How to run XP Home recovery reinstall manually

By Puddintane ยท 7 replies
Feb 10, 2010
  1. I have WinXP Home that came preinstalled in an eMachine. I was using Partition Magic (v8 ?) to reformat the C partition because I was going to install a copy of XP Pro on it (I did, but it didn't solve the other problems I was having). Somewhere in that process the F11 system restore option that used to display for a few seconds at boot suddenly stopped showing up. Anyway, I think all the files for XP Home are still intact on the recovery partition, but I can't quite figure out which file that F11 option pointed to. Does anyone know which file that might be? Many thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    ...but it didn't solve the other problems I was having...

    What are these problems?

    Boot from the XP Pro Install disc and delete any existing partitions. Continue with the fresh install of XP. You can get the eMachines drivers from the eMachines support website
  3. Puddintane

    Puddintane TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Long story short, it started with BSODs caused apparently by the file NV4_DISP.DLL. It also started having constant lockups on shutdowns/restarts. I tried practically everything I found that others had suggested (it's apparently not an uncommon problem with Nvidia drivers), such as trying all different dates of driver sets (newer, older), reinstalling, uninstalling drivers, etc. I tried reinstalling the OS. I swapped out the psu. I even bought, but ultimately never installed, a different video card, thinking the onboard was causing the problems (maybe it was). So I decided I was done with it and was just going to install XP Pro, but I still had the same problems. And somewhere in there the F11 recovery option disappeared. So I had hoped to be able to install it from the partition with a new mobo and cpu. But I can't figure it out without the F11 option. Some I'm hoping there's still a way to be able to use the OS that's on the hard drive.

    Here's the "stupid me" part. I never made a set of recovery discs. The computer was not my main one (it was mainly for my wife's email, web browsing, etc.), so I just never got around to it. So I have the COA (on the back of the case) and the recovery partition, with all the necessary files, which seems to be intact, but the F11 doesn't come up at boot anymore. So I can't figure out how to reinstall. And to my naive mind, it seems there must be an exe. file or something in there somewhere that ought to trigger the process (which I assume is what happens when one presses F11). I read somewhere that someone suggested just using another XP Home disc and the entering my product key to reinstall. But I'm not sure of the legal/ethical nature of that suggestion. I prefer (frustrating as it often is) to stick with properly licensed products. "That's just the way I roll." :D
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Okay first things first... forget about F11. You probably deleted the (F11) recovery partition when you used Partition Magic. This F11 function allowed you to restore the computer to factory condition without the need for Recovery disks. It is not critical, and you cannot recover the F11 function. If you want to save any data that may still be on the hard drive, remove the hard drive and put it aside. Install a new hard drive and install XP Pro on it. When you run Windows Update it may pick up some drivers for you. You will probably have to download the Ethernet driver using another computer and manually install it on the eMachines. Once the computer is on-line, you can go to the eMachines support site and download and install the chipset, sound, and video drivers from there. Once the computer is up and running normally, you can install the old hard drive as a slave and recover any files left that way
  5. Puddintane

    Puddintane TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That's not really what I'm hoping to do. I already have the data files I need from the drive. I copied them to another computer before I started most of this and reformatted the C:/ partition on the hd. And the recovery partition (D:/) wasn't deleted; it's still there with all it's XP Home OS files. I'm certain of that because I could see them during the short time I had XP Pro installed on it (which I eventually uninstalled after it manifested the same problems as before when Home was still installed: i.e., NV4_disp.dll errors, BSOD, etc.) I originally had the Pro on another machine that I would have decomissioned if the OS had worked on the eMachine, and I would have just erased the Home edition in the recovery partition. But since that didn't work, I'm hoping to use it (Pro) on another computer and to recover the legit Home version that still resides in the recovery partition of the hd from the eMachine.

    So what I want to do is to somehow figure out how to reinstall the legit, original version of XP Home (that came installed on the machine) using the files that are still in the recovery partition (but with a new mobo), but which I can't figure out how to execute the process (since the F11 trigger was the only way, up to this point, that I can see how the process was initiated).
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    "I'm hoping to use it (Pro) on another computer and to recover the legit Home version that still resides in the recovery partition of the hd from the eMachine"....

    Why? Are you afraid that XP Pro won't activate on the eMachine? All you have to do is call Microsoft. The activation process is totally automated
  7. Puddintane

    Puddintane TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, I know the XP Pro is good. But if I can install the Home version on one machine, I'll have two legit versions for two different machines. If I end up wiping the Home files, then that copy is gone, and I'm left with one. I don't think I can activate Pro on two different computers. That isn't legit. And I don't feel like buying another copy right now.
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Okay, good luck :)
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