/ windows xp repair problem

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lost1977 - on 10 Nov 2012
one of my pc'a is running xp sp3 and has a corrupt which is stopping it from starting up. cant seem to repair as cd is sp1 and have sp3
lost1977 - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

don't want to have to do a clean install as i have a lot of files i need
cha1n on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

Has a corrupt what?

If it's a system file or something, just copy and paste a new version of the file. I'll often copy the file from a working installation or hope that it's on the cd.
lost1977 - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to cha1n:

corrupt system file , how can i copy and paste a new version when i dont have a working installation.

if SP3 wasn't on there i should have been able to do a simple repair using the original cd
cha1n on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

I usually copy it from a working installation, but an installation disk should have a decent amount of the files on. Which system file is it?

You could create a boot disk and copy the file via the command prompt.
lost1977 - on 10 Nov 2012
if i put a clean copy on to another partition will i be able to access files on the non working installation
cha1n on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

Depends, I've had incidents before where I cannot due to permissions. It would be an easy way for someone to access files they shouldn't be afterall.

Would definitely be easier to replace the corrupted system file. I bet you could even find a copy of it online. I don't mind emailing the file to you, I'm running XP pro.
John_Hat - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

My general view of this sort of thing is that once Windows starts going wrong, it keeps going wrong, and re-install is the only way.. It also depends on the error. What's the actual error you are getting?

1) (easiest) pull the drive out of the current machine and use another machine to copy the files you need to a safe place (either with a external enclosure or stuff it in the othre machine as a second drive), then re-install.

2) Have you got a way of transferring off files? USB stick or similar?

If so download a Linux live install disk (this basically loads the OS into RAM) and run, transfer files over (either the corrupt file or the files you want to keep), then do a clean install of XP.

You could also use ths method to burn files to CD/DVD.

This obviously assumes you've got another computer to download things. Or get a mate to do it..

3) New partition - you've already mentioned this.

4) Get hold of an old HDD - or use this opportunity to buy the huge mulit-terrabyte drive you've always wanted, new install on that, install the old HDD as a second drive, pull the files off.

lost1977 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

why did i think of linux, got a copy of ubuntu and an external drive.

tbh the drive in the pc i thinks on its way out so i think its gonna just be a case of get the files off
John_Hat - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

In that case, boot to a live ubuntu session, connect the external, copy the files to the external, and job done:-)
lost1977 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

booted ubuntu live but not sure what i'm supposed to be looking for, files i need to copy onto external would be in my documents/downloads on xp
lost1977 - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

cant find any of the old files, looks like i may have lost the lot somehow
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John_Hat - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

Have you got another pc where you can pull the hard drive out of the non-working machine, stick it in a second as a second hard drive and have a look from there?

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