OS Problems

I tried to do a Repair Install of XP from the mfg supplied CD; it failed. I'm trying some other options now, I'm skeptical they will work.

The current status is that it's asking for a CD of XP SP2 to be put into the CD drive; I don't have one. If I start over, it tries to continue setup, so I'm stuck.

I think I have two options:

(1) Go buy a cd of Win XP SP2 & try to install it.

(2) Buy Windows 7 & install it.

There are two questions:

(1) If I do (1) (or (2)), how do I get it to "start over" rather than being stuck where it is now? How do I get it to not try to continue setup?

(2) If I do (1), can I save my programs? I have a portable hard drive with all my data, emails, etc., but I don't want to lose my programs if I can avoid it.

I understand that if I pick (2) Win 7, I will lose all my programs.

Thanks
Richard KortsAsked:
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Spar-QCommented:
Given that you can't boot to desktop, I don't know if upgrading to vista will work. Usually, to do an upgrade, you have to run the CD from within the desktop.

What version of XP is on the CD you have there to install with? If it's 1 or lower, you can copy the files off to the PC, slipstream sp2 onto it, and re-burn the image and try that.
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Spar-QCommented:
What is the state of your machine? Does it otherwise function, other than asking you for the CD? I mean... does it boot to the desktop?

The version of XP installed on there right now - is it an OEM copy (like, from Dell or Acer, etc...) or is it a retail version?

You won't be able to buy a copy (legal anyhow) of windows xp sp2 at this point.  

If you want to install 7, you will have to format, so yes... you will lose everything. There is no other option, other than to upgrade to Vista, then from vista to 7.
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Richard KortsAuthor Commented:
To Spar-Q:

I cannot boot. When I turn the machine on, it tries to resume setup, then asks for a CD with XP SP2.

The version installed now was OEM, installed by Dell. The also gave me a disc with XP on it so I could boot in this circumstance. The machine was purchased in 2006. I don't understand why it's asking for SP2 if I don't have that disc. I'm going to go through my CD's again, there MIGHT be an SP2 one, but I don't think so.

I talked to someone at the Windows store locally (San Diego), they told me how to download SP2, burn a CD, etc., but it doesn't work. It's looking for files that are not there (specifically NT5INF.CAT).

Obviously I have another computer or I couldn't do all this.

If I install Vista, then 7 can I save my programs?

Thanks

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Richard KortsAuthor Commented:
To Spar-Q:

I tried that earlier, it didn't work.

How can I determine the version of XP on the CD?

I found another CD that says it has XP & SP2 on it, I'm trying it now. I got it to start more or less from scratch by changing the boot order in setup to CD first. So far, looks OK, but it hasn't gotten far yet.

Thanks
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
What's printed on the Dell Disk and what's on the CoA sticker on the case of the PC?

Don't use a non-Dell disk to fix this - even if it does have SP2 on it
Here's why:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_3218.html
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Richard KortsAuthor Commented:
To MASQUERAID:

On the Dell disk there is a lot printed. If starts with "Operating System, Already installed on your computer, Reinstallation DVD, Microsof Windows XP Media Center Version 2005 with Update Rollup 2"

There are several stickers, I don't know what CoA means, Service Tag 3X559C1 & some other things, is that what you are asking for?
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
No, there should be a sticker from Microsoft with a Product Key on it - although I don't want you to post the Key just the name of the operating system listed on the box.  In the other thread I asked if this was a Media Center or Tablet installation.

The info of the Dell disk is very useful - sounds like it should e an orange'ish color with P/N MW892 at the bottom of the label.

This is a Dell Dimension C521
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nobusCommented:
you can integrate SP2 into the install disk : http://www.helpwithwindows.com/WindowsXP/winxp-sp2-bootcd.html
then use that to repair your PC
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Richard KortsAuthor Commented:
I had to bite the bullet & just install XP Pro from scratch.

Thanks for your efforts.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Just out of interest did you use the Dell MCE disk for the reinstall?

The error is that the manufacturer's image supplied on the HDD owes its origin to the 2 disk install of MCE (that's how Microsoft supply it to everyone) but the reinstallation disk is a combination of both disks.

If you get stuck needing a repair again you need to create a "Disk 2" from files on the reinstallation disk.  There are several sites that describe the process but the bottom line is the SP2 error message that the installer throws up is a red herring, the installer is actually looking for CD2.  The tablet edition of XP has the same issue on Dell disks.
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Richard KortsAuthor Commented:
To MASQUERAID:

No, that repeatedly failed. A friend has Microsof Tech net, we downloaded new CD's of MCE, failed in the same way.

I had to install XP Pro from another CD, of course lost everything (I knew I would).

My biggest problem now is I can't get my email messages back, the Outlook Express import of messages fails. I really need those messages
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
You've kept a copy of the OE data files?

Are you trying to import them or just copy them into the data location for OE on the new install?
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Richard KortsAuthor Commented:
I'm trying to import them, i've already gone through the standard drill, it doesn't work, see
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Protocols/Application_Protocols/Email/Q_27386925.html#a36936704

I'm completely confused.
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Richard KortsAuthor Commented:
To MASQUERAID:

See my comments on the other question, I figured it out.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
:)
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