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A Hard Mystery


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#1
TheShaman

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Keeping it simple and straight to the point...

I have two hard drives. My main hard drive stopped working, so I am now booting from my storage drive.

I'm not worried about my dead drive. I would just like to get my current drive to function properly...

1. There are no desktop icons.
2. There is no task bar or start menu.
3. I must use task manager (Cntrl+Alt+Del) to launch any program.
4. Most programs will not run. Luckily, Firefox is one that does run.

Additional info...
When I installed the second drive (my current drive) I copied everything from my main drive (the one that is dead now) onto the second drive. My guess is that this is why I am able to magically boot from it. This is not the problem... It is simply additional info in case it helps to solve the mystery.

When programs do not run, they prompt various error boxes or simply do nothing at all.

I am still able to download things, and sometimes they actually install and work.

The desktop background is still there, although the only way I can change it is to find a picture on the internet and right-click to set as background.

Windows XP Service Pack 2
Dell Dimension E310

My uneducated theories...
1. It is set up as a storage drive, and not a proper bootable drive.
2. The shell is bad.
3. It is something way over my head.

I realize that I joined this forum just to solve this mystery, and that some of you might look down on me for this. I am hoping that presenting such a unique mystery might be my payment to you, if you tech geeks are as intrigued by this kind of stuff as I hope.
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#2
Neil Jones

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Programs will not run if they're copied from one drive to another. If you want to use them you will need to reinstall them from your original disks.
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#3
TheShaman

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Unfortunately, reloading programs (mostly games) does not work. Adding new programs that weren't already on the disk doesn't work either. Sometimes, the reloaded programs won't even appear on the computer when I search for them... and most of the time, I have to manually initialize discs (via My Computer) because they won't run automatically.

Do you think reformatting or reloading Windows would fix it?... or would I risk losing everything by doing that?
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#4
stillwaters

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Hi!

I realize that I joined this forum just to solve this mystery, and that some of you might look down on me for this. I am hoping that presenting such a unique mystery might be my payment to you, if you tech geeks are as intrigued by this kind of stuff as I hope.

Don't worry - the whole purpose of this forum is to get and give help for computer problems, nobody should look down on you. :)

I was waiting for one of the tech staff to rely to this, but since it seems to be overlooked I'll give it a go. I've never heard of something like this before, how was the hard drive copied? If you have a Windows install disk you can try a repair install of Windows XP. There is an excellent guide to how to do that here. However there is a risk your install is so corrupted it won't recognize Windos is installed, and then you would lose all your info. There also may still be errors even after the repair. My inexpert opinion is that it may be easier to backup your files, (documents, music, videos, pictures) and then completely reformat and reinstall Windows and your applications. If any of the experts have an opinion I'd love to hear it.
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