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reinstall windows xp into old dell


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#1 Gus_Grizwald

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 06:39 PM

Hi
My pc just crashed, lost all my info. It's an old Dell, I have the reinstall disk but it gets to a certain point on the disk (32 minutes left for installation) and it just stops, nothing happens, i have left pc on all day and it still says 32 minutes left.
Please can anybody help??

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#2 .X.

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 04:13 AM

What exactly happened? What do you mean by crashed and lost all info?

I'm not very familiar with Dell reinstallation CDs but if it's like a normal Windows CD you can try booting into the recovery console and running a chkdsk /r. To get to the recovery console either press the F10 key right at the start when you see the F6 prompt or just wait till it's done loading files and you will be presented with a screen to repair your computer with the recovery console. Press R at this point.

#3 Gus_Grizwald

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 06:55 PM

:huh: What I mean to say is that the screen went black, the computer switched off and rebooted by itself and the new black screen said that it could not start because Windows is missing a config.sys file. I already tried the R console thing and that got me into worse trouble. Now it won't start at all. Now I'm trying to reinstall Windows XP from the Dell installation disc and it gets to the 32 minute mark left for installation then just sits there for hours doing nothing.

#4 .X.

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 07:45 PM

Are you doing a quick or full format?

#5 noknojon

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 08:18 PM

Hi .X. -
Could a sfc /scannow find the missing a config.sys file. Or is it too late for that ?

>> Now I'm trying to reinstall Windows XP from the Dell installation disc and it gets to the 32 minute mark left <<

This 'looks' like a full reinstall - 3 links for reinstall
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/operatingsystems/ss/instxpclean1.htm
http://www.theeldergeek.com/clean_installation_of_windows_xp.htm
http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic/138-how-to-repair-windows-xp/page__view__findpost__p__489

Edited by noknojon, 16 October 2011 - 08:20 PM.


#6 legacyabcd

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:16 AM

Gus

When you say the "R console thing" do you mean literally the recovery console, or do you mean R as in repair install? You could try a repair install (it re-writes windows directory basically) instead of a full install and hopefully save your data, unless it's too late for that, and it sounds like it is I'm afraid (since you started the full install). If so, however, you have nothing to lose by trying. Don't despair! It may not have progressed far enough. If it didn't reboot then there is hope. Your data isn't lost until it's over-written. You could boot with another type of recovery disk that can read NTFS filesystem , for example a puppy linux live CD, and copy your files you want over to a thumb drive before they're gone. By files I mean documents photo etc.
Don't despair quite yet.

What happened before all this? What exactly were you doing when the screen went black? Did you have a power outage? Did you install a driver of some kind?
Have you tried to boot into last known good configuration? Have you booted the recovery console and tried fixmbr or espcially BOOTCFG /Rebuild ?

I suggest you read this article http://tech.icrontic.com/articles/repair_windows_xp/ This article has clear explantions and screenshots.

Dont be so quick to reinstall when you have a problem, few problems are so bad that you can't take a crack at them first with other methods. My first instinct is a failing harddrive, or at least some bad sectors, but that's just a gut opinion on my part with little meaning without evidence. How old is this thing anyway?

Edited by legacyabcd, 17 October 2011 - 08:45 AM.


#7 Eyesee

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:41 PM

When you started the setup program with the Dell restoration cd did you delete an recreate the partition?
It sounds to me like you are trying a repair installation instead.

Restart the setup program and when it asks where to install make sure to delete and recreate the partition and then format it with the quick format. It should work then barring a hardware issue.

Edit: Another thing to check is to look at the bottom of the cd. Make sure that it is clean and not excessively scratched.

Edited by Eyesee, 17 October 2011 - 04:21 PM.

In the beginning there was the command line.

#8 legacyabcd

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:12 PM

I think it would be worth checking things out first to try to save his data :wink:

Edited by legacyabcd, 17 October 2011 - 09:13 PM.


#9 Gus_Grizwald

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 01:11 PM

Thanks for your help. I think that the h/d is not recoverable, but is it possible to put in another older hd salvaged from another pc? I did try but it froze on a dos screen telling me to push f1. Is there something that I could do so that my pc would accept it.
I just restarted the dell and it has frozen on the blue screen that asks for a choice of consul repair or new installation.
again thanks

#10 legacyabcd

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 06:04 AM

Hi.. Yes, it is possible. It depends on how old your computer is. It may either detect it automatically, or you will have to set up in the BIOS.

Dell's have used different key combinations over the years. It could be F2, F12, or the delete key. Can you get into the BIOS?

It's just a thought, but my experience as a tech has taught me that when there are inconsistent freezes/hangs, you could be looking at a bad power supply, loose/dirty RAM, or your cooling fan may have stopped, resulting in an overheating processor. Check those things out, especially the dirty cooling fan and see if that helps. I'm not saying it's likely, but I have sen it before. The point is, that if it IS somethinglike that, the symptoms will send you down many false paths and drive you crazy. So, at the least, is the fan on the processor turning, making a nice hum?

Just recently, I had a laptop someone thought had a bad hard drive. You know what it was? A big dust bunny in the cooling fins of the processor heat sink.

LOL.. So, can you get into the BIOS? What kind of dell, ie what is the make and model?

It's hard to tell from your posts, but do you consider yourself pretty experienced? I don't want to tell you things you already know, and if I do it's because I want to help, and it's best to be simple and systematic.

Edited by legacyabcd, 20 October 2011 - 06:06 AM.


#11 Gus_Grizwald

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 11:37 AM

Hi guys
and thank you legacyabcd, in last desperate effort I followed your advice and went to the website you mentioned. I got it going again. Thank you very much you all gave great advice and I will continue to visit this site.
Great job
Gus :clapping: :clapping:




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