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Can I use nLite to REPAIR XP, not reinstall it?

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7 replies to this topic

#1
glnz

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Might experiment using nLite -- for the first time ever for me -- to REPAIR an existing XP SP3 OS, not reinstall it. Some Qs:

1) Can I use an nLite XP SP3 sliptstream CD to Repair rather than install?
2) Will Repair generally leave data and existing programs in place?
3) The PC is a Dell Optiplex 755 for which I have the Dell XP reinstall CD, but I also have a store-bought XP CD. Can I use either as the XP source for nLite?
4) If I use the store-bought XP, when the time comes to enter the key in the Repair process, can I insert the original key from the Dell, or must I use the key on the store-bought XP box? (I previously used the store-bought XP CD to install XP on a different computer, so I am already using its key.)
5) In either case above, will I also need the COA from the sticker on the Dell Optiplex 755?
6) I was never able to install Recovery Console in this Dell Optiplex 755, possibly because I needed some drivers, maybe SATA, to be available by floppy, and I have no floppy drive. Do you think nLite will be able to help me with that?

I have printed a guide for nLite, but it seems abit skimpy. Is there a BEST DETAILED guide? The idea is that I not only give it XP as a base, but also SP3 and all possible MS updateds and hotfixes - right? And maybe some drivers? Sounds like fun, but don't want to make too many wrong turns.

Is there a particularly good youtube to watch?

Edited by glnz, 18 March 2013 - 01:07 PM.



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#2
Ponch

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Not sure if you really mean "repair" or reinstall. AFAIK, you won't be prompted for a key during repair, and only your 6th question is relevant.
For a repair, you will need to integrate the CURRENT Service Pack (the one running on the machine), the current Internet Explorer version (more tricky) and the SATA drivers if the disk is not seen when booting from an original cd.
Also not sure if integrating other updates has any effect on the repair function. Nor if "Home/Pro" is relevant (in case your CDs are different versions).

#3
glnz

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Dear Ponch - Thanks for your reply. Yes, I mean Repair. And I forgot to specify that I have Win XP Pro SP3.

I understand there's a Repair function on XP Pro CDs that - maybe - leaves all programs and data in place and merely repairs the OS. So I have my six questions above if I use an nLite version of an XP Pro CD instead of my existing store-bought XP Pro CD.

By the way, from that store-bought XP Pro CD, I have already made a clone CD with integrated SP3 through the manual - not nLite - process. (I successfully used that clone to install XP Pro on my second PC, which is why the store-bought key is already in use.) I take it that nLite can also integrate all hot fixes and needed drivers and maybe more.

My primary motive is that some things went screwy on my PC after trying a MS Fix It Now for an issue. Among other things, I lost my past Restore Points. And it would be good to learn how to use nLite, especially if I can base it on the Dell OS Reinstall disks and get a Repair functionality.

So, what do you think about my six questions?

Thanks.

Edited by glnz, 19 March 2013 - 07:15 AM.


#4
jaclaz

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If I may, forget about nlite (not that is not good, simply it is not a tool suited IMHO for this).

If I were you I would use the Dell source (which normally is a synonym of "troubles") to create manually a "standard" install disk, then integrate the SP3 (if that is what you have) and the needed drivers.

About the floppy drive (or lack of it ) you can use grub4dos together with a floppy image and a ramdisk driver to replace the "real" floppy with a "virtual" one.

jaclaz

#5
glnz

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jaclaz - thanks.

a) However, without something like nLite (which I've never used), how would I integrate the drivers?

b) Also, when you write "Dell source", do you mean the Dell OS reinstall disk that came with my PC or some other source?

Finally, new Qs for everyone: I'm not knowledgeable about the MS keys and COAs. According to Belarc Advisor, the Win XP Pro on my Dell Optiplex 755 is as follows (and of course I've changed the numbers before posting here):
Microsoft - Windows XP Professional 56874-OEM-0087541-00566 (Key: HGF56-67ERT-34I90-876TR-ZZZSW) [footnote e]
e. This is the manufacturer's factory installed product key rather than yours. You can change it to your product key here http://go.microsoft....k/?LinkId=45668 for Windows

1) First, notice both the "OEM" in the first set of numbers and the footnote. If I try to do a Repair with my final XP Pro CD (nLite or other), will the indicated Key (starting with HGF56) work, or must I first ask Dell or MS for a new key?

2) Second, the sticker on the top of the Dell Optiplex 755 mentions Vista and has a different key. When I bought this Optiplex 755, I asked Dell NOT to install Vista but to give me XP, and Dell complied. (And Dell also sent me a Vista install CD which I've never touched.) So, the label on the top of the Dell gives the key for the Vista that was NOT installed. Does this mean I'll have a problem when I insert the above HGF56... key for XP during the Repair process?

Thanks.

Edited by glnz, 19 March 2013 - 12:04 PM.


#6
jaclaz

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There are two "types" of Reinstall CD's (yes the one that came with your PC or that you "burned" from the recovery partition):
  • first type is an "ordinary" XP install CD that the good Dell guys in their simplicity couldn't leave alone, changing senselessly a few settings
  • second type is an image (or backup, or whatever you call it) of an installed system
If it is the first type, fixing (if needed) the few things that were changed is easy.
If it is the second, things may become more complex.

If I get you right, currently that Dell 755 is running (I mean it doesn't bluescreen, it boots more or less normally as you can run Belarc Advisor) right?
In any case, get a second opinion:
http://www.msfn.org/...microsoft-keys/

Very basically, all MS cd's are the same, and only a few files determine if the CD is OEM, "Retail" or "VLK" (put in double quote as to avoid someone to chime in saying that "Retail" and/or "VLK" are not the proper terms, etc.).
A key (your current key as seen with the mentioned tools) is only valid for an OEM source (and won't work if you install from your "other CD" which is "Retail").

You won't have problems if you install from OEM source CD with the key gathered from the mentioned utilities, and your Vista COA/Sticker is OK, as it is within the Vista Eula - I believe - one of your rights to "downgrade" to XP (a misnomer meaning actually "install a better OS version" ;)).

So the whole point is understanding what exactly is on the DELL OEM Cd you have, as said it is possible that it is "good as is" (bar the need to create a new one with the needed SP and possibly integrate some needed drivers) or that one needs to re-create a valid "install/repair" CD.

Easy, open a command prompt and in it (provided that your CD/DVD drive is E:\ ) do:
DIR /S E:\>C:\mydellcd.dir
compress the resulting file to mydellcd.zip and attach it to your next post.

It is also possible that your 755 has the (in)famous DELL recovery partition, which may as well contain some needed files.

Have a quick peek at these:
http://www.msfn.org/...he-i386-folder/
http://www.msfn.org/...allation-files/
to have an idea of the procedure to rebuild an install CD (if needed)

jaclaz

#7
submix8c

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In addition, look at this -
http://www.msfn.org/...updatesie8wmp11

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#8
glnz

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Jaclaz and submix8c - Many thanks for your suggestions! I shall return to this effort this weekend, as it now will require some concentration. Please keep your eyes open for some more replies then.




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