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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    My friend somehow screwed up the boot process on his laptop.
    He had Windows XP media center edition.
    Since he couldn't find his OS CD I decided I would install a copy of xp pro I have here as a second OS on the laptop, and then copy his files over then remove media center edition later.
    Anyway, during the install I instead decided to do a repair install instead. Even though I was using xp pro sp2 this worked fine, but at the end of the install process it asked me for the serial number.
    Neither his original serial (which is on the bottom of the laptop) or the serial for my xp pro cd will work. The input window for the serial number is titled 'Windows XP Professional Upgrade'. I have tried various other serials for both versions but nothing worked.

    Any ideas? I would just go ahead and put a second OS on there (as my original plan) but at the moment it will just keep booting into the half-completed install process.

  2. #2
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    It is looking for key codes for the Pro version. You are going to have to get a copy of the CD from the OEM and do a Factory recover.

    Or buy a XP Pro license [sad]

    Most newer machines have a Partition on the hard drive to be used for rebuilding a machine. But since you have wiped out the OEM version, it will no longer work. If you call the OEM, they MAY have a way of recovering to the Factory settings, if not order the CD.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Do you mean that I should get the Dell 'reinstall CD'?
    Because that would wipe the information off the hard drive AFAIK.

    At this stage I just want to get the information off the drive. I don't really care how trashed the OS is, I just don't want to lose my friends files (which were entirely recoverable in the first place).

    Surely there is a way to remove the installation boot sector on the HDD so I can run another install, or perhaps you can point me to a USB boot method that would boot past this?

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    [quote name='banjax' post='768218' date='30-Mar-2009 09:44']Surely there is a way to remove the installation boot sector on the HDD so I can run another install, or perhaps you can point me to a USB boot method that would boot past this?[/quote]
    If you have done a repair install then I don't think you are going to be able to recover the data like this.

    The best ways to recover your friend's data would be...
    1. Boot from a CD based operating system such as Bart PE or Knoppix and copy the data to a network share or a USB stick
    2. Remove the disk drive from the laptop and use an external hard drive enclosure to attach it to another PC and copy the data

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Stuart. I think you have answered my questions on previous occasions.

    I have tried on previous occasions to use BartPE but found the 'slipstreaming' process (dunno if thats the right term, the process of getting programs other than the barebones bootable OS onto the USB drive) to be really confusing.

    Is there a good tutorial, or even better, a premade BartPE (or Knoppix) binary/zip with all the relevant software included out there?

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    [quote name='banjax' post='768221' date='30-Mar-2009 10:23']Is there a good tutorial, or even better, a premade BartPE (or Knoppix) binary/zip with all the relevant software included out there?[/quote]
    BART PE relies on files that are a licensed part of Windows, so they can't distribute a premade CD. Knoppix is a linux distribution that you can get as a prebuilt CD. It includes a file manager that can easily copy files from your Windows disk to a USB disk or network share.

    Easier still is to spend a very small amount of money on a 2.5" external hard drive enclosure which will let you download the files directly to the USB port of another PC.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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  8. #8
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    [quote name='banjax' post='768221' date='30-Mar-2009 04:23'][/quote]

    If you are comfortable taking a disk drive out of a laptop, check out External Enclosures for 2.5" Notebook/Laptop Hard Drives and Laptop Hard Drive External Enclosure -- DataPro. These are pretty inexpensive and would allow you to access the drive on your PC.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    [quote name='StuartR' post='768222' date='30-Mar-2009 10:27']Knoppix is a linux distribution that you can get as a prebuilt CD. It includes a file manager that can easily copy files from your Windows disk to a USB disk or network share.[/quote]
    Just for fun I downloaded the Knoppix ISO file* and burned it to a CD, and it boots remarkably quickly and can see NTFS disks, USB Flash Drives, and the like. One for the toolkit.

    Trying CD-bootable versions of any other Linux (Ubuntu, D*mnSmallLinux, PuppyLinux, etc) is almost as much effort, regardless of how small the actual distibution is, IMHO...

    * the only difficult bit is deciding which file you need to download!
    BATcher

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