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Reinstall or Repair XP?


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#1
CombatTaiChi

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Hi,

I just read the sticky post on how to repair XP and I didn't find my issue in the replies.

It's an old machine with very limited RAM but I just need it to check Yahoo mail, and a web site now and again. My computer died and I'm out of work...a friend gave me the system. So, it's what I've got to work with for now.

The problem is that I don't have the original XP CD. I do have the correct Windows Key for the computer, and I have an XP CD from another machine.

When I try to install/repair I get an error that says something like, "The Windows Key & the CD do not match." And it aborts.

Is there any way to use this combo to get a clean installation?

Or is there another way?

The computer is an eMachines T1840 with 128MB Ram (yes, according to the original owner, it came with XP, and I'm told it was fairly fast for basic web surfing, etc. when it was new)

By the way, I've used several repair utilities, several Malware programs (Super AntiSpyware, Malware Bytes, Spybot Search & Destory, Avira, etc.) so I don't think it's a malware issue. I think it's a limited ram thing, and too many programs installed/clogged registry, etc.

Just so you have a basic idea of how slow the system is and why I want to reinstall XP: From a fresh boot, I timed it and from the time I clicked on the Notepad icon in the Quick Launch bar it took almost 2 minutes to load...a blank Notepad. Load Firefox?...walk to Starbucks, get a large, walk home and it should be loaded by then. I was told that FF actually ran okay at one time. I'll probably go with one of the slimmest browsers out there instead of trying to run FF.

Thanks for any help!
Scott
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#2
rshaffer61

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Hello Combat TaiChi.... Welcome to
GeeksToGo, :)
:unsure: :yes:

I'm sorry to hear about your issue. We will try to help you resolve this as soon as possible.
  • Please understand we are all volunteers and we are not here all the time.
  • Sometimes it may be a extended amount of time to get back to you. If it has been
    more then 3 days please shoot me a PM and I will try to get back to you quickly
    then.
  • Please do the following and supply the requested information as needed. If you
    don't understand my instructions please ask and I will try to explain them
    clearer for you.
  • Do not attempt any steps unless instructed or ask before to
    make sure they will not cause any further issues.


First lets get a look at the system.

Download Autoruns from the link in my signature below:

1: Extract the Autoruns Zip file contents to a folder.
2: Double-click the "Autoruns.exe".
3: Click on the "Everything" tab
4: Remove any entries that mention "File Not Found" by right-clicking the entry and select Delete.
5: Go to File then to Export As or Save in some versions.
6: Save AutoRuns.txt file to known location like your Desktop.
7: Attach to your next reply.









Download and install Free Everest Home Edition
Open it.
1: In left pane expand Computer folder.
2: Click once on Summary
3: In upper menu, go Report
4: And then to Quick Report-Summary
5: Save it in text file, and paste it in your next post.
Click the + by computer, click on Sensor. Get a screenshot and post it so I can check your temps and voltages...


DO NOT INCLUDE ANYTHING UNDER THE LINE THAT SAYS "DEBUG- PCI"
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#3
CombatTaiChi

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Thanks, rshaffer61!

Oops! I had a brain-problem right from the start. The system has 256MB RaM...sorry about that. The sticker on the front of the machine says, 128MB.

The AutoRuns.txt file doesn't want to attach. GTG says that it's too big. I reran AutoRuns and saved the result and tried uploading again. I hope I ran AutoRuns properly...I didn't see any File Not Found entries to delete.

I just checked the file and it's 1.40MB. So, I guess, it's too big to upload to the board? I see a max of 1MB.

Please let me know what you'ld like me to do.

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  • cpuTemp.jpg

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#4
rshaffer61

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Are you saving it as a txt file as the arn file will be way to big.
Also take a look at this.
System Memory 253 MB (PC2100 DDR SDRAM)
Intel® 82845G/GL Graphics Controller (48 MB) On board correct?
That leaves only 208 megs of memory for everything else. Now consider that XP needs 256 megs to itself and you are already 64 megs short for running it correctly.
Now add in your Autoruns and Startups and you literally have no memory to run anything.
First thing I would suggest is increasing your memory to 1 gig.
Go to HERE and run the Crucial online scanner.
This will give you the exact memory configuration for your system.
You do not have to buy the memory from there, but write down the information and if you need assistance in purchasing the upgrade memory GTG can assist with suggestions also.





Next once I get the Autoruns log I can continue but I think the issue has already shown the root cause. I will try to help clean up anything to open some memory up but you will really need to increase it to help out the speed.
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#5
happyrock

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if all you want to do is email and things like that...try puppy linux.5.25..here
once you have burned it as a image just set your bios to boot from the cd drive first...put in the cd and fire it up...it will boot and run in ram
play with it and see what you think...it will be snappy compared to xp using only 256 MBs of ram
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#6
CombatTaiChi

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Thanks for your recommendation regarding RAM! But I am stuck right now
financially. I'm out of work and broke so I've got to do the best I can with
what I've got. I will run the Crucial test anyway and see if any friends happen
to have any compatable sticks laying around.

I do have a video card that was pulled from a friend's computer: Radeon 9600SE
128M DDR V/D/VO

I'm told it was good when pulled.

Right now, I don't know if it will work on this eMachine or not. I figured it
would be smarter to clean up the system as is. Then if it is working I'd try
installing the video card. I'm clueless about that too...I don't know if I need
to download drivers first and then install the card, etc. So I was just going to
wait.


I see what I did wrong with the AutoRuns.txt.

Thanks again for the help!

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#7
rshaffer61

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Open Autoruns, click on "Logon" tab, and UN-check:


+ "Address Book 6" "Outlook Express Setup Library"
+ "Microsoft Outlook Express 6"
+ "FlashPlayerUpdate"


When done restart computer and then:



Download TFC by OldTimer to your desktop
  • Please double-click TFC.exe to run it. (Note: If you are running on Vista, right-click on the file and choose Run As Administrator).
  • It will close all programs when run, so make sure you have saved all your work before you begin.
  • Click the Start button to begin the process. Depending on how often you clean temp files, execution time should be anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or two. Let it run uninterrupted to completion.
  • Once it's finished it should reboot your machine. If it does not, please manually reboot the machine yourself to ensure a complete clean.


Download Auslogics Defrag from the link in my signature below. Auslogics Defrag in my opinion is better because:

It does a more comprehensive job at Defragging
It will actually show you what it is doing
At the end of working it will show you how much speed you picked up
You can view a online log of the files that Auslogics defragged
Please do not run any other Auslogics programs other then this one as they may cause unwanted results.
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#8
rshaffer61

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Also Happyrock is correct and you want a stable OS that will run great on the memory you have then you may consider his suggestion.
A great little OS that will do all the basics you have described without all the bells and whistles.
Thanks Happyrock I had not even thought of that option. :)
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#9
CombatTaiChi

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if all you want to do is email and things like that...try puppy linux.5.25..here
once you have burned it as a image just set your bios to boot from the cd drive first...put in the cd and fire it up...it will boot and run in ram
play with it and see what you think...it will be snappy compared to xp using only 256 MBs of ram


Very good! Thanks, happyrock!

I'm downloading it now and I'll give it a shot.

By the way, rshaffer61, I definitely still want to work on the system per your guidance. I ran TFC and rebooted. I'm downloading the defragger now.
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#10
rshaffer61

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By the way, rshaffer61, I definitely still want to work on the system per your guidance. I ran TFC and rebooted. I'm downloading the defragger now.

:)

Also great decision to follow Happyrock's suggestion. He introduced me to Puppy and I found it really easy to use and a lot faster then Windows.
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#11
CombatTaiChi

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Thanks so much for your quick responses!

I haven't fallen asleep.

I'm running the deep defrag. It's been 50+ minutes and it's 68% of the way through.

I just burned the iso on a friend's notebook. I'll give that a go when the defrag completes.

Just so you know how much I appreciate your efforts: I contacted eMachine's support 6 times. I kid you not, after my first question, "Can I reinstall WinXP..." the only responses I got were asking me to recheck the serial number. They even asked me to take a picture of it in the fourth email and send it to them...their response to that email? You guessed it. "Please double-check the serial number."

Obviously, I have no idea what you pick up from my writing but I've got dyslexia, perhaps it's obvious, aye? (hehe) Anyway, in the final email I got from eMachine's so-called "tech support" was (and I quote directly), "Unfortunately, we are still not able to pull up any existing system information with the Serial Number Al02239000488 provided."

In no less than two emails (and remember they also had the pics of the serial number) I sent them I included this, "S/ N: ALO2239-000488 (I don't know if the character after the "L" is an "O" or a zero)" and they key it in as "1" or an "I" (one/I)?? Every time? Whatever. I gave up on them.

So, thanks!!

Edited by CombatTaiChi, 06 June 2011 - 05:27 PM.

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#12
rshaffer61

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Sorry you are having such a hard time with their tech support but we will do what we can to get you straightened out and working again. :)
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#13
CombatTaiChi

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Okay. Super-Duper-Optimizing-Defrag has finished and I booted from the Puppy Linux CD.

Being technologically impaired :) I don't know how intelligent my choices are but, on my systems under Windows I typically run Comodo Firewall, Avira and Win Patrol for protection. And I've already mentioned that if I suspect malware I run Super Anti-Spyware, MalwareBytes and SpyBot Search and Destroy.

By the way, I am surprised, ...er impressed (so far anyway) by what is included with Puppy! Without giving away my (advanced) age...:unsure:...the last time (read a looooong time ago in a far away place) I checked out Linux it was barely an OS let alone anywhere near as comprehensive as is Puppy. So...

I perused the menus and...

Noob Questions: Do I run the native Puppy firewall or download something better?

Do I need to run a real-time proggy like Avira?

Is Linux venerable to viri, trojans, worms, etc.? Do I even need to be concerned about them if I stick with Puppy and do I even need anything like MalwareBytes, et al?

Any other suggestions or comments?
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#14
rshaffer61

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Noob Questions: Do I run the native Puppy firewall or download something better?

Do I need to run a real-time proggy like Avira?

Is Linux venerable to viri, trojans, worms, etc.? Do I even need to be concerned about them if I stick with Puppy and do I even need anything like MalwareBytes, et al?

You need to simply run Puppy in it's native form.
Nothing more needs to be done till you actually install it on to your system and at that time you will get the updates for it from the little icon on the bottom right.


And I've already mentioned that if I suspect malware I run Super Anti-Spyware, MalwareBytes and SpyBot Search and Destroy.

Being that I suggest you read the 'Start Here' topic found HERE. With these self-help tools you have a high chance of fixing the problems on your own. If you are still having problems after following Step 3 of the guide, continue with Step 4 and 5 and post in the Malware Forum. If you are unable to run any programs, Please create a topic stating what you have tried so far and that you are unable to run any programs. Also, Please do NOT post the logs in this thread.

If you are still having issues after the malware expert gives you a clean bill of health, Please return to THIS thread and we will pursue other options to help you solve your current problem(s).
Add a link to this topic so that malware tech can see what steps have been taken here
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#15
CombatTaiChi

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Sorry about that last post! I was getting a pretty wonky. I should have just gone and found the answers on Puppy's site.

Again, thanks for all your help, rshaffer61!!
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