XP Home Reinstall does not work....

By r.thompson3 ·
I recently had an issue installing Quicktime, so I followed the steps from an online forum that involved changing permissions in my registry. Apparently I changed the wrong setting, as I can no longer log in to XP Home. The computer just stops at the blue XP splash screen, but never goes to the login options. I tried every option I could find online and decided to do a repair/reinstall using the XP boot disc. However, this does not work as the computer just restarts everytime it asks me to verify the language settings. I now have XP Pro running on the computer as well, but I cannot access all files/programs on the XP Home partition of the computer. This is a complicated mess. Does anyone know why XP Home will not reinstall? Are there any other options besides reformatting and starting over? Thanks.

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All Answers

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Repair windows

by p.j.hutchison In reply to XP Home Reinstall does no ...

Get hold of a Live Linux CD such as Knoppix and a registry editor (http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1**8485,00.asp)
Boot off the Cd and undo the change you made.

Otherwise I suggest a reformat and reinstall...

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OK it depends what you need to do here

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to XP Home Reinstall does no ...

If all you want is your Data off the Home Drive you need to take Ownership of it by following the directions here


As this is Home you shouldn't have any problems with File Encryption as that isn't an option standard on Home but if you have Encrypted your Files with some third party program you'll need to follow their recommended steps to save the encryption key/s.

If you want to repair the Home Installation the best alternative would be to use a Live Linux and undo your changes you can download any Live Linux from here and though most will work Knoppix will be the best for what you need to do


If you are unsure what changes you made to the Registry and didn't save a copy of the unaltered Registry you can reinstall XP by trying this


But you'll most likely have to reinstall the copy of Windows again and provided that you don't format the drive you'll be able to recover your Data by following the directions above on How To Take Ownership Of Files.

If you have XP Home & Pro on the same Partition you are in for a world of hurt and once you have your Data Backed up it would be better to wipe the drive with something like Boot & Nuke and just reinstall whatever version of Windows that you want to use. Boot & Nuke is available here



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Thanks Hal!

by r.thompson3 In reply to OK it depends what you ne ...

I was able to get access to my documents on XP Home through XP Pro. So now, I am thinking of backing everything up onto DVD-RW's and then just re-formatting XP Home and starting over. My question now, do I use the Windows system backup and select the files from XP Home to save my information onto discs or should I burn files/folders directly onto discs and not bother with the formal backup procedure? I'm guessing it probably doesn't matter, but I just want to double check first. Any advice you can provide is appreciated. Thanks.

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Backing Up

by juan.sifuentes In reply to Thanks Hal!

I had the same problem, my advice is to backup all files that you need on to either a CD or a flash drive.

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Files to back-up

by r.thompson3 In reply to Backing Up

OK, so I now have all document/setting folders and my Program Files folders saved on DVD-Rs. What else should I backup before I begin the re-format? Obviously, I'd like to minimize what I need to re-install/download. Thanks.

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Don't forget your E-Mail

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Files to back-up

Particularly any sent E-Mail as it's possible that you may need the original for legal purposes. I would also recommend your Favourites and Address Book which ever you are using and you'll find all of these in the Documents & Settings under the Users Account Name though you'll have to go into Folder Options & unhide Hidden Folders.

The E-Mail will be located in Documents & Settings, User Name, Local Settings, Application Data, Identity, a Alpha Numeric String, Microsoft, Outlook.

The Favourites for IE will be Listed in the Documents & Settings, then the User Name and listed in the Favourites.

The Address Book for Windows is found in Documents & Settings, Account Name, Application Data, Microsoft, Address Book.

If you have any programs loaded that store their own data you may want to either backup the entire thing or just the data depending on what the program is. After you have reloaded these all you need do is overwrite the program with the saved copy and you'll be back to where you started from.

Just a Word of Warning here if you have pictures stored CD/DVD is not a Permanent Storage Media as Kodak recommends that you only rely on CD for up to 3 years under ideal storage conditions before the Picture Quality starts to deteriorate so you'll need to keep that in mind.

Personally I would just burn th files to CD/DVD and not rely on the backup side of things with XP Pro as you will not have it available when you load XP Home and if you chose something like File Compression and the like you may be unable to recover from the backup.


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Removing XP Home

by r.thompson3 In reply to Don't forget your E-Mail

OK, so everything seems to be running fine on XP Pro and i have reinstalled my video, network, and sound drivers. Since Home is still not working, is there a way I can remove it completely from the computer? I know how to bypass it at boot screen by editing the boot.ini file. However, how do I remove the system from the hard drive? Thanks.

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Yes you can go into the partition that it's in

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Removing XP Home

And just delete it completely but there is a catch. Part of the XP Home Windows Folder will have a modified file in it that gives you the option to Dual Boot when you initially turn the computer on and if you delete that file you'll be unable to restart the computer.

But even if you delete everything necessary to Home and just leave the required files installed so you can start the computer you'll still get the rubbish when you initially turn it on. That is the easy to do things.

The Proper Way to do things is:- Now that you have all your data saved make sure that you have a solid backup of everything then wipe the HDD with a utility that writes zero's to every sector and reinstall XP. Something like Boot & Nuke works well and its available for download from here


You can use your Recovery Disc to do this with and it should install all your necessary drivers so you'll save some time & effort. But it will leave you with XP Home on the system which is exactly what you are licensed to use.

After you have installed XP Home you can then proceed to reinstall any software that you use and restore your data. With the E-Mail & Address Book you can import this data into your E-Mail browser which will be either Outlook Express or Outlook by left clicking on the Open then Import and chose the e-mail or address book and then point it to where you have the data saved to and allow the system to import the data.

If you wish to use XP Pro you can install that and use the Recovery CD to install the Drivers for your system things like Video, LAN, sound and the rest if there are any more.

When you reinstall the OS you'll be given the option to format the HDD and you can use this chance to partition it or leave it as one big partition and how you want to format it. I would recommend the Normal Format Option not the Quick Option as it does a better job of setting the Partition Information on what to all intents & Purposes will appear to be a clean new HDD.

When you have the system working properly you can activate it and then proceed to install the Patches/Service Packs that are required by the version of the OS that you have.

But before you initially log onto the Internet install an Anti Virus Product and update it! Then only after you have your AV Product installed and current Log onto M$ update Web Page and run whatever Updates are necessary. If you don't have a working AV Product in place and running it's possible to download a Virus from the M$ Live Update Site and cripple your computer so you have to start all over again.

If you don't have a working AV Product you can download AVG Free Version from here


It would also be a good idea to get the following Spy Ware Scanners as well and install them after you have a clean version of Windows on your Computer. There is Lava Soft Ad Aware SE and Spy Bot S&amp available free from here



Both are free for Domestic Use the AVG Product is also Free for Domestic Use but you may have to register to download it so I would recommend that you download it and save the download before wiping the drive.


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Wait before formatting.....

by agile In reply to XP Home Reinstall does no ...

I would say get a linux live cd and use it to back up all data you need as well as programs possible then format.

The Live Cd i would recommend Is Slax

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