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Windows XP Media Edition


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#1 CaptainMicrochip

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:52 AM

My friend has an older laptop that had windows xp media edition installed on it. It's become rather infected and full of bloatware. Rather than spends hours cleaning it, I want to reformat and reinstall Windows. He has a valid license for Windows XP Media Edition (first time I've heard of it) but no install disc. I know some flavors of Windows you can download from MS and use your valid license, but I can't find it for this variation.

 

The laptop is older and really not worth a lot, so we'd like to avoid purchasing a new license for a newer version of Windows, if possible. Also, since MS no longer supports XP, will it still download whatever the last available updates were?



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:09 AM

As far as I know there is no place you can legally download XP media center edition. Even if you could find a XP home or Pro version on ebay, I don't believe the key from Media Edition would work.

 

There is one other possible solution. If the laptop came with a recovery partiiton, you could do a factory reset. What is the make and model of the laptop?

 

As far as upgrading to another OS, it's possible Vista or Windows 7 would not run on the computer or run very slowly. Does the friend just need a basic computer for browsing and email? You may be able to install a linux distro that would suit his needs. For an older computer, Mint Xfce is a good choice. It can be run from a Live CD to see how he likes it. Doesn't have to be installed.



#3 CaptainMicrochip

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 01:43 PM

Hi John, Thank you for the response. I assumed there was not a legal download available of xp media center edition. I think the ONLY legal Windows downloads are Windows 7. And I'm 100% sure the key would not work with a xp home or pro version.

 

It is a Gateway laptop (I don't even know if they still exist, ha!) Yes, it does have a recovery partition. Do you think it would just be as easy as cloning it over? Not something I've done before.

 

I probably would avoid installing Win7, due to the age of the system. I would probably avoid Vista, for obvious purposes. I don't see any retailers (Amazon, Newegg) peddling any XP licenses either.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 01:49 PM

If you are not planning to get a new hard drive, no need to clone. The model number would help. It may be on the bottom of the computer or in the battery compartment. If it does have the recovery partition, you can press a key sequence at boot and the recovery manager will automatically start and set the hard drive back to a factory state minus any programs that were added after purchase. I will have to search a little bit to see if Gateway had a common key for factory reset at boot.

 

Edit: After all the data your friend needs is backed up try this

 

Power on the computer. Hold the Alt key down and tap the F10 key quickly. See if the Recovery Manager starts.


Edited by JohnC_21, 01 July 2014 - 01:51 PM.


#5 cat1092

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 04:52 PM

Some OEM carries reinstall media for years after the computer was manufactured. While it's highly unlikely they're still producing this media, there's always the chance it's in stock, if all copies weren't sold or requested for warranty support. Most throws nothing away, so if it's there & can be converted into cash, they'd gladly furnish it for a nominal fee. 

 

One thing that I will warn you about. the XP Media Center reinstall is the trickiest of all Windows installs that I've tried. It's odd, being that some of these systems were released before SP2 for XP was, that during the clean install, many will request an XP SP2 CD to be inserted. In other words, one begins the install with CD #1, it then requests CD #2, then wants a XP install CD of SP2 (any type will do) for a few files, then swap back to CD #1 & complete. 

 

However there's a few where everything is on a single DVD & hopefully in your case, all of this swapping won't be needed. The first time I did this, was confused by the request for SP2 media, didn't really know what to do, so I inserted a Dell OEM XP Pro SP2 reinstall CD (it was all that I had), the few needed files were fetched & it worked afterwards. 

 

The XP Media Center Edition in essence, is a modified version of XP Pro. This was a pricey PC at the time of release, the couple of people that I know whom has it, ended up upgrading the video card & RAM, then installed Windows 7 Home Premium, which includes Windows Media Center out of the box. 

 

So if JohnC_21's advise gets you nowhere. contacting Gateway is an option. There is also the chance that by entering you model number & finding your computer, where the drivers & optional downloads are, there could be a "Recovery Media" link on the page. That's how it is with HP. Dell also has such links. If you make it this far, your serial number will be required, so be prepared to provide it & other necessary information asked for. 

 

If you can't get anywhere with what's provided, then we'll need to explore other options. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#6 CaptainMicrochip

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:54 AM

I'm probably just going to de-gunk the computer as best I can for my friend. Being an older laptop, it's not worth a ton of effort or upgrades. He had just about file sharing and messaging application you can imagine installed on it. I spent about an hour last night and removed about 1/4 of the trash. It's already showing a large improvement. Of course he has none of the original DVDs or CDs that came with it either. At this point, I'm basically just going to clean it up as best I can and make sure it's virus free for him.



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:57 AM

I was wondering if the Alt + F10 key tapping at boot worked to bring up the recovery manager. You do not have to continue with it but was wondering if it did bring up something.


Edited by JohnC_21, 02 July 2014 - 09:58 AM.


#8 CaptainMicrochip

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:59 AM

That didn't work, but F11 did. I tried to recover, but I kept the getting error messages that indicated no one ever properly set up recovery files in the first place, so that was a non-starter.



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 10:06 AM

Okay, thanks for the update on that. Hopefully cleaning the computer as you are now doing will work out.



#10 cat1092

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 10:32 AM

Most likely access to the recovery partition became corrupted over the years, this isn't unusual for a computer that's several years old. Have seen others that no longer worked that were newer, loaded with Windows 7 from the factory. Should this partition become corrupted on a newer computer, there may be troubles with recovery media creation, 

 

That's why it's important to create media when new, on Day One of ownership, before any junk software is removed or anything altered. What may appear as not needed may be required for recovery media creation. This would be good to pass this on the the owner of the computer, in the event it's replaced with a newer model. 

 

Best of Luck,

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#11 Dreamer2

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 01:20 PM

When you get it like you like it. Image it.  After time, the registry and dll's get kind of muddied up.  There is an entry in the registry to change the owners name.  Google it.  Its in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version, registered owner. It's just nice to complete the change over.  MCE came with a lot of bloatware.  And most media machines were upgraded to Pro SP3.  Some even calling it XP Pro SP3 Media Center Edition.  Check locally for an install disc, I got a couple of images for Dell laying around.  If they're scratched, buff them.  A clean install from a formatted partition. Clean bloat. Update. Image. You're good as new. We are not a disposable society.  My main traveling companion in school is a 2006 e1705 with new T7600s, 1TB Hdd, 4GB ram.  Booting XP Pro SP3, Windowas 7 Ulimate and Fedora 20.  It's missing its "end" key, the paint is worn and the xp system won't let me plug a controller in w/o a BSOD.  I'm workin' on it.

 

Good luck!

Gary



#12 hamluis

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 02:03 PM

FWIW:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310441

 

Louis






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