Reinstall XP from a partition?

Hello from San Diego! I have a friend here in my neighborhood who is quite possibly the only person I know who is more "Computer Stupid" than me... And that is saying something. He has a HP Media Center M7434N, and is running some version of XP that I don't know what it is exactly. He has had a catastrophic crash of his system, and it refuses to reboot Windows. He also has what appear to be 3 bootleg disks for a reinstallation of XP. One is labeled "XP Tools", and the next says "Disk 1" and finally "Disk2". I tried to follow the directions posted at the Windows website, but predictably, when it gets to the stage where you have given the command of which drive to start first (CD Rom or DVD), it will always come up with the statement "Disk boot error". It simply will not boot the disks no matter what sequence you start them.

Anyway, I was told that you can reinstall XP without using the disks, and that all computers sent out from the factory with XP on them can be reinstalled from some kind of partition for doing reinstallations embedded by the factory. Is there truth to this, and if so how to do it? Remembering that I am pretty new at all this, is there some step-by-step kind of directtions for me? I am pretty tech-challenged, but I compensate by being good at following directions. Can someone help me? Thanks so much in advance for your ideas... Copperhead 1
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  1. That is only true, if there was a separate factory recovery partition installed. If he has the restore discs, he probably doesn't have a recovery partition. You usually get one or the other.

    Look at the discs. If they are scratched or smudged, try using a few drops of water, and a soft cloth to clean them. You likely want 'Disc 1.' Insert that, and try booting off the CD/DVD drive.
  2. Yeah, I'll give that a try. I'm afraid that these disks he has are bootlegged and the computer simply won't boot them because they don't have some sort of authentication mark on them. I mean what is this disk called "Recovery Tools" supposed to be used for? I've never seen such a disk before. The other thing that concerns me is the make of his computer. It's an HP Media Center and has this giant removable media harddrive of some sort? In the reinstallation directions it tells me to remove this drive before installing, but then I wonder if the computer senses that it's being "Tampered with" and simply shuts down the booting process?

    I don't know, but I really want to help this fellow because he is disabled and bedridden, and has come to rely on his computer for his contact with the outside world. I'll try what you suggest, but if you think of anything else, please let me know... I thank you for your kindness, Copperhead 1
  3. That model says that it comes with recovery discs. Do they look real, or like copies?

    It does come with a standard hard drive. Is that the 'removable media hard drive' that you're referring to?

    As long as you have valid restore discs, and the hard drive connected, you should be able to restore with no problem.
  4. Yeah, I'm going to look into it further tommorow, so I let you know as soon as I do. Thanks again for your help. I'm brand new at this site, but I really like it a lot and will be a regular here for sure. Good night...
  5. Welcome to the forum :)
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