WinXP Corrupt on Friend's Dell Laptop?

Associate
Joined
11 Jan 2007
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113
Location
Southend-on-Sea
Hi

A friend has a Dell Laptop, about 2 years old and fairly neglected. Yesterday she said it wasn't responding and could I look at it.

I booted it up once into XP, but it stopped responding and all the desktop icons disappeared just leaving the wallpaper. Left it for a few minutes, but couldn't get any response beyond cursor movement. No access to task manager.

I reset it and now it starts up but doesn't load the OS and comes up with a message saying that it can't locate the OS. I can get into the BIOS okay and also whatever the Dell software is that also controls initialisation. But I can't even get to a command prompt.

So, I said drop it round to mine as I'll have access to my disks, the interweb, etc and I'll see what I can do.

Only, she doesn't even have an OEM copy of XP with it - just an "MS Office XP Pro" CD.

The machine was only at XP SP1. My thought is that it may be a problem with the harddrive, or (possibly more likely) some malicious software.

I've got full XP SP2 myself, but I don't want to install that, but can I use it to try a repair of XP? Ideally I'd like to be able just to get into Windows, then I can see if there are any device failures and scan for malware.

Options?

Thanks
Simon
 
Man of Honour
Joined
9 Jan 2007
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Location
Metropolis
Have you tried getting recovery/boot cd from Dell, did she get one with the laptop? Most laptops have a hidden partition with the OEM operating system, OS is usually not supplied on CD. With the recovery cd you can get the system back.
 
Soldato
Joined
12 Jun 2005
Posts
6,345
Location
St Albans
1) get an XP Pro disk from another source
2) Perform a FULL format
3) Install XP Pro with the serial key on the COA sticker on the laptop

Sounds like the best option imo :)
 
Last edited:
Associate
Joined
21 Jul 2005
Posts
1,416
Meatball said:
1) get an XP Pro disk from another source
2) Do a FULL format
3) Install XP Pro with the serial key on the COA sticker on the laptop

Sounds like the best option imo :)
except that you'll need a OEM xp pro disk, as the serial on the COA doesnt work with retail copies..
 
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