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XP crash and almost recovery :/


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#1 AndrewRahl

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:27 AM

My friends computer had a corrupt version of xp. When booting it would go to the blue screen of death. None of the safe mode options worked either same blue screen advising that windows was shutdown to protect the computer. My friend wanted to get his music and picture files. I thought about this and remembered trialling Ubuntu on my pc a while back. When running from cd I was able to see the files on the hard drive. So i burned a copy of Ubuntu onto a cd and tried on my friends pc. Success:) so it wasnt an issue w/ hardware. Once all the files required were downloaded onto a portable drive. I tried a fresh XP install (computer is a Dell Dimension 3100). A few mins into the install a stop error came up and the install failed. At this point I thought I would wipe the hard drive by Installing Ubuntu. This install worked perfectly I am actually typing this on my friends pc. So i then tried installing xp from the boot menu again. This time It runs longer but when it asks you if you want to repair, install or quit the keyboard is not responding so you cant choose any of the options. So then I run Ubuntu and being a noob on that OS I try to autorun the xp cd. I soon find this is not an option :/ I look around for a windows emulator so I can get the disc to run and find wine. this is no use as it doesnt run as true emulator and is very specific about the programmes you can install. The keyboard works perfectly well until I am given the option of what to do with the xp disc. Anyone have any ideas?

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#2 USN Vet

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:47 AM

Try another KeyBoard ?
Feel free to ignore my comment, just another user !

#3 makutatobeking

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 01:46 PM

Does the keyboard actually still have power running to it? like, does the NUM Lock key still work, as in, the lights goes off and on as you press it?
- shadow6224

#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:20 AM

Hello and :welcome: to the BC forums.

Try wiping the hard drive clean. You should then be able to install Windows without a problem.

There is ONLY the one HDD attached to the system. Correct?
There is nothing on the hard drive that you wish to keep ... and you would be comfortable with wiping the WHOLE hard drive clean ... correct?


Boot with the Ubuntu CD. At the Ubuntu Desktop, go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal.

In the terminal window that opens, at the prompt, type in the following command exactly as shown (paying attention to the spaces) and then press the <ENTER> key:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=4k conv=notrunc

This command will overwrite the drive with zeroes, and return your hard drive to "as new" condition.

Apart from your hard drive light showing "busy", there will be no indication of anything happening until finished, when you will see output on the terminal screen as follows ...
dd: writing '/dev/sda': No space left on device
followed by some other information.

I have tested on a 2.1GB hard drive and found it to take 17.4 minutes to complete. So, be patient: The time it takes to complete will depend on the size of your hard drive. You may wish to leave it run over-night.

Simply close the terminal window when finished.
Then shut down the computer, removing the Ubuntu CD.

Boot to your Windows installation CD, create a partition on which you wish to install the operating system, format it, and install Windows. Success?

Note 1: You may be using a SATA HDD &/or a retail Microsoft XP CD (not the original DELL installation disks)?
If that is so, you will need to do one of the following:
  • Configure BIOS to see the SATA HDD as an "ATA/IDE compatible" HDD
  • Install SATA drivers either via floppy or on the Windows installation CD (slipstream the drivers to the XP CD).
Note 2: You may have to enter the BIOS Setup Menu and change the configuration to allow the use of USB mouse/keyboard.
Note 3: I have assumed the use of a SATA HDD in the commands used in Ubuntu.

Edited by AustrAlien, 22 June 2011 - 07:47 AM.

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