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Partition Question

Okay, I'm thinking about reinstalling Windows XP and I have a few questions.
when I boot up the XP cd I go to install it and it says choose partition.
The partition list is 153820 MB and 8 MB.
if all my files are on the first one, then why does it list it like this:
153820 MB (153819 MB Free)
All my files are on that one, shouldn't it show all the other megabytes that are being taken up?
When I reinstall XP will it delete all my files on my hard drive?
and if so, is there any way to back them up without booting up the OS, my computer is messed up and I'm almost positive there is no way to boot to the desktop or even the log in screen.

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Before reinstalling

In reply to: Partition Question

tell what is happening with your computer. It's not booting? Is there a stop error? Perhaps the problem can be corrected thus preventing the need to reinstall.

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the problem

In reply to: Before reinstalling

Yeah, every time I try to boot the computer up it automatically restarts before the log in screen or the OS can start.
I know it's not a hardware problem because I've taken out the hard disk and hooked it up to other compatible computers and it reads as a hard disk read error.
but yeah, I can't even start the OS without it restarting automatically on me?
any ideas?

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Is this OEM or Retail?

In reply to: Partition Question

If this is a retail copy of Windows XP, you can perform a ''repair installation,'' which will reinstall Windows but leave all of your programs and files in tact. For instructions, click here.

If this is an OEM's recovery console, is there an option to perform a non-destructive installation? If so, that's the one you'd want. Note, however, that depending on the maker some files and programs may still be lost.

Regardless, I agree with Darton...tell us the symptoms (have you tried booting, and if so, what happens?) and we'll see if we can help you fix the problem without risking the loss of your files.


P.S. For a recovery operation, you could hook your hard drive up as a slave to another computer and copy your files off that way. However, if you are using XP Professional's EFS encryption let us know...that throws a wrench into the mix.

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I've tried that

In reply to: Is this OEM or Retail?

I've tried the non destructive reinstall but before I can select anything it comes up saying I need to format because there is unrecoverable problems etc.

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Sounds like

In reply to: I've tried that

you don't have an XP disk? That would rule out any use of Recovery Console. If non-destructive reinstall is also not an option, you should attempt to recover needed files and then perform a clean install. A Knoppix boot disk may access the hard disk and allow you to burn them to CD.

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In reply to: Partition Question

Use another computer to create a MS-DOS disk (floppy) and download and create another disk with FDISK. If you don't know how to use it then get a expert. Another option is to take your Hard Drive (computer) to a PC sepcialist and he will clone your Hard Drive and he should be able to recover the files. Done it before and worked!!
Hope this helps!!

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