Need major help please RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi guys..
    I'm hoping that someone can help me out with my problem.

    About 6 months or so ago, my mother in law gave me and hubby her office pc because she replaced it with a new pc. She is an apartment manager and the pc she gave us had win 98 installed when it was new but the main office (her boss)  had a pc guy install Win XP Pro. Now its been a few years since this happened. The pc guy never left her any cd's or manuals or anything that had the product key on it.

    Now fast forward to present day. 2 nights ago I was rebooting the pc and it comes up with a windows activation screen. I call the # because it wouldn't connect online. I gave the rep the installation ID that was on the pc and she was unable to validate it, I don't understand why. Anyways, then she has me click "change key" but it asks for the product key which I do not have and after speaking to mother in law, she can not provide me with it. She called this "pc guy" and he says its been years blah blah blah he doesn't have the info! I'm fuming at this point because this info should have been left with MIL in the first place!

    So, I figure I'm screwed, I'll have to buy a win xp, fine by me. So I take both drives out of my pc and hook them up to my daughters pc as slave drives so I can get the data that I want before I reformat with new OS. It won't let me access either drives! Grrr... Anyone have any ideas for me? I'm really upset because this is a LEGAL install to the best of my and mother in laws knowledge and now I may lose important files. Also, my daughters pc is running win 98 and the drives came from the win xp pro if that matters.

    I can't even see how I am going to be able to salvage these drives (80 gig each) if I can't even get the pc's to let me access them. The weird thing is the drives don't show up in explorer, but when I check device manager, they are there but with no drive letter. So I know the pc see's them right? Very aggrivating to say the least. Any suggestions?

    I was wondering if I buy win xp pro and try and use that key will it unlock the drives? I don't even know if this was a full install of win xp pro or upgrade though.

    Help! =)
    Wednesday, August 9, 2006 9:18 PM


All replies

  • HOW TO: Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows XP: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308421
    Wednesday, August 9, 2006 10:55 PM
  • Luv,

    It's probable that the disks from the XP computer are formatted in NTFS.  If so, the W98 computer is incapable of reading the data on the disks.  That is why they are recognized by the W98 computer's BIOS but not by W98.

    It's also probable that the installation of XP on your computer is a nongenuine installation, because it has all the "signs:"  the boss had the computer guy install it, no discs left, no Certificate of Authenticity left, no Product Key left.

    To access the data on the disks, you can install each disk into an external disk drive enclosure and then connect to a W98SE and higher computer (W98 and Me will need special drivers to recognize the disk in the enclosure).

    Or, you can return the disks to the computer and run the MSdiag program at the link to see if the XP installation is valid or not:  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

    Thursday, August 10, 2006 1:19 AM
  • Whereever you are from, I am sure there are PC specialists you can call that can get the data you want off your HDs.  They will charge a small fee.  However, if you have XP on there already, I am sure (and someone can back me up on this) you can do a repair install with the new CD and not lose any data.  Then you can get your data off and if you want do a full clean installation.  That's essentially what I did.  Also, since you have 2 HDs, you, of course, only need to install the new XP on one of them...then you will be able to access the second one.


    Final alternative...buy a new HD (they can be very cheap depending on the size) and use that as the primary drive (install the OS on that).  Then slave the other two drives.  Voila!

    Sunday, August 13, 2006 6:12 PM