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major problems with XP repair


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#1
maldon69

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To be brief. Got caught in the XP start up loop - wouldn't even start in safe mode. Googled advice and ran repair using XP disc - followed the Three step approach about copying and deleting files etc. Initially when asked for password a simple 'enter' sufficed. Then computer began to shut down after one minutes input - carried on in this fashion - never asked for password - carried on input, but before i could complete step one another close down, but this time on start up it asked for the password - and 'enter' this time was an invalid password. So now what do I do? I read somewhere that if you go into XP set up rather than repair you can access password - but I'm not sure if I ever had a password, and that during my rather stop start approach I've deleted the sam file (whatever that is) before i could copy across the repair one. Grateful for any advice - the main thing is I want to access the hard drive for the data.
Cheers
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#2
Macboatmaster

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Before I can advise you properly I need to know if it is a branded computer if so make model and service tag number if available.
Is the XP disc the one used to install XP on this computer.
If you ONLY want to recover your personal data then the easiest way is to slave the drive to another computer.
The fact that Windows will not load, will not stop you accessing your data. and then copying to a DVD, folder on the computer OR, but not recommended a flash drive.

but I'm not sure if I ever had a password

Did you have to enter one to use Windows.
Did you set one at any time.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 28 August 2010 - 01:33 PM.

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#3
maldon69

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Thanks for the prompt response. I bought the computer from an on-line company - in Liverpool I think about 2/3 years ago. It came with XP pre-installed and I have been using a XP copy someone gave me some time ago. I'm a bit confused about the password as I may have set one up as I don't recall setting a user password, and I get the impression that the admin password is one set by the person who actually installs the os in the first place - but I am not a computer buff by any means. Ideally I could probably cope with just being able to access my hard drive, but there are some useful contacts/emails etc on outlook express which I assume I won't be able to access, so my ideal is to get the computer working again, but could cope with just accessing the hard drive and getting a new computer.

Thanks again for your response - much appreciated

maldon69
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#4
Macboatmaster

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You will have another problem, even if you can access repair without the password.
The repair installation requires the product key, that is the product key of the installation on the machine, not the XP CD you are trying to use.
Is there a sticker on the machine with the COA and product key.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 28 August 2010 - 02:54 PM.

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#5
maldon69

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Hmm - not sure - bear with me while I find out - it's not in the most accessible location - thanks again
maldon69
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#6
maldon69

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Hi
There is a sticker with the product key - is that sufficient? (Not sure what a COA is....)

maldon69
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#7
Macboatmaster

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Enter the Recovery Console
that is press R on the first option, not as you did for the repair install.
When in the recovery console
and at the C prompt. type "chkdsk /r"
without the colons and note space between chkdsk and /

see this for guidance
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654

Edited by Macboatmaster, 28 August 2010 - 03:27 PM.

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#8
maldon69

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ok - will get back to you when i've tried that
m69
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#9
maldon69

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i cannot access recovery console as it is looking for the Administrator password - this was the problem I had earlier...
m69
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#10
maldon69

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Hi again
Can I just clarify - when it boots of my CD i get three options under set up
1 - to set up Windows XP
2 to repair using recovery console (press R)
and F3 to exit

Every time i press R i get the password problem - was that what you were asking me to do?
I assume I don't do option 1, i.e. set up Windows XP now as I assume this will eventually reformat my hard drive and i will lose all my data. However the computer is also switching off after about 3 to 4 minutes - which was again one of my earlier problems.

I really appreciate your support on this, but I also recognise it is getting rather late, so perhaps if there is nothing else I can do at this point it might be best if I try again in the morning - or is it a rather intractable problem? What I can't quite understand is how it has come about. I have been away for three weeks, and my daughter says she just logged on once to print something off. I switched on on my return and there was a message saying how some file was being used by another programme or something - i thought nothing of it, used skype and then found i couldn't access outlook, so restarted computer and that's when I found all it did was get to the XP screen then start all over again. I googled for a bit and so found out about how to use the CD Rom disk - I adjusted bios to boot from CD and that's when I started having all those problems I described initially.

Ho hum

M69
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#11
Macboatmaster

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http://www.theelderg..._windows_xp.htm

Read this link please you can scroll down to the repair.
The first option to press R is for the Recovery Console.
The second option for repair is shown below that. The Recovery Console is basically a command type winodw where you enter the chkdsk command I gave you.
The repair the current installation is NOT the recovery console and reloads Windows, leaving your programs and documents, pictures etc intact.
Press F8 on start up and see if Last Known Good is of any use.
If that does not work press F8 again and see if an option is to Disable restart on failure - if so select it and then we may get the stop and error codes which will give a clue as to what is causing this.

When you post back please tell me - what is the size of the hard drive and how much free space.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 28 August 2010 - 06:18 PM.

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#12
maldon69

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Hi
Thanks again, but I fear that my earlier eforts before I contacted you have probably done irretrievable damage - I found some advice based on a microsoft help page which involved gaining access to the recovery console and then going through a procedure of copying, deleting and then copying across config files - it was this process which caused my computer to switch off after about 60 secs - it is still doing that. However after finding out that my XP is an OEM version I have just noted the warning at the top of the process I sadly began...pasted below:

This article describes how to recover a Windows XP system that does not start because of corruption in the registry. This procedure does not guarantee full recovery of the system to a previous state; however, you should be able to recover data when you use this procedure.

Warning Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives.

You can repair a corrupted registry in Windows XP. Corrupted registry files can cause a variety of different error messages. See the Microsoft Knowledge Base for articles about error messages that are related to registry issues.

This article assumes that typical recovery methods have failed and access to the system is not available except by using Recovery Console. If an Automatic System Recovery (ASR) backup exists, it is the preferred method for recovery. Microsoft recommends that you use the ASR backup before you try the procedure described in this article.

Note Make sure to replace all five of the registry hives. If you only replace a single hive or two, this can cause potential issues because software and hardware may have settings in multiple locations in the registry.


This would suggest that I am perhaps beyond the excellent support you are currently providing, and I apologise if I have been tieing up your time and resources.

In answer to your question the hard drive is about 160gb and I have about 20gb left (based on my recollections)

M69
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#13
maldon69

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Hi
Latest update - booting without automatic restart just leaves me with a blank (dark) screen. As I'm clearly having difficulty accessing the recovery console is there any sense in going through the second repair option described in the link you sent me? At this stage I must admit I'm more concerned that I can recover any data on the hard disc than actually get back into a working system, so would be a litle reticent to try anything which carries a risk of losing data, assuming my efforts to date haven't already compromised the disc.
Regards
M69
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#14
123Runner

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Is this a desktop or laptop computer? You never told us. We need that info so we can guide you in recovering the data.
Depending on what type it is AND what type you have available will allow us to better give you our thoughts.

Slave the drive to another computer
place the drive in a USB case
Use a linux based CD (puppy linux) to get the data.

I think you are to far gone for this, but.....have you tried booting to safe mode? (F8 during bootup)
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#15
maldon69

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Hi
Yes I have tried all the f8 options. This is a desktop computer - about 2/3 years old, 160gb hard disc 2gb memory. I may have about 20gb left on disc. I mainly want to retrieve some mpg and wav files, some jpgs and a few word docs and pdfs. I think the rest of my emails tell the sorry tale, the only thing I haven't tried is going to Windows set up from the XP disc and doing the repair option from there rather than trying to access the recovery console from the previous menu - but I'm concerned that might cause me to lose data. In the end I suppose I just get another computer and take the hard disc out of this one and make it an external hard disc drive for the new computer. (Well that's what some of the websites say anyway!).
I appreciate the interest from you guys - I just wish I'd found this site earlier before I tried my diy efforts!

regards

m69
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