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Dying Presario in need of aid!


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#1
lucky_luc

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I'm trying to fix a Compaq Presario 700 with XP Home with limited resources. I have an XP Home CD, but not the one (if there is one) that came with this labtop. I've accepted that data will be lost and that's ok, so anything i can do to get this computer to work would make me happy.

Without any CD, windows would attempt to start but fail before it reached any sort of login screen and restart itself. It seemed to go in a cycle of doing that (which at least had the screen with the Windows logo and little scrolling "loading" bar below it) and then (upon the restart) failing to get that far, telling me that "when trying to update a password, this return status indicates that the value provided as the current password is not correct" and restarting itself again.

I tried using my XP CD to repair the system, it asked which installation of Windows i wanted to repair and i said "1", then, of course, it asked for the administrator password, which i do not have. i left that blank and pressed enter and it said that the password was not valid.

I then tried to repair the installation by choosing (from the first blue-screen that pops up with the XP disc) to install XP, then (as i'd planned) it searched for and found the original installation and asked if i wanted to repair it or continue an installation. I chose to repair, it began to, and eventually got to a window that said
"Please wait while Setup copies files
to the Windows installation folder.
This might take several minutes to complete."
with a bar below. the most progress it made in my multiple attempts at this method was 19% (at the bottom right corner was "driver.cab" (an ironic file name i might add), then a new screen said that there was an error installing "dvdplay.exe". i would give more information on that window, but at this point (just as at other points in earlier attempts of this process (such as at 1%, 4% or 19%)) the computer simply turned completely off. at this point i decided to post this problem.

i also tried once to just re-install XP, and i came to a point where i pondered whether i should install it on a partition with the hope that i might be able to retrieve the product key of the original installation from the new one. then the computer blanked again. should i try this method again?

there are a few other problems i encountered once or twice in all of this, but mostly i'd like to know how to install XP with the CD i have (and beyond that how i could find the key of the original installation) and if the problem with the computer turning off randomely is simply a battery problem (throughout all of this the labtob is plugged into a wall outlet, so (in theory) that should be enough power. is this a battery issue?).

Thank you in advance to all who are willing to help!
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#2
wannabe1

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Hi lucky_luc...Welcome to G2G!

Click Start then Run...type sfc /scannow (Note the space between sfc and /) and press "Enter". You will be asked for your installation cd, so have it handy. Wait for the scan to finish (this might take up to an hour). When it's finished, click Start then Run...type chkdsk /r (Again...note the spaces) and reboot when prompted (type Y and press Enter). This will run on boot-up so restart will take a while...be patient.

wannabe1
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#3
lucky_luc

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Click Start then Run...

wannabe1


well...not possible. the biggest problem with this computer is that i can't manage to get it to boot into windows in the first place (i hope i wasn't so absent-minded that i didn't mention that, but i surely may have been). Safe Mode or otherwise.
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#4
wannabe1

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lucky_luc...

It wasn't your absent mind, but my empty head...reread your post and found several things that went in one eye and out the back of my head!!! :tazz:

We'll try a different approach! First...do you have the Product key code? How far will the computer boot now...can you get to the Safe Mode options screen by tapping the F8 Key?

wannabe1
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#5
lucky_luc

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that is pretty funny. i tend to talk in circles sometimes...and also often in mazes.

uh oh...i'm afraid in all of my previous attempts to repair XP i may have messed something up. if i do anything except boot from the XP CD i get a message that says:

"Windows could not start because of an error in the software.
Please report this problem as :
load needed DLLs for kernel."

isn't that a happy message? well, while you're reading, pondering, and/or replying to this, i'm going to try again to repair. the computer has been charging for a while now, so i'll be able to confirm if the random "blackouts" were a battery problem or not (if this problem is fixed there's a very low chance that i might be succesful in this attempt, wish me luck but don't let your hopes up!)
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#6
wannabe1

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lucky_luc..

It's the admin password issue that has me concerned...not an uncommon problem when things go awry, but can make things pretty tough for most of the effective repair procedures.

Look on your machine for a sticker with the Product Key Code on it...most OEM machines will have it somewhere. We'd have to get the machine running to get it out of the registry. :tazz:

If your laptop is plugged in, I doubt very much if your "blackouts" are caused by a battery problem. More likely a driver issue of some sort.

wannabe1
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#7
lucky_luc

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So i tried to do a repair again and things seemed succesful at first. It went quicker than i expected (a clue, Sherlock?) and provided me with an enthusiastic blue screen of "Setup has performed maintenance on your hard disk. You must restart your computer to continue with Setup." huzzah! so i restart. upon commencement of the reboot it tells me something new:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
System32\DRIVERS\isapnp.sys"

something tells me this is not the best news. i've been tempted to do two things:
1) try the repair again, maybe it'll do a better job of fixing isapnp.sys this time.
2) try to completely re-install XP (at the risk of never being able to retrieve the original product key and thus disabling potential internet usage FOREVER *gasp*)
instead i decided to post this reply, realizing that either of those options potentially put me at risk of going backwards from whatever progress i may have made. i also decided, after how hard it's been trying to survive, to let it rest again.
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#8
lucky_luc

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sorry about that last reply. i didn't notice that you (wannabe1) had already responded to the previous one. in response to your last message:

i found the product key! my computer savvy has reached an all-time low, i never looked on the bottom of the labtop for it. thanks for having common sense, unlike me. i'm going to try and do a full install of XP with this product key now. i think i'll cry if that doesn't work. i'll post the results of that later tonight. if i'm succesful in this, thanks so much for your help!

for reference to anyone else who reads this thread with a similar problem, what would you suggest they (or i) do if they run into the corrupt isapnp.sys problem?

wish me luck...
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#9
lucky_luc

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i was so close to being successful, i deleted the original partition and began re-formatting in NTFS, the last point i checked it at was 97%, the next time i looked (a couple minutes later) it said that it couldn't copy blackbox.dll (or something similar to that, but it was a dll) and it gave me a couple options on what to do, but i didn't have any time to choose an option, because the computer blacked out again. i'll still try again, but it's 1:15 right now and i'm tired.
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#10
wannabe1

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Hi lucky_luc...

Darn! This is being one stubborn machine! :tazz:

Rather that formatting in NTFS, try FAT32. Won't make that much difference on that machine in the long run and may be a bit easier to get a complete format.

Prop the rear of the machine up on a book so it's running downhill... :) (actually, to give it a little better air circulation) At the moment, I'm not sure whether we're looking at a driver problem or a heat problem (or a bit of both). We need to get the operating system in place to troubleshoot it.

Good Luck, Lucky_luc...(sorry...couldn't resist...)

wannabe1
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#11
lucky_luc

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:tazz: a stubborn machine, indeed.

i would try FAT32 (though i do prefer NTFS) but i can't get to that point. this time whenever i try to install XP i get a message saying that "Setup could not read the CD you inserted, or the CD is not a valid Windows CD" i guess i'll try to clean the CD, but from the looks of it it is in pretty good shape. that or i'll try to borrow someone else's XP CD and use it.

good idea on elevating the comp, it does tend to get pretty hot. the CD-reading problem i just mentioned happens both elevated and flat, by the way.
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#12
wannabe1

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lucky_luc...

Do you have floppy drives on both the machine you are using now and the compaq?

wannabe1
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#13
lucky_luc

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si, senor
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#14
wannabe1

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lucky_luc

Download the Boot Disk Set for your operating system. I would recommend the 6 floppy set just because you don't have to worry about buring an ISO image to a cd.

Try to run setup using these...you may format to NTFS using these as well.

wannabe1
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#15
lucky_luc

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just thought i'd update so that this topic isn't shut down due to inactivity, i'm getting some disks ASAP and should have results by Sunday (if not sooner). thanks for the link!
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