,0x804F9B94)
Cannot access Safe Mode (F8)

Regarding Service Pack 3, it is a possibility that the laptop had SP3 when it failed. (had it on automatic update). Have no way of knowing this.

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December 6, 2009 at 10:21:58
My suggestion is try the option one and hit enter. Widows should detect xp is allready installed and ask you if you wish to reinstall xp or repair the existing xp.

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December 6, 2009 at 10:47:42
Suggest you:

a) Safeguard date - FIRST. Use Knoppix/Ubuntu to this end and verify optical copies will ply on at least one other system before proceeding onto solution(s) to actual issues...


b) Make an XP CD with SP-3 added/streamed into it. Then boot with that and see if it will find etc. the current installation...

The message re' unpartitioned space is more or less identical to the one I got with an Acer laptop with a seriously damaged OS installation (the last 3 of five registry keys had been obliterated by a true nasty...). The installation was at least SP2 via updates various (auto-mode set for those I suspect). The original XP CD tried was SP-1...; and it couldn't find an XP installation updated/upgraded to SP2 level.... Whereas incidentally a Winternals repair disk (at least SP-2 level) did find it; but couldn't repair it as the registry was more or less destroyed as above - and the original backup registry had also been wiped out...

If all else fails.. "providing you do first safeguard data" as above... then a standard re-installation will get you a working system again. But more than likely the original installation will be hosed away/erased completely; or at least the MyDocuments part of it will go... Possibly you will get a dual-boot scenario - olde and new installations; but I somehow doubt it. If you go a re-installation then it's your choice whether or not to simply leave drive partition etc as is and install to c: . Or erase drive completely (delete all partitions) and start afresh - repartition (2 partitions at least) and re-install OS to the first; keep the second one for data?

Incidentally although a google trawl will brig up a few hits - using all of your posted error message or at least the part "Stop and then the rest of it" - as the search term/string... very few seem to resolve it without a re-install...?

But there are some suggestions that overheating can bring this on; likewise RAM may be going down... Laptops are know occasionally to overheat; especially if used on a soft surface (e.g. a knee or cushion etc...); likewise if the cooling paths are in some way restricted... Once it has overcooked a little - often RAM etc. will recover - but not always.. Thus if two or more sticks of RAM installed, reduce to one (min = 128Meg) and see if it will boot etc; do this both with no OEM XP CD used, and also with the OEM CD... Try each stick in turn if needs-be so as to check all removable sticks properly.

And to re-iterate I'd first safeguard data; then proceed to resolve the original problem one way or t'other...

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December 6, 2009 at 11:10:55
All of the points above are valid. Back up your data, try to fix the stop error, etc. I'm going to go right to the heart of your original question though. You first asked "Why can't he reach the setup page?" However, you then talk about getting to the screen that asks you to select a partition to install Windows on. That is the setup page. You just select the partition where Windows currently is installed...

-Ryan Adams

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December 6, 2009 at 11:44:53
Thank you for all the help I've received. To answer possible solutions:

I will see if it's possible when entering existing partition, if it can be repair installed.

With regard to saving data - will look into Knoppix/Ubuntu. I'm trying also to find a data-retrieval cd from Radio Shack (close to school).

I will send him partition possibilities.

It was an Acer laptop, and yes, he does sit with it on his knees - it probably overheated and he may have RAM issues, as well.

Concerning the possibility of checking the RAM "sticks", are you talking about removing each of the memory chips from the laptop, with/without OEM install CD?

Thanks for all your help.

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December 6, 2009 at 12:15:16
RAM check - Typically most laptops (and ACER for sure?) have a max of two RAM sticks... Remove one (typically the second slot first); then power up and see if it will boot up; if so then let it go all the way; perhaps reboot to to safe-mode; then reboot again to normal.. After-which re-install the stick taken out and repeat above boot routines? If it then fails... the secondcstick is likely faulty...

If no joy when that initial RAM stick removed.. remove the other one and replace it with the one first removed. Then reboot etc.

If it boots with the first slot occupied by the stick formerly in the second slot and not with the original first stick etc..., then again suspect the stick that "was" in the first slot originally - if you see what I mean...?

If possible beg/borrow/"steal" a known to be good stick and try that on its own (Min = 128Meg; 256 upwards better...).

**** Ensure you have removed both mains-power "and" the battery when removing/installing RAM.

If OS still won't boot off the drive when first you remove one stick, then try same test with a CD - boot. If still no joy remove other stick and replace with the former as just above; and then try the OS (hard-drive) boot, and if needs-be with the CD again...

May be necessary to check that boot-sequence is CD/DVD first - then hard-drive.; both provide download (freebie) of their respective .iso file which save to a hard drive; then burn to CD\DVD which then use to boot laptop and recover data... No need of spending £££/$$$ at Radio-Shack...

Again as already advised make data recovery your first/prime concern. Then set about resolving the OS/boot issues. That way if one has to re-install in any manner... data is already safe... If you don't safeguard data and risk any form of install/re-install/repair... there is always the serious risk of losing "all data"...

One other suggestion - when all is well again. Secure a copy of Acronis and make a fully restore-able image of the drive etc. to optical media. I prefer Acronis v.11 even though it's already been superseded... If one make changes to the installation one can (and ought to) make a new image set; keep old and new version safe... And regularly ensure that "all" data is copied to optical media; again to safeguard it all... Many advise both an optical set of and an external hard-drive too for security of data.. No media is totally fail-safe; and usb hard-drives are cheap enuff these days?

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December 23, 2009 at 17:29:15
BSOD Laptop - Retrieve Data - Remove Partitions - Clean Install?

Greetings to all -

When my son came home from college with his BSOD Acer laptop (see original thread of 12/5 - Trying to Do a Repair Install - Comes up with Partition Page), I was finally able to check things out for myself. This is what I discovered:

1) I did a memory stick test (using memtest86+ on a CD-RW image) - both sticks are good.
2) I then changed boot priority order to the CD-ROM and inserted the Windows XP Pro Install CD.
3) Following the "press in any key to continue", and the list of drivers, etc., the Partition Page immediately came up (not the blue screen for setup):

C: Partition1 (NTFS) 16,496 MB (989 MB free)
D: Partition2 (unknown) 59,820 MB (59,820 MB free)

Since the Windows XP Pro was in the C Drive, I clicked "enter" and discovered that there was not enough space to even install Windows.

Apparently, when the Microsoft technician originally installed the XP Pro (I had an uninstall done for Vista at the same time), he did partitions, only allocating the above amount, leaving almost 90,000 MB "free". Is this correct?

What I surmise from this (and I'm not sure this is my only option) is that I must delete the partitions and do a clean install after pulling off all the files/folders, etc. and placing them on a flash drive. I ordered a 16 GB stick, and am now looking for a freeware data retrieval program. I looked at the Knoppix/Ubuntu websites, but they seem to be a suite of software programs, community, etc., and I was not able to find a specific data retrieval software at either site. If anyone could provide an actual website location of a good data retrieval/recovery freeware program(s), I would appreciate it.

Also, I am unclear as to how this really works. After downloading the program onto my working computer, how do I transfer a working/installed program onto a CD-RW so that I can boot from the CD and open up the laptop's contents? Additionally, does the CD program recognize the flash drive in the USB port and transfer it to the memory stick?

My apologies for my lack of knowledge about this - I would appreciate any information that could help me successfully get this laptop up and running.


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December 23, 2009 at 17:35:43
Thanks for that.

I have few questions:

1. What computer is this and what is the brand name and model?

2. Was Windows preinstalled?


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December 23, 2009 at 18:10:04
Greetings -

1) This is an Acer Aspire Laptop (model 3680)
2) The laptop came with Vista pre-installed. I purchased an OEM Windows XP Pro Install CD. The Windows Vista was uninstalled and the XP Pro installed with the assistance of a Microsoft technician (via phone)..

Thank you for helping me get my threads straight.

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December 23, 2009 at 18:23:09
When you downgraded Vista to XP, where did you get all the device drivers for XP? Did M$ help you with that too?


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December 23, 2009 at 18:47:41
I found and downloaded them myself at this site: (opened the ftp site in explorer - all zip files). Put them on a CD-RW and then installed on laptop.

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December 23, 2009 at 19:42:08
In relation to my original problem: Is there a Partition Manager which would merge the C and D partitions without having to boot up Windows in the laptop (i.e., working off a CD)? If I could merge the two partitions, would this resolve the issue of too little space in the C partition and therefore allow the laptop to boot up?

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