Probs with XP, reinstall probs and a few other questions....
Just to let you know, I have tried searching the forums here, and I could not find a problem that was similar to mine. So here goes...
Basically, about a month and a half ago I tried to use a crack to reinstall my copy of office xp sb, but the crack had the unfortunate effect of making my computer unable to boot up. I am running XP home on a Dell 5150, with 30GB HD and 640 MB Ram. Basically, it would about to start up, and a message along the lines of (can't exactly remember) "there was an error in the profile settings," or "the registry files have been changed and therefore XP will shut down" would flash on the screen, and the computer would go into restart mode, then end up on the error message again right before XP loaded, and would go into restart again, over and over.
After trying to start the system using my XP cd that I got from Dell, and it not working, I called a Dell cus serv rep. Basically, he guided me through trying to do a repair install, but nothing worked, not even starting the system up in safe mode. So, basically, he made me do a fresh install of XP. After I did the fresh install, I backed up all the files that were on the hard drive. Since this is the backstory, this is now where my questions come in
-After the fresh install, I inserted the drivers and applications disk and I installed all the programs and drivers on the cd, but my computer still does not run anywhere near like it did before. The desktop is completely differenct, as I am missing many icons (including My Computer and My documents, etc.) and the start menu is completely different, missing many of the shortcuts and other icons that had previously been on the computer, even before I installed new programs. For instance, the video performance is completely lacking, as I tried to view a DVD and it basically froze the screen, almost like the video card was not using all of its memory (64MB). I tried to adjust the screen settings using Display Properties, but when I went into "advanced settings"(Display Properties/Settings/Advanced Settings) the tab for my video card settings disappeared. Also, my USB inputs are no longer running as USB2.0, as the driver cannot be found, and when I tried to set up my laptop to connect to the internet using am XP home network setup disk that I made, it gives me an error message. My question is, are there other discs that I need to get all the appropriate drivers? The only other discs that came with the computer were for Windows Money and Encarta, and I highly doubt that they have software on them for my video card, USB 2 ports and network accessability. Or will I have to send it back to Dell to have these utilities/drivers/programs reinstalled?
-I did a fresh install of XP, and in doing so there are now two Windows folders in my C drive (Windows and Windows2). However, in my program files folder, all the information for the other programs I installed are still there (Photoshop, Illustrator, AutoCad, etc.) Is there any way to migrate the settings of the first install into the second install. in other words, is there any quick way to copy the settings and programs that I had in my previous install into the new install, or will I have to reinstall every program into my computer?
-Along the same lines as the question above, I remember the customer service rep telling me to open a certain .txt file and changing it so that the computer would start up off of the fresh (2nd)install instead of the corrupted (1st)install. Does anyone know how I could access that file again, in windows xp, so I could possibly try running off the first install, just in case. Or, if someone here needs more information regarding the error message, I can run the computer off the old install, write down the error message so I can post it, and then access the file again so that I can run the computer off the fresh install?
-Finally, either way I think that I am going to have to invest in a bigger and faster HD for my comp, as it is only a 30GB 4200 RPm drive, while I have a lot a ram and a fast chip the computer never did quite perform like I expected with graphics and processor intensive programs. If I get another drive, preferrably a 7200 RPM notebook drive, will I be able to run it in my computer? I know that the 5150 can handle a 7200 rpm drive, but will I be able to just plop it in and not have to adjust any other bios settings or install any other components? I know that I would have to install XP onto the drive, but I think that I would just get ghost or a comparable program to copy the old drive, with whatever XP install, onto the new one and use the old one as a small backup drive.
If anyone could help with any one of my questions, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, if anyone would rather reply directly to me instead of posting, you can email or pm me. Thanks again, guys.
Oh, and here are the full specs of my comp:
LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY, SUPER EXTENDED GRAPHICS ARRAY PLUS, STANDARD PANELS WORKING GROUP, 15,
KEYBOARD, UNITED STATES, 85, SINGLE POINTING, ABACUS
PROCESSOR, 80532, 3.06G, 512K, FLIP CLIP PIN GRID ARRAY
DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE, 128 AND 512, 333mhz, 16X64, 8K, 200
BATTERY, MALAYSIA DIRECT SHIP, 14.8V, 12C, LITHIUM, SANYO
DOCUMENTATON ON FLOPPY DISK, INTERVIDEO, 4.0, WITH DOLBY HEADPHONE TECHNOLOGY
CARD (CIRCUIT), GRAPHICS, NVIDIA, 64M, NV34, 5150
ASSEMBLY, CARRIER, HARD DRIVE, ABACUS
CONNECTOR, HEADER, 2X22, FEMALE, 2, S, G, 35K, THIRD HEIGHT,
HARD DRIVE, 30GB, I, 9.5MM, 4.2K, FUJITSU, V40
SOFTWARE, WP-PRDCT-STE11, ENGLAND/ENGLISH
SOFTWARE, McAfee.com, 4.5, ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MFGR.
SOFTWARE, MS ENCARTA-2K4,
WXPHSP1, COMPACT DISKETTE W/DOCUMENTATION, ENGLAND/ENGLISH
SUBASSEMBLY, COMPACT DISK READ WRITE/DIGITAL VIDEO DISK DRIVE COMBO, VERTICAL ASSEMBLY, Quanta Storage Inc, ABACUS
OK, I see 2 problems right off the bat:
1) All of the latest drivers are probably not loaded. This could explain the video performance issues, and also the USB 2.0 issue. You should go to the Dell site to download the latest drivers for your machine & install them. Don't use the ones from the CD 'cuz they're probably out of date by now. However, this is not your real problem.
2) Even more important, you have too much garbage on your drive. Sounds like you just installed a 2nd instance of Windows rather than starting from scratch. With all of those other files on your machine, the 2 installations might step on each other & cause you problems. I'd recommend that you start all over again, and this time FORMAT your drive.
You're actually in a good position to do this since you're thinking of buying a new drive. Yes, a 7200RPM will plug right in & work - no worries. I'd recommend that you grab yourself a new drive (http://www.newegg.com has great prices on laptop drives), and just install that drive from scratch.
Then, connect your old drive as a secondary drive. You can buy an empty drive bay from Dell - I'm not that familiar with the 5150, but you should be able to either get an external media bay or an internal bay that goes in place of the battery or the CD-ROM drive.
You can then copy all of your data files over, and then maybe use the 2nd drive for additional storage. You will not be able to transfer your programs over - you'll need to re-install them from the original disks. I do NOT recommend that you ghost the old drive to the new since you'll just be bringing your current problems with you.
Hope that helps...