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N2IZE
06-03-2007, 09:01 AM
A relative has a windows XP machine which recently stopped working. It appears that Windows somehow got corrupted. They calledDell (the maker of the machine) and Dell reccomended they do a Windows reinstall.

Now, since they have a ton of pictures (family photos) stored on the drive which were not backed up they were very worried about loosing them. I removed the drive from the machine, mounted it in a external hard drive enclosure, mounted the drive under Linux as a NTFS partition and I copied the home directories containing the photos and stuff to a high capacity drive on one of my external servers. So now their photos, itunes and stuff is backed up and safe.

Now comes the next part. I need to remount the drive into the original machine and re-install Windows XP. here's the million dollar question. Can I perform a Windows reinstall in a way that will not destroy the existing home/user directories. This would save the trouble of having to remake the user directories and restore the backed up contents. I know this can be done with Linux installs by not overwriting the partition containing the /home directories. But can this be done with a windows re-install ??

N6HCM
06-03-2007, 09:52 AM
yes, you can do this ... make sure you don't choose any option which wants to format the disk and you should be good.

K3WRV
06-03-2007, 02:54 PM
It CAN be done, but when Windowes gets corrupted, often doing a "reinstall" simply copies the corrupted settings, viruses, trojans, etc. (from some hidden file) into the new install and your problems continue!

Haven't tried it in ExPEE, but with 98, about the only way to unbreak broken win$ is to reformat and do it right, and then reinstall everything. That doesn't fix everything, unfortunately. Win$ still misbehaves like win$, but at least it misbehaves like Bill Gate$ designed it to., without the corruption. http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

K3WRV
06-03-2007, 03:41 PM
Addendum to my last post:

Dells (and Compaqs) have a "restore partition" on the Hard drive somewhere that you can find with Fdisk. Unfortunately, Ex Pee doesn't use fdisk, (they use something else that doesn't work as well). If you reinstall Win$ from that partition, I don't think you can control anything about the install. It just puts the machine back in the state it was in when it left the factory, and destroys any partitions you may have added! (Major PAIN!) and reinstalls all the craplets that Dell insists on including in it's distros (free Norton, three day trial of M$ Orrifice, and all that other junk. There was a thread on /. called "how to reinstall XP in 5 days or more" (or something like that) that mentioned a couple of decrapifier programs that would automatically remove those things.

My earlier post assumed that you were going to use an XP disk rather than the "restore function". I don't think you can save anything if you boot from the restore partition (F-12 at bootup on my Dell from Hell).

AB1N
06-03-2007, 03:58 PM
There is an option in the Windows XP setup program that will allow you to "repair an existing installation." This is probably what you want to try first. If it works, great! If not, you'll have to do a clean reinstall from scratch. Honestly, I can barely stand to go more than about a year without reinstalling XP anyway, just because it gets crufty over time just through regular use, even without falling victim to malware.

N2IZE
06-03-2007, 06:28 PM
Quote[/b] (k3wrv @ June 03 2007,08:41)]Addendum to my last post:

Dells (and Compaqs) have a "restore partition" on the Hard drive somewhere that you can find with Fdisk. Unfortunately, Ex Pee doesn't use fdisk, (they use something else that doesn't work as well). If you reinstall Win$ from that partition, I don't think you can control anything about the install. It just puts the machine back in the state it was in when it left the factory, and destroys any partitions you may have added! (Major PAIN!) and reinstalls all the craplets that Dell insists on including in it's distros (free Norton, three day trial of M$ Orrifice, and all that other junk. There was a thread on /. called "how to reinstall XP in 5 days or more" (or something like that) that mentioned a couple of decrapifier programs that would automatically remove those things.

My earlier post assumed that you were going to use an XP disk rather than the "restore function". I don't think you can save anything if you boot from the restore partition (F-12 at bootup on my Dell from Hell).
I'm going to be using a disk to do the reinstallation. Dell set up the drive with a "utilities/diagnostics" partition but, there is no restore partition. Instead they provide a disk to install from.

K3WRV
06-04-2007, 03:06 AM
Well-

That's probably the same thing as what I'm calling a restore partition, so beware! This is a dual boot Linux?XP box at the moment, and I've told Linux that winSux doesn't exist, so can't do fdisk /dev hdb. YMMV
Bob

W6TMI
06-05-2007, 02:19 AM
If you use the restore partition it will restore as image, you will not have the option to do a repair type install.

Sometimes it's broken because of a combination driver/registry entry, so that when you re-install, it will keep those entries.

Sometimes it will fix a problem.

If they did not have alot of programs and custom settings and such, usually you are better off doing a clean install, the system will run better as it wont have all the extra registry crap that windows seems to collect.

Also sometimes it's only a specific user's entries that are screw up. If you can logon as someone else, and it works, or crate a new login, then just delete the old.

N2IZE
06-06-2007, 06:14 PM
Quote[/b] (k3wrv @ June 03 2007,20:06)]Well-

That's probably the same thing as what I'm calling a restore partition, so beware! #This is a dual boot Linux?XP box at the moment, and I've told Linux that winSux doesn't exist, so can't do fdisk /dev hdb. #YMMV
# # Bob
How did you convince Linux not to see the Windows partition ? Normally if you do

# fdisk -l

as root it shows up everything installed in the machine...

N2IZE
06-06-2007, 06:22 PM
I got this Windows problem fixed quite easilly. All I had to do was boot up off the Windows XP installation disc, flick through a couple of menus to let the installation program find the existing Windows installation. Once that happened I simply selected the "repair" option to repair the broken/corrupted installation.It worked. It copied over the corrupted files and viola, it's working fine.

AB8RU
06-18-2007, 01:50 AM
One thing to remember #NTFS will on encrypted files without that key you are up Z creek without Z paddle, if someone wants to do backup in XP there is a program on the disk called #Valueadd folder.

there are 3rd party programs also out there.

for the person who has not read the COMP TIA A+ Program there is a reason NTFS was created to make it more secure against espionage. same reason when you do your business on line for a secured session.

also if you have no protection such as a security set from Firewall to Virus Scan, a virus will latch onto anything and will jump back on the Hard Drive. #and you is a sitting duck !

WA9UAA
06-27-2007, 07:22 PM
Good Day,
The last post raised a question for me. Is it possible to get a Virus from anything other than a download or opening an email attachment?
73,
Rob WA9UAA

KD6NIG
06-27-2007, 07:45 PM
Corrupted files. Hopefully its not the result of:

-Virus, Spyware, or the like.
-Hard disk slowly going south
-Windows update going awry.

I figure you probably checked all of them, but usually bad files is something like this. Hopefully if it was a disk issue windows was smart enough to mark the sectors bad.

May not be a bad idea if you have the disk space somewhere to maybe commit those photos and stuff you backed up to some other form of media anyway. If they truely have that many, I wouldn't want them to suddenly go poof if the hard disk suddenly craters hard.

I recently invested in a "network storage" backup device that backs up every machine once a day. I also commit pictures to CD about every 6 months or so (the new ones) so if I have a bad crash, I don't lose the entire thing. CD is a good medium for secondary backup if its stored right.

I've just seen way too many people lose a bunch of stuff because they assume it will never go away, and then suddenly it does. I remember in the old days where a lot of people selling a computer would suggest backup-most people would, of course, poo-poo it off, but at least it was suggested. With all the devices that dump data into a computer nowadays, its more important than ever!

Make copies, multiple copies, and do it on a regular schedule!

KD6NIG
06-27-2007, 07:52 PM
Quote[/b] (WA9UAA @ June 27 2007,12:22)]Good Day,
The last post raised a question for me. Is it possible to get a Virus from anything other than a download or opening an email attachment?
73,
Rob WA9UAA
Yes, there are, though a properly protected windows install currently patched SHOULD be resistant.

Some websites will try to send stuff to your computer, though most will require some kind of user verification to 'initiate' the install.

The only one I can think of offhand that self installs (there are others, but supposedly a properly patched system isn't subject to them) is the blaster worm. If you have a real old version of XP you may get this upon hooking to the internet, it may not be a bad idea to have a copy of the patch on a disk to install first before doing so if you're in this case. There are some others, but most of those are picked up by good, UPDATED windows and UPDATED antivirus software. Many people install it, but fail to update it! It should be checked at least weekly to ensure its current.

Basically, the advice I give anyone is that if someone comes to you or emails you with something that, in real life, would be too good to be true, its probably viral.

There is a lot of disinformation on the net also about this topic. You can get 50 different opinions. But a good antivirus, firewall (or combo "internet protection" package that has both) is not a bad idea. Spyware scanning and blocking is also a good idea.

But most of all, installing windows patches is very important, as those usually patch the holes that would allow something bad to be executed without your intervention. Yes, sometimes windows releases a patch that does more harm than good, but I'd rather take that chance than have something open ;)

Opinions will vary, trust me.

One other thing: There is information requested on the internet (like passwords and stuff) that you would never EVER give to anyone, yet on the internet people do it. NO NO NO!
The sooner people understand that, the sooner we'll have much less stuff popping up that requires all this anti-stuff to prevent it!

WA9UAA
06-27-2007, 09:18 PM
Joshua,
Thanks for the detailed reply, I am running behind a cable modem with a fire wall and of course watch my downloads. I never use I.E. or Outlook.
73,
Rob WA9UAA

WA3KYY
07-06-2007, 06:41 PM
Quote[/b] (n2ize @ June 06 2007,14:22)]I got this Windows problem fixed quite easilly. All I had to do was boot up off the Windows XP installation disc, flick through a couple of menus to let the installation program find the existing Windows installation. Once that happened I simply selected the "repair" option to repair the broken/corrupted installation.It worked. It copied over the corrupted files and viola, it's working fine.
Done that dozens of times on different machines. It has been a life saver.

Did you set up the automatic checkpoint restore function? That might save even more time if it happens again on that machine.

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