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Old 08-21-2006, 05:37 PM   #1
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Exclamation Major windows xp problem!

My computer has been fine for over 2 years. I got a virus (never updated my subscription) and I couldn't stop it or remove it. It started acting funny one day so I went to restart it and when it came back on it said it couldn't start windows because system32 was missing or corrupt.

I didn't have a boot disc (didn't know til recently that I had to creat one from windows xp (thanks bill. ) My GF lent me the one for her computer (she has a northstar or something like that and I have a compaq sr1220xn) I used it and it installed a second version onto my computer (wouldn't format the drive cause the disc was "invalid"). so i get it running and everything works on that version. Restart my computer again and I have an option for 2 different xp's, so i go to the second one and it's mine.

I was able to recover all the things I needed to pull from my computer and than went back to the second install and tried to format the hard drive from the second windows instalation. It wouldn't let me. I borrowed her boot disc a second a time and tried again to format my hard drive, but this time the disc created a 3rd and 4th windows xp on my hard drive. I told her what happened and we decided to find xp pro online and download it. We found one with a good rating, everyone said it was great and ran smooth. She downloaded it (she has cable I have dial up, I know, I know!). She burned everything onto a dvd and put the one image file onto a disc for the boot disc. I went home and installed that and it worked, sorta. It took off one of the 4 xps and replaced it with the xp pro (still can't format my hard drive!).

I decided to manually delete the other windows from my hard drive, but it really didn't work. The files are gone, but it still gives me 4 choices when I start the computer. Oh, and the xp pro is stuck in 4 bit color and lowest screen res, no option to change it. there was something with the rest of the xp pro file where I could "roll" things and install something else, but one of the things asked for a second disc. I had my girlfriend look at it and she said there was a second image that I could burn to a disc and try to see if that's the second xp pro disc. i'm gonna try and do that later, but it means installing nero (which may be hare cause because when trying to install aol, the resolution and color being so low, I couldn't read anything. I'm so damn frustrated! I have talked to a few people who tell me to get 98 and a floppy and use that to get into dos and format from there, but the only problem is I don't have a floppy drive. If it comes down to it, I'm willing to get a prog to just totally erase everything on my hard drive and start from scratch. I plan on building myself a complete tower soon and want to save anything i can from this computer. I don't wanna junk the hard drive (even tho a new one's just a few bux) if I can manage to save it.

I need my computer now because I have a state exam to study for and I need to use the simulator cd i got from my class. I can't afford a new hard drive or software or a new hard drive for two weeks, although I did see one at Best Buy for 40 something, I think it was a 120 gig, but even so, I don't wanna end up putting a shoddy xp pro on it. Sorry for the extremely long post, but I wanted to inform you as best as I could to make answering my question as simple as possible.

Thank you all in advance,

Anthony
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Major windows xp problem!

1/. Buy XP Pro Full Retail. (it's as cheap as chips now, especially if you buy the Academic Upgrade disk)
2/. Boot from the rom drive and delete your partitions
3/. Create a new partition
4/. Format new partition
5/. Install Windows

Everything else you have done is caused by not deleting the partition before installing windows.

Piracy is not discussed on the forum so forget about asking for help with your pirated version

Also please use some form of paragraphs/grammar in your posts, that was really tedious to read.
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Old 08-22-2006, 09:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Major windows xp problem!

Thanks for the help. Sorry about the continual paragraph, I was at work and typed that in a matter of minutes.

As far as the version of pro I got, I was already thinking about replacing it with a real one. Believe me, I'm not into pirated stuff like that, I just needed to get my computer working quickly and had no actual cash to throw at it.

As for deleting the partitions, how exactly do I do that? When I used the boot disc from my GF's computer, it asked me if I wanted to format the drive and I said yes. Than it reminded me that everything would be lost and I said yes again. The problem was, when it went to format the drive, it said the disc was invalid. How can I go about deleting the versions of xp I have installed on my computer?

Also, why won't my computer let me format the drive thru "My Computer" and than right clicking or selecting the drive and than going to file and selecting "format"? It says something about the drive is in use and to try closing out all programs using it and all windows showing it's properties.

Worst come to worst, is there a program or something I can buy that will just erase everything on the drive entirely, so there is absolutely nothing left on it? I have no problem with buying a new drive, but I wanna build a new tower and don't wanna replace anything I don't have to yet.

Thanks again for all your help.

Anthony


On edit: In case it wasn't obvious enough, I'm a bit of a noob to computers. The last one I really did anything with was a Commador 64. All I did with that was take the magizines which had the code (I guess you'd call it) for different games, type it in and save it to the cassette drive since our floppy drive burnt out. I was about 6 or 7 and I'm now 22.
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Major windows xp problem!

You can't reformat C drive when you are in windows because u are running windows, so the files are being used.

When you boot from the xp cd u should get a screen which shows u all of the partitions. Delete ALL of them. Then make new one(s) and install windows on one of them. This should effectively remove everything from the harddrive(s)

And next time, instead of pirating windows you could just downloaded a live-cd linux distro. That way you would just burn it to a cd and boot from it, no installing done. And most of them are free.
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Major windows xp problem!

Yeah, I was just talking to one of the Bio-Med guys here at the hospital I work at and he told me the reason I can't format the drive is cause I only have one hard drive and it's being used to run the program. I kinda had that figured out, but wasn't completely sure.

As for the version of XP I got, it was downloaded with my GF's computer. I have dial up so it would have taken a few days, if it even downloaded right.

For the time being, I am going to use her boot disc again. I'm going to try and delete some of the partitions if I can, but as long as I can get the computer up and running again and get back online thru it, I can hold off on the rest for a few weeks.

Thank you all again for your help (and for dealing with my horrible grammer!!)

Anthony


Also, can I just get the XP pro upgrade or do I have to buy a full XP pro? from what I have heard, the upgrade is like 99 bucks and I have found the full version on ebay (what are your oppinions on buying this from ebay?) for like $120.
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Old 08-22-2006, 11:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Major windows xp problem!

Get the full version, and I wouldn't buy it from ebay. U can always take ur chances with ebay, but I wouldn't take that risk. Since windows xp pro is very expensive (atleast I think so) I'd go with win xp home. I've used both and the difference ain't big.
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Major windows xp problem!

Well, I wanted to get pro cause I heard it was a bit more secure. I dunno, maybe my noob-ness was showing. LOL!

Can you explain what a live cd linux distro is and where I can try to find one? Would I be able to clean my hard drive if I get that? <- Dumb question of the day.
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Major windows xp problem!

You can do a full installation of XP Pro from an upgrade disk, at some stage of the install it will ask you for a previous OS disk to ensure you are elligible to use the upgrade, when it does insert any Windows disk except Win95 (and your pirated XP Pro of course), the XP install will verify the disk and continue with the install. You don't need a cd key just the disk.

ebay: Personally I have never used and I am very unlikely to, it is a "use at your own risk" scenario.
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Major windows xp problem!

linux is another operating system. I use kubuntu (one distro amont many many others) and it comes with a live cd. A live cd works so that u just insert the cd and then boot from it and u can use the operating system. No need to install anything, but if u want to start using linux then of course u should install it.
But if u download the kubuntu installation dvd and burn it u can use it to browse the internet etc basic stuff until u get ur windows back. And yes u can use the installation feature in the linux dvd to wipe everything from the hdd.

http://www.kubuntu.org/ I believe. It's best if u can manage to burn it to a dvd dics since it won't probably fit on 1 cd. Multiple cd's will work too, but a dvd would be easier.
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Old 08-22-2006, 05:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Major windows xp problem!

Well, one thing mammikoura:

The user is most comfortable with Windows because he can use it for all his usual stuff. ALTHOUGH, if you do not play 3D games (such as Counter-Strike:Source or any 3D DirectX game), Suse 10.1 would let you use it peacefully and free. BUT, if you want to use Windows, shouldn't your CompaQ come with Restore CDs?
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