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Recovering Windows XP from a HD partition

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  • Windows XP
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June 1, 2010 10:11:11 AM

This follows on from my previous thread "Error messages when trying to log in to internet"

I dug out the instructions for my 6 year old PC and discovered for the first time that there was a recovery option by pressing F10 during boot up. I really need to repair or reinstall windows as the PC is so messed up but there are two options.
Default option: Recovers factory- shipped applications, drivers, and the operating system without affecting any data files that you may have created since purchasing this PC.

Advanced option: This option will install a new operating system while preserving all your data. However, any windows applications and settings will need to be reinstalled. All current files are moved to "my old disc structure" directory.

A few questions about this.

1 - Which is the best option to use ?
2 - Do I need to back up everything to an external drive in both cases ?
3 - Does either, or both options delete all the MS updates, and SP2 and SP3 ? (I would think that only the advanced option does this)
4 - Can I reinstall these items from an external drive ?

5 - Is there anything else I need to be aware of, I have never attempted this before ?

More about : recovering windows partition

June 2, 2010 1:38:05 AM

norton said:
This follows on from my previous thread "Error messages when trying to log in to internet"

I dug out the instructions for my 6 year old PC and discovered for the first time that there was a recovery option by pressing F10 during boot up. I really need to repair or reinstall windows as the PC is so messed up but there are two options.
Default option: Recovers factory- shipped applications, drivers, and the operating system without affecting any data files that you may have created since purchasing this PC.

Advanced option: This option will install a new operating system while preserving all your data. However, any windows applications and settings will need to be reinstalled. All current files are moved to "my old disc structure" directory.

A few questions about this.

1 - Which is the best option to use ? I would use the first option, you know the hardware can run the OS; the advanced option would allow you to install a newer OS.
2 - Do I need to back up everything to an external drive in both cases ? If you want to keep it: Yes, yes, yes.
3 - Does either, or both options delete all the MS updates, and SP2 and SP3 ? (I would think that only the advanced option does this) Both will delete all the MS updates (and SP2 and SP3) you have installed during the last 6 years. The first option will restore the OS to its 6-year-old configuration. You will have to visit windows update to download and install all the updates since 6 years ago. The second option allows you install another OS, which would also delete all the updates.
4 - Can I reinstall these items from an external drive ? Yes, but you can visit Windows update to do the same.

5 - Is there anything else I need to be aware of, I have never attempted this before ? You will have to re-install all the programs you added (that were not n the machine originally).

Do not power off the computer while it is restoring the OS, even if it looks like nothing is happening. I've done the "Restore the OS" on Acer and HP laptops. Both were relatively painless. It took a long time on the Acer. But the results were good - a relatively clean install after I uninstalled the crapware.
June 2, 2010 9:42:08 AM

Thanks very much.
Related resources
June 2, 2010 11:42:17 AM

You're welcome.
June 3, 2010 7:36:25 PM

I have another problem now!
My DVD-ROM drive has not worked for a couple of weeks, It had an exclamation mark and code 39 error in Device Manager.
So I bought a new one, an LG DVD-RW. I have the same problem though, exclamation mark and code 39 error in Device Manager,
I inserted the driver CD after I installed it, and the green light blinked for several seconds,then stopped.
Also, I cannot run the usual diagnostic test, the (support.microsoft.com/gp/cd_dvd_drive_problems) one, because I get the message "powershell failed to install, try again later"

I tried several times,but I cannot get powershell to install.

The problem is that if I do an XP recovery, I will not be able to reinstall all the stuff that will be deleted during the recovery process if my DVD-RW still refuses to work.

So where do I go from here?
June 3, 2010 8:14:31 PM

If I were you, I would start with the default option, which is basically a windows repair. For this, you won't need to back up your data, as it only effects system files.

I think you may also want to run ccleaner's registry tool.
June 5, 2010 6:59:00 PM

aford10 said:
If I were you, I would start with the default option, which is basically a windows repair. For this, you won't need to back up your data, as it only effects system files.

I think you may also want to run ccleaner's registry tool.



I did the windows repair using the default option, but when I restarted the PC afterwards I got a blue stop screen, titled "Process1_Initialisation_Failed".

The relevant text reads "If problems continue disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software".
"Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing".


I had a look in the BIOS, but couldn`t see any memory options (they may be there but I don`t know how to find them).

I tried booting into safe mode but it just returns me to the blue stop screen.
June 5, 2010 8:24:01 PM

In the BIOS, try loading the defaults, or pull the CMOS battery for ~5 minutes.

If any hardware was added since it was purchased, remove it.
June 5, 2010 9:11:44 PM

Not sure where to find the CMOS battery.

I have upgraded to a Sapphire Radeon HD3850 graphics card, A more powerfull PSU, and doubled the amount of DDR3 RAM.

I don`t have the original graphics card, I could remove the extra RAM, and I don`t suppose the PSU matters.
June 6, 2010 3:10:59 AM

You have DDR3 RAM in a 6 year old PC?

If you have onboard video, remove the Sapphire card, and use the onboard graphics for now. You very well could be having a driver conflict.

The CMOS battery is the round silver watch-battery looking thing on your motherboard. By removing that for ~5 minutes, it should reset your BIOS defaults. It will look similar to this.
http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/lifesaver333/2009-05-...
June 6, 2010 8:57:51 AM

aford10 said:
You have DDR3 RAM in a 6 year old PC?

If you have onboard video, remove the Sapphire card, and use the onboard graphics for now. You very well could be having a driver conflict.

The CMOS battery is the round silver watch-battery looking thing on your motherboard. By removing that for ~5 minutes, it should reset your BIOS defaults. It will look similar to this.
http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/lifesaver333/2009-05-...


I have no idea whether I have onboard video or not.

The RAM is Corsair v/select PC3200.
June 6, 2010 12:16:58 PM

Just been reading my motherboard manual (Asus P4V8X-X), it doesn`t mention onboard video and there are no connectors listed as such, so I presume it doesn`t have it.

There is info on how to clear the Real Time Clock(RTC) RAM in CMOS, which is powered by the CMOS battery. Moving a jumper to other pins then moving it back after 10 seconds erases the RTC RAM.

Is this the same as removing the battery ?

But if I can`t remove the upgraded graphics card as I don`t have the original one, what next?

Would running the advanced option Windows repair make any difference?
June 6, 2010 6:24:50 PM

CLR_CMOS or clearing the RTC both accomplish re-setting the BIOS to its default settings, as will removing the battery for ~ 5 mins. Your RAM is DDR. It doesn't look like you have on-board graphics, you need a discrete AGP video card.

Your chipset is made by VIA. I worked with another poster here on a similar board with a VIA chipset controlling the AGP interface. We did a lot of work, but it appears that some of the Sapphire HD3XXX AGP cards will not run on a VIA chipset.

Re-set the BIOS to its default settings (above) and install another AGP video card, then see if you can do repair install from the hidden partition.
June 7, 2010 1:47:38 AM

Moving the jumper will clear the CMOS as well. It's a good place to start.
June 7, 2010 8:32:46 AM

treefrog07 said:
CLR_CMOS or clearing the RTC both accomplish re-setting the BIOS to its default settings, as will removing the battery for ~ 5 mins. Your RAM is DDR. It doesn't look like you have on-board graphics, you need a discrete AGP video card.

Your chipset is made by VIA. I worked with another poster here on a similar board with a VIA chipset controlling the AGP interface. We did a lot of work, but it appears that some of the Sapphire HD3XXX AGP cards will not run on a VIA chipset.

Re-set the BIOS to its default settings (above) and install another AGP video card, then see if you can do repair install from the hidden partition.



I dont want to go to the expense of buying another video card, I already bought a new DVD-RW that made no difference. The Sapphire card has run well with my VIA chipset for the last two and a half years.

What I have done recently though is to update the video card driver, using the `Drivermax` website.
I also updated a motherboard driver using Drivermax which was the `bus host controller` driver.
Drivermax indicated that this driver was installed successfully, but in Device Manager is shown with a yellow exclamation mark. The driver I downloaded is `unibrain 1394PC`.

The video card driver is shown as installed and working in Device Manager.
June 8, 2010 3:11:27 AM

I suggest downloading the GPU drivers from ATI, uninstalling the current driver, re-start, install the new driver. I would also suggest downloading the VIA drivers from the VIA support site, choose "Hyperion Pro Driver Package" in the third drop-down, install that package - it should clear the issue with firewire; I expect it will also solve your DVDRW issue.
June 8, 2010 8:01:52 AM

treefrog07 said:
I suggest downloading the GPU drivers from ATI, uninstalling the current driver, re-start, install the new driver. I would also suggest downloading the VIA drivers from the VIA support site, choose "Hyperion Pro Driver Package" in the third drop-down, install that package - it should clear the issue with firewire; I expect it will also solve your DVDRW issue.



I would do all that, but I can`t start the PC.
June 8, 2010 11:46:53 AM

Remove all the RAM except for 1 chip. If you still get the BSOD, pull that chip, and try a different one.

Did you try resetting the CMOS yet?
June 8, 2010 4:00:23 PM

aford10 said:
Remove all the RAM except for 1 chip. If you still get the BSOD, pull that chip, and try a different one.

Did you try resetting the CMOS yet?


I tried removing RAM, same result, swopped the chips, same result.

I removed the CMOS battery for 10-15 minutes, jumpers were too hard to get at. Still getting the stop screen.
June 8, 2010 7:05:16 PM

aford10 said:
Did it come with Roxio installed?
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330134



No it didn`t come with Roxio Goback, and I`ve never installed it. I have used Roxio Creator, it might still be on the machine, I`m not sure.
June 8, 2010 7:11:27 PM

The technical information on the stop screen is

STOP: 0X0000006B (0XC000007A 0X00000008 0X00000000 0X00000000

Don`t know if that means anything to you.

June 8, 2010 7:20:12 PM

Can you still F10 into the recovery options? You may now want to do the advanced option.
June 8, 2010 7:43:04 PM

Yes I can still do the advanced recovery option, but if that fails it may be time to call it a day and buy a new PC.
June 8, 2010 7:47:44 PM

Think positive :) 
June 8, 2010 9:23:31 PM

aford10 said:
Think positive :) 



You were right to say "think positive", the advanced recovery option worked, the computer is back on.
It`s like a brand new PC though with only a few basic programs, there`s quite a lot to do get it fully functional again.
I will have to reinstall Broadband internet then install all the Microsoft security updates again, and SP2 SP3.

Do I need to reinstall all of the security updates since the PC was new? there seemed to be hundreds of them.

Was there a Service Pack 1, or do I just need to reinstall the other two ?
June 8, 2010 9:35:21 PM

The easiest thing to do, is go to the update page, and do the express update. It will look for all the updates available, and start installing them. You can choose the custom option if you'd like to weed out some of the updates. When it's done doing the installs, go back to the update page, and see if there are more. They sometimes come in waves.

Good to hear it's back up and running though!

I was hoping the default option (windows repair), would do the trick. That would've avoided having to reinstall all the programs and updates.
June 9, 2010 9:16:50 PM

aford10 said:
The easiest thing to do, is go to the update page, and do the express update. It will look for all the updates available, and start installing them. You can choose the custom option if you'd like to weed out some of the updates. When it's done doing the installs, go back to the update page, and see if there are more. They sometimes come in waves.

Good to hear it's back up and running though!

I was hoping the default option (windows repair), would do the trick. That would've avoided having to reinstall all the programs and updates.



It`s amazing how fast my computer starts up now I have reinstalled all the programs and updates, it`s like having a new one.
It used to take between 4 and 5 minutes from pressing the start button to the desktop screen. Now it takes about 65 to 70 seconds.

Thanks to all involved.
June 9, 2010 9:56:47 PM

Good to hear,
thanks for the update.
June 16, 2010 9:50:17 AM

aford10 said:
Good to hear,
thanks for the update.


I still have a few problems with this PC. I installed the latest version of windows media player (vesion 11) but when I try to play video the player screen remains blank with no video or sound, although the progress bar moves along below the screen.

Another problem is that I frequently get a windows help message (nothing to do with media player) saying "There is not enough memory available for this task. Quit one or more programs to increase available memory then try again".
I have 1.5GB of RAM and have not changed that, so I don`t know why the message has started to appear. If I click on the message to delete it, things continue as normal.

I installed the latest driver package for my Radeon HD3800 graphics card, which included ATI catalyst control centre. It should include Smartgart, which I need to adjust my AGP settings, but Smartgart is nowhere to be found.
June 16, 2010 12:00:16 PM

Check the device manager to see if you have any device conflicts (yellow !).

Start-->right click on my computer-->properties-->how much RAM is showing as installed?

Check on the Radeon's download page, and see if there's a separate utility for those extra features. Sometimes that's an additional download.
June 16, 2010 2:54:34 PM

aford10 said:
Check the device manager to see if you have any device conflicts (yellow !).

Start-->right click on my computer-->properties-->how much RAM is showing as installed?

Check on the Radeon's download page, and see if there's a separate utility for those extra features. Sometimes that's an additional download.



device manager has no yellow conflict warnings

system properties shows 1.50 GB RAM installed

No additional downloads on Radeon`s page. I installed the full software suite which contains display driver, hydravision,southbridge/IXP driver, and catalyst control centre.
June 16, 2010 3:18:30 PM

Try downloading, and using VLC media player. I think it's better than WMP anyway, but I'm curious if it's a codec, driver, or some other problem.

You may want to try increasing the virtual memory amount.
start-->control panel-->system-->advanced-->performance options-->advanced tab-->virtual memory

From what I read here, the newer CCC downloads left out the smartgart feature. If you can find the older hotfix, you should be able to download that instead. Read the post from 'thegame1594'.
http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=279&th...
Apparently, you need to search for 9-10_agp-hotfix_xp32_dd_ccc.exe
June 16, 2010 7:11:50 PM

aford10 said:
Try downloading, and using VLC media player. I think it's better than WMP anyway, but I'm curious if it's a codec, driver, or some other problem.

You may want to try increasing the virtual memory amount.
start-->control panel-->system-->advanced-->performance options-->advanced tab-->virtual memory

From what I read here, the newer CCC downloads left out the smartgart feature. If you can find the older hotfix, you should be able to download that instead. Read the post from 'thegame1594'.
http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=279&th...
Apparently, you need to search for 9-10_agp-hotfix_xp32_dd_ccc.exe


Windows media player seems to be working, I must have been doing something wrong when I had the lack of video and sound but it`s OK now.

I increased virtual memory from 1536mb to the maximum allowed of 3072mb. Have not had any more "not enough memory " messages.

I installed that hotfix and have smargart back again. I`m dissapointed with gameplay though ( I always have been to a certain extent) Perhaps I need a better computer.
I was playing a fairly old game called F.E.A.R. and after about 15 minutes the game vanished and the desktop screen returned with a "windows has a problem and needs to close" (or something like that) message.
So I tried Microsoft Train Simulator, and the movement of the trains are so jerky that passengers would have whiplash injuries. The game seems to pause for a split second at frequent intervals.

I`m wondering whether installing the latest motherboard drivers, especially the AGP driver, would make any difference. They have never been updated since I bought the PC in 2004.
Or do I need to adjust BIOS settings?.
June 16, 2010 7:20:52 PM

It sounds like your game graphic settings needs to be turned down, or you need to upgrade the video card. AGP cards are really outdated. If your motherboard has a PCI or PCIe slot, you can upgrade to a faster video card for pretty cheap (~$40).
June 16, 2010 9:04:03 PM

aford10 said:
It sounds like your game graphic settings needs to be turned down, or you need to upgrade the video card. AGP cards are really outdated. If your motherboard has a PCI or PCIe slot, you can upgrade to a faster video card for pretty cheap (~$40).



OK Thanks. I`ll check tomorrow on whether I have a PCI/PCIe slot.
June 29, 2010 11:21:25 AM

aford10 said:
It sounds like your game graphic settings needs to be turned down, or you need to upgrade the video card. AGP cards are really outdated. If your motherboard has a PCI or PCIe slot, you can upgrade to a faster video card for pretty cheap (~$40).



Hi, bit of a delay as I`ve been on holiday. I have 5 PCI slots on the motherboard, but not sure what would be compatible with my system. It`s no use spending too much money on a PCI card with the 6 year old spec of my PC. Have you any recommendations ?
June 29, 2010 4:44:01 PM

aford10 said:
Download CPUZ. Look at the mainboard tab. What is the motherboard model?
http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

Are you still using the Radeon 3850 in this PC? That's a PCIe video card.


The motherboard is Asus P4V8X-X , the Sapphire Radeon that I`m still using in the PC is an AGP card.
June 29, 2010 5:39:40 PM

After looking over the available options, I'm not sure it's worth it for the $$. Those older AGP/PCI video cards have become fairly expensive. If you wanted to spend the $$, you could upgrade to something like an AGP 4650
!