This document provides information on reinstalling Microsoft Windows XP, typically after a major system problem. If you have not already done so, you should consult the separate documents:

There are two main routes to reinstalling Windows XP on an individual PC:

  • Using a Manufacturer's System Restore CDs
  • Using a Microsoft Windows Installation CD

Which you follow will normally be determined by what CDs (if any) were provided with your computer. If you have neither of these available, you could try contacting the machine's manufacturer or supplier.

Please note that OUCS can only supply Windows (upgrade) CDs for use on University of staff-owned machines.

In some cases, a manufacturer may have placed a copy of the Windows installation CD contents in a folder on your machine's hard disk, typically located at c:\windows\options\cabs. If you are in this situation and are able to transfer the conents of this folder to a CD, then this could provide you with a suitable re-installation source, although you might also need a separate Windows boot CD or floppy disk. If you do not have such a disk, you may be able to create one via

Sections in this document: