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XP issues - I've messed up


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#1 newschick

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 01:19 PM

I have messed up my laptop I think ..... I have a Dell Latitude D820 that did have XP Pro loaded - but now had XP Home.

I am normally semi-computer literate, and very cautious of downloads, etc. ... but I don't know what has happened. I then tried to "fix it" myself and am afraid I've past the point of no return.

A couple of days ago I replaced the battery in the laptop. It was supposedly brand new (ordered from Amazon). Afterwards, I noticed that the volume icon did not show down in my toolbar. I tried to add it back and I was told it had not been installed. I thought it was odd, but didn't dwell on it.

The internet suddenly my screen froze. I suppose I made the fatal mistake, but I waited for quite sometime and tried to start task manager to no avail. I finally powered down the laptop. From that point on, I couldn't get past the Windows screen, it would never load to the desktop.

I tried to load from last restore point in a recovery mode -- no luck. I tried everything I could think of to get it back to the desktop. I found something on a forum about a glitch in the last Microsoft updates that were messing with XP systems ... I went into the CHDIR and did the $NtUnistall thing on the recommended updates. Still no luck.

I do not have the original disks for this laptop, as I purchased this from my former employer (who most likely purchased it used himself). But, I remembered I had my system disk from my old Dell PC. I thought at the least I could get to the desktop. I had the option to load XP again, and this is most likely where I really screwed up. I didn't create a new folder I let it over write the existing one. Then after all is said and done, I realize the disk is for XP Home and I had XP Pro. The resolution is all screwed up and twice afterwards I got a blue screen with an error (the one I wrote down was STOP: 0x000050 and then 0x000008E. I was able to download a driver for the wireless card and get online. I downloaded a few other recommended drivers on the Dell site.

I can go to all programs, etc. and find some of my old stuff but I guess I deleted XP Pro.

I've update to SP3 and to IE8. I am in the process of trying to reactivate my AviraGuard.

I assume I cannot restore back to when I had XP Pro since I don't have a Pro disk. However, it is my understanding that I had I choice the old user name when re-installing XP it would have transferred my files. I do not do this. I didn't format the drive I just chose to over ride the existing XP. I know the old user name is still on the drive as well as the files I need, but I can't get to them to run them. I can find them in the program files, but not as my user. I also renamed the computer. I can see the files so I know they are there but they don't show in add/delete programs, etc.


I typically am not very technical but have a general common sense knowledge here ... right now, I've read so much and screwed up so much that I think my brain is as fried as my laptop.

If anyone would be so kind to help me ... please tell what you would recommend I do ... step by step as I feel really dumb right now. I am afraid to do anything else. I have no idea what caused the crash to start with. Perhaps the battery ? Perhaps the windows updates ?

Bottom line is that I need to get my old programs and files from the previous user/computer name moved to the new user/comptuer name.

Can anyone help me ? Or suggest anything else I might need to do ?

Edited by boopme, 18 February 2010 - 03:10 PM.


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#2 boopme

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:12 PM

Cleaned up post as this is cleaned and she erred in her explanation.
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#3 hamluis

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 04:09 PM

Thanks, Boopme :thumbsup:.

What was the old system...the one whose disks you used to install XP Home?

When you look at the C: partition...how many Windows folders do you see?

Louis

#4 newschick

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 05:39 AM

Thanks, Boopme :thumbsup:.

What was the old system...the one whose disks you used to install XP Home?

When you look at the C: partition...how many Windows folders do you see?

Louis

The old system was my old Dell (old was Dell and current is Dell) that bit the dust several years ago. Is that what you mean ?

I really didn't consider using it to re-install, I honestly thought it was just a boot/recovery disk and well, I just followed the instructions .... but evidently didn't make the right choices.

If I just go to my computer and then C: drive I see one Windows folder. There are a few folders I can see in the list that I can't "access". They are a lighter yellow color and you cannot open them - like the System Volume Info folder (and others). There are folders in the Windows folder that are the same way.

I hope I've answered your corrections correctly. I appreciate your taking the time to try to help me.

#5 Romeo29

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 06:02 AM

You cannot install XP Home over XP Professional for upgrading. However it can be done other way around. Though you can install Home and Pro in dual boot mode.
Do this :

- Open command prompt (Press Windows Key + R, type cmd and press Enter)
- Then type this notepad %systemdrive%\boot.ini and press Enter. Copy/paste contents here.
- You can type dir c:\ > 1.txt | notepad 1.txt in the command prompt and copy/paste here too.

Edited by Romeo29, 19 February 2010 - 06:35 AM.


#6 newschick

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 06:56 AM

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons


Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 8816-016C

Directory of c:\

02/11/2008 01:45 PM <DIR> 33938d027c8bd0ac20db6ddf
02/28/2009 01:48 PM <DIR> 911a7d07b1a35279b381
03/11/2009 06:42 AM 1,788 aaw7boot.log
05/26/2008 09:20 AM <DIR> AOL Instant Messenger
05/26/2008 09:20 AM <DIR> aolextras
08/11/2004 06:15 PM 0 AUTOEXEC.BAT
02/11/2008 01:46 PM <DIR> cb65a7251a8d267c1aaf4643
08/03/2004 10:00 PM 260,272 cmldr
03/10/2009 07:58 AM <DIR> ComboFix
03/08/2009 01:24 PM 17,216 ComboFix.txt
08/11/2004 06:15 PM 0 CONFIG.SYS
05/26/2008 09:20 AM <DIR> csextras
02/15/2010 06:41 PM <DIR> dell
02/16/2010 01:30 PM <DIR> Documents and Settings
05/08/2006 07:41 PM <DIR> drivers
04/14/2009 09:29 AM <DIR> epson
02/17/2010 08:46 PM <DIR> f41d31132bd255990239a8bd59
05/14/2009 01:05 PM 530,083 HC4DecommissionScheduler.exe
11/26/2009 08:07 AM <DIR> i386
06/10/2007 09:52 AM 4,128 INFCACHE.1
05/26/2008 09:20 AM <DIR> Install AOL 7.0
05/26/2008 09:20 AM <DIR> Install Spinner
05/26/2008 09:20 AM <DIR> Install Winamp
04/24/2008 09:04 PM 195 INSTALL.LOG
02/18/2010 07:03 AM <DIR> Intel
02/13/2010 07:28 AM <DIR> logs
05/26/2008 09:19 AM <DIR> My Music
02/18/2010 01:35 PM <DIR> Program Files
02/19/2010 06:45 AM <DIR> WINDOWS
11/05/2008 10:07 PM 150 YServer.txt
9 File(s) 813,832 bytes
21 Dir(s) 75,685,474,304 bytes free

#7 cryptodan

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 01:26 PM

What does it say on the COA where you find the product key of windows. If it says Home then you have always had home, if it says professional then the lap top came with professional and you removed it and replaced it with Home.

FYI: Home Product Keys will not work on XP Pro installs.

#8 Romeo29

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 02:07 PM

So you have present Windows installed on D: [multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)] but you also have C:\Windows which appears to be your older Windows folder. I guess that you booted off XP Home and installed Windows on D:.

You can take ownership of the folders and access them, copy and save the documents you want.
How to take ownership of a folder : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421

You will have to re-install programs afresh because in most of the cases Windows does not allow copying programs and using them. Windows needs a program to be properly installed before use.

Another useful article from MS : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/810881

Edited by Romeo29, 19 February 2010 - 02:12 PM.


#9 hamluis

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 02:46 PM

I think there's a mistake in thinking regarding C: and D:.

I believe that some boxmakers install their recovery software on the 1st partition which would be C:, resulting in Windows going on the second partition. That's what the boot.ini implies to me, since Windows is on the 2d partition. Some Dell systems utilize such partitions.

When this install is booted into, the XP partition recognizes itself as C:., since it doesn't count the restore/recovery/boxmaker 1st partition.

To see said partition, we would need a Disk Management screen shot.

Then again...I just may not be thinking clearly, it happens all too often :thumbsup:.

I also think we have to throw out the normal rules about installing over XP, if the system uses recovery/restore media...that play by the rules programmed into the system and the CD.

Back to my nap :flowers:...

Louis

#10 Romeo29

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 06:26 PM

After hamluis hinted, I looked for specifications for Dell Latitude D820 and found that it originally came with a 100GB disk. If the hard disk stayed same all these years, and dir c: command shows 75 GB free making around 10-15GB free for Dell system partition then hamluis is right :trumpet:

Even in that case you would have to take ownership of the folders and files as I mentioned in the last post, if you get access denied error.

:flowers: hamluis :thumbsup:

#11 joseibarra

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:20 PM

Windows likes to put your user documents (and things) in the Documents and Settings folder.

Every user has a Documents and Settings folder and one and you have one on C. You should browse (using Explorer) in that folder and see if you see things that are familiar to you. You will have to look under your login name and poke around and see if you can find things that you would like to save/keep.

I do not use my Documents and Settings folder for stuff, but unless you consciously made a decision to put things elsewhere I would start looking there for your personal items.

You also have a folder in C called My Music and that doesn't look right (it should not be there normally - is XP Home different?), so you need to look in there too and see if there is anything in there that looks like stuff you want.

If you can't get into the folders under Documents and Settings because of permissions, we can fix that too by taking ownership as suggested. If it doesn't work, we can make it work. Find your stuff!

Some of those other folders... hmmm... mostly boring stuff and I looks like you ran Combofix but that's okay for now. A bunch of install folders, logs, not too exciting but take a look under all the folders anyway and especially Documents and Settings and see what you can figure out.

You have an i386 and a Dell folder, so I would say it is a factory install or close - trying to upgrade/downgrade may not have been a good idea in hindsight.

Also, lets get a directory of the D drive - almost as before with a couple adjustments for D:

dir d:\ > 2.txt | notepad 2.txt

That command runs the dir command on the d: drive, redirects the output to a file called 2.txt and then runs notepad on 2.txt so you can see it. You did the same for C:, now do it for D. Let's see what is on D. If it is a Dell Recovery Partition, fine. If it looks like some of your "stuff" might be out there, we need to figure it out.

Since the installation has many questions and is not looking 100% Windowsy at all right now, I would offer a salvage mission instead of a recovery mission. Salvage all your personal stuff you can find off to a USB drive, or some DVDs, or CDs, then borrow an XP Home/Pro CD, make a copy of the CD to keep (that's legal) only and reinstall XP AFTER getting your license information from your current installation (we can do that part later). Don't reinstall if you are not sure about that part.

If you try to fix what you have I am afraid it will just get worse the more you use it and try to fix it so it works right. Then if you need help some other day, your system might be too goofy to figure out, you might forget things you did this week... it needs to be more normal.

Forget System Restore and all those things that might work maybe. Honestly, it looks pretty screwed up to me, but your "stuff" may be still there to safely copy off someplace else. You will have to look for things with some exploring and now that you know how to do directories, we can help understand what might be new to you.

Hold off on using any Dell CDs you have for now. First, save your stuff.

You will end up having to reinstall all your non Windows stuff - AOL and printers and other stuff like that (things you'll find under C:\Program Files), but that's the way it goes. At least you will know what you have when you are done.

You can also use the XP search functions. Look for *.doc or *.jpg or *.wmv, *.xls, (etc.) and see what you can find, search for parts of file names: *jose*, etc.

In the event you don't have any stuff to salvage, don't care and just want a good system again, I would just whack that thing and start from scratch but if you do, there is some preparation to be done before you do that - like record on paper all your paid for licence information so when you reinstall, you will have it.

I'm big on "stuff" today.

Edited by joseibarra, 19 February 2010 - 07:43 PM.

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#12 newschick

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 05:40 AM

Ok, my brain is now on overload and feels in worse shape than my computer ... I am going to back and read each of your replies to answer them. I've been busy with work and this is the first time I have had time to sit back down and work on this. Thank you ALL for your time and willingness to help me.

#13 newschick

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 05:58 AM

What does it say on the COA where you find the product key of windows. If it says Home then you have always had home, if it says professional then the lap top came with professional and you removed it and replaced it with Home.

FYI: Home Product Keys will not work on XP Pro installs.


I don't know what COA means, but the Microsoft sticker on the bottom of the laptop contains this information:

WINDOW XP PROFESSIONAL
DELL
(has a bar code and a tiny # underneath it)
Product Key C3JB ..... (the whole thing is there)
The top right hand corner of the sticker is Microsoft c. 2005
and then there are few small #'s in the bottom right hand corner.

#14 newschick

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 06:00 AM

To see said partition, we would need a Disk Management screen shot.


If thid Disk Management screen shot is not something that is requested in the remaining items for me to do, please advise how to do this and I will provide it for you.

Edited by newschick, 20 February 2010 - 06:01 AM.


#15 joseibarra

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 06:20 AM

COA = Certificate of Authenticity (a sticker with info on it)

Here is one free tool that will retrieve your license information from the registry needed to reinstall products that need them. Download the latest build from the right, save it on your desktop, extract it, run it, save and/or print the information needed to activate your product if you choose to reinstall things. It is a good thing to have no matter what you decide to do. Print it, stick it with your installation CDs.

Something like this will work:

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder 2.0.1
http://www.magicaljellybean.com

When you run it, it will tell you things like this and maybe more for your system,

Microsoft Windows XP Professional
12345-12345-12345-12345-12345

Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003
12345-12345-12345-12345-12345

Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007
12345-12345-12345-12345-12345

Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007
12345-12345-12345-12345-12345

Edited by joseibarra, 20 February 2010 - 06:21 AM.

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