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XP start up issues

Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: ‎11-10-2007

XP start up issues

For a while I've been struggling to get itunes to work on my xp 64 bit machine since they are not supported. A new problem arose and It says that I require sp2, which is what I'm running.
I thought the way to solve it would be to uninstall sp2 and reinstall it. Unfortunately after uninstalling it I was unable to use internet explorer. So I had to use the installation CD that came with the dell to reinstall sp2. I wrongly reinstalled the entirety of windows xp and now when I go to login to windows it says it needs to activate this copy of windows with microsoft before I can log on. So I click on 'OK' and it goes to my familiar desktop background, the mouse works but no icons load up.
There is a lot invaluable information on the hard drive so I would like to restore windows xp to working order with the rest of hard drive intact i.e. not entirely formatted. Please help
Ian
14 REPLIES
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: XP start up issues

If you have reinstalled the whole thing then it will be starting from a blank canvas. The software you previously had will not be installed, so there will be no entries in the start menu and no desktop shortcuts. The only answer is to reinstall all the software you use.
As to your documents, it depends if the reinstall process also included reformatting the drive. If so, you have probably lost everything. If not, then some things may be lost - it depends where you kept them before. If everything was in My Documents, just try this. In Windows Explorer, don't go to My Documents, but go to C:/Documents and Settings/ If you are lucky, you might just find it has kept a copy of your documents under the old username. Have a poke around there and see what you can find. 
If this doesn't work, and there is anything on there that is really important you might want to send the drive to a data recovery specialist. It won't be cheap, but it is amazing what can be recovered with the right tools. If you get to this point then don't use the computer at all until you send it. Any disk access could potentially overwrite any traces of what was there previously
You probably don't want to hear this now, but this is why everyone should keep backups. Once you get it back, one useful thing you could do is repartition the drive so you split the C: drive into a smaller C: and a D:. You keep your data on the D: drive, which won't be affected if you have to reformat or reinstall on the C: drive. It is still good to back up your data onto CDs, DVDs, or an external hard drive.
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: ‎11-10-2007

Re: XP start up issues

I think all the files are still safe but it's the lack of any interface on the desktop that is problematic. It wont activate windows so nothing starts up, just my photo as the desktop background. I think the problem is that it can't access the internet in order to activate windows.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 19,262
Thanks: 2,158
Fixes: 348
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: XP start up issues

have you tried the option to activate over the phone?

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: ‎11-10-2007

Re: XP start up issues

I have not, do you know it off hand or where i find it?
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: ‎11-10-2007

Re: XP start up issues

I've checked it out and i need to be able to use windows in order to activate it?! Since I can't click on start because it wont come up, therefore I can't use the activation wizard
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: XP start up issues

Hmm, OK. I suggest the first thing you do is make a backup, if you haven't already.
It sounds like something went wrong in the reinstall process. Try running the installation CD again, but choose the Repair option.
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: ‎11-10-2007

Re: XP start up issues

To make that backup I'm going to connect the USB of my working PC (running xp) to the ethernet port of the non functioning PC to create a network. Will that work?
My other PC doesn't have an ethernet port. Hopefully I can retrieve the files I want that way and format the PC to reinstall XP x64. Does that sound feasible?
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: XP start up issues

Err, good point. It probably depends on what exactly has happened to the installation. If some GUI component has failed the networking is worth a try, but it generally needs to be set up on the machine first before it will allow any connections.
Probably an easier option would be to run a Linux live CD like <a href="http://www.knoppix.net/Knoppix">Knoppix</a>. This runs an independent operating system that will not mess up Windows, and should be able to access your hard drive and CD-ROM drive or whatever you want to backup to. See <a href="http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-knopx.htm">here</a> for more information.
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: ‎11-10-2007

Re: XP start up issues

Thanks denzil, your links didn't work but I found what you were talking about. Looks relatively simple and not something I'd ever heard of, so much appreciated.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 19,262
Thanks: 2,158
Fixes: 348
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: XP start up issues

Ultimate boot cd for windows might be worth a look too http://www.ubcd4win.com/

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: XP start up issues

Quote from: Euge
... your links didn't work ...

That's odd, I just copied and pasted the addresses of the pages I was looking at, which worked yesterday, so I can't explain why they don't work now. Glad you found it, anyway.
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: ‎11-10-2007

Re: XP start up issues

Well I've downloaded knoppix and I am currently using it in my broken PC. UBCD4WIN would have been just as useful but unfortunately is has issues with my version of XP, either that it's a dell pre-installed version or because it's a x64 version.
But Knoppix bootable linux is working perfectly and I am halfway through moving files with a flash drive to my other PC. It seems that this will work at this stage. Next step is to reinstall XP and format the drive.
Thanks for the help.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: XP start up issues

Glad to hear it is working. Hopefully a full reformat and reinstall will get it going again.
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: ‎11-10-2007

Re: XP start up issues

Yes it's all going again, bought myself 8gb flash drive as well to backup some files onto the other computer and in the future.
Still having problems with iTunes though, but thats a known issue with apple not supporting xp x64. They support xp 32 bit and vista 32/64 bit though.