How to save hard drive before reinstalling WinXP?

So I stupidly installed both 680i motherboard nforce drivers and latest nvidia 8800gtx beta video card drivers at the same time without uninstalling the previous drivers first. When I rebooted my system my kb and mouse light up and I can get into BIOS but when I get to the blue WinXP logon screen the kb and mouse do not respond!

So, basically I cannot log into Windows XP at all. A guy at my work told me I might have to reinstall WinXP but this would wipe my hard drive clean, and I have lots of important stuff on that hard drive I cant lose!

I have a 500gb external hard drive, is there a way I can get my internal HD info on my external HD before I reinstall Windows?

If I cant, is there any way I can fix this problem that anyone knows of?

Please help I am a noob and you pros here at Toms may be my only hope!

my system:
evga 680i mobo
c2d 6600
2x8800gtx sli
320g seagate barracuda HD
500gb external HD

Thanks for any help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
21 answers Last reply
More about save hard drive reinstalling winxp
  1. boot to the xp disc and run a repair install. this will leave everything in place but remove any drivers.
  2. OK I know how to boot to the xp disc, and when I run repair it asks me which drive to fix and i type 1 for the C: windows and then it asks my admin password, which I type in.

    Then a new line appears "C:windows" with a solid dot after it and it does nothing. I type HELP for a list of commands but i dont know which command to run or if i have to run a command at all.

    Thanks for your help friend
  3. Plus I assume you are talking about the Windows Recovery Console?
  4. That's not a repair install, that's the recovery console. First hit on Google for "repair install" How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

    If you want to save your data first, you can install the drive as a slave, in another machine, and copy the data to the other drive temporarily or burn it to CD/DVD.
  5. A repair install is not tha same as the "R"epair consol.
    1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

    2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the options below

    This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
    Windows XP to run on your computer:

    To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

    To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

    To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

    3. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

    To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER. do not choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery Console). I repeat, do not choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R".

    4. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

    5. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair. If Repair is not one of the options just move to #6.

    6. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot. Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears. Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.
  6. Thanks for the link Zorg!

    So do you think if I run the repair install I will lose all my digital photos?

    Im not sure how to install my hard drive as a slave to my other machine which is the really old piece of crap Dell that I am using right now

    Again thanks for the info its greatly appreciated
  7. You shouldn't lose your pics if you read and follow the instructions very carefully. Take special note Warning #2.

    If I remember correctly, it's been a long time since I did a repair install, you will need to reinstall all of the applications, e.g., Office etc., because they will need to register themselves. The registry gets replaced with a clean one and has to be updated.

    All of the pics and work files should remain intact.

    There are no guaranties, but He!! there are no guaranties in life. If you are really concerned about loosing your data you may want to look into the slave option.
  8. Ok man thanks a lot I'm going to give it a shot I'll let ya know how I did

    Thank God for good websites like this, I tried contacting nvidia support but they are a joke and can't just give me an answer. they want to know all kinds of infomation I can't get because I can't login to my machine for crap's sake
  9. Well, this sucks. I began the repair operation and everything was going smoothly, Windows began installing and said I had 39 minutes to wait. At the 34 minute mark, I got a popup message saying

    "The file 'nv4_mini.sys' on NVIDIA Windows XP x64 Edition Driver Library Installation Disk 1 is needed

    Type the path where the file is located and then Click OK

    copy files from

    Which is fine, but now my keyboard and mouse won't work again so I can't click OK! WTF?

    This is so frustrating its unbelievable...
  10. The more I see the problems with the nvidia mobos the more I don't want one. I would go on the nvidia forums and see if they have more specific advice about your particular problem.
  11. It's a bit late now, but it's handy to have a Linux Live CD like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, System Rescue CD, Knoppix. If your Windows installation fails and you have no recent back-up of your personal files, with the Live CD you can copy them to an external hard disk.
  12. It's not too late, he still has the data on the HD. I was going to mention Linux or UBCD4 Windows, but I thought it would be faster to just put the HD in as a slave on another machine.
  13. OK well I downloaded the Ubuntu 7.10 as an iso file and I'm about to put it on a 700mb CD-R. I can boot off this CD and install Ubuntu without losing my hard drive data?

    Also, I turned off the computer this morning before I went to bed while the Windows Setup was stuck on the 34 mark when I couldnt get input from my mouse and keyboard. Now when I start up the system automatically enters the setup again and each time I get to the 34 minute mark and my mouse and kb turn off and I cant get any further.

    Will this effect Ubuntu?

    Thanks for the help I owe u guys lunch lol
  14. ^Looks like some motherboard/PSU/mouse/keyboard problem if your mouse turns off/becomes unresponsive.

    You can run Ubuntu as a Live OS without having to install anything.
  15. It's probably to late now but why didn't you go to safe mode and transfer all your files to your external and then do the reinstal?
  16. I think this problem could have been avoided by booting into safe mode (tap F8 while system is booting) and uninstalling the conflicting drivers from there. Safe mode loads only the core window services and generic drivers so you could have gotten to the GUI and ran Device Manager.
  17. No, I tried going into safe mode and when I get to the logon screen the kb mouse do not respond just like when I try booting normally.

    I have Ubuntu 7.10 on a CD, but I need to know if using it will wipe my hd clean?
  18. It must be a motherboard driver problem, because running Windows Repair off the CD works fine until it starts installing devices, and then at the 34 mark my kb and mouse stop responding and I get a popup messagetelling me I need the file 'nv4_mini.sys' is missing and I need to type the path where the file is located and then clock OK, which I cant do because the kb and mouse arent responding.

    I know my kb and mouse are fine because they work up until this point of Windows Setup and the kb works fine in BIOS.
  19. K guys I ran Ubuntu and I am currently on Linux Live.

    I went to Places > Computer > 298.1 GB Volume, I assume this is the location of my hard drive data.

    I get this message with a red circle with a minus sign "Cannot mount volume: Unable to mount volume"

    "Logfile indicated unclean shutdown" and a bunch more stuff basically saying Windows had an unclean shutdown.

    Its also showing nothing on a media search.

    So is the hard drive slave option my only way out? Or have I already lost my data?
  20. You should be able to see the drive as a slave and save you files, unless the MFT is corrupt.
  21. You need to get the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. You will need a windows installation disc to create the UBCD for Windows. Once the UBCD is created, use it to boot the computer then run chkdsk on your unmountable hard drive. Let Chkdsk repair any errors on the drive. After chkdsk has run you should be able to copy files and settings to your external drive.

    Good luck.
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