Sgamen Personal Tech

Windows XP Reinstallation saga

The Windows XP Home Edition on my home PC had reached its "end of life". I read somewhere that the average life expectancy of a Windows XP installation is 9 months (there's some irony here somewhere). What it means is that if you've had your Windows XP installed for over 9 months - you need to reinstall it. If you have been a normal Windows user - you will see the performance of the OS degrade over a period of time - mine started crawling - especially during boot up - I would switch on the machine and had enought time to take a bath, have breakfast and manage a quick nap on a Sunday morning! It became worse after I decided to be a really good user and download some stupid critical updates. After a series of updates - the OS just decided to give up on me and refused to boot up (Actually it just kept rebooting continuously). That is when I spent hours trying to find the update that screwed things up. I tried everything short of a complete reinstall - with no results. I did not want to do a reinstall (which, in hindsight, would have been the best thing to do). The only painful (and this was really painful) thing that worked was to boot into the command prompt (for this you need the Windows XP installation CD, BIOS configured to boot from the CDROM, choose the "repair installation" open). What I did after that is totally not recommended - unless you have lots of time. I went in to each of the update uninstallation directory (this is in the Windows directory - named as $NtUninstallKBxxxxxx$ where xxxxxx is the critical update number) and execute the unsinstall commands listed in the text files. These are essentially file copy commands - and you obviously can't do anything with the registry at this moment. What I did was just uninstall the latest updates. After my nth attempt - I was able to boot up! It's funny how you feel successful after doing something that was (in retrospect) totally useless and completely avoidable!

To be continued...


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