Customer rang saying she is having trouble starting her PC. Something about being unable to find windll.dll, so the PC won’t even start windows.
I think: an in-place windows reinstall should do the trick.
I find out that she has also contacted HP (who say it’s not their problem… it’s microsoft & their windows product) and contacted microsoft (who predictably say it’s a HP issue), and the seller (a large department store – Myer), who have no inhouse technical support for products that they sell, so they cannot help (except to pass on my details).
Anyway, when I get there, all my tools show that the main C: partition is either not there, or unformatted… Ok, this is going to be a lot more complicated. She agrees to my taking the PC away to work on & I’ll keep her informed of my progress.
After some investigation, I decide that a chkdsk is the best way to go (if slightly risky… if the disk is about to fail, a chkdsk might make things worse… but I’ve heard some very good reports about the NTFS XP chkdsk.
The chkdsk repaired a lot of errors, but at the end, said that the errors were only minor (or words to that effect).
The PC now boots & complains about another corrupt dll file (still no windows), but booting from bartPE, I can now explore the C: partition.
I take a spare HDD & connect it to the PC, so that I can backup all the user data & eventually generate some backup DVDs.
All goes well, & after trying a second chkdsk, & noticing the drive has a few more errors that need correcting… it seems very warm to touch (warmer than most hard drives)… So it’s days are numbered.
Customer agrees that a new HDD is best. I try to image the old HDD to the new HDD, but the imaging software just cannot handle the old disk…
Now, the PC did not ship with any windows CDs, And this is not a windows XP home or pro pc … It’s a third variation called “windows XP media center edition”… Since the PC has a legit licence, I see no problem with downloading a WinXP MCE iso image, so that I can install it onto the PC. The pc has a valid license number on the side… We just don’t want to spend $66 on the official media (and wait 2-5 days for it to be delivered).