My daughters computer is finally in such a mess that she has agreed that drastic measures are needed. The O/S needs reinstalling. Being an Evesham, I don’t expect for one moment that the disc supplied will do an install, it will almost certainly be a rescue disc only.
1/ Can I use my OEM XP Home SP2 disc for a reinstallation, as long as I register it with their number of course?
2/ Failing this, am I correct in understanding that an installer is in a hidden folder on the hard drive? If this is so, can I copy this to a CD and install from this?
Her husband assures me that he still has all the driver discs. They will buy Acronis, and a USB plug in drive, so that everything can be backed up properly this time. I have made it quite clear that I will not do the job until the computer has been thoroughly cleaned inside first.
"How will I be able to tell, apart from risking trying it?"
Put the disk in a CD Drive and see if the 'Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP' install screen appears with the options of what you want do- Install etc. Nothing else will happen until you select an option, it isn't going to start running by itself.
Although the CD was usually labelled 'Evesham Micros Ltd Product Recovery CD-ROM' it was the full version of XP,
I have a 3 year old Evesham and it came with full installation discs for XP Pro (SP2) Media Centre Edition. I had to do a clean reinstall about a year ago - went ok of long winded dpzens of Windows XP updates, .NET Framework etc. I have just bought a full version of Windows 7 and currently it is dual booted with XP and W7. I intend to ditch XP soon. I have deletet it but there was a recovery (FAT 32) hidden partition to restor back to factory settings. If a clean reinstall is difficult, it may be worth checking with W 7 checker if it is suitable, and buy W7 for a clean install.
Many thanks folks for all the help. The computer is at least five or six years old. I had a look yesterday, and checked with SIW. There were quite a few errors saying something about driveO/D having a bad block. Google shows many posts on this subject with varying opinions. My son in law works with someone who has a diagnosis tool for that hard drive, and he will ask him to run it and see what comes up.
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