Hi, for the first PC run the hard drive diagnostics as a first step to be sure the hard drive is in good health. See below.
With the other PC, as you know where it came from your only way into it would be to ask the previous owner what the password was, other than that you will have to do a Repair Install, see below.
Identify the make of your hard drive and then use the appropriate link below to get the manufacturer's diagnostics.
These are direct links to the download (apart from Western Digital) so the download will start as soon as you click on the link.
These diagnostics are only available as ISO images to burn to CD except for Excelstore who also provide a download for a USB flash drive. Please note that this USB version is only
for use on Excelstore
hard drives.Excelstore ISO for CD Or USB flash drive (instructions included in Readme.txt file)Hitachi/IBMSeagate, Samsung, Maxtor & QuantumWestern Digital Click on the Download button next to Diag504fCD.isoNOTE: For Toshiba/Fujitsu, or any make of drive not listed, use the diagnostics from the Seagate link.
For the downloads that are in a .zip
file, right click the file and select Extract Here
and burn the image to a CD
. (A re-recordable CD will be fine).
In Windows 7 right click the extracted file, select Open With
, then select Windows Disc Image Burning Tool
then follow the prompts.
For all other versions of windows (if you do not have an ISO burner) download this free software. ImgBurn
Install the program and start the application. Select the top left hand option to Write image file to disc
and then on the next window click on the small yellow folder icon and browse to the file you have downloaded from the links above. Then click on the two grey discs with the arrow in between (bottom left) and leave it to complete the operation.
Boot the PC into the Bios setup and set the CD/DVD drive to 1st in the boot sequence. Insert the disk in the drive then reboot and the disc will load into dos. Always select the Extended Test where available.NOTE: Unfortunately the hard drive is the one item in your PC that will fail, it is not a case of if but a case of when. It is an electrical/mechanical device and therefore it will wear out. Hence the need to keep regular back ups of all your important data to an external source, DVD's or Blu-ray discs are the most dependable but if you have 1000's of GB's of data then an external hard drive would be a better choice, unfortunately that drive too will eventually fail, so DVD's or Blu-ray discs are the safest option for crucial data that you would be devastated to loose.XP Repair Install
To run a Repair Install on XP which has Internet Explorer 7 or 8 installed you will first need to revert Internet Explorer back to IE6 or IE will not function after the Repair.
Follow this guide: Revert Internet Explorer back to IE6
Now check what Service Pack is included on your Windows XP installation disc.
The repair install will revert the Service Pack level back to what is included on the CD, so unless it has SP3 included it will save a lot of time downloading and installing updates, after the repair, if you create a copy of the XP disc with SP3 integrated into it.
Follow this guide to create a slipstreamed copy of XP to include SP3.
SATA drivers need to be included if you have a SATA hard drive, if you don't, simply skip that part of the instructions and only add the Service Pack.Slipstream XP with SP3 and SATA drivers
Make quite sure you have a record of the XP Product key. It can normally be found on a Product Key sticker on the case of the PC. You may require this after the Repair to re-validate XP.
Use this guide to find the Key: How to find your XP Product Key
Follow this guide to run the Repair Install: XP Repair Install
As a precaution, in the event of something going wrong, you should back up all your important data from the hard drive to an external drive or CD/DVD's. If any errors occur during the Repair it may be necessary to run a format and clean install , in which case all data and installed software will be lost.
Edited by mark1956, 24 March 2012 - 02:02 PM.