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XP Will Not Boot Memory Erased?

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So, here is the story. I recently downloaded a 30 free trial for 3ds max (a program similar to the one used to create "Cars") and when I shut the computer (XP) down and tried to reboot it, it went to a black screen with safe mode, last good configuration, etc.; the boot screen. I tried every single option and the computer never got past the windows sign with the blue loading bar and the computer would just restart or something and go back to the boot screen. I believe that I have figured out why my computer would not boot by calling Dell Techinal Support. We found that the hard-drive had errors when we did a read test withe the resource disc. However, I am wondering if having errors in the hard-drive means that I will lose every bit of information I ever had on the computer. Is there any chance that I could save the information I had on before it had problems booting up? Has Dell Technical support overlooked anything?
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Step 1

If you have a windows xp cd, start the computer and boot with it and choose recovery console.

Then follow the instructions beginning at STEP 2

If you do not have a Windows XP CD, do the following

download RC.iso from the following link:


You need to burn this image to a CD and boot your computer with it--this is different than burning a file to a CD. If you do not know how to burn an ISO image, then download the following program to another Windows XP machine, install it.

make certain you download the proper installation for your version of windows. Open MY COMPUTER, choose HELP > ABOUT. Note the service pack and get the appropriate version of the iso burner power toy


After installation, reboot, then right click the RC.iso file you downloaded above and choose COPY IMAGE TO CD.

Then reboot your broken PC with that CD in the CD-ROM drive.

This will give you a recovery console to use to run

Insert the cd into the non-functioning PC


When boot begins, a windows setup will appear to start, but you will be taken to a recovery console.

You will need to select your windows installation by pressing a number, most likely 1

Windows will ask you for a password

If you have XP home, press enter...there is no password

If you have XP Pro, you need to enter the password you set when you installed your machine with XP Pro.

After entering the password, you will find yourself at a command prompt that looks like this


chkdsk /r

follow the prompts, then when it is complete, remove the CD




the machine will reboot

Did that fix it?
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