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XP won't boot


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#61
jsaklas

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I secured a non-brand name generic WIN XP disk last night. If I understand you correctly, I can use the code from my original XP.

I finally did find my MS OFFICE, WordPerfect Office, my FORTRAN compiler, my TurboCad and a few other programs, so I have most all my programs and indeed the most important ones.

Tonight I would like to uninstall the DELL one, and install the non-brand one I got last night. Will you and 123Runner be around tonight?
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#62
rshaffer61

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I'm sorry I was busy but I should be around tomorrow.
Since you have most of your programs then if needed we can do a fresh install.
I suggest you try to backup your data files and by doing a fresh install you can make sure everything will work then correctly.
If this is still not a option you would want to pursue then we can assist with a installation you have mentioned.
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#63
jsaklas

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I'm back.

The generic XP disk I secured doesn't seem to boot up. Moreover, during bootup, the system used to give me 30 seconds to choose between the original and new XP, now it give me about 2 seconds. I don't understand how MS could be so rich, powerful and market dominating when it produces such mediocre software.

Anyway, this morning I will load one of the burner programs and start backing up data and similar files to DVDs. Then I need help coming to a decision on a new XP. Can the Dell one be used once registered (I'm sorry at this point in my frustration, I care little about legality.), or shall I just go on line and buy a new XP with key and COA.

Maybe the best option would be to buy an external box in which to put the old hard drive, buy a new hard drive, the new XP and simply start from scratch - put more RAM as well.

Any advice.

J.
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#64
jsaklas

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Because none of us play any games and have almost no music or photos, most all of my files fit on a single DVD.

I'll be back on around 8:30 to see if anyone is on to help.

J.
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#65
diabillic

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You need to determine if the generic disk you have is a retail or volume copy. The machine will not activate if you use your Dell key on the case with a retail or volume license disk.

Pop that disk into another machine and make note of the label on the CD, paste it here.
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#66
jsaklas

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diabillic,

I apologize again, but I don't understand. I have not had to enter any key at any time since my problem began. The Dell disk loaded the second XP without requiring the entering of any key. I assume I will have to enter a key when I register it (which I must do in 24 days), but so far I have not entered any key.

When I put the new generic CD in the CD drive and try to boot up, it never gets to Windows, it gets to the black screen where it tries to boot from the CD drive.

Secondly, what do you mean by, and how do I ascertain or

make note of the label

?
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#67
jsaklas

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diabillic, 123runner and rshaffer61,

Although I had problems trying to boot from the generic CD, if I boot from the hard drive using, of course, the new XP (the one I loaded from the Dell CD) and then put the generic CD into the CD drive, it loads and I get a blue screen with 5 options,

- Install Windows XP
- Learn more about the setup proces
- Install optional Windows components
- Perform additional tasks
- Check system compatibility

DOES this means that I can load the generic XP?

Assuming resurrecting the original XP is beyond hope, then.....

I don't know if one can have 3 operating systems on one hard drive, so maybe I should be uninstall the old corrupted XP, load the new generic XP, and if all loads up well, then uninstall the Dell XP and then start loading all my software and migrate my bookmarks, email etc.

I won't do anything until I have one of you on line to guide me. I will be on tomorrow morning starting around 10:00 pm. Should I pm you?

J.
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#68
123Runner

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The Dell disk loaded the second XP without requiring the entering of any key

. Since you did not enter a key, The key is slipstreamed in to the install process. This is usually due to the fact it is a Dell CD. Volume license CD's are usually the same way. Entering a key and activation are 2 different things.

You can have as many OS's on the drive as you want. I believe that you should be able to install ffrom the CD running from the hard drive. The only time you couldn't would be if you wanted to wipe out/reformat the drive to get rid of the OS you are running from.

Do you have the bios set up to boot from cd? You should get to a screen during the boot process that states (boot from CD hit any key". It sounds like you are seeing that. If that is true, the the CD is probably a copy and not bootable.
Being that this is what you call "generic CD", I hope it is a legal copy and not pirated! A pirated copy will not activate. And if it does activate, you will not get the windows updates because of windows genuine advantage.

What happened to the XP software CD or recovery CD that is on the unit now? Did you have any?

What I would suggest is to get all the data (pictures, mp3's, etc ) backed up.

The following won't work because you can not get in to the old windows. For info only.
I would also suggest backing up (as you previously asked) IE and Firefox bookmarks and Netscape Mail and Thunderbird Mail. Check out Rshaffer post 41 and 43 on that.

To back up Firefox book marks.....
Open Firefox
Go to Bookmarks at very top
Go to Organize Bookmarks
At top..click on Import and Backup
Choose backup and then save to your CD/DVD/flash drive

To backup IE favorites
Go to File
Go to import/export...and run the wizard.
Export (save) to a location such as CD/DVD/flash drive.

Where Firefox bookmarks are stored. Where Firefox bookmarks are stored
You might be able to save them by pure DOS through the CMD. I do not know if this will work! You would have to get in to DOS through the new XP and drill down (by changing directories) to c:\Documents and Settings\[your XP user name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles. There will be an odd named directory (on mine it was mwru5r6u.default). There will then be a directory called bookmarkbackups. Once in that directory there will be a list of the backups. You will have to use dos to copy them someplace. I would suspect that if this works all we would have to do is import the file once windows is working.

Your IE favorites are located at C:\Documents and Settings\ <user>\Favorites. I do not know if you can get them through DOS either.

Exporting Netscape Mail- Google Search


My main concern is the "generic" XP CD. There are a couple ways we can go about this. We need to know if the "generic" will activate.

What we know:
1. Key finder was run.

I have two keys, one is the handwritten one on the Dell XP CD that I used to load the new XP, the other is one I found by running a Keyfinder software.

I do not know what keys you have. If you can not get in to the old OS, you can not get the key.
2. The Dell key can only be used on the Dell computer.
3. The "generic" CD should have a install key.

What you can do
1. Try a 3rd install from within windows using the generic CD.
2. Then try to activate it. At that time, you will find out if it is genuine or not.

We can also change the install key that is part of the "new" operating windows. Changing Installation Key-Posted at Geeks to Go in 2005. We can then try to activate that windows and see what we get.

If you know that the other key that keyfinder found is your "old and corrupted" installation key, then that 1 can be used.
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#69
jsaklas

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123Runner,

I'm back on. I will respond to your most recent posting in a few minutes.

J.
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#70
jsaklas

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123Runner,

Good morning.

Do you have the bios set up to boot from cd? You should get to a screen during the boot process that states (boot from CD hit any key". It sounds like you are seeing that. If that is true, the the CD is probably a copy and not bootable.
Being that this is what you call "generic CD", I hope it is a legal copy and not pirated! A pirated copy will not activate. And if it does activate, you will not get the windows updates because of windows genuine advantage.


The CD is a copy, but I think it is a copy of a legit XP, but I don't know for certain. Since I now boot up from the Hard Drive, I set the BIOS to seek first the floppy, then the hard drive and thirdly, the CD ROM. What is interesting is that the boot-up still stops early in the boot-up and prompts me that the CPU is unworkable or changed and asks me to check the CPU soft menu or hit F1 to proceed. I find nothing unusual in the BIOS so I always hit F1. (This first occurred about 2 months ago when my battery died, I installed a new battery last week, but the stopping to check BIOS or hit F1 still occurs.)

The second interesting thing is that although I boot from the HD, I still get the prompt (very quickly) to "boot from CD hit any key; I do nothing and it goes to the screen that shows that there are 2 XPs loaded. However, the first couple of days after I loaded the new XP from the DELL disk, the new (Dell)XP was listed first and I was prompted to choose within 30 seconds or it would default to the first listed (the Dell). NOW, however, the original (the un-bootable) version is listed first and I have only about 2 seconds to choose before the second (the Dell) listed before the boot-up defaults to the first (the original) XP.


What happened to the XP software CD or recovery CD that is on the unit now? Did you have any?

I can't find the CD of the original XP - in fact, I'm not sure I ever had it. I would get MS updates (security stuff etc.) so I guess it was legit. The keyfinder software found an XP key, so I assume that the key it found is to the original XP.

What I would suggest is to get all the data (pictures, mp3's, etc ) backed up.

I have backed up my data files onto a DVD.

As to my bookmarks and email, you say

The following won't work because you can not get in to the old windows. For info only.
I would also suggest backing up (as you previously asked) IE and Firefox bookmarks and Netscape Mail and Thunderbird Mail. Check out Rshaffer post 41 and 43 on that.

Do you mean that only what Rshaffer said won't work, or do mean that EVERYTHING you say after your statement "For info only" won't work?

Lastly, is there anything in the Documents and Settings or WINDOWS folders that I should back-up?

I will stay on the computer for another 2.5 hours. As soon as I get an answer on my last two questions (about Settings and WINDOWS and the emails and bookmarks) I will proceed with uninstalling the corrupted XP or whatever you instruct me to do.

J
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#71
jsaklas

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I started the loading procedure for the generic windows from the working (Dell) windows. The first thing it does is ask me if I want to Update or INstall.

Should I try to update the corrupted Windows - this may not be possible because the Installation Wizard module that is working is, no doubt, from the working (DELL) windows, unless it recognizes that there are two windows XPs and then asks me to choose which one to update.

If I should not update, but rather just go ahead and load up a third XP, it may ask me which sector. When I loaded the Dell XP, I put it into the same sector (What is a sector?) as the corrupted XP but created and used a different folder (WINDOW2 vs WINDOWS).

What should I do with this new CD? upgrade? new version in same sector? or new version in other sector?

J.
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#72
123Runner

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I forgot you can get in to the old XP.

Firefox bookmarks: c:\Documents and Settings\[your XP user name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
You may have to make hidden files and folders visible before you can see application data. In windows explorer...tools/folder options/view tab...click on "show hidden files and folder".
The extension for the bookmarks is .json

IE Favorites: c:\Documents and Settings\[your XP user name] and copy the favorites folder.

I found where thunderbird stores the mail and what the extension is. Thunderbird Mail location
The files in Windows XP/2000 reside in C:Documents and Settings[User Name]Application DataThunderbirdProfiles
You will want to copy and save the 2 files

Thunderbird stores the user's mail in two files, one without an extension (E.g Inbox) which holds the actual mail messages in the standard 'mbox' format and the other with an .msf extension (E.g Inbox.msf) which holds an index of the mail.

.

123runner
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#73
123Runner

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Crossed paths while I was writing.

I would try to update the original XP, if it gives you the choice. This might fix the old one to a operable OS.

Otherwise install as a 3rd OS and see if it will allow you to activate. If you can activate, it has passed genuine windows advantage. Then you at least know it is a legit copy. There is no sense migrating all of the data, bookmarks and favorites if you can not activate.
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#74
jsaklas

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123...

As usual, bad news. It rejected the key that was on the generic CD. It appears I will have to purchase a new XP. I called several big box stores and they only sell Vista.

I want XP, so unless you have a suggestion for a place in the DC-Baltimore area, I will go to on-line, perhaps eBay to find a new XP with key and COA.

Is there a downloadable XP available?

If I buy a new XP should I get XP SP2 or with SP3? I heard that there are problems with SP3 and the difference between the 2 was mainly in security, which, if you have a decent anti-virus anti-spyware, it not really necessary for a home computer. --- What do you suggeest?



J.

Edited by jsaklas, 04 July 2009 - 12:03 PM.

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#75
rshaffer61

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You can't download XP anywhere legally.
If you have the original XP registration number that was installed on your system, then all you need is a original XP cd of the same type to reinstall.
Borrow from a friend or a co-worker.
Probably the reason the copy won't work is because it is missing files needed to install.
Just make sure the XP you borrow is the same type as what was originally installed on your system. Home or Pro
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