SFC.EXE will prompt you for your installation CD if it needs to recover files that aren't in the cache. So, if you don't have one - you're hosed!
My wife's office has 3 systems this way (no recovery disks at all) - and it's a real PITA when a problem occurs there. I'm working on converting them to copies of XP that I have - but it takes a lot of time to do this (and $'s).
Can you access the restore CD's to see if there's an i386 directory on them? If so, you can point SFC.EXE at it and it should work.
IMO, imaging is the easiest, fastest way to preserve your OS. Once you have the image stored - you can restore it in 20 minutes. The drawbacks are, in part, that it's a very large file and it only includes the data as of the date that you imaged it.
My technique is to setup my PC with all updates and favorite programs. Then I point all of my data, email, and profiles to a separate drive (so the pointers reside in the new install of Windows. That way, when I restore the image, it points to the data on the other drive - which essentially makes my system 100% up to date.
Then I make 2 images. One I keep pristine, and the other I use as an incremental image which is updated daily (I've got a lot of storage space!) That way, I can always go back to a chosen date - and it will automatically point to my storage stuff on the other drive. I also image my other drive on a regular basis.
Edited by usasma, 20 November 2006 - 08:40 AM.
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