Unable to boot or perform Upgrade Install

Recently my PC's registry became corrupted, leaving me unable to boot. As I really want to keep my files, programs, settings etc I would much prefer to do an Upgrade install than perform a Custom one and wipe everything.

However, the Windows 7 disk insists I boot into Windows before performing the upgrade installation, which is the one thing I cannot do due to my corrupt registry. Compatibility Report is as follows:

Compatibility Report

The computer started using the Windows installation disk. Remove the installation disk and restart the computer so that Windows starts normally. Then, insert the installation disk and restart the upgrade.

This is a frustrating cycle. I can't boot Windows, so I try to perform an Upgrade Install, which I can't do because I have to boot Windows.

Things I've tried:
- Various chkdsk commands, none of which have worked due to my drive seeming to be write protected
- System restore, which I was unable to do as apparently System Protection must be enabled on the drive and I'm unsurehow to do this
- All of the registry repair tools on Hiren's boot CD, all of which are either irrelevant to the problem or have given me error messages

As I have Hiren's CD I can access my hard drive through Explorer, so would it be possible to use Mini XP to attempt the Upgrade Install? If this isn't possible, how else can I repair my registry?
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More about unable boot perform upgrade install
  1. Does Safemode work ?
  2. Safe Mode doesn't work, and when I boot off of the disk and click Install I'm only given 2 options. One is to perform a Custom Installation, wiping the hard drive and the other is to perform an Upgrade Installation, which more or less seems to be a repair install under a different name. None of the 'Repair your Computer' tools have been any help, which is why I've come to this rather irritating stage.

    I suppose my main question is, if I use Hiren's boot CD to launch Mini XP, can I then run the Upgrade Install from there without any problems?
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