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Windows XP repair install problems

I’ve run into a few problems with a windows xp repair install in the last few days that I wanted to detail the problems and what the resolution was. First, it was someone elses laptop needing a hard drive replacement. The drive was imaged, but windows still would not boot, so I broke out the XP Pro disc for a repair installation *(after trying to chkdsk from the recovery console first and fixboot /fixmbr…) Anyway, I went through the repair install process and the system booted up just fine. My next task was windows update and here’s were I started running into problems. Typing an address in the address bar of internet explorer caused a new window to open, which seemed to hang. Opening the home page seemed fine (i.e. the page that loads when you first open explorer), but you couldn’t navigate to another address.


I thought a toolbar was the cause so I disabled all toolbars and still got the problem (even through a reboot). I worked around in part by setting the windows update address to be the homepage, then opening the browser, but there were still some problems. Anyway, here’s what I discovered IE 7 had been installed before the repair install and you’re “supposed” to uninstall ie7 before performang a repair install of windows now. Given that I couldn’t boot into windows this was an impossibility. (blue screened and wouldn’t enter normal/safe mode.) There is a way to manually uninstall from the recovery console. There are details in this knowledge base article, but c:windowsie7spuninst is the folder to look in. Unfortunately if you have already done the repair install this isn’t an option, so downloading a copy of ie7 is necessary (they do allow a standalone download now). I copied it via usb memory stick and installed ie7 over ie6 and was able to fix the main browser problem.

But that wasn’t all folks! No, there was more fun ahead. No, the IE icon was not showing in the start menu, but more importantly updates wouldn’t install either via the web or through the automatic update scheduler. The ie icon was easy….

A good tip via the techrepublic… At registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREClientsStartMenuInternetIEXPLORE.EXEDefaultIcon
you should have C:Program FilesInternet Exploreriexplore.exe,-32528

I seem to recall seeing this on another system that had reverted to IE 6… Anyway.

The update issue was apparently caused by Microsoft’s stealth update of windows update components a few months back. Yes, the one that they have really tried to downplay… Anyway apparently the two fixes are to download an older version of the windows update components and reinstall those, or do some dll registering….

regsvr32 /s wuapi.dll
regsvr32 /s wuaueng1.dll
regsvr32 /s wuaueng.dll
regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll
regsvr32 /s wups2.dll
regsvr32 /s wups.dll
regsvr32 /s wuweb.dll

Yuck… but it worked… except there were 4 updates that kept downloading and running – to those I just downloaded them manually and installed one at a time with the command prompt NAME_OF_UPDATE_FILE.exe /o

the /o option I think is for overwrite. (As each update then needed a reboot.) But I’m not certain – after 4-6 times of seeing the same 4 updates I was ready to try anything. (I did remove the Softwaredistribution folder under c:windows and c:windowssystem32)

If you’re interested the procedure for this is….
(viathis forum thread

(start… run… cmd)
1. proxycfg -d (to clear proxy cache)
2. net stop wuauserv (to stop Automatic updates service)

Using Windows Explorer
3. Delete all files and folders in
C:WINDOWSSoftwareDistribution (your windows folder may vary)

Again using command prompt
4. net start wuauserv (to start Automatic updates service)

Anyway.. filed for future reference.

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Posted by on December 7, 2007.

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Categories: Computers, Tech Support, Windows, Windows Software, Windows Tech Support

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