Help I need to recover my system but do not have recovery disks

  Emmsyboo 11:13 26 Nov 2013

I have a Packard Bell desktop which is about 7-8 years old. It became corrupted so I wanted to restore the system but could not find the original system restore disks. Originally the OS was vista, however i had a System resore disk with XP on it from a laptop that I had. I tried this but it did not work and left my pc not being able to loads windows at all. I made system restore disks from my daughters laptop, W 7, and tried these. The first disk worked but my pc could not read the 2 and 3 disks at all which contained the system image. After having scoured blogs on the internet I tried using the F11 key as my impression was that you could manually carry out a system restore without a disk. However this only gave me the option to restore using a disk. I have phoned PB who say my computer is too old for them to provide me with system restore disks. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks you.

  Ian in Northampton 11:29 26 Nov 2013

My recommendation would be that you bite the bullet and get yourself a proper copy of Vista or XP, and start again/reinstall from there. You can pick up a legitimate version of XP for £25 or less. Hopefully, your attempts at restoring by other means haven't totally messed your PC up.

But: before you do that... Make sure that you can still obtain the drivers for your PB machine. Given its age, that may be a problem. Check on the PB website.

  LastChip 11:56 26 Nov 2013

If it's 7-8 years old, it's hardly worth spending any money on.

You could try a Live Linux DVD and see if it's OK. That would be free and probably work better than what you already had.

Linux Mint is what I'd recommend and use the Cinnamon version which is very much like Windows, so it won't be too much of a learning curve. As the machine is so old, you may have to use an earlier version (maybe something like Mint 12 or 13). It depends on the specification of the machine. But you could try the "Live DVD" just by downloading the iso file, burning it to a DVD disc and popping it into your computer.

Three things to note: 1, it'll be a lot slower from the DVD, than if you install it properly; 2, you need to make sure you've set your machine to boot from your DVD drive first and 3, make sure you know how to burn an iso file properly. I've lost count of how many people fall at the first hurdle!

If you have any data on the machine that you need, the Live DVD would be a good way of recovering it. Make sure you do that first before you attempt to install the system for real.

As Ian in Northampton said, any which way you look at it, you're not going to do anything with Windows without shelling out cash.

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