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where to begin?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Differentoctave, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. Differentoctave

    Differentoctave Thread Starter

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    i have a windows system32 "corrupt or missing" problem and cannot load windows.
    i could not find the original disc from dell (comp is 4 yrs old) dell sent a disc they said"may OR may not help ". i tried to run repair from that and it tells me:
    The system registry does not appear to have an active ControlSet key. The system registry may be damaged.
    Is my next step to try and reinstall windows from the disk they sent me?
    Do I have to backup anything before trying to reinstall windows xp? Will I lose all my stuff?
    How do I do this?

    Dell told me my machine was windows service pack 1 and all they have to send me is service pack 2. Does this have any importance? I am pretty sure I always updated windows.
    Dell also said once I am able I should download the following drivers from dell support:
    chipset
    audio
    video
    network
    but they sent an additional cd that looks like it contains that stuff.

    This is really all out of my experience level. Am i going to be able to fix this myself?

    I saw a link on another post for "how to recover from corrupted registry..." but it looked kinda scary. I figured I should ask first.

    Thanks to all!!
     
  2. SB305

    SB305

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    First, your specs show that you're running Windows ME (Millenium Edition). Is that so?
    Has Dell sent you recovery disks for Windows ME or XP?
    I've never used ME so, with luck, if that's what you're using, an ME guru will pop along pretty soon.
    Secondly, if you're primarily concerned with saving your data, do you have access to another PC that it can be recovered on?
     
  3. jmwills

    jmwills

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    ME never had a Service Pack (it needed one or two), but you have XPSP1 and the SP2 disc will help but I would suggest getting a new drive along with an enclosure for the old drive.

    Install the new disk in the computer, partition the drive into two partitions, one for the OS and another for data. Get the machine completely up to date and then take the old drive, put it in the enclosure and copy the data back to the new partition you made for data, wipe the old drive and then use it for backups.

    http://willsit.com/reinstall.aspx
     
  4. Differentoctave

    Differentoctave Thread Starter

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    specs are wrong i am running windows xp home.
    i have use of a laptop but only once a day for a couple of hours. but i do not know what i am doing. i am a technoidiot.
    regarding the next message from jmwills, how do i do this? i dont even know what a partition is, or an enclosure.
     
  5. Differentoctave

    Differentoctave Thread Starter

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    so, do i try to go through the "recover from registry..." i mentioned above or do i just try to reinstall.
    and how can i save my stuff beforehand?
    please help.
    thanks to all!!
     
  6. SB305

    SB305

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    1. Can you quote exactly what is printed on the disks which Dell sent you?
    As you observed, it makes no sense that they told you to download drivers if they sent you a disk which includes them for your specific PC.
    2. Exactly which Dell model do you have - full product number?
    3. Are you prepared to buy a new hard drive, take the original out of the PC and install the new one in the PC? If you can get the case open easily enough, this should involve little more than taking out and replacing 4 screws.
    4. Are you prepared to buy an external enclosure for the hard drive and fit the old drive into it? Again, just a matter basically of screwing it together.
    Very rough minimum cost for the hard drive and enclosure together would be £50 or $100.
    You don't necessarily have to have these to fix the PC (although you may need a new hard drive in any case) but you do have to get at least one of them if you want to try saving your data and you don't have access to any other PC than the laptop.
     
  7. Differentoctave

    Differentoctave Thread Starter

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    The 1st CD says

    OPERATING SYSTEM
    ALREADY INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER
    Reinstallation CD
    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Service Pack 2

    This software is already installed on your computer.
    Only use this CD to reinstall the operating system on a DELL computer.

    -and the 2nd CD says-
    APPLICATION
    ALREADY INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER
    For reinstalling Dell Tools System software
    Contents:
    Antivirus software
    Support software
    Multilmedia software
    Internet software

    I only used the first CD as stated above and got the "ControlSet key" error after repair did it's thing.
     
  8. Differentoctave

    Differentoctave Thread Starter

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    oh and its a dell dimension 4600

    in answer to 3 and 4 yes and yes but i dont know what an enclosure is.
     
  9. SB305

    SB305

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    Which country do you live in?
     
  10. Differentoctave

    Differentoctave Thread Starter

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  11. Differentoctave

    Differentoctave Thread Starter

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    i would also like to know whether i should attempt the directions spelled out on microsofts "how to recover from registry error" page. it does state that you should not attempt if the OS is OEM, which it is. why is that, due to warranty issues (mine is long gone) or is there a technical reason?
     
  12. SB305

    SB305

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    I don't know. But if M$ says don't do it, I wouldn't - it's hassle enough following their directions when they say DO do it. :rolleyes:
    Anyway, to return to your previous post, I live in England where we don't get goodies likes rebates and all the other great stuff you enjoy. Therefore I can't give you a link to my favourite retailers.
    Switch off the power and disconnect your rig and open the case. Touch a metal part of the case to discharge any electrostatic charge you may have accumulated.
    From what I've Googled, you have a mini-tower and it's jam-packed with 2 optical drives, one hard drive and a floppy drive. The hard drive is either of 40GB or 80GB and you'll probably find that 80GB is the smallest (and cheapest) you can get now. You can tell which one is the hard drive from its size which will be about 4.0 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches. It will be secured by screws, probably 2 each side. Don't remove it yet but can you access all those screws to the extent that you can remove them and thus free the drive itself for removal?
     
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