Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Problems with a Dell


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 jon51

jon51

  • Members
  • 57 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:49 PM

Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:32 PM

I am attempting to fix this computer for a friend. A windows system 32 file was corrupted and after attempting safe mode, last known config booting and a repair attempt with no luck I decided to reinstall windows. So the lady that gave me the computer said the Windows Xp disc was already in it. So I booted from CD and installed Windows. Going through the initial setup the CD Key on the sticker did not work. I pulled out to CD to find that it was a CD that she had me use before on another computer. Its and unattended Corporate copy (no idea where she got it). When I tried this first install I did not delete the small (FAT) partition that was already on it, just the NTFS partition. So my questions are

1.) Should I delete this small FAT partition when working with Dells?
2.) Is the CD Key on the sticker a standard OEM Key or a Dell specific key?
3.) If the key is a standard OEM and I install from an OEM disc can I get all the Dell drivers from the website or do I have to find the actual CD's that came with the computer.


You guys have never let me down :thumbsup:

Thanks for any help.

Edited by jon51, 01 November 2009 - 04:32 PM.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 garmanma

garmanma

    Computer Masochist


  • Members
  • 27,809 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cleveland, Ohio
  • Local time:12:49 AM

Posted 01 November 2009 - 06:36 PM

That partition is the recovery partition
Mark
Posted Image
why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook and Twitter

#3 jon51

jon51
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 57 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:49 PM

Posted 01 November 2009 - 07:33 PM

That partition is the recovery partition



So....Can I do anything with that partition now that I have reformatted the main partition or do I just have to delete it and start over with a fresh install?

#4 jon51

jon51
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 57 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:49 PM

Posted 02 November 2009 - 10:33 AM

bump

Edited by jon51, 02 November 2009 - 10:33 AM.


#5 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,541 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:10:49 PM

Posted 02 November 2009 - 11:46 AM

A recovery partition...generally contains files which are needed to effect a system recovery, using the mechanisms provided by the manufacturer of the system.

If you don't care about using such...or if you have a CD with valid license that you can use to achieve the same end and which does not depend on that partition...go for it.

If it's a Dell system, it's a Dell-specific key (I would imagine). There is no such thing as a "standard OEM key" since every key is geared to a particular type of license. Microsoft sells OEM licenses to persons like me (they now call them "system-builder" licenses) because not everyone wants to purchase a Dell, an HP, etc.

If it's a Dell system...chances are that you have a recovery/reinstallation disk that relates to that system alone. Such contain drivers and programs, in addition to the O/S files...and should not be treated as if they are Genuine Windows CDs which can be used to repair/install Windows XP on a system.

Louis

#6 cotesy

cotesy

  • Members
  • 33 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rochdale, UK
  • Local time:04:49 AM

Posted 02 November 2009 - 05:34 PM

The copy of the Windows XP Install CD must match the version on the license key to work.

If the key states XP Home Edition - you need an XP Home CD Original or Service Pack 1
If the key states XP Home Edition SP2 - you need an XP Home CD Service Pack 2

Hopefully you get the idea. The other versions in existance here in the UK are XP Media Centre Edition (2 Disk), XP Pro, XP Pro SP2, XP Pro SP3 and XP Pro SP3A. All Pro versions are also available as x32 and x64 versions.

The service pack issue is important as older license keys will not activate a newer CD version, i.e. the key will not work if its an original using a SP2 CD. I carry one copy of every version just to handle all possibilities for my clients.

The Dell unit would have come with recovery CD's which used the partition you mention. There is only one proper way to lose that partition without using special software and that involves using the old DOS prompt.

If you can - Boot the machine using the Windows XP CD. On the first screen it shows, select the option for Recovery Console.
Follow the prompts.

When you get to a c:\> prompt - type DISKPART
the prompt will change to DISKPART>
type LIST DISK
from the list it displays, identify the drive you wish to work with. IMPORTANT - If more than one Hard Drive is installed, you must make sure you identify the correct Drive as this procedure will lose all information very quickly.
If your drive is shown as Disk 1 (for example) - type SELECT DISK 1
This will make Disk 1 the Active Drive
type CLEAN
This will ask if you are sure and will completely remove all file and partition information in seconds. The drive is ready to install Windows.
Type EXIT to close Diskpart. Reboot your machine using the CD and follow the prompts to reinstall Windows.

Good Luck ;)

#7 jon51

jon51
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 57 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:49 PM

Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:02 PM

Well I think I found the correct Windows CD. I started with a fresh and clean partition and install went fine. During the final setup though it didn't ask for a CD Key or to authenticate. Other than that, the only issue I have is on the reboot I have to manually select which windows to boot up.

"Windows XP Professional"
"Windows XP Professional"

Is there a way to get around this so that it will automatically pick the first one.

#8 ThunderZ

ThunderZ

  • Deactivated
  • 4,454 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:11:49 PM

Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:12 PM

Go to Start > run > type in msconfig Go to the BOOT.INI tab. Click on Check All Boot Paths. That should take care of it.

You can go a little further and manually edit the BOOT.INI but really no need.

#9 jon51

jon51
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 57 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:49 PM

Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:31 PM

Cool thanks for all the advice. Really love this website!

#10 jon51

jon51
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 57 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:49 PM

Posted 02 November 2009 - 10:04 PM

Just one more question. Does anyone know why I did not get a CD Key request on the install or an activation notice? I have never had that happen but I just don't want anything coming up after I give the computer back.


Thanks again.

#11 cotesy

cotesy

  • Members
  • 33 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rochdale, UK
  • Local time:04:49 AM

Posted 03 November 2009 - 03:33 AM

You mentioned she gave you an Unattended Corporate Copy which is aimed at large businesses that have bought a multiple license. Its debatable this will get through the WGA when it eventually installs itself on your machine, but then again it might be fine.

If you've just managed to install XP Pro, you have quite a few updates to download now to get it up to date.

Good Luck

#12 jon51

jon51
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 57 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:49 PM

Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:33 AM

Well I didn't end up using that unattended CD. I found Dell Windows XP Pro Cd's that came with the system. They bought 2 of the same computers and there were 2 Windows reinstall CD's and 2 Drivers CD's stacked together. I just thought it was strange that it didn't ask for either step.

#13 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,541 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:10:49 PM

Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:51 AM

Worth a look, http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/windows-xp...cd-ask-key.html.

I've never owned a Dell, so I don't know just what info is contained on their CDs...but it seems to me that using any sort of recovery/restore CD prepared by Dell...might make the key unnecessary. I don't know how recovery/restore CDs are put together.

Louis

It might be helpful to know the system model.

Edited by hamluis, 03 November 2009 - 10:52 AM.


#14 rosiesdad

rosiesdad

  • Members
  • 220 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:49 AM

Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:47 PM

Dell XP cd's do not request a key on certain vintage machines. If the machine was originally installed with XP (has XP sticker on it) it will install without using a key using a oem dell xp cd.
I imagine same for a vista machine. If you try to put a dell vista dvd on a dell xp machine, it asks for a key. Dont ask how I know. :thumbsup:

#15 Ken-in-West-Seattle

Ken-in-West-Seattle

  • Members
  • 518 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:49 PM

Posted 03 November 2009 - 07:04 PM

Dell oem cds are keyed to the bios. They will nearly all work in any Dell. This can be a problem if you put in a disk to install xp home over xp pro. It will do so while the standard retail disks will refuse. This can bugger an other wise recoverable xp pro install. Luckily I found this out working on a forensic diskimage rather than the original disk so was able to locate the correct Dell disk to do a repair install on the original. Laptop oem disks may or may not work in a desktop. And I know for sure the original Dell xp home sp-1 disk will install on computers with drives less than 32g and simply ask you for a valid cd key at the end when it notices the computer is not a dell.

If the Dell is under warranty, get the owner to buy the replacement media now since Dell will not sell it after the warranty expires.

Slipstreams that work are difficult for Dell oem cds or those who make it work never seem to post a working howto...

The recovery partition is accessed by either f11 key or ctrl f11 (at the bios splash). I have never got it to work since when I get them the disk is usually hosed.

This link may be useful in the future or to access the recovery partition if it is damaged.

http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/fixes.htm

Edited by Ken-in-West-Seattle, 03 November 2009 - 07:06 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users