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Old Computer..Can't get XP Home to Install from recovery discs fro


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#1
D. Brown

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My daughter was given an old HP Pavilion a250n Desktop by her father. It was slow as molasses. I think it's loaded down with spyware, etc. I wanted a fresh start, wanted to wipe the slate clean and have this computer on standby as a backup to her newer laptop that she uses for college.

I've never had a great outcome with system recovery. The last time I used it, it left a lot of programs on the computer that weren't in control panel and I had to load them to get them in control panel to be able to uninstall them. It was a major hassle.

So anyway, I called HP and asked to order the Recovery CDs. (Her father lost the originals.) They didn't know if they would still have any because the computer was so old but then said luckily they found a set and mailed them.

Well, the set didn't work. I kept getting errors; for example, "setupdd.sys could not be loaded. The error code is 8192." I tried installing with and without reformating the recovery section as well as the main drive.

I couldn't get it to boot at all. It said the operating system was gone or the partition was corrupt so I used Acronis rescue disc to boot and formatted her hard drive. Acronis seemed to show it wasn't formatted.

I tried reinstalling Windows XP Home again and still no joy.

I have no other copies of XP Home in the house so as a test I tried Windows XP Pro. XP Pro loaded without a problem so this leads me to believe it was the XP Home the discs that either didn't match or were defective.

I would prefer not to try going through HP to get new discs. They seemed to think a few months ago getting discs for it was a long shot. They sent me these discs for free so I'm not out any money.

Linux isn't an option because dear daughter will need MS Word, Excel, etc. for school and this computer is a backup for college. Am I correct that Linux doesn't handle MS Word?

I'm wondering what my options are.

1. Could I call Microsoft will they let me pay to upgrade from XP Home using the product key I have from this computer to the XP Pro I've already installed?

2. If I can borrow someones XP Home could I use that with her product key?

3. If I have no luck borrowing an XP Home disc, could I buy an OEM XP Home Version on eBay or somewhere and use her product key? I think the EULA doesn't allow OEM products to be installed on HP computers but what if I used her previous product key?

Any advice would be appreciated.
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#2
wannabe1

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Hello D. Brown...

You should be able to install XP Home using an OEM cd, but I would be wary about using one found on eBay. There are other sources available for OEM disks such as NewEgg and Tiger Direct. You can either use the product key from the machine or the one supplied with the disk, though you may have to activate the installations by phone.

wannabe1
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#3
1101doc

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If I understand correctly, the only thing missing from your installation of XP Pro is activation? I would simply call Microsoft, explain exactly what has been going on, and tell them that since this test installation seems to be fine, you'd like to keep it and purchase a new XP Pro license key to use for activation. I'll bet that they will be happy to make a deal. You send them dollars--they send you a key. Activate and go!
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#4
D. Brown

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Wannabe1,

Thanks for writing. I checked Newegg. They want receipts for recent purchases of a harddrive, motherboard, etc. to purchase XP Home OEM so that wouldn't work but Tiger Direct doesn't specify that. Before I buy it, I have one more question if you don't mind.

I found a Windows ME Full install CD (retail version not on anything right now for sure) and an XP Home "Upgrade" CD. Do you think loading Windows ME, then the XP Home upgrade would work? I'll call Microsoft to activate if I have to with DD's product key. I'm just wondering if it would be a problem to upgrade from Windows ME to Home XP.

Any advice would be appreciated!!
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#5
D. Brown

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I ordered an OEM of XP Home. It was the least expensive way to go -- $89 versus $199 to upgrade to XP Pro. I haven't received it yet. Thanks again to everyone for your advice.
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