A friend of mine gave me a VAIO Pentium 4 laptop with a Windows XP and Linux GRUB dual boot. Since he was using it as a Linux machine, he partitioned the drive and the XP side only had about 600 Mb free space. The VAIO requires about 5 Gb to create a set of recovery disks, so I couldn't do that. I don't have the password for the Linux OS.
The previous owner didn't want to mess with the partitions or the GRUB dual boot because he was afraid that if he didn't the computer wouldn't boot at all. I messed with it, and he was right.
I want to convert it to an XP only computer. Directions online tell me to get a recovery console and run FIXMBR. I did that, and the result was a flashing underscore after the VAIO flash screen.
I used the recovery console from here.
When that happened, I used the same disk to run BOOTFIX. That didn't help.
After that, I followed the directions on this page.
I ran CHKDSK/R and then tried to restore to an earlier point. Neither worked.
Someone at work gave me a copy of an XP disk, and I tried to use the recovery console to 'repair' the Windows files. I still only get a flashing underscore.
Since the laptop is almost empty, I'm willing to do a clean install. I've been careful to avoid messing with the partition where VAIO keeps the recovery information.
Please help me get this laptop working again.