What to do when recovery CDs don't work??

  Jester2K II 14:18 24 Oct 2003

Out of warranty Packard Bell IDES-190 PC bought in June 2002. Windows XP Home.

Started up with message saying the C Drive was "invalid media type"

Booting with a boot floppy meant i could access the C Drive (get a c prompt) but it wouldn't bring up a directory listing or Scan-disk the drive -"invalid Media type"

Decide to use Recovery CD - HDD has hidden recovery partition (Never seen these work!!!) Booting with the red floppy results in a Win98 type boot disk procedure followed by the loading of the "NEC International Recovery Console". It extracts one file and then the screen goes black (green light still on TFT Screen) Nothing. Wait 10 minutes and hit a key it then says "Error loading OEMSETUP" and i get a D or E prompt....

Running OEMSETUP takes us back to the loading of the "NEC International Recovery Console".

One call to PC World and they got me to FDISK and format the C Drive (now fully recognised) but the recovery still won't work.

Refered to another company. Confident Chap takes me thorough the procedure again explaining that if the HDD, CD and Floppy don't contain matching info then the procedure won't work. Talks me through creating a new rescue floppy from the Rescue CD and changing the HDD to match.

FDISK, format to remove hidden partition (to run Recovery purely from CDs and floppy) and a reboot - same as above....

Ring again. Non-Confident Chap umm'd and er'd about hard disk failure, motherboard failure and compatibility of MUMBLE, before announcing that (ahem) "the systems here have all just gone down and might be down of the rest of the day. Try ringing after 8:30 tonight!"

Stuck now... These Recovery CDs have never worked in my experience. Client says she used them successfully when they removed personal info from a PC before selling it to buy the new one - must just be me then...

Also has spent a small fortune (no joke) on the PC World helpline only to be fobbed off on repeated occasions.

I thought PC World did a re-tattooing service for PCs bought from them. Even if the client needs to pay?

Any other ideas?

Client is loath to spend any more cash unless a guaranteed answer comes up....

  alcudia 14:45 24 Oct 2003

Can you try to load another OS temporarily. Do you have an old Win98 disc lying around. This will at least rule out the hard drive and any other hardware that PC World might try to blame, and you can always format again afterwards.

If it works and everything on the HD is clean I would suspect a faulty recovery disc.

One point may be worth mentioning. I got one of these things with my PC and got all sorts of errors when I ran it from the CD-RW drive. Decided to try the DVD drive and worked without problem.

  Jester2K II 14:55 24 Oct 2003

Some good ideas. I'll have to think these over as I don't have a "Spare" copy of Win98SE as it where - well not legally anyway.

Also the drive is a DVD CDRW combo drive so i could put my old CD ROM drive in temporarily...

I'll have a ponder on that....


  Taran 15:17 24 Oct 2003

Packard Bell support have details on error checking recovery disks and reinstalling from them where errors occur:

click here

Details on re-tattooing the drive yourself:

click here

  Taran 15:22 24 Oct 2003

Worst case scenario (as long as the hardwar eitself is working OK):

Run Windows install from a Windows CD.

Use the Windows key from the sticker on the machine.

Activate Windows online or by telephone.

Install all device drivers from Packard Bell support site downloads.

I realise this does not recover any application software but it does get a bare bones Windows/device drivers system up and running.


  Jester2K II 17:43 24 Oct 2003

Cheers will give these a whirl...

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