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Giving up trying to fix...can I reinstall Win XP Pro with a key but no


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#1
PaulG!

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Hello!  Thank you for taking the time to try and help me.

 

First of all, let me give you a paragraph of backstory:

I got this Inspiron 8600 years ago from a friend of a friend and used it mostly for email while I was traveling for work (so my work laptop was only for work). I got permission to use my work laptop for personal stuff so let an ex girlfried use this from time to time. A BSOD error occurred (unmountable boot volume I think) and instead of fixing it, I just shelved it for a rainy day. Well, that was maybe 4 years ago and it's a rainy day...actually, I got laid off and had to return my work laptop so I bought a refurb E6400 (from Dicsount Computer Depot) and am trying to fix the old laptop.  I burned an XP_REC_CON disc and forced it to boot from the CD ROM and ran a chkdsk /r and to my delight it worked! I got all my files off of the laptop and was in the process of scanning/cleaning any infections using the tools that were already on the laptop. One of them was Malwarebytes.  I ran it once (without updating the database because it wouldn't connect for some reason) and it found 30 or so issues. I accepted the default action and turned the laptop off overnight and restarted in the morning with no problem.  It was a little laggy (it took 45 or 60 seconds to open the Task Manager after clicking on it) but it worked. I tested the internet connection (wireless) and it googled stuff just fine.  I updated the Malwarebytes database an rescanned it, this time only finding 1 issue (a Google Sketchup installer, I believe) and accepted the default 'ignore once' solution.  Whie scanning (it took a while so I was looking at all the system tray icons) I noticed a grey shield with a yellow exclamation mark in it. Hovering over this showed Windows needed 71 updates...which I felt was acceptable because the laptop hadn't been turned on in several years, so I let it install all the updates while I went to dinner.  When I came back, it said it needed to be restarted for the updates to take effect and that's when I got the BSOD again.  This time it had something to do with the crss or winlogon (I did my research, but I'm not that familiar with computer-speak...the BSOD details are:  stop c000021a...status of 0xc0000005.

 

I reran chkdsk /r a couple times, the last time it ran, it stopped about 50% and reported there might be unresovable errors.  I used the Diagnostic tool (F8 during startup?) and it reported an error found during start DST short test:
code:  1000-0146
msg:   DST log contains previous errors

 

I can't download Hirens Boot CD (I read good things about it), possibly due to antivirus (but I swear I turned off everything, even firewall) so I gave up on that.  I have an old REATOGO-X-pe disc I burned years ago and I can boot from that, but only get minimal programs.

 

Unless someone thinks they can fix this, I'm ready to reinstall, or restore Windows XP to the factory settings...I don't have any important data on this old laptop so formatting it is ok, as long as I can reuse the OS.  You may not be surprised that I never got Windows XP discs with this laptop, but I used MSKey Viewer Plus (on the REATOGO-X-pe desktop) to find product keys for Windows XP and Office Basic Edition 2003 (I know...2003?!? yup, it's that out of date.lol).  I searched the forums here a bit and found G2G wanted a screenshot of the Disk Manager to see if there is a recovery partition so I'm going to (try to) attach it...

DiskManagementScreenshot.JPG

 

SO...can I somehow restore it to factory settings?  Can the BSOD be fixed so I don't have to restore it?  Or am I totally SOL with this old laptop.  The biggest reason I want this laptop to work is because it has a serial port that I can use to interface for my other hobby, a DCC system for a model railroad, if you must know :)  I'd really rather not spend $120 on new Windows disks for an old laptop if I can somehow download some for free (I only say that because I understand the product key is what is important to have ligitimately).  I don't want to do anything illegal; it's just not worth it...for a 'spare' hobby computer.

 

The old laptop is just about useless now, everything I try (F12, F8, boot CDs, safe mode, etc) always results in the BSOD 'stop c000021a...status of 0xc0000005', so any suggestions to download something to the desktop and run it will be tough because I'll be working from another laptop.  Oh, and when I try to run the XP Setup (from the XP_REC_CON disc, I think) it says it can't find the EULA and has to quit, so that won't work (easily).

 

Anyone up to the challenge?...or...Anyone up to tell me the bad news (that it can't be fixed cheaply).lol  If all else fails, I will probably take the hard drive out and use it as an external drive, even though it's only 40GB; I currently have about 30 GB of pictures on my new laptop and would love to free up some space (that one only has a 60GB HDD...but what do you expect for a $150 refurb laptop?lol).

 

Thank You SO much for taking the time to read this!  I wanted to give as much info as possible about my situation, please let me know if you need any other specific info about my laptop. I will be more than happy to follow step-by-step instructions!


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#2
123Runner

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You do not have a recovery option so that is out.

What you can do since you state you have the installation key is to borrow an XP cd that is of the same version. Install using that and then use your key when it asks.

You will need to find drivers, but that is all possible.


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#3
PaulG!

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Thank you for confirming my options.  I have downloaded the drivers from Dell already and understand there is an order to installing them: Application, Drivers, Firmware and BIOS. (that info was from their site).  I'll try to find someone with those CD's...it's gonna be tough but I'll keep looking.

 

Thanks again...not for the bad news, but for the help! :)


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#4
Ztruker

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What version of XP do you have, XP Home or Pro?


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#5
PaulG!

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I've got Windows XP Professional, SP3 installed on the laptop.


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#6
123Runner

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I wouldn't do a bios update unless it was absolutely necessary to fix something.


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#7
PaulG!

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I haven't used this laptop for years becuase of a BSOD (unmountable boot volume), then I got it to work, copied all my files from it and while trying to get it to be not so sluggish, I got another BSOD...this one seems more persistant.  I'm all for running scans/antimalware stuff to fix it, I just figured ,since computers never seem to be the same after beiong infected, it would be easier to reinstall Windows XP Pro and have a clean slate to start with.  I looked through C: (using the REATOGO boot disc) and I don't have the C:\386i folder, where I've read you can reinstall Windows if you don't have the CD's.

 

If someone wants to take a crack at fixing this, I'm all game...I just figured you're all kind of busy.  I can transfer programs/scanners/etc. via USB drive (I have up to 32GB ones available) so it would be possible, but since it failed a memory diagnostic, I figure the hard drive may be damaged (but then again, I'm not as smart as you guys (and gals), so I may be wrong).  I don't know anyone with Win XP Pro CD's, at least I can't think of anyone offhand, but I'll ask around and keep my eye out for them.


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#8
Ztruker

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Since it failed the hard drive test, there is no point in reinstalling until you replace the hard drive.

You say it also failed a memory diagnostic? If so then you also need to fix that before doing a reinstall.
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#9
PaulG!

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When I ran the dell diagnostics (by hitting F8 during startup?) the error found during start DST short test was this:
code:  1000-0146
msg:   DST log contains previous errors

 

I kind of don't believe error codes because malware seems to be able to trick a computer into thinking it's sick when in fact, it's healty.  So you're saying the hard drive is dead?  I read there is a Fujitsu specific diagnostic program I could run on it, but I'm having some trouble finding someplace to download it from.

 

Assuming the hard drive IS still useable:

I'd like to remove the hard drive and use it as an external hard drive for photos, PDF's, downloaded articles, etc (no executable programs...more or less a library).  If the laptop is infected with something, will it infect any computer I would plug it in to?  The first thing I'd do would be to format it and erase everything...would the 'host' laptop (the refurb Dell E6400) get infected immediately, or would it be safe to format it from the Start>Computer menu by right-clicking on it (I wouldn't double click the icon to open that drive, just format it straight away.  I'm hoping since I wouldn't open it, the E6400 wouldn't 'see' anything (like a virus) on it and would therefore not get infected.  The E6400 has Microsoft Security Essentials on it and I recently downloaded Panda Free Antivirus and it also has Windows Defender (but that has always been turned off).  Would any of those AV programs be enough to block any potential threats?

 

I know, it's an old laptop/hard drive, but I've been more or less programmed to not throw anything away unless it's completely garbage (I plan on stripping the laptop of any useable stuff before trashing it).  Even the 'new' E6400 is old an I'll probably upgrade the hard drive on that soon.  I'm not looking for anything crazy, just a good ol' HDD, maybe 120-250GB...a SSD would be nice, but the new drive would cost as much as I spent for the whole laptop.  I'm not really interested in speeding things up, I don't do any real work on it, maybe some basic photo editing or cheap CAD is about the most I'd ever think of doing on it...taking a little longer to do something doesn't really bug me.

 

Thanks to everyone for their replies!  Everytime I read something, I get a little less ignorant. :)


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#10
Ztruker

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You said it failed the HD test but not what the failure was.

I would suggest running the stand alone manufacturers drive test. Since you would run it from a booted CD or flash drive I don't see how malware could influence it. Actually I don't see how it could with the built in Dell diag either since it runs without the Operating System being booted.

7 Free Hard Drive Testing Programs
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
Bootable Hard Drive Diagnostics

 

If that fails then the drive is definitely bad.


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#11
PaulG!

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Alright, thanks.

 

For anyone else that has happened upon this thread, here is what I did:

 

First, I found the Fujitsu Diagnostic (v6.80 I believe) download and copied it to my desktop.

Then, I created an MSDOS boot USB drive (by following instructions on another thread) and copied the Fujitsu diagnostic program (FJDT680 to the same USB.  On the old laptop, I changed the BIOS (by pressing F2 during boot up) to boot from the USB.  This opened a DOS prompt.  I entered fjdt680 (which is the name of the file) and the program started.

 

Beginning with the Quick Test, these were the results:

 

A few Bad Blocks were detected during QUICK TEST.
Error Code  : D202T5
It is possible to restore these bad blocks
to good blocks.  However, any data saved in these bad blocks will be removed.
Do you want to proceed?
 Yes No
-Yes

...

All of the Bad Blocks were successfully restored.
It is recommended that the COMPREHENSIVE TEST be
performed next.  This will perform a sequential
Read scan of the entire HDD and it will take around
72 minutes.
Do you want to perform the COMPREHENSIVE TEST?
 Yes No
-Yes

...

After 2 or 3 minutes:
The drive did not pass the COMPREHENSIVE TEST.
An Error was detected on the HDD.
Error Code  : B199T5
Please contact Fujitsu Customer Service
for repair.
 Ok
-Ok

Run Quick Test again to see what happens:
 This time it passed the quick test
The comprehensive test says it'll take 63 minutes instead of 72...result:

Same error code B199T5

 

After running (and fixing) this test, I attempt to restart normally, no boot disk, no USB plugged in and...
the same BSOD (c000021a) error. :(

 

So, I did a quick search for the error code and found this:
Basically:
- A = quick test -or- B = comprehensive test
- 1 = failed -or- 0 = passed
- 01 - of this, the 0 seems to be "unrecoverable" and the 1 seems to be a "read error"
(I couldn't get any additional info from them)
- the last 2 characters she told me were not important because they were specific to the HD itself.

 

Someone else said this in the same thread (he had a similar error code from the FJDT680 test):

"Got a reply from them [Fujitsu or Toshiba] today. Pretty slim ... they said it means "READ ERROR". I asked what that meant, and they said "you need a new HDD"."

 

SO...I guess the HDD is dead.  It might explain why the laptop was running slow and was acting funky (may or may not have been malware, but it's only a guess, I really have no expertise in this area, I just search and read as much as I can, whenever I need to...there are MANY others on this forum who know more than I do! :)

 

I'm not sure if I'll buy a new drive...I wonder if I can swap the drive in my E6400 into the dead laptop (and maybe have Windows 7 on that laptop?); then I can buy a bigger hard drive for the E6400.  I just found a "Dell 7200 RPM FIPS Encrypted Serial ATA Hard Drive - 320 GB for $74.99" on the Dell site.  That sounds like a decent drive for me.  I'm not going to buy it right now...I read a lot of reviews before I buy anything, then once I settle on a specific drive, I'll look for the lowest price.  Also, I don't NEED this drive right away, so I'll probably just keep my eyes out for a similar sized HDD (as I said before, a SSD would be nice, but I don't want to spend that much on a hard drive; I've also read that SDD's can die without warning whereas a HDD usually gives some warnings...not sure if a hybrid would die like this too...once again, I've got more reading to do.

 

Thanks everyone who has helped!  I hope what I went through will help someone else someday.  What a great forum!  Cheers!


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#12
Ztruker

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Good work on your part. Took some time but at least you know conclusively that the drive is bad.

 

The drive swap you mentioned sounds like a good idea.


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