Introduction to recovering and repairing Windows XP
This section of this website deals with all of the available methods of repairing or recovering an installation of Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition. Read through the list of them, below, and click on the relevant link(s) to go to that information. The list of available pages is provided at the bottom of each page of this article. This page provides introductory information and information on a few sundry ways in which Windows XP can be recovered, such as configuring and using Error Reporting and using Windows SteadyState, that most users won't be aware of because they are not widely publicised.
Note that if you had created a backup of the system or a master image of the system, you could just restore it if you were to run into a seemingly irrecoverable software problem (backups and images can't solve problems caused by failed hardware). Visit the Backup section of this website for the various methods of creating backups and system images.
Microsoft has made Service Pack 3 (SP3) the last service pack for these versions of Windows available. There have been many hotfixes and security updates released since then. Those versions of Windows are now in their extended period of support, which means that security updates will be provided free of charge until 2014. Other support, such as the provision of hotfixes and telephone support now has to be paid for. Microsoft provides all of the information on the lifecycle support of its products. Although, Windows XP is not being sold as a retail product, Windows XP Home Edition was being provided on most netbook computers, because its low hardware requirements suit them far better than the much higher hardware requirements of Windows Vista. However, that is not the case now because Windows 7 was made available in October 2009 and, unlike Windows Vista, which has higher hardware requirements than Win7, it runs comfortably on a netbook computer, so the company will not be creating a netbook version of Windows Vista.
Table showing support dates for the different versions of Windows XP -
How To configure and use Error Reporting in Windows XP
Windows XP provides a feature called Error Reporting - Microsoft's first attempt at automatic crash analysis and repair. Using it could be useful if the problem is not serious enough to prevent you from booting your computer and you have web access. For more information read the following Help and Support article:
How to configure and use error reporting in Windows XP -
"You can enable, disable, or modify the way that error reporting works on a Windows XP-based computer. When an error occurs, a dialog box is displayed that prompts you to report the problem to Microsoft. If you want to report the problem, technical information about the problem is sent to Microsoft over the Internet. You must be connected to the Internet to use the feature. If a similar problem has been reported by other users and information about the problem is available, you receive a link to a Web page that contains information about the problem." -