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Windows will not load and trying to upgrade

By soonerdude
Jan 4, 2008
  1. I have/had windows xp. Yesterday it wouldn't boot and said it couldn't complete the upgrade. I was not upgrading anything. It keeps askingfor the os disk so it can complete the upgrade. I put the disk in but the upgrade keeps failing and windows will now not load cuz its screwed up. Basically HELP!!! Also, if windows need to be reinstalled, will i lose everything on the harddrive and is there any way to prevent this. I have a dell dimension computer if that helps. I only have email at work so i may be awhile in responding if anyone can help me. Thanks
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    On a Dell Dimension computer, you will definitely lose all data on your computer if you reinstall Windows using the discs that came with the Dimension.
    Please tell us the model and service tag from the label on the back.

    But it may be necessary to use an external usb drive on another computer, or install this drive as a slave in another computer to rescue all your data.
     
  3. soonerdude

    soonerdude TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok i'm at work so it will be sunday before i can post that information. Is there any other info you would like that i can aquire before posting again. You mentioned making this drive a slave. Could i buy a new harddrive and put it in this computer, install xp or vista and have the old hard drive as a slave and recover all the data. I was toying witht he idea of getting a bigger hard drive anyway. I have no problem buying a new copy of xp or vista and not using the dell one. Thanks again.
     
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes, except your computer came with Xp, therfore there may be unknown hardware issues if you decide on Vista install

    Why do you want to buy Xp, you already have it
    It is preferred to keep the Dell product key with the Dell computer
    ie your COA sticker attached to the side of your computer says Dell
     
  5. soonerdude

    soonerdude TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just meant if i had too as an option buy another copy of xp watever it takes.
     
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I know that

    But No :)
     
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    What you suggest with a new drive will work well... We recommend Seagate with its five-year warranty.
    If you locate, or buy the Dell disks cheaply, you can do what you propose. Then download the latest WXP service pack, and Internet Explorer 7 with the Slave hooked up. Microsoft will ask you if you want to migrate the information from the slave to the new drive... or you can download software from www.majorgeeks.com, www.tucows.com or other download sites to do the job free or cheaply.
    Seagate hard drives are available from some vendors such as tigerdirect, directron, and zipzoomfly: $55 fpr 160 GB, 250 GB for $73.20, 80 GB for $45, or 750 GB for $175. Be sure to get one with 8 mb or 16 mb buffer, not the 2 mb buffer.
     
  8. soonerdude

    soonerdude TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I do have all the disks it was xp with service pack 1 i tried once updating to service pack 2 but it wouldn't let me. I will get the other info you asked for on here tomorrow and then go from there. Getting a 250gb hard drive seems like a good idea since mine isn't nearly big enough. I would rather fix the other one first if that would be the easier option.
     
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Buy the Service Pack 2 cd from Microsoft. $3.40. It will work if your Windows is valid.
     
  10. soonerdude

    soonerdude TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here si the info you requested.
    It is a dell dimension 8300 service tag J3MFB41
    P4 3.0ghz 1 gig ram
     
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Support Page - I cannot see Vista listed in drivers
    http://support.dell.com/support/top...product_support_central?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

    Seagate HardDrive is a good option (posted by raybay)

    Re-Install Windows SP1
    Upgrade to SP2
    Install all Xp Dell Drivers
    Install and update Antivirus

    Plug in original HardDrive as Slave (I usually use the Cd cables)
    Backup

    Continue updating your computer (Windows Security Patches)

    Done.
     
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    The Dell Dimension 8300 is a rock solid machine. We continue to service hundreds of them. Be sure all your memory modules are the same for best results... either DDR PC2700 or DDR PC3200. If there is a mix of speeds and some Value Ram with regular RAM, you can have a few problems.

    We always install SP2 with a CD we obtained from Microsoft, rather than from a download.

    I cannot think of a reason you are having this problem, unless you have the Western Digital or Maxtor hard drive and it is reaching the end of its useful product life. This might be the time to upgrade to a new 7200 rpm PATA drive in the 160 to 250 gb range.

    Or you may have some sort of infestation that is playing games with you.
     
  13. soonerdude

    soonerdude TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Memory is good. I ordered it with a gig and have no problems there. I ran diagnostics on the hardware (that still worked) and it said everything was good. Not sure what brand the hardrive is. It has/had about 40gb of unused space. No problems till it decided it wanted to upgrade. I doubt that I have any infestation, I do keep on top of that. Aside from Mcafee, at&t (who is my internet provider) has all kinds of stuff i use as well and i regularly use things like spybot and adaware and such. never had anything.
    Ok, so i will get a new harddrive per your recommendations. How do i go about installing windows. Is seagate the best? Do best buy staples orsuch places carry them or do i need to order online. Thanks again for everything.
     
  14. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    it is not correct to say you will lose all data on the hdd if you re-install windows from a dell windows xp cd. the cd works the same way as every windows xp install cd else. you could lose your data if you select to format the driver before copying the files for the installation but if you select to leave the file system as it is your data will be still there. you have to reinstall all programs but your data such as documents, media files and program folders will all still be there. so once re-installed you can copy all data you need to a save place.

    if you want to upgrade to a new hdd then follow the advice of the guys and put in your old drive as a slave to get your data from it.

    my two cents
    mscrx
     
  15. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Best Buy, Circuit City, and Wal-Mart sell a few models, but at a much, much higher "retail" price than the online prices at Zipzoomfly, Directron, NewEgg, and TigerDirect. They do come in a box with an install disc, EIDE cable, and some other gadgetry.
     
  16. soonerdude

    soonerdude TS Rookie Topic Starter

     
  17. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    PATA (=Parallel ATA)

    Parallel ATA ATA/ATAPI-4 Ultra ATA/33 Ultra DMA 2
    Parallel ATA ATA/ATAPI-5 Ultra ATA/66 Ultra DMA 4
    Parallel ATA ATA/ATAPI-6 Ultra ATA/100 Ultra DMA 5
    Parallel ATA ATA/ATAPI-7 Ultra ATA/133 Ultra DMA 6
     
  18. soonerdude

    soonerdude TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok thanks but that really didnt help much. Don't really know what your trying to say and still don't know if thats even ok since i have SATA. Please eleborate
     
  19. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    oh sorry I lost the context. just thought I explain PATA....
    well, don't see why you should go back to PATA. maybe it was just a typo and meant to say SATA?
     
  20. soonerdude

    soonerdude TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok thanks. i guess if i don't get enymore input by the end of the day SATA it is.
     
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