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Windows Restore Fail

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by WiskyT, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Hi all,

    Forgive me if some of my nomenclature is off, or if I over describe things that you guys find obvious. My wife's computer has been giving her grief, so she decided to do a full restoration with the supplied DVD's that came in the packaging. It is a Gateway SX2800.

    The directions (printed) that came with the DVD's, all of which was unopened, were simple enough. We've both done this before on other computers. We both tried it and got the same result. We inserted the first disk, system, and rebooted the computer being sure to enter F12 and select the DVD drive. It boots up the system discs, asks a few questions like UI language and if we want to to a full reset to the original defaults. We select English and the full reset ( data is all backed up on a separate drive). It runs through to the point where it asks for the first of three recovery disks. We insert that disk, hit continue, and it ejects the disk and again tells ud to insert the first disk! We have repeatedly closed the drawer, after verifying that we do have the correct disk in the drive, and hit continue and it still says we have to put the proper disk in!

    We have disconnected all USB devices having put back the old style mouse and keyboard just in case it was somehow thinking the USB mouse etc was some type of storage device and it makes no difference.

    Is the disk defective? It was in the sealed envelope which was stored at room temperature in a drawer, so there isn't any physical damage to the disk. The computer came with Vista which she upgraded for free to Win7 because that is the way it was done when Win7 was not quite released back then.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Oh, she just got the machine back from the Geek Squad. They replaced the motherboard but told her they didn't restore the HDD device because they thought it didn't need it. They were probably just lazy. Anyway, the service plan just expired so anything done outside our home is going to cost money. Sorry I forgot the MB detail.
     

  3. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Hmm, I don't think the motherboard change would have caused that.

    Just for grins, have you tried inserting the other disks first? Maybe somehow the disks got mislabeled.
     
  4. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    The disks are numbered 1 of 3 etc. I did try all 3 just to see what might happen and I got the same response.

    I don't think the MB had anything to do with it either, I just didn't want to leave out any details.
     
  5. NMGlocker

    NMGlocker BOOM headshot

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    The MB swap might be an issue, depends on whether the Gateway restore tries verifying something in the BIOS?
    Just spitballing possibilities.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  6. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    FWIW, the computer did run after the MB repair. It was just slow and would not do things like run Rhapsody rleiably. We had never restored it before, so after four years or so my wife decided it was a good idea.
     
  7. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    That's a good point. I remember back in the day, I used an old Compaq restore disk on several computers (we're talking mid 90's)

    Now, the disk somehow gets "verified"... and you can't do that.

    The motherboard swap may be the problem Wisky..

    IGF
     
  8. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Good news! My wife googled around and found a series of instructions that had her F10 and some other stuff to do things to the BIOS. I googled and couldn't find anything. It is now loading Vista and all the rogress bars etc are moving along normally.

    The bad news is she doesn't really understand what all she did so I'm not going tobe able to describe it myself. She is going to forward me the instructions she found and I'll either link them directly here, or paraphrase them.

    For now, it seems that all of you who are trying to help can return to your normally scheduled programming. Thanks for looking into solutions for us.
     
  9. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

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    You have me wondering if there is a 'Card Reader' in the system that could be throwing things off... You know, the ones that have slots for the different media - SD, MiniSD, (sorry, it's all I can think of right now - long day :) )

    Typically there are USB ports and these 'Card Reader' openings all on a 'block' together, sometimes under a cover...

    Anyway - Sounds like you are back to almost in business...

    Congrats, and don't forget to Kiss your Smart Wife! (who was really just showing off... (LOL))

    Patrick
     
  10. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Okay, as far as I can tell, the instructions in this thread http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-53091-restore-to-factory-setting-with-a-gateway what she ended up doing was accessing the "hidden" drive with the restore software in it. So, it is doing what it should from the partition on the HDD.

    I guess due to BIOS issues or whatever, it probably still wouldn't restore from the media disks. I'm not concerned about that at this time since it may be another four years before we come across this again. By that time, she will have a new machine and this thing will become my Linux machine. Should I go about fixing the original problem wit reading the disks, or just let it go for now?
     
  11. joe0121

    joe0121

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    From now on use clone zilla and save a disk image to an external drive. it literally take an "image" of the drive. A restore is a reverse of the image capture.

    I hate how the OE's do those stupid restore disks.
     
  12. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    I found an add for the computer online that showed it as having a card reader. I just asked her and she said there are lots of slots that are empty, but she doesn't know what they are all for. She has never put any cards in it. She does know what an SD type slot is but a black computer under a desk in a dark room is a little tough to discern all the inputs. There probably is/are slot(s) and they are likely empty unless Gateway included a free card (doubtful).

    She did do something to save some type of changes to the BIOS. She's not really sure what she did. The best I can tell is that she somehow got the computer itself to reset the BIOS and then she saved the changes. I don't know if that makes sense or not and I don't know if it had any effect on her being able to restore from the restore partition.

    As far as kissing her, hey, it's her computer. Let's not get carried away here. It's not like she found a spring detent that I sent flying across the room or anything.:supergrin:

    I am glad for her that she solved it though. You guys would have figured it out sooner or later, but this gives her the satisfaction of doing it.
     
  13. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    I'll look into that. Wouldn't that copy the bad with the good though? Maybe we should do that now before it gets screwed up again? It seems inevitable to me that since it's a Windows machine it will eventually get screwy. I never had one that didn't.
     
  14. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    I'm glad I read your posts several times. I think I get what you're saying now. The disks are mated to the old MB. Effectively, she has a "different" computer and the disks will only work with the original MB.

    I guess restoring from the HD partition somehow isn't effected by this?
     
  15. joe0121

    joe0121

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    You are correct. Sorry I should have qualified my statement. The idea is to get a copy before things go bad. this was a piece of advice to use in the future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  16. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    I went to Clonezilla's website and it is way over my head.
     
  17. joe0121

    joe0121

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    Fair enough. Ghost is simple but costs money. I assume you don't have an actual windows CD?

    What version of Windows are you using currently?

    Do you have an external hard drive?

    When do you plan on buying another PC/Laptop?

    What is your budget?

    You issue is solved for now but I would like to fix this issue in the future.
     
  18. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    We have the Cd's that came with the computer. One "system" disk and three "restore" disks. The problem was they wouldn't work. She worked around it by using the restore partition. Next time, say if the HDD fails, we will have to find a way to get the computer to restore via the disks, or I will just make it a Linux machine and she will get a new tower depending how far down the road that is.

    It shipped from the factory with Vista and she later got a free upgrade (disks) to Win7. She's upgrading it right now to Win7.

    As for replacing the machine, here is how I see it playing out. It's already three years old. In two years or more the HDD will die. By then, a $300.00 tower will be better than this one was when new. My wife will buy a new tower. I will buy a new HDD, the cheapest I can find, install Ubuntu or whatever is the way to go at that time, and we will both have "new" computers. She will be thrilled with her new computer and I will be amazed at how much faster my "new" computer is compared to my 2001 Emachine.

    Of course, by then, she might do away with a desktop altogether and just get a laptop. She has a laptop now and there would be less clutter if it was on her desk instead of the desktop she just straightened out.
     
  19. Detectorist

    Detectorist

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    Win 7 has a good backup and restore function built in.
     
  20. joe0121

    joe0121

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    It is good if used correctly. A lot of people don't really know how powerful it really is. However the best feature which is a system image backup requires the EU has a windows 7 Disc.