My computer crashed during a recent storm. It won't boot saying a file is missing. We have tried doing a recovery, copying files, etc. We attempted to reinstall XP but got a message saying there was already an operating system on that drive making it sound like it was going to install a second copy instead of overwrite the damaged one. What will happen if we reinstall XP without reformatting the hard drive? There is a large amount of family pictures on that drive that have not been saved to another location yet and we don't want to lose them.
<font color=red>Go through the installation procedure just like a normal install from scratch, when
you get to the screen with the <b><font color=black>(Repair Existing Operating System)</font color=black></b>
option, choose that option and continue, it will seem like you've screwed up and appears
to be completely installing from scratch but when it completes all your old files will
still be there.</font color=red>
<b><font color=purple>Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.</font color=purple></b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by 4ryan6 on 09/26/03 01:42 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
definately back up everything you want on cd´s or zip disks or something and reformat before reinstalling windows, installing windows over an existing operating system is a NO NO. you can use recovery tools and stuff but you will never know how it will behave, and if those pics mean a lot to you, you should still backup. i dont trust those recovery methods, it might lead you to problems later. I would just start fresh.
My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong...
The repair option is very haphazard. You may or may not be even able to repair. XP is flakey when it comes to repairing a prior install. I think it is buggy.
I fix computers every day all day and I see xp primarily these days. I've been faced with the circumstances, even on my own machines, where XP was there one day and troublesome the next. I've attempted to do the repair and lost everything. I've also encountered times when I should have been presented with a repair option but it was missing that option--I know the OS was there but no repair option.
Again, I don't think M$ has taken adequate care in the install to resolve the repair issues that could result in wiping out your whole install even when choosing the "repair" option.