how to restore a packard bell?

  Jayne doe 17:15 26 Sep 2004

I need your help. A mate has bought a Packard Bell computer from PC World. He's crashed it. Its 6 months out of warranty. It goes as far as the WINDOWS XP Home screen but then reboots in a circle each time. It does the same if you try to get into SAFE mode. I dont think it ever gets as far as the operating system. It so quick I cant type in -a to prolong the screen. I have tried to do a system restore with the supplied Red disk but after it does the initial bit it asks for Disc 1 of the master CDs. It appears that PC World must have transferred the info off the hidden portion of the HD to a set of Master CDs as is the option with them it appears from the included paperwork. This means that although you can boot up with the Red disc there is no master CD available when it asks to, 'Please insert Disc 1 of the Master CD Set'. So how do I get round this? We been to PC World Wednesbury who said it was not their policy to supply the master discs to customers but customers should bring their computers in to restore the files...for a hefty charge of course. So is it possible to get master discs that will restore his computer? or Does he have to buy another copy of XP home and start again. The trouble is all the other drivers will be on the master discs as well. Can you assist in some way please?

  VoG II 17:29 26 Sep 2004

click here may help you to repair this error if you have access to a Windows XP disk - any one will do.

  Jayne doe 18:12 26 Sep 2004

thanks that sounds exactly like the problem he has. I will go back later and try it. I will post here how it goes. Many thanks. Jayne

  buscrew 18:27 26 Sep 2004

If VoG's advice doesn't do the trick you can purchase the Master CD's direct from Packard Bell for around £30.00. I would first raise merry hell in PC World, preferably when it's full of customers, as this seems a mean and underhanded way of extorting money from customer's. All PB machines are factory supplied with a hidden 2GB partition containing the restore information, This can be deleted, to recover the space after creating the Master CD's yourself. For a shop to do this in order to make customers return the PC to their service department seems incredible to me.

  Q-Bie 18:29 26 Sep 2004

I highly doubt PCW would have transferred the Info off the Hard Drive. The PC would come with the Hidden recovery Partition when it left the factory, and when you boot it up there is a "Master CD Creator" on the desktop which will create a set of Master CDs and then Delete the onboard partition. Are you sure this wasn't done by by your friend and they have just lost the discs?

If so, then you can order a set of recovery CD's from Packard Bell direct, it will cost you around £25 depending on the exact set you need. What price were you quoted at the Wednesbury store? Although not able to supply you with a copy of the discs they should be able to recover it using CDs supplied to the store by Packard Bell, although again you would still need to order the CD's afterwards. The CDs would automatically reinstall all the drivers and applications that were on the PC originally.


  paddyjack 18:44 26 Sep 2004

As the comp starts up tap the F10 key, this should take you to a hidden partition, and you can install from there. Good luck

  Q-Bie 19:11 26 Sep 2004

Thats for the current models, the older models needed a floppy disc to access the hidden partition. But in jaynes case, it would make no difference as the partition seems to have been deleted.


  Jayne doe 20:23 26 Sep 2004

Thanks for advice guys. Q-Bie, Tony and Jen need a guide to turn the thing on they would not be able to create master discs. I telephoned the store myself this afternoon and supplied the invoice number and other requested details, the answer they gave me believe it or not was, 'its not company policy to supply the master recovery discs to customers'. I argued that the drivers and edition of Win XP should be supplied somehow to customers who have paid for it. The fact that they acknowledged master discs existed shows someone has created them and wiped the disc. They said if the customer was not happy with this they should phone the tech helpine at 70p per minute where they will sell them a copy for £30. I have advised them to write to complain about this. I also think this was the store that was selling repaired computers as new and a guy found some very nasty stuff on his 'new' computer when he started it up. Could be wrong but Im told this was the case.
In any case I cant see a hidden partition on this disc at all, there is no usual option to select the floppy drive as usual it goes straight to requesting the master disc 1. Thanks to VOG, I suspect what he said is the case and I will try it out tomorrow but they still need to get some master discs somehow.
Paddyjack - I tried F10 but the computer does not respond due to age I think it came with a red disc as they all did. Thanks for input guys. Night

  Q-Bie 17:58 27 Sep 2004

Jayne, when you say they acknowledge that master discs exist, they do for all Packard Bell PCs, Packard Bell make available to the store a set of Master CD's for all models. Has the PC been instore for any repairs at any time?

The fact that the PC is asking for Master CD1 does mean that the partition is not there anymore, or if it is it's been damaged.

It sounds like the information has been wiped through no fault of your friends, but as it is a software issue then there would usually be a charge to resolve it. I ask again, how much were you quoted for the store to re-install the software with the store copy of PB Master CDs?


  Dorsai 19:12 27 Sep 2004

Considering the truly insignificant cost of CD-R disks, why cant PC sellers supply a form of the OS on a disk in the first place?

Why bother with faffing around creating a hidden partition, when they can just include a CD in the box, and then it can't get corrupted/accidently erased etc?

Bootable optical drives are mostly the norm now. Why do they still use an outdated floppy, and a hidden partition? why not add the two together, and stick it all on a CD?

  Danoh 20:28 27 Sep 2004

I'd guess! To trap customers into a no-win situation that makes them go back for chargeable services, which a helpful neighbour could have provided for free otherwise!!

Those that practice these methods should be named and shamed!

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