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Dying Presario in need of aid!


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#16
lucky_luc

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well, i know it's been forever since i've last posted, and i cannot apologize enough, only hope that people are still intereted in helping and responding (special thanks to wannabe1 for his/her help). I've been extremely busy lately and things are sort of starting to slow down. no one, however, entering the holiday season is as free as they used to be, but i'll come back to post if there are still problems sooner this time. on to the current problem:

I downloaded the program that will make the 6 floppies that i need (XP home, no service pack), but now i seem to be making a mistake with my own computer, i've downloaded this program twice because of this error, but when i try to run it, i'm told that the C:...SYSTEM32\AUTOEXE.NT system file "is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications." so...now what?

Attempts to boot from XP CD and re-install the OS (i have the right product key) still read the CD long enough to give me options to install or repair a partition, but right after that point the computer insits (after multiple tries) that the CD is either not inserted or is not a valid XP CD. i've tried this with multiple CD's.
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#17
dsenette

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lucky, i sent you a pm....i am replying to this thread so that i will get an email notification when you reply here
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#18
lucky_luc

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i burnt the ISO image (worked great). that was successful, what can i do now? (keep in mind there may still be the spontanious blackout problem, so i won't necessarily be able to leave the computer on for a long time. i'm not sure why i'm mentioning this, exactly, but it may be something to keep in mind).
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#19
dsenette

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ok...before we get started...let me get a little refresher info....

are we basically wanting to format and start over? is there any crucial data that needs to be saved?

put the cd in the drive...and reboot the machine....make sure that the cdrom is the first device in the boot order in bios..and then boot from the cd..

this will load an instance of XP into ram (it won't load on the hard drive...so if the HD is the problem...this should still work)...while booting you should see a message about entering setup...then loading ubcd4 windows....once it's all up and loaded...click on the ubcd4win button (in the bottom right corner)...go to programs > disk tools > diagnostics > and if check disk isn't greyed out (sorry...some of the config options are diffrent on mine right now because i'm accessing it inside of windows..instead of booting to it.) select that and run it....after that's done go to programs > system information > info & diag...and run memtest.
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#20
lucky_luc

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There is no crucial data that needs to be saved. Thanks for checking.
So, yes, overall we're trying to format and start over (install XP).

I ran Check Disk and told it to repair drive C. well, it didn't find any such drive C (which came as no suprise to me). in the past i had almost succeeded in installing XP, so the original installation had already been wiped, but the attempt at a new installation did not finish (a recipe for disaster like nothing else i know). there is no data on any disk for it to check (unless i'm wrong, which i could well me. i'm an enthusiast, not an expert (obviously)).

I ran memTest and I am told "Your version of Windows limits the amount of RAM a single program can allocate. You will need to run two copies of MemTest, and tell each to test 110 MB of RAM".
I opened another copy of MemTest and replaced "All unused RAM" with "110 MB" on each copy. I didn't know exactly how to tell each to only test 110 MB (the original 1-copy attempt to run MemTest said it could not allocate 220MB, hence 110 as the halved amount). On copy A, an error message popped up explaining that a word pair and other values do not match. when i click "OK", the same message pops up with a different word pair and values. It continued to find an error constantly. copy B gave me another message stating "You version of Windows...and tell each to test 55 MB of RAM".

I hope all of that made sense, because i'm sure confused!
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#21
dsenette

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yeah....the first errors...don't sound good....

let's go ahead and whipe the drive...
go to the ubcd menu...then do programs ...disk tools ... security...and...welll...run any of those that you can...i'd go for either drive erase or disk cleaner
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#22
lucky_luc

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I decided to try HD Cleaner, it got to a point where it asked me to choose a file, if gave me drive C, a couple other drives (one was BartPE (X:)) and i simply chose "My Computer". It then told me that there was no windows installation and quit.
So i tried Drive Eraser, chose Physical Drive 1 (the only immediate option) and clicked on an "O" for "options" instead of choosing "E" for "Erase" right away. one of the options it gives is to erase "Unused Partition Area" or "Full Partition Area". The Unused option was the pre-selected one. which should i use?
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#23
dsenette

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i'd go for full partition area
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#24
lucky_luc

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ok, i just started the GRAND ERASING (finally). with the "full partition area option". it's 7% done right now, just thought i'd update. i'll do so again when this finishes. and by the way, i could only close "copy B" of MemTest, i hope the open one (with the persistant error message(s) still up) won't cause any problems with this (i tried to do a ctrl+alt+del to end that task, does this Windows version have that available? because it didn't open anything).

Edited by lucky_luc, 02 December 2005 - 04:25 PM.

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#25
dsenette

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it shouldn't cause a problem...but the ubcd task manager is down there in the tasbar area..next to the launch button...i believe it's also in the system area of the start menu
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#26
lucky_luc

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thanks, that's closed now (erasing is 46%)
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#27
lucky_luc

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"Succesfully completed erase".

ACK! in wandering through the programs to see if there's anything else i should run i cam across screen resolution as my elbow fell off my desk and i must've tapped the finger pad or something because the resolution changed, so now i can only see the upper left corner, ctrl+esc i'm assuming opens the ubcd menu, but i don't know what arrows to press to get the resolution lower, quick help on that too? thanks.

Edited by lucky_luc, 02 December 2005 - 04:42 PM.

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#28
lucky_luc

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well, i eventually got that problem fixed and shut down the computer, sorry for seeming so, well, silly :) :tazz:

since my hard drive is completely clear, now, i inserted the XP CD again, it entered Setup and i chose to "set up Windows XP now". with both cd's that i have i still get the same "Setup could not read the CD you inserted, or the CD is not a valid Windows CD" message.

1 of 2 things should be done, i'm assuming.
1: try to clean one or both of these cd's.
2: learn my lesson and stop trying to do these things before you (dsenette) tell me what the next step i should take is. so: should i go back to ubcd and do some more stuff (i will wait for your instructions on exactly what "stuff" to do, of course)?

(just now the computer did it's first-in-a-long-time spontanious blackout. i was hoping that problem was gone, but i admit that the computer has been on for about...6 hours now, which shatters it's previous record)

Edited by lucky_luc, 03 December 2005 - 12:34 AM.

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#29
dsenette

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well....you did the logical next step...so don't worry about it....let me get settled in here at work today....and i'll formulate a next step
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#30
dsenette

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ok.....boot to the UBCD again...then do the "start" menu > programs > disk tools > partition > mbr wizard...

this will open up a dos looking screen with a bunch of selections

type 1 then enter

then post what you get
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