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  1. #1
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    about NON-Destructive method of re-installing XP

    My xp sp3 computer won't boot beyond the black screen with the choices of how to start and DS is coming tomorrow to fix it. I found Fred Langa's article, "NON-Destructive method of re-installing XP" and it sounds great.....BUT there are 4-5 comments with it of people getting to specific points and getting stuck, and asking what to do. There's no followup response to these (fr 2006) and now I'm scared we'll try using that and won't know what to do if it gets stuck or stops. Plus in one thread here the poster was working on his for over a day and it still hadn't finished. Can anyone offer help, encouragement, information on what to do if all does not go smoothly! He could do a clean reinstall but I don't want to lose my program files, esp. Eudora and Firefox! The others I could reinstall but I'd lose too much in those. Thanks for any help you can give!!
    Polly
    BTW, this happened when I was trying to uninstall Avast Security so I could install the free version. Had gone back to restore points to try again but it finally wouldn't boot beyond that one screen.

  2. #2
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    Hello,

    Welcome to the Lounge.

    Can you boot to safe mode?

    If not, I don't think anyone can reassure you in a definitive manner. At your present situation, though, there isn't much to lose, unless you have some other way to recover from that situation. You could try this, it's not too hard and it has resulted for me in the past. I would try it and, if not, would go with the non destructive reinstall.

    To avoid these situations, once you recover from this, you should resort to image backups. They can avoid such situations, by allowing you to set your pc back to a disk image of a time in which everything was working properly.

  3. #3
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    No, I could when it first began but it kept happening until I couldn't get into safe mode or any of the other things on that list. I'll show my DS that pdf and let him decide. Does this method preserve the programs?

    Yes, I know...DS said that's one of the first things we'll do. I do have Nero Backup...the one that came with my DVD burner, and I'd used it within the week before this happened so we might be able to restore them with this. I don't know if it's an image backup or not tho. Thanks for replying!

  4. #4
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    The method in the pdf is just a manual system restore method. The results will be the same as if you used system restore to go back to a time where the computer was working. Programs folders are not touched, but any programs installed since the date chosen won't show up as being installed.

    Good luck .

  5. #5
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    The news is not good. DS came and tried several things...no luck. He tried the pdf you referenced above and all was fine til we got to the point of entering the admin password....don't know what it is! I bought the computer from a store that had loaded XP on it so we called them and they said they don't usually put an admin pw in. we tried his suggestions to no avail. so we were stopped.

    He also tried to begin the Langa method but soon into it the screenshots in the article were different than the ones we were seeing, so didn't know what to do. Could it be because the Langa article (from 2006) was based on an XP with sp1 and sp2 on it? Mine has sp3. Would the screenshots be different due to that? And should we press on anyway?

    Ds took the computer home with him to work on it more there--he thought he had a disc there that might help (don't know what it is) but he hasn't had time to get into it yet. He had other resources there that he uses at work and when he works on others' computers so I'm hoping he has the right things.

    I'm really feeling discouraged at this point. DS was going to back up the hard drive at home before he tried anything else and I *think* I have backups of the C drive w. programs that I did with Nero but I'm not sure what I actually got because I'm not familiar with Nero and the backup process and I didn't explore it much before I did it. These are saved on an external hard drive so if they're the right kind, we might be able to restore them if he does a clean install.

    Polly

  6. #6
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    Admin password? I don't remember ever entering a password during that process...

    Regarding the difference in screens, I can't help much, I suppose, cause I never used the recovery process with XP. If you can post them, maybe we can say something. Anyway, it may be a matter of just going along with the process while it makes "sense". If he can use a backup tool to image the disk, there will be no risk of losing anything, anyway.

  7. #7
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    It gets tricky. If you have a legal license for the OS on the hard drive, then any competent tech, can copy off all your data and put it on a CD for you, then do a reformat and reinstall of the OS from his own disk with the same version of Windows, using your Lic. Key to legalize it.

    Shops have been doing that for years.

    Sometimes, when I've had a HD that got messed up and would not even boot, I've slaved it to my own PC, and then run Chkdsk /f /r on it to fix it and then when it was put back in its own case, it boot up normally. There are all sorts of little tech-tricks that can be done to try to recover the drive before resorting to Wipe and Reload.

    I never use passwords on any Windows HD and I've done the NON-Destructive Re-Install several times, just to see if it would work, and I don't remember ever being asked for a password. That's just too weird!

    I've used Nero, since the very early days and I don't remember it ever being lauded as a Great Backup Program. I've been in discussions with other tech's on other forums about doing backups and each guy has his own favorite program, and Nero is never even mentioned, but no matter the program, the main thing is that it's NOT run from within Windows.
    Because, when Windows or the entire hard drive crashes you don't have any way to run the Restore Program to restore you hard drive. Heaven forbid, that your backup files are on that same drive!

    For the greatest safety, your backup and restore program should be on a bootable CD, or Flash Drive. (I use both).
    And your backup image file(s) must also be on a different drive, like an external, or on DVD's.

    There are many VERY Good programs especially written for backing up your hard drive or just your C: partition. I use Ghost, the old DOS version, but there are several others in very common use today that can be had for FREE.
    Ask your repair tech, if he can put you onto one.

    Once you get your computer running again, see about getting and using a backup program that you can run from a CD.

    Good Luck,
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2012-05-02 at 21:30.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    It gets tricky. If you have a legal license for the OS on the hard drive, then any competent tech, can copy off all your data and put it on a CD for you, then do a reformat and reinstall of the OS from his own disk with the same version of Windows, using your Lic. Key to legalize it.
    ******************
    can copy the Program Files too? I have all the other data on a second HD already. It's the program files, esp. Eudora and Firefox and a couple of others I don't want to lose. P

    *****************************

    Sometimes, when I've had a HD that got messed up and would not even boot, I've slaved it to my own PC, and then run Chkdsk /f /r on it to fix it and then when it was put back in its own case, it boot up normally. There are all sorts of little tech-tricks that can be done to try to recover the drive before resorting to Wipe and Reload.
    ***************************
    DS can prob do that and may have it on the list to do....will ask him about it. P

    *****************************
    I never use passwords on any Windows HD and I've done the NON-Destructive Re-Install several times, just to see if it would work, and I don't remember ever being asked for a password. That's just too weird!
    *************************
    No, the need for the Admin pw was on the other pdf that ruirib mentioned in his first post. See
    http://www.rivanet.co.uk/documents/WinXP%20Crashed.pdf

    ***********************************

    I've used Nero, since the very early days and I don't remember it ever being lauded as a Great Backup Program. I've been in discussions with other tech's on other forums about doing backups and each guy has his own favorite program, and Nero is never even mentioned, but no matter the program, the main thing is that it's NOT run from within Windows.
    Because, when Windows or the entire hard drive crashes you don't have any way to run the Restore Program to restore you hard drive. Heaven forbid, that your backup files are on that same drive!
    *******************
    No, they're on an external hd I got to save backups on. And I have the Nero disc. But I don't know if those backups will work because I didn't know what I was doing when I did it and may not have done it right. This version of Nero came with my DVD burner and, as I understand it, doesn't have everything that the retail version does. I loaded it on the laptop I'm using and went through and looked at the contents and it does list being able to make a bootable CD, etc. P
    *************************
    For the greatest safety, your backup and restore program should be on a bootable CD, or Flash Drive. (I use both).
    And your backup image file(s) must also be on a different drive, like an external, or on DVD's.

    There are many VERY Good programs especially written for backing up your hard drive or just your C: partition. I use Ghost, the old DOS version, but there are several others in very common use today that can be had for FREE.
    **************************
    Yep, that's on the to-do list as soon as we get this fixed. My C is a separate hard drive. DS got me a new larger hd and we moved all my files and folders to it= D drive. System and Programs were left on the older C drive. P
    ***************************
    Ask your repair tech, if he can put you onto one.
    ***********************

    Yep, at the moment my tech is my DS; he's the IT person for a small agency where he lives and takes care of all their computers so I'm hoping he'll figure it out. P
    ************
    Good Luck,
    The Doctor
    ***************
    Thanks for your input!!!

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