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I'm trying to repair an XP Pro install using the repair cd. The issue is a corrupted registry. Following the MS help center instructions, I made a batch file to replace the registry.

It's not working. Does the CD need to match the edition and service pack of Windows on the disc?

How can I tell (retroactively, with no Windows access) what edition/sp is installed?

Any other ideas/thoughts? I am considering an upgrade install to Windows 7...


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You can't upgrade XP to Windows 7. – Joey Mar 26 '10 at 2:02
Really? What do you mean by that? Perhaps an "upgrade install" won't work, but upgrading my OS via a clean install should work.That was what I meant. – Moshe Mar 26 '10 at 4:07
what @Johannes means is that you can't perform an in-place install, thus you have to do a clean you said. – studiohack Mar 26 '10 at 4:45
@studiohack23 - Thanks, I got it now. – Moshe Mar 26 '10 at 13:34
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There should be a version string somewhere in the registry of the broken PC. If you cannot retrieve it, I don't know how to find out which version it is.

I don't think it's possible to repair a XP install with a CD with a different service-pack version or Home/Pro. So you'll have to find an identical CD.

share|improve this answer
Does OEM/not OEM make a difference? – Moshe Mar 26 '10 at 13:25
Are there any programs that can be used to read a registry from a a system that won't boot because of a broken registry? Perhaps if I would have retrieved the registry before I tried replacing it multiple times from boot CDs. – Moshe Mar 26 '10 at 13:26
Well, the recovery console on XP CDs can read a registry from another source (any XP (pro) PC can, though). You'd have to Google how that works because I don't know exactly. And yeah, trying to replace it multiple times probably has broken it even further. Easiest solution is to format and reinstall. You will lose your data, though. – Zsub Mar 26 '10 at 13:53
I can recover my data via Ubuntu... No? – Moshe Mar 29 '10 at 16:32
Well, yes, you probably can access your data with some kind of Live CD (like Ubuntu), just think about a place to put the files ;-). Some kind of USB-stick or extra HDD would be a good option, I guess. – Zsub Mar 30 '10 at 17:15

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