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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently asked to look at an old laptop one of my friends had that wasn't being used. He thought his last technician might have installed a pirated copy of XP because he wasn't able to get updates anymore. As it turns out the OS was a legitimate version of XP Pro. The problem was that the drive had been partitioned to only 5 gig so they ran out of room to download SP2.

I repartitioned the drive to include the unformatted space at the end of the drive using Partition Commander to make a total of 10 gigs. I then got all MS updates available including SP2 and IE 7 and generally just cleaned up the machine by deleting a bunch of music someone had downloaded that he wanted off then defragmented the drive.

When I returned it to him, it would not boot up. I get a disk read error. I don't know what happened between my place and his to cause this. Unfortunately, he does not have the product ID or isntallation CD. I don't want him to have to purchase another copy of XP Pro and I certainly don't want to purchase one for him either since I know the machine was working when it left my place.

I've used the Ultimate Boot CD 4Win and it can see that there is a C: drive but cannot read anything from it. UBCD4Win says that the drive isn't reporting it's size. After that, I ran Spinrite on level 4 and it found 3 unrecoverable sectors. Still not able to boot the machine.

What steps should I take from here? Is there any way to retreive the product key off of the disk? I'd like to either repair it so that it boot again normally or be able to somehow show MS that there is a legitimate copy of the OS on this disk in hopes they would give them another copy and de-activate the old product ID.

Please note, I won't be back in front of this machine for another 8 hours so any suggestions of things to try cannot be done until then. I can answer questions throughout the day though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dai - any idea if that can be run from a bootdisk like UBCD4Win since I can't boot into the OS in question?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What steps would you recommend taking to check out the hard drive. i know there are bad sectors on the drive but i don't know what they are affecting for sure. What's the best way to check out the MBR? It is NTFS if that helps any.

If you can't tell, i'm sort of grasping at straws here.
 

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d/l and run the h/d makers diognostic utility on the h/drive
run
chkdsk /r
boot into the recovery console and try
fixboot
 
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