Reinstalling Windows

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by AtHomeBoy_2000, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. AtHomeBoy_2000 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2005
    My dad has a Dell PC and I think his Windows XP installation has gone corrupt. It freezes on the blue Windows startup. I dont think it is a hard drive problem, so I was going to reinstall Windows XP. HOwever, I can not afford to loose any of the documents on there as they are VERY important (he is the financial guy for our church). Can i reinstall windows without loosing data?

    It's been a long time since i have head to deal with a WIndows reinstall.
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    The safest way to be sure you won't toast the data is to reinstall to a new drive. You can probably find something larger and better in the $50-$100 range, which usually is worth your time and the cost of lost data.

    Remove the old drive and set it aside, install the new drive, install XP to the new drive. Buy yourself a $20 USB 2.0 enclosure or USB 2 PATA cable for the old drive, and hook it up to the box once XP is up and running "smoothly" again.

    I presume the old drive is Parallel ATA, but if it's SATA the external case/cable will be more expensive.

    While you're at it, back that data up to optical media, if your dad doesn't already have a CD-RW, get him one.

  3. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    Another way to do it is to put the Windows XP disc inside of the drive, and boot it into setup. Hit "r" to do a repair. It wipes out the XP installation, but leaves all the settings, programs, and documents intact. This should fix the problem.
  4. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Have you tried to boot up in safe mode?

    If you have and it still won't work there is an option to install XP on the same computer (it will just make the old xp install show up in another folder). It won't write over any of his documents. You might try that. Just make sure you don't choose to format or anything. All should be fine.

    aaaaaand if you can't get that to work, grab a small distro of Linux that runs off a CD and copy the to a disc if able.

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