View Full Version : Restoring XP back to factory settings, but no disc

02-04-2009, 10:15 AM
Is it possible to restore xp back to factory settings on a laptop if you no longer have the windows disk that came with it? I know that on my laptop that has windows vista, I can restore it back to factory settings but unsure if the same can be done for XP.

computer keeps freezing and crashing, have done all the adaware scans etc, have put a HJT log on here and deleted all the necessary files, but problem still seems to be there so thought the best thing to do was restore it right from scratch..

Speedy Gonzales
02-04-2009, 10:18 AM
Unless its got a restore partition on the hdd. And you havent used cd's/dvd's to make restore cd's, then no

You'll have to buy another version of XP, then reinstall it

02-04-2009, 10:21 AM
Depending on the manufacturer/laptop there may be a recovery partition

Otherwise, we can try helping?

Give us more details, when did it start happening?

Have you tried Run>sfc /scannow ?

Note space between "c" and "/"


02-04-2009, 10:27 AM
Is it possible to restore xp back to factory settings on a laptop if you no longer have the windows disk that came with it?

You can borrow someones Windows CD. But you need the COA sticker which is what makes it legal.
You'll also need all the drivers.

02-04-2009, 11:12 AM
this will either get me into trouble, or open a can of worms, or be a good idea...but here goes..

I thought you could make an XP disc from using the I386 file thats hidden in the HDD....

I remember someone talking or doing something about that once but its been so long so yeah...

Please correct me if its illegal so I wont mention it again!

02-04-2009, 12:48 PM
If the I386 folder is on the Drive, you can do a repair install - not a full install.

Heres How- for XP

Reboot the PC in Safe Mode with command Prompt ,You should then have something like C: documents and settings\your name\

Type in CD C:\I386 <Press Enter>

Type in winnt32.exe <Press Enter>

Agree to anything, this should then reinstall windows as doing a repair install.

When asked, enter the product key that’s on the Case.

Please correct me if its illegal so I wont mention it again Its not illegal as you are installing from a file thats already on the PC originally.

Edited: you can put the I386 folder on a CD, but it will still only allow a REPAIR install, not a fresh one, in the prompt, you would type CD D:\I386 ( assuming D: is your optical drive letter)

02-04-2009, 03:18 PM
Slightly off topic here, but it's about the sfc / scannow so I thought i'd post it against this thread...
When a 'sfc / scannow' is run, my understanding is, it compares installed system files on the HDD to see if they're damaged or corrupt...and if they are, it asks for the original Win CD to fix them.
But, what happens if the CD is an older CD with (for example) only SP1 on it, but the actual operating system installed is already updated to SP2 or 3?
Or, if the system files have since been updated since original install via Windows updates or patches?
Wont it be getting older versions off the original CD that may not be up to date?

02-04-2009, 03:28 PM
Basically YES - if it replaces the main system files it will replace with the originals.
Generally speaking though - the patches will be left alone, its the main system files its checking - thats why sometimes sfc /scannow does naff all, because its not system files causing the problem.

Thats also why , if you do a repair install, and lets say the original was SP2 - then on reboot, SP3 (if it was installed before) will have disappeared, and have to be re downloaded/installed, along with any other patches that have come out.