off topic - Escape from WindowsXP setup RRS feed

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    First of all, I hope I am on the right board.  Please feel free to redirect me if I am not.  I have intermediate computer-fixing experience, and will try to make a long story short. 

    I'm working on a friend's Dell Desketop with WinXP.  At first, the mouse would not work, and Internet Explorer would not connect to certain sites.  It could connect to Google and Yahoo, and even to Microsoft.com, but would not connect to the windows update page.  It appears it was being re-directed to , but honestly I forget if those are the right numbers.  I installed AVG anti-virus, Lavasoft Ad-aware, and Spybot search and destroy.  None of these could connect to the server that updated definitions, and only spybot s+d completed a scan without hanging. 

    Fixing the mouse was easy...it was only due to improper shutdown.  But at the same time I discovered it will not boot in safe mode.  Every time it goes to a BSOD which states, among other things, the video driver will not initialize.  The microsoft site says to check the I/O port in BIOS.  I did this and it was at the correct setting.  This computer did not come with a WinXP disk...all the backup files are on an X:\ drive. 

    I thought I may have to use my own disk, so I used a program called 'keyfinder' that lists the key for Microsoft products.  I installed that and wrote down the windowsXP key.  Next I tried a OneCare scan (not sure if that's the right name) from the Microsoft site.  This found a few bad files, but not many and soon after this scan, but maybe or maybe not because of it, the computer will not boot at all.  I am getting the same BSOD.

    After reading as much as I could stand, and trying a windows repair installation using my WindowsXP disk, I thought the best course of action would be a reinstallation of windows on top of the one already there.  I began doing this, and when it asked for the key, I typed in the one I found using the keyfinder program.  The installation said this was an invalid key.  Now there is no way to make a proper exit of the installation.  After every reboot, setup begins again and asks for the disk.  The good news is that when I try and reboot in safe mode, it looks like it wants to work because the words 'safe mode' show in the corners of the screen...and they didn't before.  But even then, I get a message saying windows cannot setup in safe mode.

    So I am thinking there must me a command, perhaps, that I can type in at the command prompt to discontinue trying to setup upon booting.

    Can you help me with this?

    Thank you,

    Douglas Schofield

    Sunday, October 26, 2008 12:54 PM

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