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Major help needed

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by luvmysting, Aug 9, 2006.

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  1. luvmysting

    luvmysting Thread Starter

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    Hi guys..
    I'm hoping that someone can help me out with my problem.

    About 6 months or so ago, my mother in law gave me and hubby her office pc because she replaced it with a new pc. She is an apartment manager and the pc she gave us had win 98 installed when it was new but the main office (her boss) purchased a win xp pro and had a pc guy install it. Now its been a few years since this happened. The pc guy never left her any cd's or manuals or anything that had the product key on it.

    Now fast forward to present day. 2 nights ago I was rebooting the pc and it comes up with a windows activation screen. I call the # because it wouldn't connect online. I gave the rep the installation ID that was on the pc and she was unable to validate it, I don't understand why. Anyways, then she has me click "change key" but it asks for the product key which I do not have and after speaking to mother in law, she can not provide me with it. She called this "pc guy" and he says its been years blah blah blah he doesn't have the info! I'm fuming at this point because this info should have been left with MIL in the first place!

    So, I figure I'm screwed, I'll have to buy a win xp, fine by me. So I take both drives out of my pc and hook them uup to my daughters pc as slave drives so I can get the data that I want before I reformat with new OS. It won't let me access either drives! Grrr... Anyone have any ideas for me? I'm really upset because this is a LEGAL install to the best of my and mother in laws knowledge and now I may lose important files.

    I can't even see how I am going to be able to salvage these drives (80 gig each) if I can't even get the pc's to let me access them. The weird thing is the drives don't show up in explorer, but when I check device manager, they are there but with no drive letter. So I know the pc see's them right? Very aggrivating to say the least. Any suggestions?

    I was wondering if I buy win xp pro and try and use that key will it unlock the drives? I don't even know if this was a full install of win xp pro or upgrade though.

    Help! =)
    Sandy
     
  2. cybertech

    cybertech Retired Moderator

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    Once you have the drives in as slave you can go into Admin tools, Computer management, Disk Management and assign them a drive letter.
     
  3. luvmysting

    luvmysting Thread Starter

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    Ok.. my daughters pc that I am using to do this is running win 98, and the drives were/are formatted with win xp pro, not sure if that matters. Where do I find admin tools? Never had to access that before. Also, if that does work, I should be able to move important files and reformat the drives?
     
  4. cybertech

    cybertech Retired Moderator

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    OH, I thought she was XP as well. Not sure this will work with W98 especially if the drives were formatted NTFS.

    I think the best option is to purchase XP and change the key.
     
  5. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    yeah that is never going to work because 98 can't even see NTFS on XP OS.
     
  6. luvmysting

    luvmysting Thread Starter

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    So if I purchase xp I should be able to change the key and it should unlock the drives? I'm just concerned really with losing all of the data. And I don't know if they installed a full xp or upgrade, I would think that should matter?
     
  7. cybertech

    cybertech Retired Moderator

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  8. luvmysting

    luvmysting Thread Starter

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    Thank you..you have pointed me in the right direction and hopefully I can get my pc back up and running soon. Hubby has a paint business and everything was backed up to seperate drive other than boot drive but I never thought that storage drive wouldn't be accessable at any time.
    Sandy
     
  9. cybertech

    cybertech Retired Moderator

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    You're welcome!

    Please let us know how you make out with this!

    :)
     
  10. luvmysting

    luvmysting Thread Starter

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    Well, I read the site you gave me but I wouldn't qualify for a comp kit because I don't have the cd, but I did manage to speak to a tech guy at microsoft that finally gave me some insight to what my problem was (of course w/your help too LOL).

    My daughters pc is running win 98, so thats why I couldnt access anything from the drives. I brought the drives here to my dads pc, he is running win xp home. Hooked up the drives and wala.. I was able to see drives and back up all of my info. I am going to just reformat and install win 98 (I have that cd at home) and buy win xp home upgrade when I can afford it. I realize I can't use my storage drive until I get the xp though.

    I feel alot better though knowing I'm not losing the data. Hopefully I won't have a problem with installing win 98 on the drive. I did notice when I hooked my daughters HD up to my pc, it couldn't find alot of the drivers needed on win 98 to run some things so I'm hoping if I can put the windows xp folder onto a disc, I can use that when its looking for a driver. You think that will work? I hope so.

    'I'm going to keep this site bookmarked and am so glad I found ya'll here! I'm sure I'll be back LOL.
    Thanks again and have a great day!
    Sandy
     
  11. cybertech

    cybertech Retired Moderator

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    It's not likely you will be able to use XP drivers on W98.

    Let us know if you need help finding something!
     
  12. luvmysting

    luvmysting Thread Starter

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    Hi..
    I was unable to move the windows folder to a cd anyways so there went that idea. It probably wouldn't work anyways like you said. So, I'm home and I got the win 98 installed and so far so good, but there are quite a few"other devices" that could not find the driver it needed, even going to the "windows update" option. Sooo.... I'm kinda stuck there. So far its not affecting anything I am using so it may be ok until I get the new win xp. I'll be back I'm sure when I install that if I run into any problems with drivers LOL. Thanks for your help!
    Sandy
     
  13. MrBills

    MrBills

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    Not that it matters to me, but that copy of Windows 98 should be used only on the PC that it was installed on originally. All versions of Windows are that way. They didn't/don't check 98 like they do XP.
    EDIT:
    98 is no longer supported by M$ either. I know that you are going to upgrade from it. For about $100.00 you can get Windows Media Center and that is a step above XP Home and a little lower then XP Pro. Don't need to install anything but it. This is not an upgrade price.
    Tiger Direct
     
  14. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    If you Google the name and model of each device with the word "driver" after it and you should find all you are missing. Now if you simply bought a copy of XP, and update is fine as you can out your 98 disk in when they ask to show another copy of Windows, then update it at Windows Update you will probably have all the drivers you need.
    Media pro is glorified Home with a few audio visual touches so check here for specials as I have seen Home Upgrade for $50 quite often at Short Circuit City and Worst Buy, just finbd your state:
    http://www.salescircular.com/
     
  15. luvmysting

    luvmysting Thread Starter

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    Ok, so slap me on the wrist LOL. Trust me, win 98 is not my os of choice and don't plan on keeping it for long but it was my only option as of right now to get me back up and running so I could get to the internet and deal with bills/banking. Thanks for the info about media center. I'll have to look into it ;)
    Sandy
     
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