Windows Vista forum

General discussion

installing windows with a computer with no operating system

by ballas85 / August 12, 2008 1:03 AM PDT

hello guys, I recently had my laptop serviced at circuit citys firedog where my system was completely formatted do to a hardware issue the rep says. Despite my extended warranty i am told to reinstall the os is $$$180 which would be vista. However I'd rather revert back to xp. My total would be $400 to back up 40 gb of data and $$180 for the os. Just seemed a bit shadey to me. Can anyone point me in the right direction of installing windows xp myself on a completely formatted laptop.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 12, 2008 1:16 AM PDT
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Two basic steps

Two basic steps are involved:

Step 1: Verify that there are indeed XP drivers for all hardware in your system, and then download them all to a flash drive or burn them to a CD

Step 2: Obtain an XP CD, insert it into the computer's optical drive, boot the system, and follow on screen instructions

And while I'm at it... Firedog, Geek Squad, and all the rest are just giant scam operations. Maybe when they were independent outfits they had some credibility, but the ones associated with chain stores are absolute rubbish. They will charge you outrageous prices for simple things, and try to push useless software on you. The little known secret, is that a lot of these employees have certain quotas they have to meet in order to keep their jobs. That's why you rarely see anyone who could find their own bum without assistance working for them. A brutal sort of honesty seems to be a common personality trait among the truly technically competent among us. We do not make good sales people as a result.

My advice, would be to either hit the local bookstore and pick up a few books on how to do these sorts of things yourself... Or, maybe find some local independent tech who seems reputable. Call a few of them up, ask them the same question, and then you could come to one of these forums and we could help you sort out which ones were lying through their teeth, and which ones were actually being honest. Another option I like to suggest, is finding some neighborhood kid who's good with computers. Gives them a little practical experience, you don't have to pay them all that much, and it fosters good will among neighbors. It's a win-win situation all around.

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A step-by-step guide...
by John.Wilkinson / August 12, 2008 5:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Two basic steps

You can click here for a guide to installing Windows XP on a formatted hard drive. Just make sure you have your Windows XP CD/license in hand.

Hope this helps,

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Installing XP on a new or old machine
by artright / August 15, 2008 2:41 PM PDT

As the gentleman before me said have some faith in the neighbourhood and find some one who is computer savey. Like the man said Geek Squad and the other outfits are definitely scams. PC and Windows are such a widely accepted operating system that I doubt very much that you'll have a hard time in finding someone to be happy to get involved. The only thing I say is be honest up front with the techie about what you want running and don't try to use copies of Windows (if you follow what I'm saying) there might be a time that you need support when your guru help guy is out of town. Nothing like being upfront with the techie and he or she will do the job and more. Happy PC'ing. I'd leave my e-mail address but just too many virus's online. Definitely get an anti-virus S/W package as soon as you have your unit up and running. I help out at a major hospital were they get over 300,000 e-mails a day. Only 2,500 are actually true e-mails the rest are scam and virus's and URL's to porno sites.


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XP on a Laptop
by ramnet / August 15, 2008 3:06 PM PDT

Some of the advice given in this post is accurate , some potentially misleading. The reality is any hard disk drive can have any version of XP installed on it , so long as you have a legal version of the software. The problem arises in that many laptop manufacturers either refuse to release drivers for XP or are locked up in agreements with Microsoft that permit them to sell laptops with VISTA only and therefore there are no drivers for a particular model and no plans to retrospectively create them.So you can end up with no sound , low resolution video , no trackball pad , no lan and no internal modem at the very least.Worse still many laptop manufacturers make no effort to produce a specific drivers CD which is the norm for motherboards in desktops and so users not only have no drivers but have no VISTA or XP CD either. If you failed to image the build when first delivered from the backup partition you may have shot your self in the foot. I loathe this practice and think manufacturers of laptops should be forced to sell drivers for all OS and also the OS CD bundled with the unit. But that's another story.

What this may mean is you are in no mans land and your ONLY option is to re-install VISTA. The charges you mention are a joke.

You have an absolute right to ask for your existing hard disk drive back as that would be the ONLY reason for a rebuild of any sort.

That will put some pressure on them to justify their cost .. ie if the disk is not damaged and your data is still intact then it exposes them as liars and cheats and in any event shows you are not going to accept things at face value.

80% of computer repair places that focus on sales will make no effort to salvage your OS or data and will firstly always recommend reformat and return as it removes 99% of any responsibility for further issues arising from their poor work.

I am staggered so many end users fall for this and it only serves to
showcase how dishonest and unethical some business places can be and it is infuriating to honest dealers trying to do good work at fair prices in an increasingly dishonest and unethical market place.

If you lived in Australia I would have been happy to help you myself but from the USA its impractical.

IT Director

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Installing on a clean system
by yeochief / August 15, 2008 9:00 PM PDT

I'm a little confused. If your computer was formatted, there is no data to backup. Formatting erases all data on a hard disk. If you have an extended warranty with the company doing the work, the warranty should cover the reinstall of the operating system.

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What make?
by DOSpower / August 15, 2008 11:20 PM PDT

What make and model of laptop is it you are trying to 'rebuild'?

If you bought it new it might be worth your while looking around for the manufacturers 'rescue disks'. These will have an automated recovery process with all the drivers and operating system built in. It will also save you a nice amount of time as they are usually disk images rather than being a raw install.

I would definitely try and track down a local friendly techie. Most techie types are keen to 'play' with a clean install on someone elses machine.

Good luck

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A Problematic Question

If your system was "completely formatted", where did the 40GB of data come from? If the 40GB of data was actually "Backed Up", I can see how the bill could add up fast, but 40GB of Data is HUGE!!! That would be equal to over 10,000 really high resolution photographs,
or 10,000 songs. If you have that size of backups you should have it backed up anyway. But I suspect you're being scammed. First of all, a brand spanking new copy of Windows XP runs around $95-100, not $180. And if they destroyed your operating system, charging you for a new one is ridiculous. In our shop, we charge $169 to reformat and reinstall an operating system. We add $30 for unlimited data backup for a total of $199. We do this about 15 times a week.

But the nuts and bolts of your question is more problematic. As pointed out earlier, your laptop may not run on Windows XP due to the driver issue. Numerous laptops have been configured to run on Vista only. So you could be stuck with Vista. But one way to check it out would be to simply load XP with any valid KEY just to test it out. With just a little looking around, you should be able to get your hands on a XP Disk and KEY. You won't be able to use them long term, but they would work for testing. Install XP and see if you can get the hardware to work. You may need to hunt to find the initial drivers using a different computer, but once you get online you can try a paid site like driveragent to scan your laptop and locate your drivers. If everything works, you can use XP, if not you'll be stuck with Vista. By the way, if you're stuck with Vista, you have a valid licence KEY on the bottom of your computer. You should not have to buy it again under any circumstances!!! You may, however, have to pay to get it loaded on your hard drive, and you may wish to invest in a disk set (usually about $35) from the manufacturer.

Good Luck!!!

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Warranty will not cover Os reinstalls
by Basket628 / August 16, 2008 11:40 PM PDT
In reply to: A Problematic Question

Warranty will not cover Os reinstalls

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Read What I Said
by High Desert Charlie / August 17, 2008 4:02 AM PDT

I said he may need to pay for the reinstall. But not $400 bucks. In any case, he's already purchased the Vista "License" when he bought the computer, so he doesn't need to buy it again to reinstall.

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Install a Windows 7 starter to my new Asus DOS

Hello guys!
any one can help me? please! i buy a new asuslaptop and i want to run my w7sarter? how can i run it? first when on the pc.

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Start your own discussion
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 7, 2012 6:01 AM PDT

Sorry but it is not a good idea to hijack someone else's discussion, especially where it is nearly 4 years old.

Start your own and give full details please.

I will lock this one.


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