It was working and then quit working.
Sounds like Windows was damaged.
I had mine do this and couldn't get a repair install to even be offered.
You stated that while trying to repair this, it says the "upgrade" could not find a windows installation.
If you had already upgraded, it would not be looking for a folder to upgrade again, it would be doing repair install, idicating windows is indeed scrambled.
Try putting the drive back on your laptop and foolow this:
This should let you back into your folders.
Save the data , then re-install XP from scratch, deleting the partition and starting clean.
I am currently experiencing immense difficulty in recovering Windows XP PRO and/or my data. I would be most appreciative if somebody could offer advice.
I recently installed XP Pro on top of my previous XP installation via the upgrade option. I performed the reinstallation because one day after many months of problem free usage I was surprised to learn that I was unable to access the status of my Internet connection I was also unable to access the Power Options facility within the control panel. I searched online for advice but to no avail. The reinstallation did preserve my data as it was supposed to, but something went wrong during the reinstallation process. All was well until shortly after the system rebooted and stated that the set-up would be completed within 39 minutes. At the 34th minute a blue screen appeared advising that "setup cannot locate the windows installation you want to upgrade". I have been unable to progress beyond this point. I have tried going into safe mode but to no avail. Safe mode will not load. There is a safe mode screen that appears with the words "safe mode" in each of the corners but nothing else appears on the screen.
I am able to access the recovery console and have tried "Fixboot" and "FixMBR" but to no avail. I do recall that the User Profile that holds all of my pertinent data is set within the "Local Sharing and Security" facility as "Make this folder private".
Please can somebody advise me on the following:
1) I am able to access the data on the PC's hard drive when I insert the drive into an external hard drive enclosure that is connected to my Laptop. Unfortunately, the pertinent folder that holds all of my important data is inaccessible via this method because of the "Make this folder private" restriction that was imposed on it. All folders and files are inaccessible within the relevant User Profile folder. It naturally displays an "Access Denied" message when I try to access the folder.
Question: Is it possible to lift the "Access restriction" to this folder from within the recovery console, or is there another way that it can be done. At least then, I would be able to copy my data across to another drive before contemplating formatting the relevant hard drive.
2a) I am able to access the relevant User Profile folder from within the recovery console. I can also copy data across to another drive if I make use of the following command: "set allowremovablemedia = true". However, I am only able to copy one file at a time. The problem is that I have thousands of folders and files on the hard drive.
Question: Is there a way that I can copy folders including their subfolders and files from within the recovery console?
2b) Most of my attempts to access the recovery console are unsuccessful because it requires an Administrator password before allowing access to the relevant recovery console. Although I do type the correct password on each occasion, the silly thing will not accept it as being the correct password. Fortunately, after rebooting and continuously attempting to access the recovery console I do occasionally manage to access the recovery console where it does not request the password.
Question: Is there a way to stop the recovery console from rejecting my password? (Sure, I could set it as blank from within XP if only I were able to access XP Pro in the first place.
3)Please keep in mind that I do have all of my data on the relevant drive. There is a c:\windows folder on the relevant drive. I know that the windows installation is there but I do not know how to tell it stop mucking about and to look properly because it is there.
Surely there must be a way around this so that XP Pro can just continue with a repair or upgrade installation without it having to be such a hugely frustrating pain in the ***.
Question: What procedure can I undertake to tell XP to stop being so stupid and to go and find the windows installation because it is there somewhere?
I would be most appreciative if you could offer your assistance in this regard as I am literally pulling my hair out at an alarming rate.
I look forward to all the advice that you can offer that may assist me with my dilemma.
NB: I have been to Microsoft's site. Unfortunately they seem to talk about the problem but do not offer any real advice.