Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When reinstalling Windows XP to replace an installation with a corrupted registry, I have two options.

  1. Reformat the disk and start with a blank disk.
  2. Leave the original filesystem intact, so I can recover the files.
share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you're talking about re-installing Windows (rather than just fixing/correcting the registry), I'd suggest backing up any files you will want to use again to some external storage (external HD, DVD, online backup, etc...) and then do a clean format and re-install. If you can't even get the current installation to boot, then either mount it as an external drive for a different OS, or use a Windows recovery boot disc (it's been a while since I've done this but there should be many such things out there).

share|improve this answer
How would you fix the registry of an XP machine? – Moshe Jan 31 '11 at 20:03
@Moshe: I don't know, it's never happened to me. I suggest that you ask that as a separate question. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jan 31 '11 at 20:04
I ended up not deleting the original files. Then, I replaced the corrupted registry hive with the one from the new install. Problem solved. – Moshe Feb 2 '11 at 2:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.