Customer say she has a full disk, so she tried to delete some files, and thinks she deleted something she shouldn’t have.
Now windows doesn’t show the start bar. I ask if she has the original windows xp install CD, and she says yes. So I go and check it out.
I figure a windows repair install is all that is needed.
But when I get there, Hubby says the computer was really slow, and they had to block international phone calls because the computer was dialing strange overseas numbers… OK, it also looks like a virus/dialer infection.
I’m also asked how much it will cost. I say its hard to tell… maybe $65 if everything goes well. He says: “so it won’t be more than $100”. I say: “I’ll see what I can do”.
A quick look at the PC and I see windows start slowly, no start bar, and control-alt-del doesn’t do anything. I get the same symptoms in safe mode.
I get hold of the xp install CD, and do a repair install (which takes about 50 minutes). At the end, windows insists on validating the license code *before* allowing a user login. I’ve not seen that before.
I let XP dial out to validate, and it then fails validation.
I used the product key on the side of the PC, so whats going on?
A few questions and a few phone calls later, it looks like the xp cd came from a different source than the PC… And Microsoft has the nasty habit of not letting you mix CDs and product keys (even between similar xp home “releases”).
So, to keep costs down, I take the PC to my office, and work on it, in my spare time.
I notice it has a 5GB recovery partition (on a 20Gb HDD!). But how do I activate the recovery partition?
I soon find that F10 will get me into recovery mode.
Even better: it has the equivalent of a windows xp recovery install (xp is reinstalled, but all your data, programs and settings are maintained and not lost!).
So I recover XP (it has a valid product key this time!). Install antivir and AVGAS, do a scan (and move lots of malware to quarantine).
Do some windows updates, defrag, and then its back to the customer.
The PC seemed slower than I would expect from a 1.2Ghz Celeron… It probably needs a clean install in order to get a good speed increase.