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Old 12-27-2003, 12:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry How do I reinstall WinXP without erasing the HD contents?

As I mentioned in the HardWare forum, my laptop crashed with a "corrupted or missing file" error screen before the WinXP OS starts, and left me with a HD which needs to be accessed somehow.
Evey time I try to use the "System Recovery CD" or the "WinXP installation CD" I get messages saying my HD will be erased if I continue.
Is there a way to boot the computer and access the C: drive without erasing its contents?
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Old 12-27-2003, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Perhaps someone might have another idea so that you won't have to buy any hardware but this is what I do in that situation:
I have a lot of clients that have laptops and have similar problems. I bought a 2.5' external USB hard drive case. It ended up being around $5 - $10 on ebay. If I am working on a laptop that cannot boot, I'll take the hard drive out of the laptop and then place it into the case. THen I'll connect it to another PC and run virus-scanning software, and other diagnostics. I'll also use this method to save any data needed to my other PC before re-formatting and re-installing an operating system.
Here is a link to something similar to what I bought.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...9&category=167

-Mike
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Old 12-27-2003, 03:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thats genius mike, i never thought of that. do laptop hard disks fit in that?aren't the connectors much smaller and different? would you need some kind of converter/ adapter for the connectors?

portable since your restore CD does not give you that option you must have a full version of winXP or win2000 which allow you to install over a previous OS.
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Old 12-27-2003, 05:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ekÆsine
thats genius mike, i never thought of that. do laptop hard disks fit in that?aren't the connectors much smaller and different? would you need some kind of converter/ adapter for the connectors?

portable since your restore CD does not give you that option you must have a full version of winXP or win2000 which allow you to install over a previous OS.
Yea they fit. Laptop drives are the standard 2.5' size. In each of the enclosures there is a mini drive (2.5' laptop dirve) to USB converter. Just remove the drive from the laptop and then plug it in the adapter in the case. Then close the case up and use the USB cable that comes with the drive.

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Old 12-27-2003, 08:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Smile Thanks for the help!!! I managed to backup

drive C: using a bootable linux CD ("knnopix") to override WinXP.
Mike's idea sounds interesting for next time, and it's certainly more elegant than our solution

We suspected the reason for the failure was a broken fan causing the laptop to over-heat. What we did was to stick the laptop (shrink-wrapped) into the freezer for 15 minutes, then hold the laptop over a regular fan while we booted using linux and quickly copied the files in small batches to a USB.
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Old 12-27-2003, 09:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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lol lol lol lol
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Old 12-28-2003, 02:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Whoa!
That's one for the books! lol

-Mike
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Old 12-29-2003, 03:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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lmao at tht solution

Quite innovative i may add
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