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Fixing computer... looking for xp home help.

Last response: in Windows XP
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March 15, 2007 12:45:26 AM

I'm fixing a computer for someone at work. He had an Emachines computer where the ps failed and took the mobo with it.

Hard drive is intact and i'm hoping to still use his license of windows and just update it or something. Is this possible, or does he have to go and repurchase windows now?

Also, he's upgrading to a core duo processor and mobo, and on the back of the mobo box it says,
"Intel EM64T requires a computer system with a processor, chipset, BIOS, OS, device drivers and applications enabled for Intel EM64T. Processor will not operate (including 32-bit operations) without an Intel EM64T-enabled BIOS."

Does this mean he needs the 64 bit version of windows now as well, or is regular xp home fine? Is this true for all 64 bit processors?

More about : fixing computer home

March 15, 2007 9:20:28 AM

Well if the motherboard is changed auto validation will not work. You will have to get on the phone to renew the license. Hope you are strong nerves (to be honest MS's tech support is much better than most).

The regular 32 bit version will work fine. Actually I would recommend against going for the 64 bit version as with current (average home user) software he is not going to see an advantage (an drivers are harder to find too).
March 15, 2007 9:19:30 PM

Windows activation is no big deal and takes about 5 minutes if that. I've had to do it several times when replacing mobo No worse than anything else involved in installing Windows :) 
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March 15, 2007 9:27:02 PM

All he has is a restore disk, will that be a problem?
March 15, 2007 9:38:35 PM

Quote:
All he has is a restore disk, will that be a problem?


If all he has is a restore disk, he'll have to get a new copy of Windows. If that's the case, you can get an OEM XP at newegg for $90. Personally, I wouldn't get Vista right now, I'd wait until the came out with the first Service Pack if not the 2nd SP.
March 15, 2007 10:19:38 PM

hmmmm, he won't like that. total cheapskate, but then he goes and buys 450 dollars worth of stuff. Another 100 won't go over, i'm sure, too well.

Do you think that since his old hard drive is still intact, it will just install new drivers, and then i can tell him that if he ever has a crash or something of that nature, he has to go buy windows? As long as i get him running, i'm sure it'll be fine.
March 16, 2007 3:57:20 AM

Let us know how it plays out. Technically Microsoft allows a transfer of a license to a new motherboard because they know they do fail. Getting re-activated is a simple phone call. I would try the restore disk but it will likely fail since most of them are customized to the motherboard they came with.
March 16, 2007 10:14:32 AM

If the old installation was valid (i.e. not pirate copy) then it really doesn't matter from where you install the OS. You can download the insulation disk from the inet or use your one. Just make sure the you enter his serial number when promoted. It's the license that matters and not the physical media from which you install said OS.

p.s. If you get the same type of MB you won't have to reinstall just reactivation should do. From what the other posters have said I gather that MS's support is much better in the state than here :(  so it should be easy.
March 16, 2007 12:37:18 PM

Quote:
hmmmm, he won't like that. total cheapskate, but then he goes and buys 450 dollars worth of stuff. Another 100 won't go over, i'm sure, too well.

Do you think that since his old hard drive is still intact, it will just install new drivers, and then i can tell him that if he ever has a crash or something of that nature, he has to go buy windows? As long as i get him running, i'm sure it'll be fine.


I could be wrong but I think a restore disk is an image taken of the computer after the mfg installs all the software and it will only work on the original machine Obviously the best way to see if it'll work is to try it.
March 16, 2007 12:39:29 PM

Well if it is an image then all he has to do is get the same MB (model that is) and restore it. He will only need to activate no install required.
March 16, 2007 1:27:41 PM

Quote:
Well if it is an image then all he has to do is get the same MB (model that is) and restore it. He will only need to activate no install required.


Sounds like it would work but not sure how easy it would be to get an identical board because I would guess E Machine uses different mfg and may or may not make modifications. I really don't know exactly how imagining works, only that you can't use an image disk from one machine on a different one. Personally, I would get a better mobo and CPU than E Machine used and spring for the XP, but then it's not my money.
March 16, 2007 1:44:17 PM

What was I thinking?????? I'm bad :(  .

Is he gets the same MB he wont need to use the image disk at all (it will work if he does) All he has to do is to plug in the HDD and activate. No install no driver update nothing required.

Note this'll work only if the mb is available separately.
March 16, 2007 1:51:05 PM

This is an E-machines board. They are custom made for E-machines. The only way to get an identical board is if that model board happened to still be in stock in limited quantities. I highly doubt that would be the case and if it was, and if the computer was long out of warranty (since the PS failed as well and they are replacing it as well, the replacement board, IF E-machines would sell one it would likely be more expensive (being a custom part) than a third-party enthusiasts board.

Now if an image the install routine does look at the motherboard; it will determine this is not the original board (but with the original hard drive there might be a code left in a restore partition that the install routine sees). So there is no harm in trying.

That said, it can be a simple matter of asking E-machines for an OS disc and they might play nice.
March 16, 2007 1:58:51 PM

Didn't know about emachines using custom boards. Thanks for clearing that out.

He could try another board with the same chipset. Still he wouldn't need to use the image disk. Just plug in the HDD. It will either work or it will give a BSOD.

If that dosen't work, as I stated he can use any disk to install XP (even 1 download from the i-net) since he has the license. It is legal.
March 16, 2007 7:31:58 PM

I've seen BSOD before, what does it stand for? Thanks
March 16, 2007 9:08:36 PM

Blue Screen Of Death.

Named after the blue background with white text which shows up when Windows has a fatal error that forces a reboot.
March 16, 2007 9:15:28 PM

Thanks. Unfortunately, I'm all too familiar with BSOD :cry: 
March 17, 2007 12:38:05 AM

Quote:
Thanks. Unfortunately, I'm all too familiar with BSOD :cry: 


Unfortunately too many of us are :wink:
March 17, 2007 6:55:14 PM

Well, i'll be putting together his system tonight and plugging in the HD to see what I can do with it.

Here's what he's bought:
PS - Coolmax 550watt
MOBO - Intel Essential Series D945Gcl
Proc. - Intel PD 915 2.8ghz 800mhz fsb
Ram - Buffalo 1GB DDR2 533mhz CL4
HDD - 2 SATA 1.5 160GB drives (bundle deal from Tiger, looking to sell one of them)
Fan - Thermaltake Golden Orb II (Copper and Alum. 752g, 17dBa, fanspeed = 1600 rpm

Hopefully that stupid orb thing doesn't snap his board in half being so heavy. I thought I had a big cooler on my Barton core! (scythe)
March 17, 2007 9:40:08 PM

Let us know how it goes
March 17, 2007 9:49:16 PM

If the chipset is different from the one he originally had you will have to do a clean (new) installation of windows
March 18, 2007 12:16:30 PM

Well, I installed all the hardware last night, but found that there is only one IDE hookup and he has the old IDE hdd and an IDE cdrom.
How the heck do i hook both up?
Really, he wants it all to run off of the SATA drive, so could I just copy everything over to that?
Otherwise, I have two options.... Unplug the IDE hdd and install xp home from someone else's cd and just use his code (it does have the code printed on the packaging i believe),
OR,
Buy myself a dvd/cd burner of SATA type, which I plan on doing anyways for my next build, which is really only a couple months away. (Maybe I could scam him for the HDD, although, i want the 3.0, not the 1.5)

Any more wonderfull suggestions?
March 18, 2007 1:28:41 PM

Don't worry the one IDE port on the MB can handle 2 devices. While it's not good for your main drive (having the optical drive connected to the same port will affect performance.), it is good enough for a back up drive. Just make sure that the HDD is set as master and the optical drive as slave. (also the blue end of the cable should go to the MB the black end to the HDD and the grey to the optical drive.)

Also if you cant sell the 2nd SATA drive conside using it as a RAID 1 setup up
March 19, 2007 12:05:54 AM

Quote:
If the chipset is different from the one he originally had you will have to do a clean (new) installation of windows


Incorrect information.

I have changed a motherboard using a SIS chipset and AMD K6 proccessor to one with an Intel P4 800 Mhz processor with a VIA chipset. To my surprise Windows XP booted. I had a bunch of yellow bangs in System. What I did do beforehand was went to the manufacture web site for the board and downloaded the drivers for it. I only had to install new drivers.

The correct answer really is, when you change a motherboard it is a very good idea to wipe your drive and do a clean installation of Windows.
March 19, 2007 8:08:07 AM

Quote:


Incorrect information.

I have changed a motherboard using a SIS chipset and AMD K6 proccessor to one with an Intel P4 800 Mhz processor with a VIA chipset. To my surprise Windows XP booted. I had a bunch of yellow bangs in System. What I did do beforehand was went to the manufacture web site for the board and downloaded the drivers for it. I only had to install new drivers.


That is an exception not the rule to which you agree by stating how you were surprised.

Quote:

The correct answer really is, when you change a motherboard it is a very good idea to wipe your drive and do a clean installation of Windows.


Agree with you here. but some people need to get the system up ASAP.
March 19, 2007 11:18:26 PM

I am experienced enough in swapping the same drive to other computers that the rule actually is you can usually just change hardware drivers and Windows will boot just fine. The exception is when you get a BSOD or boot hang that proves the rule.
March 20, 2007 5:32:31 AM

Don't know my experience has been the opposite. On win 98, me it worked well but not on the NT kernel. (NT, 2K, XP)
March 20, 2007 5:44:13 AM

The boards are actually pretty generic... it's the BIOS that is highly customized on OEM machines nowadays. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule... but most OEMs use generic motherboards with customized BIOSes.
March 21, 2007 1:08:59 AM

Ok, plugged it all in and started it up... well, sorta....
Windows tries to start, but keeps going back to the screen where it allows you to boot from safe mode, safe mode with networking, etc.

It won't go into windows at all, so I can't install drivers for the new hardware. I even took the other drives out and just had the hd to see if it would let it go through, but no, that didn't change anything.

I guess it's going to be a fresh install then, isn't it?

I'm going to try to install to the SATA drive and leave the hd unplugged until it's set up. Any suggestions? Oh, and I can't find an XP HOME disk from anyone around here, it's all restore disks. He SAYS he has the code from microsoft, but we'll see.

Otherwise, anyone give a discount rate on xp home for a 160 SATA 1.5 drive?

Can you download xp home from somewhere?
March 21, 2007 6:37:43 AM

Quote:


Can you download xp home from somewhere?


Not from microsoft. You can try a bittorrent client. IMHO this wouldn't be piracy since you already have the license. You might have to call MS to activate it though.
March 31, 2007 8:58:26 PM

The emachines people say i can put their cd in and it will work on the new HD. WRONG. It won't even copy to the new HD. It gets to the symantic page and give me a "Cannot open GHOSTERR.TXT" and closes.

Using my own winxp cd, it installs as follows:
Memory Overflow error!
Then pops up the screen saying "Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Evaluation Copy SP1"
Then when into the login
"Service or driver failed at system startup, use event viewer to examin event log for details"

Is this due to the SATA and the 64 proc. etc.? WHATS GOING ON?!?!?!?
I have a angry client at the moment. I have him chasing down emachines to try and get a copy of windows.
April 2, 2007 5:15:38 AM

Seems you may have a hardware issue. You apparently don't know how to troubleshoot it properly, though. You would not get such errors on a blank hard drive from an OS CD. I suggest you simplify your problem. First, use the CD and go into repair mode. Run diskpart and delete all partitions on the drive. Reboot. The CD then shall run and ask to format the drive. Let it format the whole drive and let it reboot,then let it continue to install the system.

Your own Windows XP cd? It has nothing to do with the processor. There has to be something on the drive itself to give a message about MS Windows Server. It certainly doesn't come from the OS CD provided by E-machines.

The drive must have a hidden partition and the restore CD is looking into it, finding it corrupted (apparently using Symantec Ghost to restore the system). This is why you want to use the OS CD in repair mode to repartition the drive, then install to a blank drive. You won't get the errors you indicate on a truly blank drive.
April 2, 2007 10:47:57 PM

well, i went in with a floppy version of the win98 boot disk and deleted the partitions. Then, i went to format it, and it wouldn't let me, it said it wasn't supported.

After that, the same thing with the symantic screen from the restore disk provided by emachines.

I still don't understand why the xp pro cd of mine wouldn't allow me to format it....?

In any case, he bought a new cd drive, so that will help clear up some of the problems, and i'm thinking of installing xp to an IDE drive that I have to test if its the sata drive or not. He bought them as a 2 for one discount deal from the tigerdirect store over here. I don't really trust it myself, but we'll see....

I did have problems with my own sata drive before, but not like this!

Thanks again for helping, keep it coming!!!!!
April 3, 2007 12:29:22 AM

A win98 disk is not the right thing to use to delete and repartion a Windows XP drive. Win98 only understands FAT or FAT32; it does not understand NTSF formatting.

What kind of XP cd do you have? If it is an upgrade CD, then it won't allow an install on a drive that has no previous version of Windows on it. If it is OEM, you have no problem. What you need to do is carefully read the messages when the disc is loading to know to hit F2 to get to the menu that allows you to use go into repair mode and run Diskpart. Diskpart replaced FDISK that used to be the standard applet to manage disc partitions.
April 3, 2007 10:41:18 PM

I have a full version of winxp pro. I've used it several times with a fresh install on my computer. On HIS computer, it never loads the way it does on my computer. It goes to try and boot from cd, but then goes into the windows server 2003. It never really installs anything, i believe it's only running off of the cd.

He bought a new CD drive, since that was part of the problem, and he also bought a new windows xp home OEM cd. I'm going to use his old code, and then use the windows xp home cd for myself and my next install. I figure its the least i could do for his hassles.

Also, i'll be checking the hard drive by putting it in my computer and formatting it with the NTFS and hopefully that will help out. I"ll let you know tonight..... I"ll be running my computer on the home theatre though, so i may have to play a couple games at 110 inch with the THX surround sound first, ahhhh.... i love technology.
April 3, 2007 11:46:16 PM

Something is fishy with his drive. There should be nothing that says anything about Windows Server anytime with a full XP Pro CD. You might go into the bios first and have the first boot device be the CD-rom, then whatever is on the hard drive can't stop the loading of the XP pre-boot loader from loading into ram as must be happening in this case now.

Good luck. I do not think, though, that you need to pull his drive out. You do need to be able to force the loading of the CD install up to the point where you can hit the key that will let you get into repair mode to be able to wipe the drive with a new format of NTFS after deleting all partitions.
April 4, 2007 1:35:33 AM

well, in the bios, i have it loading the cd drive first, then the floppy, then the HD. I may switch it to HD first, then cd drive, just so it will catch the OS once I get it going. I'm REALLY not happy with the bios on the intel board.

Wish me luck!
April 7, 2007 12:11:02 PM

Well, THANKS TO ALL!!!!!!!!
It's done!!!!
The biggest headache of an install ever, but it's DONE!!!!
he bought a new CDROM and it worked beautifully.
Threw in a windows xp home cd, used the code on the back of his computer, and worked just fine. Plus, he still has a code on the package to use, so i may end up purchasing it from him for my next build, although, I own xp pro and someone told me I can have 3 computers with each code in a household, but we'll see about that.

Anyways, thank you all so very much!!!!

Lee Colvin
April 7, 2007 4:05:14 PM

Interesting to hear what the resolution was. Seems there must have been a couple of issues involved. Having a flaky CD drive and a corrupted hard drive as well. I am glad it is all resolved for you.
!