After several hours, it appeared to be "stalled" in that the progress bar was no longer advancing (I let it sit for about 3 hours with no change).
So I mistakenly chose to cancel the download/install. I thought I could simply start over. Boy was I ever wrong.
I first received a message stating the computer was restoring the previous settings because the installation was not complete. The screen then went black with the following message:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: System32\Drivers\Ntfs.sys
You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-ROM. Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair.
I'm unable to locate my original CD. I'm not sure if I even have it, as I bought the computer used. I tried using the XP CDs that came with my HP computer, but they wouldn’t work. I noticed there are Dell XP Home CDs for sale on ebay and I’m wondering if that might be a solution – or if I were to purchase an OEM copy of XP Home. (???)
I don’t want to lose the data I have on the computer. It’s my understanding that as long as I select ‘r’ for repair, my files will be intact. Is this correct?
If all else fails, is it possible to recover the hard drive and either read it with another laptop or use a “Laptop to IDE Hard Drive Adapter Cable” like the one shown here: http://www.cablestog..._...6&sku=45169
If anyone can offer any advice, I’d be grateful. There’s a lot of important data on this computer that I don’t want to lose.
Thank you so very much!