Windows Legacy OS forum


XP professional repair without disk

by jonnymw1 / April 10, 2013 2:57 AM PDT

This has probably been talked about but I need a specific answer.

Managed to delete part of the boot.ini file and now windows won't boot. I need to do a system repair using the XP installation disk. Person who owns the computer does not have the disk nor product key.

Can I buy a new installation disk for XP professional, will it work for just a system repair. Not a reinstall.

I know all I need to do is a repair from the installation disk so I need to know if buying a new disk with new product key would work.

Although may I also ask if I need a product key for repair, many people say I do, many say I don't, does anyone actually know?

Thanks in advance.

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All Answers

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If it's just boot.ini
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 10, 2013 3:03 AM PDT

Then I don't need the XP CD at all. All the bootable XP CD's (some hundreds over the years) can create a new boot.ini.

See the bootcfg rebuild at about the one minute mark at

NO! You would not "repair" this OS. You could boot to the console using any number of bootable XP's (I suggest one with SP2 or later) and you're good to go with one command.

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Link, comment
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 10, 2013 3:05 AM PDT
In reply to: If it's just boot.ini
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For clarification
by jonnymw1 / April 10, 2013 3:15 AM PDT
In reply to: If it's just boot.ini

Thank you, very quick reply. I can't watch the video right now as I'm out and about but all I need to do, from what I think you are saying, is stick in any XP cd, with service pack 2 or 3, and it will recreate a boot.ini ? Does it even need to be an XP professional CD? Sorry for sounding ignorant, I am.

So far the advice I have had is to repair, interesting you say not to. Will your technique just recreate the boot.ini and I can use the OS as usual. No damage to files and program.

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I have to write no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 10, 2013 3:20 AM PDT
In reply to: For clarification

You have more work to do other than stick in the XP CD. I supplied the video so you could see the command in action.

I did neglect ONE THING and that's the password. If you don't know it, use NTPASSWD to reset it in under 5 minutes. There are numerous articles about the free NTPASSWD boot CD and it's use so I'll stop here.

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