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Windows 2000 reinstall gone bad


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#1
highland403

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Several years ago, I purchased a used Dell Dimension L866r computer. It did not come with the OS CDs. To install the operating system, I had to click on a WNNT.exe file or something like that although I can't remember if I got to this file by going through DOS or what.

I wanted to reinstall 2000 to clean everything off the computer and start over. When attempting a reinstall, I ran into a blue screen that is now asking for a Windows 2000 Professional CD. I don't have this CD. :)

I did make a copy of a folder when I first got the computer that I thought could be used to reinstall 2000 at a later date, but apparently, the setup is looking for a file that is not on this CD even though there are a boat load of files on this CD.

Any help to get this computer running again would be appreciated. Thanks.

PS: I do have a box version of Windows XP home edition that is not installed on a computer if that might be of any use.

Edited by highland403, 09 August 2008 - 08:38 AM.

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#2
Tyger

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WinXP home should run on one of those machines just fine, but after it's updated it will need about 512mb of memory to really run well. I don't think you can reinstall Win2K from the operating system, you would need the Dell install disk for that. An alternative would be Linux or some version of FreeBSD which would also run well on such a machine. Those were pretty good little machines, often came with a Celeron with a 66mhz FSB and you could upgrade to a P-III with a 133fsb up to 933mhz. The memory had to be pc133 for that.
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#3
highland403

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I tried installing XP, but I can't get past this blue screen that wants the Windows 2000 pro CD. I have a feeling that unless I can get my hands on a Windows 2000 CD, I won't be able to use this computer.

Booting up with a Windows 98 boot disk eventually gets me to a DOS screen A: prompt but I don't know what to do after I get to that point.
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#4
highland403

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I found a web site that showed me how to make a boot disk. Using the boot disk loads Windows 2000 and I can now use the computer. However, when I start the computer without the boot disk, the computer is still trying to setup Windows 2000 and it asks for the CD.

Is there any way to complete the setup without the CD?

If not, since I have a legal copy of Windows 2000 on this computer, should I try to buy an OEM version of 2000 or a full version and use that CD to complete the setup?
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#5
Tyger

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It sounds like your copy of XP is an upgrade disk, which is why it's asking for the copy of 2000. I'm afraid I don't have any advice on how to proceed further, sounds like you either need the 2000 disk or a full install XP disk, as opposed to upgrade.
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#6
highland403

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I think you are right about XP being an upgrade. The box says, "For PCs without Windows, or PCs with Windows 95 or earlier versions." I don't think the problem is with the XP CD, though. I think the problem is that Windows 2000 setup has been started and somehow must be finished. I doubt that a full version of XP or even Vista would work at this point.

Thanks for you help Tyger.

I would appreciate it if anyone else has any ideas on how to complete setup OR terminate setup.

Thanks.
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#7
Tyger

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Give what the CD says on it you could just wipe out Windows completely and then install XP. You can download something called DBAN to a floppy or CD, there are two versions, and run it to write the drive to zeros and start completely fresh. Just boot from the CD or floppy. There are other utilities that can do the same, for instance if the hard drive is a Seagate you can go to the Seagate website and get similar software. Then you should be able to use the XP disk with no problem. It may take an hour or so to completely write the drive.
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#8
The Skeptic

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There are several options. I hope one will work for you.

1: Have a look at this link by microsoft. It tells you how to run Recovery Console on win 2000. If you can do this with the boot disk which you created there are several commands that you can run (check if you can boot after each command):

chkdsk /r

bootcfg /rebuild

fixmbr

fixboot

2: Could you get a legal win 95? If yes, format the computer by using FDISK command first and format c: latter. Install win 95. Now, install your XP upgrade on top of win 95.

3: Windows 2000 doesn't have a System Configuration Utility but you can download this utility, install and run it on win 2000. Download msconfig for windows 2000 from here. Click Start > Run. Type msconfig and press Enter. Click BOOT.INI and then click Check all Boot Pathes. Let windows check the boot path. If corrupt, it may be able to fix it.
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#9
highland403

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Skeptic,

Regarding the options you listed:

1. Running CHKDSK /r gave the following message: "CHDSK cannot be run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system starts (Y/N)" I checked no.

The commands bootdfg /rebuild, fixmbr and fixboot could not be found.

2. I have a legal copy of Windows 95 but, unfortunately, I don't know where the product key is. I am pretty sure I wrote it down somewhere, but that computer went into a landfill (I didn't know any better at the time) a long time ago.

3. I Checked all Boot Paths using msconfig, but it didn't find any problems.

I would still rather end the setup that is partially completed and keep W2K rather than put XP on this machine. If all else fails, I can always keep booting up 2000 using the floppy or try DBan as Tyger suggests to wipe the harddrive and then install XP.
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#10
The Skeptic

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Please run chkdsk /r again and press yes when asked to run on next reboot. The bootup disk that you got: could you write down a link so that I will understand better what it is?
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#11
highland403

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Here is the link that told me how to make the boot disk. http://kb.wisc.edu/h...page.php?id=909

I have another computer with W2K on it, so I went to it and copied these files to a floppy: Ntldr, Ntdetect.com and Boot.ini
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#12
The Skeptic

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All these files should be copied and paste to root directory C:. Before you take this action double click My Computers > tools > folder options > view. Uncheck "hide protected operating system files" and allow the change. Now paste the files to C:.

If successful, go again to folder options and check "hide protected .... "
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#13
highland403

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I checked the C: drive and those files are already there.

After running chkdsk /r, it said the volume is clean and rebooted.
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#14
The Skeptic

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So, is it working well now?
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#15
highland403

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No, it's working the same because I didn't make any changes. I didn't add the boot files to C:, they were already there. The boot sequence isn't making it to the C: drive to run the boot files.

To boot up, I think it looks for the boot files in the A: drive first, then the D: drive (CD), then the C: drive. When the floppy boot disk is in the A: drive, Windows boots up because that is the first drive it goes to looking for the boot files. If the boot floppy is not in the A: drive, it skips to the D: drive to look for the boot files. Usually, it would skip the D: drive also because it typically boots from the C: drive, but since windows 2000 setup has been started, setup must be stored in memory somewhere (in the boot sequence?) and will keep trying to complete the setup by looking in the D: drive for the W2K CD. So, I can start the computer with the boot disk floppy that I made, but when I try to start the computer without the boot disk in the A: drive, it goes to the D: drive and then wants to to complete W2K setup.

If I am correct about the above, how do I terminate the W2K setup without the CD?
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