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Can't install WinXP from Recovery CD's

By datageek ยท 7 replies
Jan 27, 2007
  1. I have an HP Pavilion 513x that was purchased with XPHome OS. The HD failed hard, and the recovery partition was unusable. I replaced the 40G HD with a 20G, as external USB drives are also used. HP noservice tells me that third parties sell Recovery CD's, but they don't, and it's out of warranty. So, I installed Win2000Pro and life was good. Clean install with no issues. The owner of the machine now wants XP back as the OS. I purchased HP 5069-4591 set from Computer Surgeons (they have great service, BTW). I ran the CD's, but the installation failed with "System Recovery - No partition found" I tried this too many times. HP sez to fdisk and format, clear the MBR. I followed their advice again. I fdisked and formated trying to emulate the data and recovery partitions. Still the Recovery CD's stop at the same error condition. HP says bad recovery disks or physical issues! Their PC Doctor program showed all their tests passing. Computer Surgeons sent a second set of CD's, gratis. Still wouln't load. Reinstalled Win2000 and went surfing for advice and enlightenment. I read that some recovery CD's have an \i386 directory and all the XP files are here. Cool! Made the appropriate bootdisks and burned the \i386 from the recovery CD to a new CD. Ran winnet.exe. from the burned CD. The install started and completed to the point of DOS files completed and I needed to reboot to start the Windows portion of the install. I rebooted and am now getting this message "File \$WIN_NT$.~BT\system32\biosinfo.inf could not be loaded. The error code is 14." The file is in the subdirectory, and is a txt type file. I even copied all the files on the CD to the HD via DOS. and retried without success. I am at Witt's end, lost in the maze... I don't care so much about the programs on the Recovery CD's at this point, just to get the XP OS loaded on this box. Thanks for any assistance!!
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Why did you copy that i386 folder to a separate CD? Run winnt directly from the recovery CD.

    Also, have you tested the 20GB drive and/or your system RAM? Always do that beforehand to save yourself from troubleshooting (near random) errors you get from a faulty disk or bad RAM.
  3. datageek

    datageek TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Advice from another site advised copying to a separate CD. I did run winnt directly from the recovery i386 subdirectory as well. All recovery methods fail with same error code. I tested the HD and system RAM with the same DOS diagnostic tools that HP uses. All tests passed....
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I wouldn't trust those HP tools.. Use Memtest86(+) and the drive diagnostics utility from the drive manufacturer.

    I just installed Windows XP from a HP recovery CD two weeks ago and it worked just fine :)
    That was for a brand new system though..
  5. ok4life

    ok4life TS Rookie Posts: 16

    as Nodsu said test memory let it run for 24 hr test then an extended test by HDD manufacture
    Then if passes HP may not recomend this but, I would find another XP home (note must be home edition and I wouldn't use one that is alleged hacked use a trusted OEM CD) Then reinstall with it and screw the recovery partition remove all partitions recreate 1 for the install and do a normal format. You will lose the HP apps but most are freeware anyway. Your keyboard software and such can be downloaded.

    PS : I would let memtest run the full 24hr it sounds like one I played hell on that never did fail but when I ran dual channel with both sticks setup would crash usually and when it completed windows would lock up with BSOD errors constantly I dropped to 1 stick and went great then replace with 2 new ones and never had another problem 5 mo and counting
  6. datageek

    datageek TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the advice. I did HD drive diagnostics from Maxtor. Remember now that Win2000Pro has been on this PC for at least six months, running flawlessly. No one in my circle has a XP CD, only Recovery CD or ghost images. I went to the local Best Buy, per HP's email noservice consultant. "Bring it in, for $69.00 we will run full diagnostics. If we can't get the Recovery CD's to work, we'll put an XP build on for $129.00, but we can't give you the XP disc and you can't make a recovery CD." (LOL) Plus, all the retail stores are required to remove ALL XP OS software TONIGHT, and return to M$. Vista officially launches tomorrow here in the US, and M$ doesn't want any other OS but Vista. So I paid the store for the XP software. Not even close to the ending I had hoped for, but...
  7. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    Screw vista :)
    Windows 2000 Professional FTW. I had this os for at least 2 years now.
  8. nonda

    nonda TS Rookie Posts: 35

    Get urself a real copy of windows and install it, that simple.
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