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WinXP repair without the disk?


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#1
CrankyCheryl

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I think I may have poted this in the wrong spot the first time, so here it goes again...Sorry for any confussion.



I was wondering if there is any way to repair WinXP if it was preinstalled when I bought the computer? I didn't receive a WinXP disk, just a product key. I called the place I bought it from to find out about a hidden partition that MIGHT be on my pc that has a system recovery option incase you ever need to reinstall Windows, but I couldn't see anything about a partition in BIOS, although I'm not really sure exactly what I'm looking for. He said it would be there unless they deleted it while installing XP. Is there somewhere online where you can download and make a back up copy if you can produce a valid, legal product key? He did mention that if I knew someone with a copy of WinXP Home Ed. I could use my product key to reinstall windows and format the drive, but he said it has to be an OEM disk, not retail.
I recently tried to do a system restore but it kept failing and by the time I figured out why it wasn't working(I had to remove the protection from my Symantec Auto Update for Norton AntiVirus) it had deleted two months of restore points (I needed my "Brand New" restore point that I created when I first got the computer). So, now all the restore points have the same problems.....if I had the disk and could do a repair it would probably fix my problems because I have some updates from Windows that are corrupt and Add\Remove won't remove them from my pc. I checked all the help files from Microsoft Windows and tried all the "fixes" but none of them worked. I've even developed some new problems along the way, the Rogers Self Healing software kept switching my default email program back to Outlook Express (I had upgraded to Outlook) and stopped being able to send \ receive emails, so I used the Live technical support option and since then when Windows restarts the Windows Installer pops up trying to install "Scan", but then says I have to put in the disk.....but I don't know what disk and when I click Cancel it just keeps trying and trying to install "Scan"????? (Scan.msi) I thought it may have something to do with my HP All-in-One Printer/Scanner/Photocopier, but now I'm not sure of anything, the problems just keep pilling up. Does any of this make sense? Incase you need this info....

Dell OptiPlex SX260
Pentium 4 CPU 2.66 GHz
512 MB of RAM
Windows XP Home Edition
Service Pack 2
Version 2002
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#2
Tyger

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Here is the link to the Dell page on reinstalling the OS. No mention is given on a recovery partition, but you may still have one, depending upon the installation. You might want to look for it first. Booting from it is another mattter.

http://support.dell....al/reinstal.htm

The blue Dell XP disk is what you need, they are pretty much all the same. There is an extra disk for drivers but they can all be downloaded from the Dell site and are easily installed. You can get the disks from Dell for a nominal charge as long as you have a Product Key.
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#3
CrankyCheryl

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Thanks for the response. I kind of figured I'd be forced to buy the disks. I didn't buy my Dell from Dell, I bought it from a computer Liquidator store (a little more in my price range). The man at the store said they do have the disks availible....for $125...that's more than half the price I paid for the computer! Oh well, you get what you pay for, I guess. Thanks for taking the time to find that info.
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