Can I install Windows XP over a corrupted Windows 2000?

by on March 15, 2009

Q: My Windows 2000 professional operating system recently crashed due to a corrupt system file. I bought a repair disk from spotmau but it wouldn’t fix the problem. I do not have the original Windows 2000 CD’s (the person who built the computer took them – I can’t get them back). I tried to repair the file using XP utility with the R(epair) option when I booted from the XP repair disk. Now my system just keeps rebooting automatically whenever I enter my windows userid and password.

At one point I could get to a C prompt, but now I can’t. The drive that my data is backed up on wouldn’t show when I was at the C prompt.

My question is this: If I buy XP and install it, will it destroy all my data, or will it just overwrite my Windows 2000 operating system and I will be back in operation?

One Response to “Can I install Windows XP over a corrupted Windows 2000?”

    Your best bet for moving forward would be to copy all of your important data off the harddrive (either to another harddrive to a flash memory drive or burn to CD/DVDs), and then performing a fresh installation of Windows, allow it to totally wipe the harddrive and start fresh. Then copy your important files back to your harddrive. This will give you the best fresh starting point to move forward.

    Of course the tricky part here is getting your imporant old files off the PC. You have two options here.
    1) Hook the harddrive up to another functional PC (you’ll need to make sure this other PC still uses its normal drive to boot from) and then copy your files off that way.
    2) Use a Boot CD such as This is a CD inserted into the PC at startup that contains a functional windows environment that you can use to copy off your old files from the harddrive.

    With your files safely moved to another harddrive/CD/etc you can now do a fresh install of windows.

    *Disclaimer* If you’re not 100% comfortable doing any of these steps at all be sure to get a friend to help you out. These steps may or may not work, and may or may not result in damage to system hardware or loss of data. Use these steps and advice at your own peril.