Windows XP MCE Recovery Issues

#1
Hello All!

Background

About a month ago I contracted a virus on my computer that caused my anti-virus program to basically delete my OS (windows XP media center edition[MCE]). A friend attempted to fix my computer and ended up installing some pirate version of Windows XP as we were weary of paying for recovery discs. I now miss out on the full functionality that I had with the XP MCE and the pirate version does not let me access the internet. I contacted HP (the manufacturer of my computer) and purchased proper recovery discs. Everything on this computer is stock save for the version of windows put on there by my friend.

The Problem

I cannot get my computer to boot from the recovery discs. After having spent over an hour on the phone with HP tech support having them repeatedly tell me to go into BIOS, set the computer to boot from my CD/DVD drive first followed by restarting my computer while repeatedly pressing the F10 key (which is the HP way of getting to recovery), the tech support person decided that the DVD’s must be faulty and sent me a new set. The new set leads to the same “not boot” result and the computer proceeds to time out reading the CD/DVD drive and loads from the HDD. The CD/DVD drive does work, other CDs and DVDs load just fine, and the DVDs DO have information on them (which i checked on my laptop) but my desktop does not recognize them and they will not boot from my desktop.

Is it possible that the pirate version of windows is somehow blocking me from doing a clean install of windows from my recovery discs? Is there are way to solve this problem? Is it possible to wipe my computer of the pirate windows without using the recovery discs (as they wont work) and then try again fresh with the recovery discs once the pirate windows is gone?

Forgive me if any of these questions seem straight forward, but i have been searching forums for three days now and haven’t found any information about my problem and am going NUTS! Any advice/assistance would be SO much appreciated.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi Sweedie, welcome to NST.
According to the HP website, F11 is the boot-time interrupt to access the HP hidden recovery partition.
If you have no recovery partition, but are using the CD(s) provided, you don't hit any key. Just put the CD in the tray and turn the power on.
If neither set of disks will boot, then I'd suspect that you haven't properly set the BIOS to boot from CD before HDD.
 
#3
Terry - thank you for the welcome note and prompt response!

It never ceases to amaze me how things pan out in the world of trouble shooting. Since i posted i borrowed a friends version of windows and used it to delete the hard drive partition. I then tried again with the recovery discs and got "disc read error" messages. Upon swapping out my DVD/CD-r/rw drive for my friends straight up DVD ROM drive (as a shot in the dark) the discs MAGICALLY became readable and i am currently in the format process - **phew**.

WHY my original drive refused to read JUST these recovery discs is beyond me - but i wont question it since things are working now - magic IS magic after all :wink: . I suppose i will just swap the drives again once the recovery is complete.

Problems are so wonderful when they are solved!

**relief**
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
How old is your drive ? Is it listed as compatible with the media type HP sent you (+R /-R) ?
Sometimes a CD/DVD drive can malfunction on just one of the lasers so that CD will read but not DVD or vice versa.
Maybe time to invest in a new drive.