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Multiple Issues on XP Home: Reinstall issues, etc. Help!


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9 replies to this topic

#1 IslandOwl

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:15 AM

I am trying to fix some problems on a client's Compaq Presario V6000 running Windows XP Home Edition. I think a full reinstall of the OS may be necessary but am having problems even with that. My preference, of course, is to fix the problems below without having to reinstall the OS. I have pulled off some of the client's data but since I cannot get it to read a blank CD, an external drive or a large 2.0 flash drive I have not been able to back up everything. It will read a 1GB flash drive of an earlier generation. (Of course the client had no backups and had never done a system restore point - see below regarding my clientele.)

The current problems are:
1. Setup from a Windows Home Edition CD cannot see the HD: "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed on your computer". (I had hoped to set up a partition and reinstall the OS and then bring the user data over to the new install and then nuke the old one. I have done that before on a Dell that got caught in the isass.exe snafu when XP SP2 came out. I had also hoped to run Windows repair from setup to see if that would fix the problems on the current OS install.)
1.5 The Windows XP Home Edition CD is one I have that is a stand alone. It is not an OEM disk. I don't know if that matters. There are no recovery disks for this computer and since it will not see a blank CD in the drive I cannot make one.
2. The computer cannot connect to the Internet (wired or wireless).
3. I can now boot from the HD after doing repairs via the repair console but some of the icons in Control Panel still will not open; specifically Network Connections and Add Hardware - which I tried to use to see if I could get it to recognize one of the drives listed above. (This was a problem before the Fixboot and fixmbr was done too. I tried the MS kb953791 fix to no avail.)
4. I can open Device Manager both from Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager and from a command prompt but they come up empty.
5. Another odd thing is that if I look at the Control Panel in detail list view the only "details" available are Name and Comments - nothing else.

Brief History of what I have done so far. (And some of it may have been wrong!)
1. The beginning of the problems was the dreaded black screen of death which probably started after the SP3 security patch in November. I followed the instructions in Microsoft kb/314503 to use the Recovery Console to FIXBOOT and FIXMBR. That was successful eventually. It now boots all the way up with no black screen.
2. By the way, I did full system scans using Malwarebytes and Norton 360 (which the client had installed and was set for daily updates - until the internet connection died). This computer actually got scanned frequently so both scans came up relatively clean. I also did a full Disk Diagnostic - came back with no errors and a CHKDSK too.
2. At first the Recovery Console would not work due to not seeing the drives. I booted from the HD and tried to run MS kb/953791 off of a flash drive to fix the blank Device Manager & Network Connections Screen. It did not work.
3. In discussing all these problems with a tech friend he suggested I remove SP3. He said it would take the computer back to an earlier point and hopefully it would work. I did that but I think it may have been a mistake. It did not seem to help anything at all and I noticed I could no longer open Norton 360.
4. I finally got the Setup to see the drives long enough for the Recovery Console to fix the Boot and MBR by cleaning up the registry by running a CCleaner scan when booted from the HD . However I have tried that again to no avail. I cannot get Setup to see the HD now.
5. I do have a Hijack This log but I know this is not the correct forum to post it on. If you want to see it, please let me know and I will post it there. I have also run Belarc Adviser. I am wondering if I need to delete some of the other MS fixes to fully take the OS back to just SP2 and if that would then solve the problems. (Obviously, I would reinstall most of the security fixes AFTER I made recovery disks if I got the machine working well on SP2.)

Though I have been a Techie-Have-To-Be for years I am fairly new to working on other peoples' computers. My business idea was to teach better computer skills to seniors in their home on their own computers. However I have ended up needing to do tech work first just to clear out the messes on their home machines! I am enjoying the work . . . until I hit this one!

TIA
IslandOwl

Edited by IslandOwl, 01 February 2010 - 11:16 AM.


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#2 garmanma

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:51 AM

Are the hard drives recognized in the BIOS?
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

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#3 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:32 PM

I have a v6000 and it came with media edition 2005 i think. Other 6kseries laptops have home or pro. The serial number entered on the hp/compaq site will tell you which or choose the full model number from this list:
http://h20180.www2.hp.com/apps/Lookup?h_pa...ebook+PC+series

I ordered the recovery cd set for about 20.00.

It is out as a loaner right now while I fix an hp desktop, but I think I remember enough to help.

If you have a recovery disk set and a spare laptop drive, just put in the new drive and run the restore set to see if the rest of the hardware is working. The existing drive can be put into a desktop as a slave (with a cheap laptop adapter) and chkdsk and backup from there.

Booting from a live ubuntu 9.10 cd will automatically test the existing drive and read the smart data, then mount the old drive if it is not damaged. It will take any kind of usb device and allow you to copy data from the old drive to an external or a network location.

This model should also have a recovery partition. (f-10 at the splash screen?) Clonzilla will image both the recovery partition and the c: partition and write it to a different drive if needed.

Some HP/Compaq laptops have a tool that reallocates the recovery partiton and lots of things that damage software can damage the recovery partition.

#4 IslandOwl

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:18 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, the hard drive is recognized in the BIOS. I can completely boot from the hard drive as well.

Am I barking up the wrong tree here? Do I need to reinstall to solve these problems?

Has anyone come across this strange Control Panel behavior - of only showing the Name & Comments, nothing else and having many of the icons inoperable? If so, what was the cause? How did you fix it?

What does the collection of problems sound like to you wizards?

They are:
Not able to get on the internet
Empty Network Connect screen, Empty Device Manager screen
Control Panel only showing Name & Comments
Not "seeing" an external drive or a writable CD
But able to read a CD and recognize an early generation 1GB Flash drive.


I have ordered the recovery disk from HP. Should be here by the weekend.
I am not going to worry about the Win XP Setup not finding the hard drive unless it happens on the HP recovery CD. The disk I was using is a XP Home stand alone instead of an OEM disk.

TIA
IslandOwl

#5 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 03:34 PM

Sounds like software damage after cleaning (or even attempting to clean) some nasty trojans or rootkits to me. I usually get to the reinstall to a clean drive point before I get more than two of them.

#6 IslandOwl

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 10:10 AM

Thanks Ken. Yep, the disks came so I did a clean reinstall. I am amazed that they put all that bloatware on the System Restore disks. They really mean it when they say the disks bring it back to the factory settings!!

#7 garmanma

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 07:38 PM

I am amazed that they put all that bloatware on the System Restore disks

PC Decrapifier:
http://download.cnet.com/PC-Decrapifier/30...4-10636481.html

The PC Decrapifier is a program designed to remove or uninstall a specific list unwanted software in an unattended fashion. It can be used to clean off most of the annoying software that is typically shipped with newer PCs.


Mark
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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
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#8 cryptodan

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 07:43 PM

The first issue is that you may need a driver disk to provide the SATA Controller drivers even if the drives are found and listed by the BIOS. I would look on HP's site to see if they list the driver CD's. Your issue is common with SATA Controller Cards. Every computer I have had, I had to use a SATA Driver install Disk and press F6 to install them in order to get Windows XP to install. Vista didn't have that issue since its newer and has support for sata controllers built in.

As far as the other things go, you may just need to reinstall the drivers.

#9 IslandOwl

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 10:26 PM

Thanks everyone. I was able to get the data off 1GB by 1GB because it was recognizing an older generation flash drive. Luckily there was only about 10 GB that needed to be saved. I did the full system restore as mentioned and then today got everything back to full operation. (Boy, her computer is so much faster now that I can see why some techs advocate doing a full reinstall every so often!) Once I did the restore it recognized the 16 GB flash drive so getting her data back on was a snap.

Anyway, as far as I am concerned we can consider this thread closed. Thank you again. :thumbsup:

Edited by IslandOwl, 05 February 2010 - 10:28 PM.


#10 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 04:09 PM

for future reference:

if you restore a lot of laptops and oem desktops to "out of box" like I do, you will need to put the MCafee remover, the symantec remover and the vongo list of registry and files to delete. and "The Windows Installer CleanUp Utility"

------------

http://service.mcafee.com/FAQDocument.aspx?id=TS100507

http://service1.symantec.com/Support/tsgen...005033108162039

This tool will remove vongo.Google for description.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301




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