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Repair XP without CDs?


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#1 MM53

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 05:47 PM

 

I'm trying to repair XP Home Edition on my 88 year-old mother's HP Pavilion a1000y (PY194AV#ABA) PC. She powered off the PC during an update and trashed the OS.
 

This PC contains one 40 Gb Seagate ST340014AS HD partitioned as:

C: HP_PAVILION

D: HP_RECOVERY
 

The first indication of a problem was:
 

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

 

This seems to be a common problem and I found a variety of possible solutions on the web.
 

1) Tried to expand hal.dll from a borrowed XP Upgrade CD to windows\system32 directory . This led me to discover that the system32 folder is gone. Tried to unhide system32. No luck.

 

2) Tried to rebuild boot.ini.
 

Existing boot.ini is:
 

[boot loader]

timeout=3

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" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

I don't see any problems there, but I don't claim to be an expert.

 

On either C: or D: drive, bootcfg /rebuild results in:
 

"Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdsk to detect any disk errors."
 

On either the C: or D: drive, chkdsk with no switches results in The volume appears to be in good condition and was not checked.
 

On C:, chkdsk /r results in:

CHKDSK is checking the volume...

CHKDSK is performing additional checking or recovery...

CHKDSK is performing additional checking or recovery...

CHKDSK is performing additional checking or recovery...

CHKDSK found and fixed one or more errors on the volume.

31192556 kb total disk space

14032784 kb are available

4096 bytes in each allocation unit

7798 total allocation units on disk

3508196 allocation units available on disk
 

I ran chkdsk /r multiple times on this volume and errors are found and fixed every time.

On D: the result is:

CHKDSK is checking the volume...

CHKDSK is performing additional checking or recovery...

CHKDSK is performing additional checking or recovery...

CHKDSK is performing additional checking or recovery...

CHKDSK is performing additional checking or recovery...

CHKDSK has finished checking the volume.
7862084 kb total disk space

2256888 kb are available

4096 bytes in each allocation unit

1965521 total allocation units on disk

564222 allocation units available on disk
 

I attached the hard drive to another PC via a SATA to USB adapter and ran Seagate's SeaTools five times. No errors were found.  Scanned the drive with McAfee and Malwarebytes anti-malware tool.  Nothing unusual was found.

While I had this drive attached to PC #2, I copied the contents of the drive to a folder on PC #2.  Could not use backup since it wanted to include PC #2's contents on the backup.  PC #2 is running Vista Home Basic.  At least I have the documents and settings folder.


3) Tried the procedure detailed here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1664082/posts  After accepting the licensing agreement it says:

Setup cannot find a previous version of Windows installed on your computer.  To continue, Setup needs to verify that you qualify ti use this upgrade product. Please insert one of the following Windows product CDs into the CD-ROM drive:  (followed by a list of full version editions)


As noted above, no CDs were shipped with the PC, so I don't have any of the disks requested.

From various sources on the Web, it appears that a repair can be done using the I386 directory (which, if I understand correctly, is nothing more than the contents of an XP installation CD).  However, everything I can find requires that you do something via Windows or DOS, neither of which I have access to.  As I said above, Windows is toast, which I assume includes DOS.  All I have access to is the Recovery Console.  And again, if I understand correctly, you cannot run an executable from the Recovery Console.  It seems like there must be a way to repair XP from I386 without being in Windows or DOS.

Note: Booting from the borrowed upgrade CD to the Recovery Console results in:

1: D:\I386
2: D:\MiniNT

Which Windows installation would you like to log onto


I've been working in I386.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Obviously, a non-destuctive repair is preferred, with existing settings and software intact and functional.  But I have the CDs for the essential (i.e. expensive) software, so a clean XP install is a viable option (though a last resort).

Thanks in advance!

 

 

 

 



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#2 Roodo

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 06:48 PM

have you tried f8 in advanced boot menu and do a dell recovery? or ctrl+f11

Edited by Roodo, 13 December 2013 - 06:49 PM.


#3 MM53

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:56 PM

Which option in F8?  Safe Mode or Last Known Good config results in the same hal.dll error.

Dell recovery?  This is an HP computer.

CTRL F11 is BIOS Setup.  Do what there?



#4 Roodo

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 12:26 AM

Sorry, whats f11. That should be the recovery console. Just keep tapping on it
when ya first boot. also can you dir drive c:

#5 hamluis

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 07:57 AM

See HP support webpage, notably Starting a Recovery section, http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=bph07144&tmp_task=solveCategory&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&product=461232#N93 .  Note that a system recovery will return the system to initial state when purchased...it is HP's answer to "repairing" system situations.

 

Louis



#6 MM53

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:47 AM

Thanks guys.

Yes Roodo, as noted in my original post, I've been to the Recovery Console, which is also accessed by F10 when the blue HP startup screen appears.  Yes, I can dir C: from the Recovery Console.

Hamluis, this system does not follow the HP procedure per your link.  Booting from the hard drive and hitting F10, it goes to a screen asking to you select from either XP or Recovery Console.  Selecting Recovery Console take you to the screen noted in my original post asking you to choose from I386 or MiniNT to log into.  Selecting I386 takes you to a DOS prompt for D:\I386.

Booting from the CD, it gives you choices of 1) setup XP now, 2) repair a Windows XP or 3) quit setup without installing Windows XP.  Option 2 simply repeats the scenario above that ends in DOS prompt D:\I386.  I assume option 1 will attempt do a complete reformat and reinstallation of XP, which I will do as a last resort.  However, is it going to install XP from the CD or the I386 directory?  As I said, this is a borrowed upgrade CD and has already been installed on another PC.  Even if it would allow me to install XP on a second PC, it's not going to allow installation unless it finds an existing installation of an earlier version of Windows.  Tight?

And several times today I've gotten a BSOD for PROCESS1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED 0x0000006B (0x80000016, 0x0000003, 0x0000000) while booting from the CD.



#7 Roodo

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:02 AM

Is the bios configured correctly to boot the c drive first.



#8 MM53

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:13 AM

Configured to boot floppy first, then optical drive then C:.  Obviously, if there is no floppy or CD present, it will boot from C:.



#9 Roodo

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:22 AM

since its an upgrade disk why do you believe it will reformat.



#10 MM53

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:29 AM

Cut and paste from the link that hamluis provided:

 

CAUTION: A destructive recovery will format the hard drive. This will delete all the information on the hard drive and reinstall Windows XP and the original software that came with the computer .


#11 cmptrgy

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

You are doing a great job trying to do what you need to do but I suspect the best course of action is to reinstall since you don’t have the discs to do so

 

In Hamluis link there is a section further down for related support and one of them being obtaining a recovery cd or dvd set. Refer to that one. Note the section where you need the information on the computers service tag label

--- Since you have an HP computer you can also press Ctrl+Alt+S to get the needed information, although I don’t know whether or not it will work for you if you can’t get into Windows

Also at http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=bph07143&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=461232

There is a section for recovering your computer without recovery discs

--- However since the computer crashed due to a shutdown during Windows Updates I still suspect the best course of action is to do a reinstall

 

You can also check http://www.restoredisks.com/ 678-715-3329

--- Read the information and note you will need the product key that came with your pc when it was purchased



#12 Roodo

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:22 PM

that's a destructive recovery.

 

Give  this a look over:

http://www.winhelp.us/non-destructive-reinstall-of-windows-xp.html



#13 MM53

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:05 PM

Roodo, that procedure says "You need your Windows XP installation media (CD, compact disc) that came with your PC."  No CDs came with this PC.  My understanding is that HP and some other manufacturers did not ship the OS CDs with their systems.  Rather, they put the contents of a OS installation disk in the I386 directory.  If I copy the contents of I386 to a CD or CDs, does it become an installation disk?

 

Larry, regarding reinstall, can you answer my question from above: "As I said, this is a borrowed upgrade CD and has already been installed on another PC. Even if it would allow me to install XP on a second PC, it's not going to allow installation unless it finds an existing installation of an earlier version of Windows. Right?"

Regarding the recovery CDs, been there - done that. They are no longer available from HP.  Have done the Recovery Console routine as well.  As noted above, it just takes me to a DOS D:\I386 prompt.  What then?

Will give restoredisks.com a shot, if nothing else works.  I do have the original product key.

Thanks.



#14 cmptrgy

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:23 PM

On your question: "As I said, this is a borrowed upgrade CD and has already been installed on another PC. Even if it would allow me to install XP on a second PC, it's not going to allow installation unless it finds an existing installation of an earlier version of Windows. Right?"

--- I believe you are right

--- I haven't tried what you are asking about, I have read that similar attempts haven't worked and technicians I haved talked with when I was working have told me the same thing and I'm not qualified enough to know how true that is

--- From what I understand there was a time it was possible to do so but Microsoft put a stop to that I think when XP came in

Regarding the recovery CDs, been there - done that. They are no longer available from HP.  Have done the Recovery Console routine as well.  As noted above, it just takes me to a DOS D:\I386 prompt.  What then?

--- It's good that you already have checked with HP etc

--- I recall toying once with the DOS D:\I386 prompt that you mention for a friend of mine and I couldn't get anywhere either

 

Please do consider restoredisks.com

--- I haven't had to use them yet but I have read some posts in which the computer user was happy they got their computer back up and running

--- You should be able to find the make/model you need to order the correct factory restore disc but I would call them to ensure they will be "pro-active" in letting you know that they have what you need and that it will work for you

 

One more thing that came to my mind as I was writing this maybe it would be worth checking with a local computer repair shop that has a used XP computer that isn't worth its weight as a paperweight but would be willing willing to sell you he hard drive as it already has XP on it

 

Although this was a lucky move for me, one time a friend had an XP computer who had nothing but trouble with and he gave it to me for free since he didn't want want to pay for the recycling fee. I scavenged the hard drive along with some other components and it came in handy when my brothers XP PC crashed

--- All I had to do was install the used hard drive etc and he's still using that same Dell Dimension to day

--- So maybe you ask ask someone you know whether they have an XP computer just sitting around with nothing to do






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