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Old 05-08-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
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Default Windows XP SP3 woes

Can anyone refer me to a good computer forum where I can get some help fixing my desktop? I tried updating to Service Pack 3 last night. It took forever, about 45 minutes with a pretty fast broadband connection. When it finished and I tried to restart.... blue screen of death.

Safe mode? no go.

Last known good config? no go.

Put in the Windows CD and try a repair? It spend most of last night checking the disk, said it found and fixed some errors, but still no go. Still blue screen.

I spent about an hour online with a Dell tech support agent who ended up saying I need to reformat and re-install Windows. I would really prefer not to do that, though. I don't have a lot on there that is vital data, but there are a couple of things, some photos that are not backed up, and about 8gb of music on iTunes that I would lose (was going to back it up last weekend but didn't quite get to it).

Any suggestions?

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Old 05-08-2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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Best idea for now is to leave it alone until you have a real solution?

For data retrieval, you may want to have -or have someone make you- a Linux Live CD like Knoppix, so you boot from it and "see" / copy your data out.

Linux experts are here, they can chime in.

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Old 05-08-2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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Yikes. I'm really no help but that sucks. I've been there in the past and just ended up reformatting. It's painful.

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Old 05-08-2008, 01:22 PM   #4
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Holy Moly, I haven't seen that happen to any of the PCs I'm updating yet. We're a Dell shop at work too.

I'm sorry things went wrong for you. I'm not applying this SP to my home machine for a while yet, just to make sure the bugs are worked out. We're only updating a few machines at work and testing them out for a while as well.

I don't have too much on my home PC, but that's because my wife uses it most of the time, I stick with the MacBook myself. With the price of external drives as low as they are these days I probably need to purchase one at home. I use the one here at work for my Mac from time to time to make backups.

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Old 05-08-2008, 01:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beergears View Post

For data retrieval, you may want to have -or have someone make you- a Linux Live CD like Knoppix, so you boot from it and "see" / copy your data out.
That sounds like it might have some promise. I wouldn't actually mind having to do a clean install as my system is getting a bit old and probably was getting pretty cluttered up with junk anyway.

If I could retrieve some of the stuff off the drive I would be happy.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:35 PM   #6
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You appear to have access to a different PC, so here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. Pull hard drive from non-booting PC, attach to good PC, copy data.
  2. Buy external drive, get copy of knoppix or Ubuntu linux, boot bad machine from CD, mount drives, copy data.
  3. Buy new hard drive, swap drives, fresh install windows, reinstall old drive as slave, copy data, then pitch the old drive.
  4. Go to Geek squad, but they'll most likely screw it up and overcharge you.
  5. Use homebrew to bribe a PC-savvy buddy to fix it for you.

Whatever direction you go, I'd recommend a new HD and a clean windows install. good luck!
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:48 PM   #7
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the blue screen of death can be caused by many different things but in case its a corrupted registry which is very possible as a result of the SP3 update I would try following a guide like this http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
hope this helps.

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Old 05-08-2008, 02:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jds View Post
You appear to have access to a different PC, so here are a couple of suggestions:
  1. Pull hard drive from non-booting PC, attach to good PC, copy data.
  2. Buy external drive, get copy of knoppix or Ubuntu linux, boot bad machine from CD, mount drives, copy data.
  3. Buy new hard drive, swap drives, fresh install windows, reinstall old drive as slave, copy data, then pitch the old drive.
  4. Go to Geek squad, but they'll most likely screw it up and overcharge you.
  5. Use homebrew to bribe a PC-savvy buddy to fix it for you.
Whatever direction you go, I'd recommend a new HD and a clean windows install. good luck!
Hmmm. I wonder... could I take out the old drive, install it in an enclosure and then copy data from it to my laptop?
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:48 PM   #9
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That will probably work just fine.

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jds View Post
Whatever direction you go, I'd recommend a new HD and a clean windows install. good luck!
I agree with this. If checkdisk found errors on the disk, it was likely starting to go down that road anyways. I don't know how SP3 could have possibly caused damage to the disk. It could just be a coincidence that it happened while you were installing SP3.

A new HD is not that expensive and your Dell should have come with all of the OS, driver and third party software that it came installed with. Then, slaving the disk and copying your files over to the new drive is a piece of cake.
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