General discussion

XP2 will not install

I have been trying to install XP2 for quite a while. Each time it gets to Backing UP Files (Registry) and than hangs. I have ordered the CD, and get the same result. In the meantime, in Add/Remove Programs, XP2 is listed. However, I have none of the features of XP2 like I do on my laptop. Also, the annoying "you have critical updates" pops up everytime I turn on my computer. It prompts me to install XP2, but then it won't finish. I have updates set to install automatically, but XP2 is excluded from automatic updates. Can anyone come up with an easy answer? Thanks. Jane

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Oops! Of course, I mean XP SP2!

Sorry if I created some confusion, but I mean XP SP2.

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Boot in Safe Mode and launch SP2 install from there [NT]


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SP2 install

Thanks for the suggestion. In the meantime, as I mentioned, SP2 shows up in my Add/Remove programs. However, when I check my computer properties, it only lists SP1. I must have a partial install of SP2. Anyway, when I tried to uninstall, I got a message that uninstalling might affect these programs....and went on to list many programs, most of them important, like IE, Outlook Express, etc. I discontinued the uninstall. Today I did install some critical updates, which was going fine until I got the message....The SP installation did not complete. This system is in an unsable state.....then it went on and continued to install all the updates. SHOULD I go ahead and uninstall whatever piece of SP 2 that I have, then go ahead and install from the CD? Jane

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Uninstall the partial

SP2 and start over. It isn't uncommon to get an error message like the one you received when uninstalling an update.

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After uninstalling

the partial, make sure that you have done all this. If you leave ANY of the steps out, you will still have problems installing SP2 the next time. You have to be completely prepared for SP2 which means. Spyware free, Adware free, virus free BEFORE you install SP2, Also go to this link from Microsoft which also has links inside of it that will tell you what to do to prepare, including programs that are known to have problems which you may have to patch BEFORE you install SP2. Also go to your computer manufacturer's web site to see if any programs that came with your computer (non Microsoft programs) that need some sort of a patch BEFORE you install SP2. After all of the above, you should have no problems. Here is the Microsoft link. Hope this helps.

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Totally correct Rod! He has registry problem due to a spy. I would bet my MAC on it!

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Uninstalling SP2

I run Spybot, Adaware, the new MS spyware, Norton AV, and update often. I will run everything before I uninstall the corrupted SP2, then run again after I uninstall and before I install the new SP2 from the CD. I have gone to the MS site and the DELL site, but there does not seem to be a patch that I need. What I really need is the nerve to do this and disregard my fear of losing everything. BTW, I installed SP2 on my laptop (from CD) without a hitch.

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Uhoh... "fear of losing everything"

What backup method are you using?

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fear of losing.....

I plan to backup my documents to a CD. Unfortunately, my Quicken does not want to backup to my CD drive, but I will try again. I understand that is a recurring problem with the version of Quicken that I have. I always have the backup that Windows does, but if I can't get into my computer that won't help.

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About Quicken.

It's widely noted you can't save directly to the CD recorder, but must save to some hard disk directory, then put that on the CD media.


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Good plan Jane and good luck and this
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Good luck....

Thanks for that link. That is exactly the error message I got yesteray, though it was the first time I have seen that message. I will do the uninstall, then re-install from the CD....after I do all the preliminary stuff first, of course.

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You're welcome and hopefully you

will post back with a successful result when you are all done. Happy

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Thank you for all your help...

and I will let you know how it goes. I probably did not mention that I am currently in the market for a new computer and want this one (Dell) in good shape to transfer files/programs, and to pass the old one down to kids.

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I uninstalled the incompletely installed SP2, ran Adaware, Spybot, and MS Anti Spy.....the uninstall went well. I put the SP2 CD in and installed. It keeps hanging when it gets to "Backing up Registry." I tried this THREE times, and the result was the same each time. All the spyware and Norton AV do not detect any problems. I guess I am doomed not to have SP2.

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Are you sure you are

giving it enough time? There are a couple of times during installation that it appears to hang but is actually not. Also, are you getting any specific error numbers or messages? If you are, it would be a great help to figure out why it won't install. When I gave you the FIRST microsoft article about checking for program conflicts, etc. ahead of time, you said you went to Dell, etc. but did you check the programs on one of the other Microsoft lins that was in the first link? Check the bottom on this page here and see if you have any of these programs. There are solutions posted for each one too.;en-us;884130

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Is 1.5 hours enough time?

I left the install running 1.5 hours last night. At least 1.25 hours was in the "Backing up Registry" message. There is no error message. I checked the programs in the MS site, but the only one I have listed is Norton AV. I will play around with that tonight.

Also, when the machine is hanging, I cannot shut down, except by pushing the power button. I cannot do a ctrl alt del to get my task manager up, though one time I was able to and it said "program not responding."

My guts tell me not disable Norton AV, but do you think I will have to until the install is over?


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My way.

Since the machine is clean, off the internet, I have no qualms in uninstalling Norton during a SP2 CD install.

Then I can reinstall (or re-enable) prior to connecting to the internet.

-> That's a bad sign about the task manager not coming up. It may be a sign that the machine has issues such as out of date BIOS and drivers.

Have you tried applying SP2 in SAFE MODE?


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To repeat.

I see Roddy mentioned waiting for it to complete. One system took 10+ minutes on that step. It definitely could take longer on low RAM, slower machines.

There is another issue worth asking. I ran into a machine that definitely had no spyware, virus, trojan but the owner admitted did catch some virulent virus or trojan (they didn't recall the details), and all I could determine was the OS was indeed damaged. We were able to install a blank drive and the OS and SP2 without issue, but could never apply SP2 to their OS in the state it was in.

Sadly, virus, trojan and spyware can do damage that may wipe out the OS.


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My computer specs

My Dell Dimension 4400 purchased 12/01:

Pent 4 1.70GHz
256 MB RAM
25.4 GB free

Not a new machine, but not a dinosaur either. I don't have any problems with any other programs I run. I got Hijacked once, but worked it all out with the nice people at Hijack This.

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Re: SP2 install

I understand that you have a hosed SP2 installation. That?s why I suggested trying the installation in Safe Mode by using the MS CD version, but I don?t see if you tried it.

Another (and better) approach is this:

1. Prepare a slipstreamed windows XP SP2 CD (use Autostreamer)

2. Perform an in-place repair (read How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install).

Good Luck,


Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,

T. S. Eliot

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I am installing with CD....

I have not tried installing in Safe Mode, but I am using the MS CD. I have no trouble uninstalling the partial SP2 that gets loaded.

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xp2 will not install

if you tried installing it once and it would not go, you still have references to it in your registry. I would contact Microsoft.Com for the best way to clean ALL references from your registry and attempt to install from scratch

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My son had pretty much the same problem trying to install sp2.
I installed Spybot search and destroy and Ad-Aware, ran them and found 341 items. After we deleted them and ran the CD it installed with no problem.

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Nothing seems to work

After trying all the good suggestions from this forum, I am still unable to install SP2. The one suggestion I have not tried yet is to install from Safe Mode. I have never installed from Safe Mode, so I am not quite sure how to do this. I ran some free trial editions of some registry/pc cleanup programs. The scans indicated many errors in my registry, but since I was using trial editions, none of them cleaned up all the errors. I will go out today to look for cleanup software. Since the hangup continually occurs at the point of "Backing up registry" I am assuming an error in my registry is causing the hangup. I did a cleandisk and defrag today. I tried to do a checkdisk for errors, but for some reason could not complete it. I will let you know if my new efforts today pay off.

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After you get the
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this article states that you cannot install software from safe mode in XP. I take this to mean that I could not install SP2 from safe mode.

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you have some problems

that need to be resolved. You can't finish error checking and several registry checkers reports errors. Sound like you need to fix these problems first. Have you run any spyware scans? How about a virus scan?

Did you go to Dell's web site and see if any updates were recommended? There was for my model number.

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Yes, yes, yes

I have spyware, AV, all updated regularly, all run regularly. Dell's website suggested a new BIOS, which I did download to a floppy, but have not installed. As I read what the new BIOS does, it did not seem to affect any programs that I run. Running a new BIOS is a bit beyond my comfort level, so I am trying everything else first.I have purchased Fis-It Utilities and will give that a try later. Thanks for your suggestions. I want to add that I don't have any trouble at all opening, closing, running any programs.

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I found the non floppy version of the BIOS

update was very easy to use. I downloaded it to a folder and ran it. It did all of the work without any problems. I updated the BIOS because it was recommended by Dell for my model number.

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