I've yet to find a consistent documented reply to your first question. While I do know I could attach the hard disk to another PC to save the owners files and clone the drive so I can have more than one attempt at repairing the OS the BRUTAL TRUTH is that I've yet to repair this error with any consistent procedure.
It's now down to this. I backup the files, install the OS and drivers, then restore the owners files.
The issues with CDKEYs are non-issues here. If an owner doesn't think these are worth recording we can try retrieving them but the cost of retrieval tends to be more than a new CDKEY. Also the Dell restore media that I used last week never asked for the CDKEY.
At this point this is my answer to questions 1 and 2.
Question 3 is not about the folders. Read this -> http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=99278 If you don't read the full discussion you will miss out how they retrieved the key by using a floppy with said files after starting a repair install. It's not a trivial procedure and I can imagine some with explode or complain bitterly about it.
Question 4 is nice to read and I do not apologize for Microsoft making this harder than it should be. At least you don't own the Zune 30.
Can you help with XP Home?
This Dell Notebook has an error at startup; video driver failed to initialize
1. With the XP CD it boots in Repair XP but I have no idea what to type in at the DOS prompt to repair XP Home?
2. What is your method to retrieve the XP 25 Char Install KEY to reinstall XP Home when XP Safe Mode will not load. XP will not load in normal or safe mode.
3. Which folders should be saved in the event XP home has to be re-installed with another 25 char install key, then go back with registry editor and retrieve the original 25 char install key to change to the proper key.
4. Thank you and enjoy your Gumbo ~