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Stubborn XP Desktop Computer

Computer won't go on the internet any more and has many error messages. I was advised by a computer professional/friend to have the shop I bought it at reload Windows XP on it. To save time and money, I'm trying to do it myself.

It won't load the version of XP that I own. I was going to then use the computer's own XP Product Key (all legit) to re-register. Took this rebuilt computer to its owner's shop before and got charged a bunch to wipe it clean and reload Windows because of a pornography loving house guest. Just trying to avoid paying again because based on what I paid for it, it wouldn't be worth it to pay for it again. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks in anticipation. Dave

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Re: reinstalling XP

You write "It won't load the version of XP that I own." That needs explanation:
- What version of XP do you own?
- What version of XP is the currently installed one (with the legit product key you mention)?
- Why won't it load? It should load all versions of all OS'es if you do it right. That is to say, modern motherboards won't run Windows 98, but if it's XP now it should load all XP and Linux versions, and all Windows Vista and 7 versions provided it has enough RAM and a reasonably fast CPU


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Thanks for replying, Kees_BM

-I own Windows XP Professional Upgrade Service Pack 2

-The version currently loaded on the computer is Windows XP Home Service Pack 3

-I don't think I'm doing anything wrong, Kees. When I put XP Pro Upgrade's disc in the CD Drive, the list asking me what I want to do comes up fine. When I click to "install," nothing happens. NOTHING. The literature for the Pro Upgrade asures me that this disc should install on any computer with Windows 98-XP Home Edition.

-I have an ASUS CPU which is 2 GHZ with 3 Gigs of Ram and a sufficiently large hard drive. The computer won't go on the internet any more, although it's plugged directly into the Fios router. If I try to run the Control Panel to Add/Remove Programs, it gives a message that it can't find the Control Panel. Any other program I attempt to launch gets an "Open With" window and then doesn't perform any function. I've tried reformatting the hard drive and that doesn't work either.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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I don't get why it won't load the XP you own. If its a different version, like XP Home vs. Pro releases, then yeah it won't work that way. However, it should boot. Are you saying it won't boot from the CD drive? So, just what error do you get? Supply the details to get better response.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Thanks for posting, Willy

This version is the Windows XP Professional Upgrade Service Pack 2 which asures that it will upgrade any computer with Windows 98--XP Home up to Pro. The CD comes up giving me the correct options but when I click on "install" it doesn't do a thing. No message, no nothing. I have details in my answer to Kees.

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You said you formatted the drive, no OS would be there?

I very carefully read thru all your comments, paying strict attention.

1) The machine had Windows XP Home Service Pack 3 installed. With no CD.
2) You "FORMATTED" the drive, erasing any existing OS..... right?
3) You bought Windows XP Professional Upgrade Service Pack 2. An upgrade normally means an existing OS must be present..... somebody correct me if I am wrong?

If all is as I said, then your only minimum $$$ chance would be to get a WIN98 retail (usually free at the local non-big box) or a flea market at $5-$10.

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Re-Formatting Attempt

I said that I even TRIED to reformat my hard drive in hopes of having no OS and that didn't work. I was going to install my old Windows 98 CD (which I also own) and then try and upgrade to my XP Pro. I must have a terrible virus that is causing this. This is my kids' computer and I hadn't put the anti-virus software on before these problems started.

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Re: reformatting

Sorry, but reformatting ALWAYS succeeds unless
(a) there's a hardware issue, or
(b) you don't know the right way to do it
I don't currently exclude option b (but you can easily disprove that by telling all the details), but it could just as well be option a.

Anyway, installing Windows 98:
(a) is unnecessary
(b) probably wouldn't work on this machine (unless you remove 2.5 GB of RAM and replace the hard disk by a smaller one, and even then it's not sure)
(c) might be illegal if it's an OEM version (in stead of a retail version)

But - between the lines - you provided enough information to get this working.
(1) Erase the hard disk using DBAN (free download)
(2) Install the Windows XP Pro Upgrade. When it asks you to show your Windows 98 CD, do that.

The only issue could be that you don't "own" Windows XP Pro. You bought a license for use on 1 PC. If that's already used it won't activate and you must buy a new license to have it working for more than a month. The XP Home product key won't work. Why not reuse the XP Home CD with the current license?

But, apart from that activation issue and apart from hardware issues, this can't fail. Viruses can't interfere.

Best of luck, and please let us know how it goes.


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Stubborn Computer continued:

I haven't used the XP Home Edition because it is in the possession of the localcomputer company from which I bought the computer. I'm trying to avoid going back to them because it cost me almost as much as the cost of the computer to fix viruses and have them re-install Windows XP back on the machine. The machine is a rebuilt/refurbished computer and is no longer under any warranty. I don't want to pay to find out that it's going to cost me anything else to remedy the problem. So, if I can't fix this myself, I'm going to cut my losses, save and buy a new machine.

As far as reformatting, I followed the prompts from my computer. If there is something else that I don't know--I'm open to learn. I have reformatted external hard drives and I've also done it for my laptop so I've had good success in at least those instances.

I can't go on the internet with the machine in question. I suppose I could burn the DBAN program onto a CD and try it on the computer. You could be right, it might be a hardware issue, in which case: I'm sunk anyway. I'll post if I have any success. Thanks again.

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You HAVE to burn the .iso-file from DBAN on a CD ('burn as image', not as data, use IMGBURN if you don't know how to do it with your regular burning program). It will only work when ran from that (bootable) CD.

And a tip: never buy from that local computer company again. There's something fishy about reinstalling Windows without giving you the CD, even on a refurbished machine.


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Just downloaded DBAN and yes, I'm way ahead of you about the local computer company. I think something fishy happened with them because NONE of the employees who worked on my machine (including the tech who built it) work there any more.

Thanks for your help, Kees!

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You have to...

... fisrt change the boot order to firstly boot from the CD drive. To change the boot order for your computer, look closly at the bottom left of the monitor when the computer is booting up... to see what key or keys to press for SETUP.... Do that and it will give you the BIOS setup...look for boot order....

[Other than this, the computer should boot from the Windows CD, or Recobery Disc.]

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Looking for...

the boot order key now. Thanks for the directions.

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Boot Order

I'm struggling to figure this out. I've had my son to photos of both screens and I can't see which keys I need to hit. Somehow, I got into bios but none of my arrow keys or tab worked. I wish I could remember how I got there. Oh, well. I appreciate your suggestion.

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