Repairing Windows XP

  Mike D 13:07 26 Oct 2004

A friend has an XP Home installation on a Time machine which is failing to start properly, it gets to the desktop and then freezes. Because of this I cannot run Task Manager, MS config or anything else that might give me an idea of what is (or is not) going on. The sons of the household promise me that they have not downloaded anything (not too sure about that on past evidence), so I'm not any wiser from that angle either. They have just moved house and cannot find the original documentation and disks which came with the machine (in fact, they are not sure whether a recovery disk exists).

Now for the question - can I use my XP disk to boot from in the hope of getting to the point where I can do a repair install, or is this a no-no because of the one copy of WIndows per machine rule.

Thanks in advance

  Graham ® 13:16 26 Oct 2004

Start in Safe Mode by pressing F8 whilst booting. This will prevent any rogue program from loading.

  PSF 13:18 26 Oct 2004

You can as long as you use their licence key and not yours. You pay for the licence, the cd is just a copy. It is one licence per pc, it would not activate with the same key as yours.
I had to do that with mine on a friends pc who had a similar problem.

  Mike D 13:30 26 Oct 2004

Graham ® and PSF

Thanks for the repies. Graham, if only I could! If I do try to start in safe mode, the PC hangs whilst loading the bare bones drivers.

I'm really trying to avoid a complete reinstal, because I know that they will have no backups, but I fear that that is where I will end up!


  Graham ® 13:34 26 Oct 2004

Time for the thumb screws on the boys!

  PSF 13:34 26 Oct 2004

If you do a system repair you will only have to update Service Pack 2, all the other programs will be safe.

  Mike D 13:53 26 Oct 2004

Graham - to hell with the PC, thumbscrews sounds more fun!

PSF I think that finding their cd key is the answer.

Yhanks guys.


  PSF 14:00 26 Oct 2004

It should be on a label on the back of the system.

  PA28 14:58 26 Oct 2004

I had this recently with my son's system. Repair was not an option in the end as faulty RAM had caused so much mayhem with the system that a complete format and reinstall was the only option. I used my XP disk and his licence key - once I had diagnosed and replaced the RAM it was a doddle; until that time it had been a nightmare. Oddly, this was a Time machine as well.........

  woodt 17:12 26 Oct 2004

This is worth a read click here

  Mike D 22:25 26 Oct 2004

Thank you PA28 and woodt. I am going to try with my copy of XP.


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