How to Repair Windows XP Without the Installation CD

If your Windows XP installation becomes damaged or unstable through user error, application conflicts or attacks by malicious code such as viruses, you can repair it using the Windows XP installation CD. However, you can also repair Windows XP without the installation CD by using the Windows XP safe mode environment in combination with the System Restore utility.

Turn off the computer you want to repair. Press and hold "F8" key while you restart the computer. This causes the computer to boot to an options menu.

Choose the "Safe mode with a Command prompt" option from the menu. Select the Windows XP installation you want to repair if prompted, and then press the "Enter" key.

Provide your user name and password to log into Windows when prompted. When you have logged in, the display will show a command prompt.

Type "%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe" (no quotation marks) at the command prompt, then press the "Enter."

Follow the instructions on the screen to repair Windows XP using System Restore. When System Restore is finished, restart the computer to complete the process.

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