Windows XP/XP Recovery disc


QUESTION: Hello Tommm,

This is Gary, if you remember you were trying to help me get my Win XP going after it had lost some of it's components...

Anyway, I still have not made the decision to reload XP, but I did, however, decide to shop around for a repair disc to try before making that decision.  I got one from Ebay at a reasonable price, but now I am trying to get it going..but having trouble... (wouldn't you know it!!? )...  I have it in my CD Drive but all I'm getting is 3 Icons in a box and when I try to "Open" them it gives me a box with a list of programs, and it tells me I have to choose a program to open the programs on the Disc. (?)  So I wrote back to the guy I had bought it from, and he wrote back..but all he kept saying was "you have to "Boot to the CD Drive", NOT to the Hard Drive"...   So I thought I'd check with you and see if you could explain it better than this guy seems to be able to do.  

The instructions he gave were just like I said above, and that's all he kept saying.. In fact he repeated himself a couple of times without going into any detail as to HOW I am supposed to go about doing it.     

So if you have time, could you please give me some pointers as to how you go about 'booting to the CD Drive"?  Do you do this at Startup?


ANSWER: Gary:  a fine good morning to you.

You need to reboot the machine.  Make sure that magic disc is in the CD drive.  When the first screen comes up, there should be a choice to go to the boot menu.  It is accessed by hitting the F12 key.  You have to do it kinda quick.  If you miss it, just reboot and start all over.

The default on most computers is it boots from the hard drive.  You want it to boot it from the CD drive.  Look for that option.  (The options most commonly are boot from: a) hard drive; b) cd drive and/or c) floppy drive or USB.)  Again, select CD drive.  Then the thing should start from the magic disc in the CD drive.

Let me know if this works and if the magic disc did anything.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Well, I tried your suggestion to press F12 when restarting and it worked.  It allowed me to access the repair disc menu, but it gave me 3 choices.  One is to Reload Windows XP, two was to Repair XP, and 3 was to... well I don't really remember that one because it didn't apply to what I needed to do.  

When I tried #1 (Reload Win XP) it seemed to be doing nothing, which I thought maybe since it was reloading the program maybe it takes several minutes for it to load..   So after waiting about 5 minutes I decided to turn off my computer manually, as I tried to Escape using several methods (Ctl/Alt/Del, pressing Escape, etc.) and nothing was happening.   So after restarting I tried #2,(Repair Windows XP) and it went thru a series of tests, listing programs, and performing much like when you are doing a virus scan or a search for files.  Anyway, when it finished doing this it asked for my Administrator Password...which I don't remember, or even if I had one at all.  I assume it is referring to my Windows Password but I don't remember having one.  So, would you happpen to know if it is possible to access my password?  Or how I can get to a screen in Win XP to Change Password?   That way at least I can continue with the repair disc and see if it will help.  

Thanks again!

ANSWER: Gary:  didn't I already answer this?


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


You may be thinking about one of my original questions for you, when I asked if you knew how to access my Windows XP Key Code so that I could re-install XP if I got ahold of a disc to do so.  You gave me a link to download KeyFinder and it gave me my Windows Key Code (or CD Key), the Part Number, the Product ID, etc.  But it didn't include anything that referred to a Password.   

Is the "Key Code" the same thing as my Windows Administrator Password?  My repair disc asks for this when I try the Repair XP option.  I'm almost ready to just purchase a new Windows 7 disc and be done with it.  


Gary:  the Key Code is not the same thing as the Admin password.  I did some more research, and if you do not remember the Admin password, you're pretty well screwed.  From everything I've read so far, the only solution is to reinstall the operating system.  Personally, I'd go with 7.

Sorry I haven't been much help.  Let me know how it turns out.  Enjoy.


Windows XP

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Thomas Mihalik


Can assist with most issues involving XP - system configuration, drivers, recovery, home network set-up/maintenance and so forth. Can also help with issues like viruses, system cleanups and peripherals such as printers, external hard drives as well as other USB devices.


Was system administrator for over 45 users at a major research university in the Chicago area for 10 years (before I finally was able to hire someone to do it). Also have owned/configured computers for over 20+ years. Also volunteer locally to fix computers for seniors.

NACUBO SCUP United Way Humane Society

B.A. Humanities, Purdue M.S. Management, Purdue

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