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How do I rescue a botched WinXP Pro Service Pack install?

How do I rescue a botched Windows XP Professional Service Pack install? After some 90 minutes of installing the Service Pack via the Internet, the installation program said it could not find a file on the local hard drive -- had to abort the installation (did not do a save prior to the start of the process). Can I just reinstall Windows XP Professional (will it do a repair)?

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You may have to reinstall. It's never a good idea to install a service pack of any kind without electing to back up the replaced files. Alternatively, you can run SFC/SCANNOW and provide the original installation disk, which will check and replace any changed files.

This was first published in October 2002

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