Good question. I updated the tutorial to include why, but basically:
If XP is on the primary boot drive, then reinstalling Vista may take over the boot drive and cause XP to not startup anymore. If Vista is on the primary boot drive, then it should be ok to do.
How do I know which is in the primary boot drive?
I have three partitions- my data, Vista, and XP. And XP was installed first.
It's usually the one with the OS you installed first. You can check to be sure in Disk Management. It will be the Disk that has boot listed in it. You can see how to open Disk Management here, and you will see a screenshot that may help see what I mean.
Disk Management - Shrink Partition
Ok, so I opened up the disk manager. For Windows Vista under the Status column, it says Boot.
This means its the primary boot drive right? Even though I had XP installed first. Also, for my Windows XP volume, it says System, Active under the status column. I added a screenshot to show you what I mean.
And one last question. I'm doing this because when I run "sfc /scannow" command in the CMD window, it gives me an error saying that Windows found corrupt files but couldn't fix them. Even though nothing seems to be wrong with Vista, should I continue this Repair Install to fix that error message?
Thanks a lot for all the help with this.
Since Vista is listed as the Boot drive, then it should be ok to run the repair install. Just be sure to select the same partition drive letter for Vista when installing. To be safe, I would backup anything you do not want to lose just in case something goes wrong.
Thanks, it worked perfectly, except for the long wait.
But no more errors in SFC. Thanks again.
Your welcome Jim. I wish it did not take so long to do either.
I am fixing a computer for a friend and I don't have much experience with Vista. I am quite adept with XP however so don't hold back on the technical mumbo-jumbo.
Basicaly, I was having a problem installing SP1. I tried numerous things to fix it and nothing worked. I finally had to resort to a repair install.
Now, I know how stupid this is, but I didn't back up any of the user files. But the repair install is (purportedly) supposed to retain all of your user settings and files. Well, no. EVERYTHING IS GONE!!
All of the Documents and Desktop files from before are gone. I can still use the Start Search to find the files, but in their properties they show the file size as 0KB.
XP always made a backup up of the documents and settings/user folder, but I guess Vista does not.
I am currently running a data recovery program, so hopefully that will help, but why on Earth has this happened?? Does anyone know where my files might be secretly backed up?
Welcome to Vista Forums.
You might look to see if you have a C:\Window.old , C:\$INPLACE.~TR, or a C:\$WINDOWS.~Q folder to see if they may be in one of them. This is usually where Vista stores anything from a upgrade install.
Hope this helps,
Thanks for the reply. I checked out those locations. Each of them had a folder for the user with the Documents and such in it. But it was only the folder structure. There were still no files.
Luckily my GetDataBack for NTFS is recovering everything as we speak. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed for the integrity of the files.
You know, its funny. I have an MSDN subscription so I could install Vista Ultimate whenever I want, but its just things like this that makes me really really not want to.