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Any way to get to this emachines system restore?

Posted on 2006-05-01
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Last Modified: 2011-08-18
I have an emachines w3400 which I would like to restore using the system recovery feature.  The owner has already used up the "1 copy" creation and lost the disks.   When I try to either restart from within xp by choosing "System Recovery", or doing F11 upon boot, the system states "Preparing system recovery options" then goes to a screen that displayes the "e" logo and "Powered by PC Angel System Recovery", where it stays and never goes beyond.

I can boot into xp fine, and most things seem to function normally.  I am only doing this because the system was previously riddled with spyware and a trojan or two.  Now, Norton Internet Security will not install and there are some other issues that just wanted me to go and wipe everything clean.  The partition with the restore files appears to be fine, so I'm wondering why the problem with recovery.

Any ideas?
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Question by:lloydr1l
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by:Christopher McKay
ID: 16579449
Have you tried booting into safe mode with networking, and then visiting this site?:
http://housecall.trendmicro.com
there you should be able to do an online scan, and clean of your system, which should clean up your system enough to install Norton Internet Security.
Once that has been completed, you should be able to work on correcting anything else that may be wrong.

Hope this helps!

:o)

Bartender_1
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Author Comment

by:lloydr1l
ID: 16579538
I'll give it a shot!
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by:The_IT_Garage
ID: 16579766
If you're unlucky the Trend online scan might die (I've seen infections prevent it's use). In that case I have had luck downloading / installing this free A-V software to clean viruses:
http://www.free-av.com/

This link will scan for spyware (after asking for ActiveX download but otherwise is free and no baner.adware, etc)
http://www.spywareinfo.com/xscan.php

If Bartender_1's tip works first no need to split the points here.
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Author Comment

by:lloydr1l
ID: 16579805
I'll check it out.  I am aware of the spywareinfo web page, good place to check programs before installing.
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Author Comment

by:lloydr1l
ID: 16581367
Ok..I've completed a scan using the Housecall scanner and the AntiVir program.  Everything is reporting clean.  I have also booted with the Norton IS 2006 disk and run a scan, with clean results.  So I'm still seeking answers.
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Author Comment

by:lloydr1l
ID: 16581496
Mainly, I'm trying to figure out how to restore using the built in emachines system recovery, which is hanging up.  Is there a file that can be edited or replaced that perhaps got corrupted which helps to start the recovery process, that sort of thing.
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by:The_IT_Garage
ID: 16581502
Good...and interestng.
"The partition with the restore files appears to be fine, so I'm wondering why the problem with recovery." Do you just mean you are able to see this partiton or do you have some tool to check it? At this point I would suspect the data on the recovery partition as bad.

If you call Gateway (err, e-Machines) they should provide some troubleshooting support for that partition. Alternately the fee for a recovery CD is small - as in the $20-$30 range and worth every penny. We recently had a user with an e-Machines HDD go *completely* dead (could not even make it a slave from another HDD) and we did exactly that - ordered a recovery CD and bought a new HDD (HDD was out of warranty).
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by:lloydr1l
ID: 16581563
The_IT_Garage
Thanks for posting.  Basically I mean the drive is not giving any error, it's locked as it should be, and shows that there are contents.  Not concrete, I know, but more a gut feeling that the contents are ok.  It seems to me something is wrong elsewhere, but I certainly could be wrong.

I'll bear in mind the other info calling and getting a recovery cd.
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by:Merete
ID: 16584621
what brand is this  emachines w3400
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by:lloydr1l
ID: 16584646
What do you mean?  It's an emachines w3400, which is the brand.
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by:Merete
ID: 16585344
lol I dont recognise the computer, have never heard of it.
It happens sorreee. lol.
regards Merete
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by:The_IT_Garage
ID: 16586236
Like Scion is a cheap Toyota, e-Machines is a cheap Gateway: http://tinyurl.com/rqofe
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Author Comment

by:lloydr1l
ID: 16590133
How ironic.  Scion may be less expensive than a Toyota, but in no way is a Scion built cheap.  I own a Scion xB, one of the first built, and I can tell you as someone who has owned both, this is every bit as good.  Almost 3 years I've had this and not one problem.  And everyone I know around here that owns one says the same.

Bad example. :)
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Author Comment

by:lloydr1l
ID: 16590545
Ok, new info.  The owner of this pc has produced the recovery disks.  Following the directions for using the recovery disks produces the same results as attempting from the hard drive.  I'm still stuck at a "Powered by pc angel system recovery" screen.  

I've tried booting to an XP cd with no problems.  Since this is something activated by pressing either "r" or "f11" upon booting up, does this been it's built into the BIOS?
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Merete earned 2000 total points
ID: 16591514
Thanks for the info on this emachine, I gather it runs xp then I can offer a suggestions.
Maybe the boot.ini  has changed if you can boot to safemode check the boot.ini
often times if a scan was in progress and accessing deep system files for whatever reason if the machine boots during this time it can later the boot.ini.
Also if the video card is unstable often times starting the computer from sfaemode choose start in vga mode can access windows again.
Then re-install the or update the card drivers.

Not sure about the boot process, but set your bios to boot from cd first, puyt the xpcd in the rom and press f10 to save and exit the bios.
then press any key to start setup, you wait till all the stuff is loaded, when it gets to the which windows do you want to install,
normally we put 1 to assign C drive but lets use this cmd prompt to run a chkdsk /r
please type that into the cmd prompt press enter
Hopefully it will repair the windows.
To get more assistance from this cmd prompt simply type in help press enter, it
offers a few cmd prompts.

Otherwise take out the xpcd type in exit and press enter.
Windows will reboot.
Hope this helps.
Regards Merete
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Expert Comment

by:DLCE
ID: 16591539
(No offense on the Scion vs Toyota, cheap in this case meant less expensive. I am a car guy even more than I am a computer guy)

If R or F11 activates the recovery then it is likely hooked into BIOS into some fashion or a bootstrap on the HDD (likely the latter). Your "Powered by PC Angel" is telling, it leads to these finds:
http://www.senecadata.com/support/recovery.aspx
http://www.senecadata.com/support/faq.aspx
http://www.senecadata.com/presentations/recoverymanual.pdf

As well as http://www.pcangelle.com/

My guess is the boot record for the recovery partition has a problem, and as I have no experience with this I cannot predict what a FDISK /MBR would do (my guess is it would cause problems). You might want to contact pcangelle's customer support for this issue.
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Author Comment

by:lloydr1l
ID: 16591585
On the Scion vs Toyota issue, no offense taken.  Just wanted to point out that in this case cheaper doesn't mean cheap (quality).  I love this car.  :)

I'll check the links.

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Author Comment

by:lloydr1l
ID: 16717341
An update on this situation.  So far I have attempted to restore this system using the restore partition on the hard drive, using the owner created restore disks, and now using disks created by emachines which we just received.  None of these methods work.  Each time I end up at the e logo and "powered by pc angel system recovery".  

And again, if I put in a regular XP install disk, everything goes fine up until the part where one can choose to format the drive, etc, at which point I quit.  So it boots to disks fine and sees the hard drive.  So I'm still searching for answers on this, and I have reviewed the links from above with no solution found.  
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Expert Comment

by:The_IT_Garage
ID: 16721202
It REALLY Sounds like a recovery partition problem, did you contact pcangelle's customer support?
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 16723303
do you have an xp machine other than this one there?
If your emachine is not laptop, but a desktop, use the cdrom on another machine, the ide and power connectors will fit into the rear of this hdd.
Just move the pin to slave, unpower completely, I just sit the hdd on top of the of the tower, its very easy quick to have a look at partitions on a difficult drive.
xp in control panel administrative tools, computer management disc management, here you can see any and all drives> partitions and what format fat or ntfs linux, hope not.
If you bought this 2nd hand you never know what has been on this hdd.
The advantage too is you can usually save off any stuff onboard. Defrag it chkdsk it etc.

If this hdd has had several old operating system on from years ago there maybe some old standard dos MBR.
The standard DOS MBR will not boot a partition unless it is the unique bootable primary partition.
What does FDISK /MBR do?
People often recommend the undocumented DOS command FDISK /MBR to solve problems with the MBR. This command however does not rewrite the entire MBR - it just rewrites the boot code, the first 446 bytes of the MBR, but leaves the 64-byte partition information alone. Thus, it won't help when the partition table has problems. Moreover, it can be dangerous to restore the boot code to its original state: if the cause of the problems was a boot sector virus, then vital information may have been stored elsewhere by the virus, and killing the virus may mean killing access to this information. (For example, the stoned.empire.monkey virus encrypts the original MBR to sector 0/0/3.) However, people who want to uninstall LILO, and do not know that LILO has a -u option, can use FDISK /MBR for this purpose.

http://www.win.tue.nl/~aeb/partitions/partition_types-2.html#ss2.3



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by:Merete
ID: 16723312
If your not familiar with windowsxp disc management here is a good illistrated guide to help you see what its about.
http://www.theeldergeek.com/disk_management.htm
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Author Comment

by:lloydr1l
ID: 16845233
This problem never did get resolved.  I've not been able to get past the screen in question even with emachines support on the phone stepping me through their steps.  Their next step was to send the guy a new hard drive to replace the one in the pc, but I'm not really sure that would work because I can boot to an xp boot disk and go all the way to the format screen.  But it does not matter anymore because the owner of the pc is swapping the pc for another with emachines.  Gotta give the company credit for agreeing to do this instead of insisting on sending the hard drive.

I gave Merete the points because of good correct procedures and lots of info, plus sticking with it.  Thanks to all.
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by:Merete
ID: 16847977
Thank you lloydr1l  that was a long wait for the customer nearly a month. Good to hear a satisfactory solution  found.
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