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Reinstall XP without losing drivers and programs?

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Old 04-01-12, 08:39 PM Thread Starter   #1
oqnx
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Reinstall XP without losing drivers and programs?


I've been working on a computer for a couple days now. Everything that can go wrong seems like it is going wrong. I just got it up and running for the first time, but then a scareware attack popped up (it was called smart hdd. I had installed no such program, "closing" the program wouldnt make it close, it wasnt a listed entry in add/remove programs, and "mysteriously" every time i ran the "uninstaller" it told me there was a disk error, just so we're clear that its a load of BS). I pulled up ccleaner, removed suspicious entries from startup, and then reset the computer. The bios was screwed up so that the main hard drive was disabled, and after enabling the hard drive, I cant boot successfully. Tomorrow I plan to load the hard drive into my main rig, scan it with malwarebytes, remove all of the viruses, run checkdisk, and then throw it back in the other tower. Assuming this doesn't fix the issue, is there a windows xp repair disk or option on the install disk? This isn't my computer and I promised the owner I would have it up and running in about -2 days, so I need a response asap.
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Old 04-01-12, 09:24 PM Thread Starter   #2
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Cutting my losses and reinstalling xp.
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Old 04-01-12, 09:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oqnx View Post
I've been working on a computer for a couple days now. Everything that can go wrong seems like it is going wrong. I just got it up and running for the first time, but then a scareware attack popped up (it was called smart hdd. I had installed no such program, "closing" the program wouldnt make it close, it wasnt a listed entry in add/remove programs, and "mysteriously" every time i ran the "uninstaller" it told me there was a disk error, just so we're clear that its a load of BS). I pulled up ccleaner, removed suspicious entries from startup, and then reset the computer. The bios was screwed up so that the main hard drive was disabled, and after enabling the hard drive, I cant boot successfully. Tomorrow I plan to load the hard drive into my main rig, scan it with malwarebytes, remove all of the viruses, run checkdisk, and then throw it back in the other tower. Assuming this doesn't fix the issue, is there a windows xp repair disk or option on the install disk? This isn't my computer and I promised the owner I would have it up and running in about -2 days, so I need a response asap.
You should go to the manufacturers website(or do general Google search) and look up make/model of the machine, and see if it has a 'hidden' restore partition. But before doing anything I would:
1. boot the machine to a Linux live CD, though which you can use to access the users documents, and copy to removable media such as a USB drive, or even set up a network share.

If you take the HDD out and put in your [Windows] machine, you run the risk of screwing up your MBR, thus leaving you with two inop computers.

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Old 04-01-12, 09:54 PM Thread Starter   #4
oqnx
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Originally Posted by ihrsetrdr View Post
You should go to the manufacturers website(or do general Google search) and look up make/model of the machine, and see if it has a 'hidden' restore partition. But before doing anything I would:
1. boot the machine to a Linux live CD, though which you can use to access the users documents, and copy to removable media such as a USB drive, or even set up a network share.

If you take the HDD out and put in your [Windows] machine, you run the risk of screwing up your MBR, thus leaving you with two inop computers.
I'm not deeply worried about damaging my own stuff. If I break my own stuff, then I'm going to have to face the consequences. If someone is counting on me to help them get a computer up and running, then if I fail, they won't get work done and it will affect their job and possibly their social life. Anyway, the data is safe. I'm just not looking forwards to pulling an allnighter to get this thing working by 9 tomorrow. Essentially what I was looking for was something like startup repair for windows vista and seven that could possibly fix the MBR, but it appears that no such thing exists.
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Old 04-01-12, 11:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by oqnx View Post
I'm not deeply worried about damaging my own stuff. If I break my own stuff, then I'm going to have to face the consequences. If someone is counting on me to help them get a computer up and running, then if I fail, they won't get work done and it will affect their job and possibly their social life. Anyway, the data is safe. I'm just not looking forwards to pulling an allnighter to get this thing working by 9 tomorrow. Essentially what I was looking for was something like startup repair for windows vista and seven that could possibly fix the MBR, but it appears that no such thing exists.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654

There are a few options with XP but they are not installed by default. If you have an XP disk you can boot to it and do a repair. That is your best bet if you dont want to loose data. But if its bad enough you are better off booting to a usb distro and saving to another drive as others have said. Just make sure you scan those files before placing them back on the computer.

You can always use a key finder to get the PDKs for any software that was purchased

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Old 04-02-12, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oqnx View Post
Essentially what I was looking for was something like startup repair for windows vista and seven that could possibly fix the MBR, but it appears that no such thing exists.
It's just a matter of booting to the Recovery Console using the XP CD, and at the prompt typing fixmbr. Or boot to a Win98 or WinMe bootdisk that contains the FDISK tool, then perform a fdisk /mbr on the drive.


Last edited by redduc900; 04-02-12 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 04-02-12, 03:31 PM Thread Starter   #7
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Originally Posted by redduc900 View Post
It's just a matter of booting to the Recovery Console using the XP CD, and at the prompt typing fixmbr. Or boot to a Win98 or WinMe bootdisk that contains the FDISK tool, then perform a fdisk /mbr on the drive.
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