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Need Help Converting Corrupted Laptop to Linux

by lightstar7 / May 19, 2013 7:09 AM PDT

I have an IBM T42 laptop running Windows XP Pro, and the original hard drive is corrupt. It does have a built-in CD. The corrupt drive is Hatachi 40GB IDE. I've never added a partition, so it's the original setup. Need to reformat the drive completely, but software was preloaded and didn't receive CD software with the unit. I no longer know the password to run it as Administrator, and can't find a way to set the boot drive as the CD. The software sticker is still on the computer.

Plan to give it to an 85-year-old aunt whose computer recently died, and all she wants is to run the game FreePlay.

This game is available on Linux, so this is a possibility although it's also fine with me to wipe the drive and re-install Windows XP if there is a way to do it. I've downloaded Ubuntu to a CD for booting and installing, and I have Dban on another CD to wipe the drive, but with no booting to the CD, I'm not sure how to proceed.

A simple solution might be to buy an external case, install the drive, and wipe the drive using my desktop system. If I do this, I DEFINITELY want to protect my desktop computer from these viruses. With the drive wiped and re-installed in the laptop, it might then boot from the Ubuntu CD.

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Re: boto from CD
by Kees_B Forum moderator / May 19, 2013 7:19 AM PDT tells how to go into the BIOS to set the CD-drive as first boot device. Unluckily, it only mentions T42/p, not T42, so it might be you'll have to refer to the full user manual of the model you have. and might be useful also.
Not the last link also says that F11 will do a recovery to factory conditions. If that works, you might prefer XP above Ubuntu.

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by lightstar7 / May 19, 2013 11:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: boto from CD

This is helpful to set the CD as the boot drive. Resetting to factory conditions may leave these viruses on the disk, and the TR/ATRAPS.Gen2 is a tough one to remove without a full disk wipe. I appreciate your suggestions.

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Small world.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2013 8:28 AM PDT

I got a t42 for mom years ago. It's so old that the optical drive could have failed. Ours did not come with XP Pro but Home and restore CDs were in the box. I'm guessing that you obtained the unit used or something.

As to the password, no big deal. I fix that in under five minutes with NTPASSWD.

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by lightstar7 / May 19, 2013 11:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Small world.

Bought the computer new, and it was a long time ago. It may have come with a system's disc, but I don't recall it coming with one. If it did, then after many moves, it's no longer with me. I can wipe the corrupt disk with Dban, and it would be good to reload XP, whether home or professional, but I'm not sure if this is possible without the Window's disc. May have to wipe the disc and move to Linux.

The NTPASSWD is something I'll try if the suggestion from Kees_B doesn't work.

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Still Wondering About XP
by lightstar7 / May 20, 2013 12:40 AM PDT

I haven't used Kees' suggestion yet to reset disc boot to the CD, then reload with Linux. Wondering if there is a way to obtain an XP system disk from Microsoft when it's a licensed system, but I don't have the original system's disc. As I noted earlier, the laptop does have the Microsoft sticker on the bottom of the unit. This would probably be preferable to my aunt who used XP on her old computer.

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Usually restoring to factory settings formats C:
by wpgwpg / May 20, 2013 1:43 AM PDT

Restoring to factory settings has always formatted the C: drive first in my experience, so I really don't think you have anything to worry about with Kees' suggestion to restore to factory settings.
When you've gotten your system back like you want it, I urge you to get yourself an external hard drive and a good 3rd party backup program. You can set it up to do everything automagically at the time and frequency of your choice. 1 TB external hard drives are about $70 these days and a really good FREE backup program is the Easeus Todo Backup Free which you can download from . That can save you a lot of time and frustration the next time something like this happens. Sooner or later it happens to all computers for one reason or another.
Good luck.

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Great Suggestion!
by lightstar7 / May 20, 2013 3:16 AM PDT

I'll try the format to factory settings first as Kee and you suggested. I'll then use the computer for a while to be sure I don't have the Blue Screen death problem again. I have several old drives with external cases, and, as you recommend, I'll then back it up to one of the external drives. This may do it, and my aunt will be happy to have her game back.

If this doesn't solve the virus problem, I'll then try Linux. I very much appreciate all of the suggestions from each of you!

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May be Successful!
by lightstar7 / May 21, 2013 1:03 AM PDT

Well, many times I tried to change the password using NTPASSWD. It would show the password as cleared, but Rescue & Recovery would not accept the blank password. I entered a new password using the software, but it wouldn't work. I was frustrated after a few hours or trying, so I decided to wipe the drive and load Linux. I reset the boot to the CD, but it wouldn't boot to CD even though it was showing it as the default boot device. I gave Rescue & Recovery one last chance today, and tried many more possible passwords, and I found it! I then asked for a full restore to IBM settings, and it's now in process.

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