|"...it has a "Designed for |
Windows XP" sticker on it ..."
OK, then it did come with XP on it. Some models of that vintage originally came out with 2000 on them, then later came out with XP on them. It probably would have been the original XP with no SP updates at all included.
Did you get any Recovery disk or similar along with it? If you didn't your relatives may still have it but were not aware of what it was for.
Does it still have it's original Gateway software installation on it? If it does, brand name systems of this vintage often came with a brand name supplied program that came make a Recovery disk or Recovery disk set or similar, if the computer didn't originally come with a Recovery disk, if Windows is still working well enough to use it. The original hard drive on brand systems almost always has a second smaller partition on it. Either the the brand name builder hides that partition from being seen in Windows in My Computer and Windows Explorer, or you can see it as D but you are strongly discouraged from accessing it or altering it. On older systems that second partition often has all the orginal files on it that are necessary to load the original brand name supplied software on the C partition, and in that case it's often called the Recovery partition or similar. If that Recovery partition is still there and all the data on it is un-altered, as a last resort, you can use a single Recovery CD along with that to load the original brand name supplied software on the C partition. If the partition is no longer there, or if it's data isnot thereor has been altered, then you need a Recovery disk set to re-load the entire hard drive.
However, if you have data on C you have added you don't want to lose, you must copy it or back it up elsewhere, if you can, by one method or another, then copy it or restore it back onto C later, otherwise you lose that added data. You don't need to be concerned about programs you installed that you have the original CDs and possibly product keys for or that you can easily download from the web and install. If you use Outlook or Outlook Express or certain add on email programs, if you can still use Windows you can back up the files for Outlook or Outlook Express, other email programs may have similar priocedures or you may be able to simply copy the email In and Out mailbox files, etc., and not lose your accumated email.
How do you tell whether the hard drive has two partitions if the second partition is hidden from you seeing it in My Computer and Windows Explorer?
- it should show up in Disk Management in XP (Control Panel - Classic View - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Disk Management).
- a drive manufacter's size is a decimal size - your mboard bios and Windows Setup sees a 40gb drive's raw size as it's binary size - about 37gb binary. When Setup software partitions (NTFS for partitions >32gb is the only choice in XP) and formats the drive, that uses up some of the raw space, so in Windows, if the whole drive were one partition, the size of C would be, say, about 34gb. If the size of C is a fair bit smaller than that, you probably have a smaller hidden second partition on the drive.
Your STOP: C0000221 unknown hard error STATUS_IMAGE_CHECKSUM_MISMATCH does NOT normally indicate there's anything wrong with the ram.
Contrary to popular belief, it's extremely rare for ram that worked fine previously to go BAD, unless you have damaged it by something you did yourself, or some event such as a power failure event that produced voltage spikes or surges damaged it.
If you cleaned it's contacts and reseated it, there's probably nothing wrong with your original ram module.
You can easily confirm whether you have a ram problem.
If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).
NOTE that if someone has replaced the ram that was orginally in this mboard with another one, the module may not be 100% compatible and the diagnostics may find ram errors because of that, NOT because the module is bad. If you DO get errors, and you HAVE cleaned the ram contacts and re-seated the module, tell me/us what the ram manufacturer part number is on the module, or the Gateway part number on the module, and I'll see if I can find out whether it should be compatible.
"I disabled automatic restart on system failure and got..."
"Btw, I was not able to boot into either VGA mode or Safe
mode with Networking."
As I pointed out, Disable automatic restart on system failure only works the one time you select it - the computer starts up in normal mode otherwise when you select that.
If you manage to get into Windows when you select Disable automatic restart on system failure, if you want Windows to possibly start up in any mode without re-starting when it encountersan error that would normally make Windows restart, then you must disable that setting in Windows.
" If you manage to get into Windows, you can set it so the computer is more likely to always generate a message rather than rebooting automatically .
To have XP possibly display an error message you can investigate instead of the computer rebooting:
1. Click Start, and then right-click My Computer.
2. Click Properties.
3. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
4. Under System failure, click on the small box beside Automatically restart to remove the checkmark.
5. Click OK, and then click OK. "
"I do have a Windows XP Home CD that was supplied by Dell
for another computer that I used to have. Based on some
reading that I did online, I tried putting in the windows XP disk,
booting into recovery console, choosing my OS, logging in
and running this command:
However I don't know the Administrator password for this PC
so it says "Access is denied." "
From what I've seen for several older Dell computers that have XP on them, one of the the disks that comes with them, e.g. one I have here is "Reinstallation CD" "Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" is actually merely a slightly modified OEM XP Home CD - it's contents are nearly identical to a regular OEM Windows CD -OEM CDs arealways a full version, not an upgrade version.
In that case, that Dell CD behaves the same way as a regular OEM XP CD.
When you go into the Recovery Console
- it looks for existing Windows installations.
Usually it only finds one, e.g. C:\Windows
Type the NUMBER before it, then press Enter.
Usually that's type:1 , Press Enter
I found this out only by trial and error....
- when you then are prompted for
- if there are no asterisks - "stars" - **'s - the uppercase of 8 on your keyboard - there is no password - DO NOT enter anything, just press Enter
- if there ARE asterisks, the password is the same one used for Adminstrator in Windows, e.g. when you boot into Safe mode and choose Administrator - enter the password - the case of characters is important (e.g. whether they are upper or lower case letters) - THEN press Enter.
Brand name systems DO NOT normally have an Administrator password when you get the computer intially.
If you have tried choosing Safe mode and then the Administrator user previously, if you didn't have to supply a password for that user, you don't need one in Recovery Console either.
If you DO see asterisks beside Administrator Password:
and you're fairly sure there should not be a password
- try just pressing Enter anyway
if that doesn't work
- there is(are) (a) bug(s) that can cause that or a password that should work not working and there is a workaround for that
- OR - if you can access ANY user that has Administator rights in Windows itself, there is a little known command you can use that will remove the password for any other user you choose, without you losing any of that user's personal data.
(e.g. if you delete a user, you lose all that user's data in C:\Documents and Settings\(that user)\all subfolders, and the "parent" (that user) folder - nothing shows up in the Recycle Bin - even if you make another user that has the identical name).
There are default restrictions on what you can do in the Recovery Console.
Access is Denied to most folders and files on them on partition hard drive Windows is on, but you can access C:\Windows , or whatever the Windows folder on the partition is, and any of it's sub folders and files.
You can access files on disks in CD or DVD drives, but as I recall you can't access the floppy drive.
You can access any folder or file on another hard drive partition other than the one \Windows is on, for the Windows installation you chose.
copy c:\windows\system32\dllcache\url.dll c:\windows\system32
should work fine,
OR you may need to type
copy c:\windows\system32\dllcache\url.dll c:\windows\system32\url.dll
instead (commands in the Recovery Console DO NOT necessarily abide by the same rules as similar ones in Windows itself)
providing you type it all in one go, a space between them, do not press Enter between them (you did press Enter betwen the last 2 parts when you quoted that line).
Type: exit (press Enter)
to get out of the Recovery Console - the computer will reboot.
There are other things you can try in the Recovery Console.
chkdsk /r C: (press Enter)
There is no /f switch for it in the Recovery Console. It takes a lot longer to complete than chkdsk /f in Windows does.
If that is successful, Windows MAY then work fine in normal mode, but if it doesn't,
- you may get a blue screen error that names a different file. You could try replacing that file in Recovery Console too.
- often, Windows can't tell you directly what specific file is causing a software problem and names a file affected by the software problem instead, so replacing the named file does not help.
In that case, or in any case when you can't figure out is wrong with Windows, you are often better off to run what many call a "Repair install" procedure, and what I prefer to call a "Repair Setup" procedure, which does not delete the user's data and the user's settings that have been added to the partition Windows was installed on.
However, that can only fix problems caused by files that are on the Windows XP CD you use, you MUST use an OEM XP CD for a brand name computer (a retail full version CD won't work with the Product Key on the label on the brand name computer but it will work with it's own key; retail Upgrade CDs won't work; if a CD that came with the brand name computer is actually a slightly modified OEM CD that will work; a regular OEM CD will work with the Product Key on the brand name system for the same version, Home or Pro, or it's own key ), and you MUST KNOW and use the Product Key for your Windows installation.
If you don't know the Product Key, or if you don't use an OEM XP CD, then you can't finish the procedure - if you quit Setup at that point you WILL NOT have the second Repair choice available when you boot with the CD again.
The "Repair install" procedure, and what I prefer to call a "Repair Setup" procedure, is the second Repair choice when you boot the computer with a full version XP CD - Repair your exsting Windowsinstalltion or similar. If certain required filesare damaged in the Windows installation, you will NOT see that second Repair choice.
For a brand name computer, you can use the Product Key on the official Microsoft label on the case, OR the Product Key found by using a program that can find it (e.g. the freeware Keyfinder) if you can still get into Windows, for the same version of Windows (Home or Pro) ONLY if you have booted using an OEM Windows CD.
I don't know if you can do that with the Dell CD, if it is actually a slightly modified OEM XP Home CD as I suspect it is - when you use it with your Gateway computer - I haven't tried installing Windows or doing the "Repair Setup" procedure with any such Dell CD on other than a Dell model it came with - the second Repair choice may not appear when you boot with the CD.
How to do an XP Repair Setup, step by step:
If your Windows CD does not have SP1 or SP2 or SP3 updates included, and you updated to SP2, or SP3, you may have to install SP2 or SP3 updates again to get it working properly. SP1 or later is required for USB 2.0 and hard drives larger than 137gb (manufacturer's size; 128gb in Windows and most bioses).
The regular original XP CDs and XP CDs that have SP1 updates have nothing about SP printed on the original CD; however the volume label (the label for the CD you see in Windows) for the original version XP CDs are different from those that include SP1 updates - you can search with that on the web to determine if it has SP1updates included. Regular XP CDs with SP2 or SP3 updates included have SP2 or SP3 printed on the original CD.
You may also need to re-install some of your Windows Updates.
NOTE: I have found some older XP Home CD's without SP1 or SP2 updates (e.g. made in 2001 - see the date on the CD) DO NOT have the second Repair choice option when you boot with the CD!
In that case, if you want to try the "Repair Setup" procedure, you have to either borrow an XP CD with at least SP1 updates included, or make your self a "slipstreamed" CD with SP3 updates integrated into Windows, and use that to boot the computer with.
An alternative is, if Windows is still working, is to try running SFC - System File Checker - it will replace any essential file found on the XP CD that is found to be corrupted or missing. However that has a glitch. If Windows has had SP2 or SP3 updates loaded, if your XP CD does not have SP2 or SP3 updates included on it, SFC will NOT recognize the XP CD as valid - as the CD it wants . You have to make yourself a "slipsteamed" CD that has the contents of your original CD with the SP2 or SP3 updates integrated into it, or borrow one that has the SP updates included.
(Insert the Windows CD in a drive.
Start - Run - type: sfc /scannow (click OK or press Enter)
If it says it's having trouble reading a file, try clicking on Retry - sometimes you have to do that many times, but sfc will eventually complete. Reboot the computer when it completes, try your computer for a while to see if the problem is gone.
If SFC will not accept the XP CD you're using as valid, or if you want to quit SFC (it takes up to 30 minutes or more to complete) , you can't quit SFC - press the Alt-Ctrl-Del keys at the same time, choose Shut Down, then Restart or Turn Off.)