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Author Topic: laptop died. Need to troubleshoot it in a record time. Installing winXP from USB  (Read 2267 times)

urlwolf

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I´m extremely busy right now and cannot afford to be without a computer for long. There is very little work I can get done without my laptop. Sad but true.

First I should say that I ab/used this computer heavily. I also used it in an unconventional way: sitting not on landscape view, but on vertical view (the graphics card allowed that) so I get more room vertically (ideal for coding and reading papers). I wonder if that position for long has harmed the computer... but I digress.

The computer doesn't boot, not even in safe mode. When in normal mode, I get the windows welcome screen, then it freezes on a blank screen.
When in safe mode, there is a long list of msgs showing what is installed. When reaching agp.sys, there is a prompt: press ESC to about loading SPTD.sys.
This is all I get. pressing ESC doesn't get you back to booting.

Reading online, it seems that this archive is part of daemon tools (I have it installed).
It may be that reinstalling windows will fix it.
Problem is, I have no CD drive! I have a secondary battery and I misplaced the swappable CD-drive.
Is there any way I can reinstall XP from an USB external HD?

I'm also considering buying a new comp. off ebay (if it's faster)! Of course, this is not an ideal solution as I\m now in Spain, laptops are about 1/3 more expensive than in the US, plus they have the Spanish keyboard which I don't like.

Any ideas? Thanks a lot in advance!
 

mouser

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depending on the age of the laptop, you may or may not be able to boot from an external usb drive.
during boot, go into the bios (del key or f2 key usually during first seconds of boot up).  see if you see an option for "BOOT order" or something like that.  See if there is an option for booting from a usb drive.. i'm afraid it sounds like an older pc which might not support usb booting.

do you have a floppy disk drive?  if so, you may be able to find a tiny floppy disk rescue disk that will let you get to your file system on windows.

is it a common namebrand laptop? if so you may be able to bring it into a computer shop and they could swap your hd into another laptop and fix it or otherwise swap in a new cd drive temporarily.

The fact that you can boot into windows partly does sound like it may be a driver problem.  Did you just recently install daemon tools? if so there is a high likelyhood that is the cause.  and you may be able to get your computer to boot by doing waht you said regarding safe mode but finding a way to skip that driver.

Wordzilla

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Perhaps you can try to get your laptop hdd out, connect it to another PC in an usb enclosure and delete/rename:

C:\Windows\system32\drivers\spdt.sys
C:\Windows\system32\drivers\dtscsi.sys

tinjaw

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You can also get a linux distro that runs off of a USB drive. Boot up to that and mount the HDD. Then delete the offending files and try booting in safe mode again.

urlwolf

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Ok, guys thanks to all.
I'm back, ready to work. I just reinstalled XP fresh (first time in a year! past due!). I'll be very careful about what I install in the future. It's a dell 600m, kind of older. Fortunately, I found the CD bay so it was easy to fix.

Now is the time when one appreciates to use the portable version of most applications... still quite a few hours needed to get everything back to an usable state.