Repair Option does not appear in Windows XP Setup

On some occasions, you might find yourself having to carry out a repair of Windows XP.

The process is as follows:

  • Insert Windows XP CD.
  • When prompted with the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER.
  • Press F8 to accept the EULA
  • Select the partition you wish to repair and then press R.

But what if the R=Repair option is not at the bottom of the screen? No matter how hard you bash the key, it will not work.

I’ve been reading on quite a few forums to try and solve this today. There were many technical reasons why it didn’t appear, and I had tried them all (but did them again anyway just in case).

No joy.

For those interested, it’s the general consensus that if you repair the boot.ini file in the root of the drive with the bootcfg command, it will usually sort it out.

Yet, no one seems to have acknowledged this:

Windows XP Setup will not repair a different version!

So, after playing around with the system I discovered that I was trying to repair an XP Pro installation with Windows XP Home media. After changing disks, the repair option appeared and everyone was happy.

Well, actually things really started to go wrong – but that’s another story.