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windows xp sp2 serious help needed

by doppelgangerguy / October 20, 2006 2:17 AM PDT

My girlfriend has a computer. I want to smash it. Here's why.

She was given the computer through the non-profit she worked for. They got it from a local place (in Harrisburg, PA)...custom build- nothing fancy, just a 60 gig and pentium iii I think. Anyway, she's had the computer for 3 or 4 years now, and we both use(d) it regularly. About 6 months ago, I came home from work and she said something was messed up on the computer. I booted it and it gave me weird errors (I have always used a Mac, so I didn't really know what I was looking at). I had a friend look at it, he couldn't figure it out. We decided (luckily, SHE backs up all her stuff) that it'd be easiest just to re-install xp, after nobody was able to fix the problem. She, however, didn't know where her original cds were, and we thus far are still unable to locate them. A friend of hers gave her a xp installer cd that he made, and we installed it, xp pro with sp2. No problems there- worked fine, although I lost all my stuff when it formatted the drive. Anyway, I loaded what I could back on from cds, and had clients send me back copies of things (I do freelance graphic design on the side) that I'd done for them...recovered most of the work. Also, loaded tons of digital pics on there, over the course of the time that the computer was working. We kept getting the notifications that we had to activate windows, but she being her, and me being new to microsoft OS, didn't know how serious it was that we DID need to register. The time expired, and now the computer is locked up, awaiting activation. She can't find original documentation, or original product key, so that's not an option. She got a fancy new HP laptop so we don't really need the computer anymore, don't need to get it running again...I just want my freaking files back. I don't wanna try a crack, because, well, I try to break as few laws as possible. So, my question(s):

If I RE-INSTALL XP again, will it give me 30 more days? All I need is a few hours, actually, because all I want is to get my stuff off the drive and be done with it...if we're able to do that, we'll probably subsequently give the machine away or sell it for cheap and let somebody else buy a copy of windows for, if I were to re-install XP again, would it give me more time? Also, would there be a way to install the OS without formatting the whole drive (so that my files, pics, etc aren't written over)?

If I were to install something like Windows ME, which I'm told doesn't need to be activated, could I retrieve my files THAT way? Or would it have to reformat the whole drive?

A friend at work suggested that I get another drive, with Windows XP pro on it, and set that up as my primary drive and 'slave' OUR drive to it, so that it could be accessed that way. Can this be done, especially with the OS locked up awaiting activation? If it can be done, does it matter what OS is on the drive that will become the primary drive?

I know this was long-winded and wordy and the questions are probably poorly-formed, but I don't know much about this and I just want my stinkin files back so I can be done with that stupid computer forever.

PLEASE, someone, anyone help. Please!!

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Remove the hard drive
by glb613 / October 20, 2006 2:46 AM PDT

and either install it as a slave or buy an external enclosure then try to get the files off the hard drive. I hope this experience teaches you not to lose the XP CD or install a pirated copy of XP again.

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by John.Wilkinson / October 20, 2006 1:46 PM PDT
In reply to: Remove the hard drive

You could reinstall Windows XP again for another 30 days, but that would be a questionable action (legally) at best and would wipe all of your files from the drive. There is a "repair installation" which would not wipe your files but that would not solve your activation woes.

When it comes to ME, no, it wouldn't would have to wipe the drive in order to install it, again losing your files.

Thus, the only solution is to do as your coworker and glb613 suggested...connect the drive as a slave internal or place it in an external enclosure. You can then browse the files on the drive and back it all up. Note, however, that you will likely need to take ownership of the files/folders in order to access them.

Hope this helps,

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windows xp sp2 serious help needed
by erictran / October 20, 2006 10:41 PM PDT

Suggestion: As glb613 suggest, the best solution .
YOu can use it as an second external drive for data. For the works you do , it is a need - external HD for data. You can carry anywhere , hook up to any computer for data.
hope it help

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