Hi all,

Came home from work the other day to find out that since I had accidentally left the windows xp student edition sp3 cd still in the drive, when my room mate booted it looks like he's decided to start reinstalling windows ontop of itself..... Anyway obviosuly I don't want to do that so I got home and I think he had already started the process...

anyway so now when I boot, even WITHOUT the xp cd.... it boots shows the xp loading screen, then jumps into Setup is being restarted.........
then takes me to the installer, showing that its up to here:

Collecting information (checked)
Dynamic update (checked)
Preparing installation (checked)
Installing windows (not checked. but current)
Finalizing installation (not checked)

and pops up a dialogue saying "Insert disk - insert the windows xp pro service pack 3 cd" and click OK.

So here's my crisis! How do I cancel this new installation that appears to have been started and rollback to what I already had ?!?!?

PLEASE HELP!!! desperate as I am leaving the country in a few days and need my laptop working!

I just tried this fix, but still have the same problem:


Another thing to try is running FIXBOOT. This will reset the boot sequence back to default with Windows XP.

To do this:

Boot from CD.

Press "R" for repair install when promted. They will give you the option to hit "enter" for a fresh installation, "R" for repair, and I believe ESC to exit out of the setup program completely.

After hitting "R"

Choose the correst OS to repair. Usually the number "1". It will ask you to confirm that you want to go to that drive letter that is listed or 1 (c:\Windows) After this it will ask for the Admin password.

When you get to the c:\ prompt, enter FIXBOOT



It depends on how thouroghly the flatmate formatted the hardrive, as that would be an issue if the install process is that far advanced.

If it were me I'd pop the hdd out and have a look at it externally, just to see whats been done. If the flaty has completely formatted the hdd, then it may pay to bite the bullet and continue with the install.

If the data is vital, then one of the hdd guru's nifty little free programs may help with the data recovery!

Rule 1. Don't have CD drives as first boot device in BIOS. If you wish to boot from a cd just set the BBS? [one-time boot device] to cd drive as and when you need it.
Setup modifies boot.ini. Show what you have... you can use Recovery Console to get it.
It all depends on what your mate did to initialise Setup... if he formatted [quick or full] then Setup will overwrite your old Windows; does Setup recognise it when you enter the RC?.
If he did not format then your old Windows should appear as an option to repair with RC. Setup would install a fresh copy alongside. We need to rewrite your boot.ini.
"thorough" and "complete" formats.... there is not really such a thing. Both quick and full formats overwrite the master file tables [and that takes mere seconds]; a full format also performs a surface scan of the partition or drive.

Ok as gerbil say's there is always hope for recovering data from formatted hdd's.

fixboot wont work at that stage of the install.

Try booting up from the cd and going one step further and select the automatic repair feature, if you can see windows in the feild.

If that dont work then your fastest option is to revert back to my original advice. Take out hard drive view it externaly through another comp, use a data recovery prog if needs be. Get your important docs and do a fresh install.

You can waste hours trying to fix things when a new one is half the price!

Was the reinstall an upgrade or New installation?

If upgrade then let it upgrade. It will not delete anything id there is nothing to upgrade. If your ex-friend selected the format option, you might be in trouble.

I suggest to run the install again and select Upgrade. and let it run its course.