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XP Repair Install option NEVER seen, even with 'Prompt repair'

- - - - - nLite Repair Install Prompt repair Failure

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3 replies to this topic

#1
mu2t

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I'm am desperate for help, please!  I've used nLite to create XP Pro/SP3+updates install CDs for performing XP Repair Installs in the past, but as of this last week I've always utterly failed (at least 20 times now) to create one that actually allows a Repair Install!  AARGH!! :realmad:

 

And yes, I've read the nLite faq entry that reads:

 

I dont have repair [R] option at install, why, and how can I get it back?
In the Unattended - General page, the Unattended Mode, set to 'Prompt repair'.

 

and I've always made certain that I do exactly that.  But that never works now, and it's driving me CRAZY! :crazy:

 

The main point of my OP is this: I never see any 'R' option or prompt for performing a Repair Install!

 

I've attached a copy of one of the 20+ sets of LAST SESSION.INI for you to examine, but note that I've tried so many different settings trying to get the Repair Install function to work that I chose the file to attach pretty much arbitrarily. 

Attached File  LAST SESSION.INI   14.04KB   4 downloads

 

Here's some info that might help clarify things:

 

(1): I need to perform a Repair Install because that particular XP Pro/SP3+ installation won't boot because of a corrupted registry hive (SYSTEM, I think).

 

(2): I want to perform a Repair Install because my cloned backup is a bit too old.

 

(3): I read several places that other approaches to repairing or replacing that registry hive are so difficult and error-prone that the only acceptable solution is to perform a Repair Install.

 

(4): I'm using nLite version 1.4.9.3, and usually I run it under 32-bit XP Pro.  However, I've recently started running nLite under 64-bit Windows 7 Pro/SP1U with the XP SP3 Compatibility mode enabled.  Running under Win 7 doesn't seem to have broken or changed anything.

 

(5): I'm using OnePiece_Windows_XP_Post-SP3_UpdatePack_v1.0.2_FINAL_ENU... for updates and hotfixes.

 

Are there some little-documented tricks I need to know about in order to produce a XP CD capable of performing a Repair Install, beyond what the nLite FAQ says about the 'Prompt repair' option in the Unattended section of nLite?  Or is there some key or something like that I need to press to produce the Repair prompt?

 

Please help me!

 

 

 

This is what happens when I try to perform a Repair Install with an nLite-created install CD:

  1. Boot from nLite-created XP CD (based on SP3 OEM CD + all XP updates through EOL).
     
  2. No need to press F6, since the necessary SATA RAID drivers were inserted via nLite.
     
  3. On the "Welcome to Setup" page, I press Enter to start the installation (I do not press "R" for recovery console).
     
  4. I press F8 to accept the EULA.
     
  5. At the next page, Setup displays a list of several partitions on the one and only attached disk system, a RAID 0 array (I've detached all other disk subsystems).  The desired XP (boot) partition is the very first partition, which is a primary partition starting at sector 0. (as an aside, one of the other primary partitions is a cloned backup copy of a Windows 7 system).  At the bottom of the screen, the legend reads: "ENTER=Install  D=Delete Partition  F3=QUIT".  No "R" or Repair Install option/prompt shows up.
     
  6. I select that XP boot partition, then press ENTER to install.
  7. Curiously, only with the last few nLite build/Repair Install attempts, something I've never seen before occurs. The next page shows a warning that reads: "You chose to install XP on a partition that contains another operating system...  Installing multiple operating systems on a single partition is not recommended..."  But I am not trying to install multiple OSs on a single partition -- I'm trying to perform a Repair Install!  :huh:

    NOTE that this strange event isn't really related to the topic of this OP (but it will obviously have to be resolved).  I can only guess that something I've done during previous Repair Install attempts has messed something up, something that produced this new behavior.  I've tried everything I can think of to clear this matter up, from using Acronis DD 11u2 to 'Hide' the other partitions to deleting BOOT.INI and running BOOTCFG /REBUILD from the recovery console, but nothing seems to help.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.)
     
  8. Even if I ignore the warning about installing multiple OSs on the same partition and try to proceed anyway, I'm never presented with the Repair Install option!
     

I'm totally stumped and I desperately need your help, friends!

 

Attached File  LAST SESSION.INI   14.04KB   4 downloads




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#2
5eraph

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Remove the [Unattended] section from winnt.sif to get the repair option back. The recovery console is always accessible even with the [Unattended] there. Just press F10 when the F6 prompt appears to get to it.


WinNT.sif is in I386 after running nLite. Just make the changes, save the file, then make your ISO/CD/USB.
  • submix8c likes this

#3
mu2t

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I can't tell you how excited I was to see your reply, 5eraph!  Finally, some truly expert help on a problem that even after extensive, even excessive, googling, no one has ever provided any directly on-point solution.

 

The thing is, unfortunately, that even after several careful searches, there simply is no file named 'WinNT.sif' anywhere in the post-nLite folder or ISO that was created (not in /I386 or anywhere else).  The only file I could find with a .sif extension was 'TXTSETUP.SIF' in /I386.

 

In any case, there's new information I need to report: Since I was having absolutely no luck whatsoever performing a Repair Install on the damaged system in question (which wouldn't boot because of a corrupted registry hive), I found an extremely helpful guide for solving that corruption problem without needing to perform a Repair Install.  As that guide explains at the outset, that procedure is far superior to similar guides from Microsoft and others in that it doesn't rely on obtaining backup registry hives from the repair folder but instead gets them from a restore point.  It worked perfectly!

 

But even though that system boots and runs perfectly again, I emphatically still strongly wish to figure out what prevented me from performing an XP Repair Install, and what I can do to solve or bypass those issues.

 

I decided to experiment with completely eliminating nLite processing by trying a Repair Install using an unmodified SP3 install CD on the now working XP SP3 installation.  What I found was that even with an unmodified install CD, I still never saw the 'R' for Repair option on the correct page (the page listing the existing partitions, including the main XP boot partition)!  So nLite is off the hook.

 

Now, the first SP3 install CD I used was an OEM install CD, and the target system is also an OEM installation.  But one (and only one as far as I can tell) knowledgeable person claimed that one can never use an OEM install CD to perform a Repair Install under any circumstances.  So I followed one of the guides that tells you how to modify SETUPP.INI to change an OEM into a Retail install CD, and tried again.  There was no difference - it still failed to present the 'R' for Repair option!  (By the way, I also tried creating a sort of hybrid install CD that was a Retail CD that allowed OEM keys, which also failed to work).

 

I'll probably re-post this to a different forum now that a problem with nLite has been ruled out (at least in my case), but I'd like to keep this thread open a while in hopes that 5eraph (or X) or someone can help me with the more general problem I still have...

 

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Remove the [Unattended] section from winnt.sif to get the repair option back. The recovery console is always accessible even with the [Unattended] there. Just press F10 when the F6 prompt appears to get to it.


WinNT.sif is in I386 after running nLite. Just make the changes, save the file, then make your ISO/CD/USB.

 



#4
submix8c

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This may be the cause of this problem -

Here's some info that might help clarify things:

 

(1): I need to perform a Repair Install because that particular XP Pro/SP3+ installation won't boot because of a corrupted registry hive (SYSTEM, I think).

http://www.dslreport...M-Dell-XP-Disc-

 

If the install program does not recognize that you already have XP installed it will not give the option to do a repair install.
This happens when the OS is corrupted.

HTH

 

edit - BTW, the link you gave goes nowhere for me. :unsure: The CORRECT link is

http://forums.techgu...tml#post6304862

found via THIS link

http://forums.techgu...-corrupt-2.html


Edited by submix8c, 07 June 2014 - 09:10 PM.

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

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