Reinstall over top of the old one, do I have to reinstall everything?

Alright, my husband messed with my computer to try and figure out what was wrong with his, and we ended up with two dead computers.
My Win XP wouldn't start anymore, and I was devastated, I have so much installed and it's going to be a pain in the butt to redo it all.

So, I read that I could install a new copy of XP on top of the other. It kept failing, crashing and God knows what, but I finally ended up getting back into Win XP.

Problem is, it really is a fresh install with no drivers, no software no nothing :(

When I check my C: it's all there in the Program Files, is there a way that I can redirect my new version of Windows to that?

When I boot I get to pick between three Windows XP, the fresh one, one that is still mid-installation and the old corrupt one, that still won't start.

I hope there is a solution for me without having to reinstall everything as I don't know where most of it came from and have no cds.
8 answers Last reply
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  1. No. When you install a program, it writes code into the registry which tells windows where and how the programs are installed.

    You could possibly copy the registry from the corrupted copy of XP into the new one, but that could still lead to some issues, as you'd be copying the bad with the good.
  2. Thanks for the reply!

    Now that I'm at least in, is there maybe a software to repair the old corrupted windows folder? I really, really don't want to redo it all :(
  3. I couldn't really tell you that without more details - what exactly happened to the computer?
  4. Mysmasken said:
    Thanks for the reply!

    Now that I'm at least in, is there maybe a software to repair the old corrupted windows folder? I really, really don't want to redo it all :(

    Are there any specific, expensive applications that you can't find the disk for?
    A LOT of things/utilities can be recreated via free or open source applications, with a very easy install can do a lot of this very easily.
  5. What happened:
    Husband started swapping things to find what was wrong with his. When he put it back together it froze at some point and he restarted it with the button.
    After that it says that the following file is corrupt: \Windows\System32\Config\System
  6. And yes, there's a million softwares, macros etc that will be a beast re-installing. Sensitive work software, installations to get to Remote Desktop securely with dongles, etc. won't be fun, but doesn't seem like there's an option.
  7. No, there really isn't an option. Too specialized a configuration.

    Not to be snarky, but once you get it to where you want it, make a backup via one of the many imaging tools out there.
  8. Yeah, that's unfortunately not something the can be fixed easily.

    And like USAFRet said, backups are your best friend. Right now, any important information on my computer, when saved, is written to two separate hard drives, in case one dies. From there, the system is backed up weekly to an external hard drive, with a backup of just the OS minus the program files being saved to the data storage drives... and any extremely important data is also backed up through a cloud storage service in case the entire computer disappears.

    Call me paranoid, but unless the external drive, both internal drives, and the internal SSD all fail at once, I'll be able to get my system up and running in a couple minutes... and if they do fail all at once, I still haven't lost the most important bits of data.
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