|Rebuilding a machine after a thieving ex catastrophe, I've got two 200GB hard drives completely wiped, and decent (not spectacular, but decent) equipment otherwise, and my original windows XP disc and product key.|
Unfortunately, the disc isn't in working condition. It's been around a while, scratches happen I guess. This is why we save things and make redundancies, kids... As you can likely guess, i didnt make one. Since both hard drives have been completely wiped, there's no partition I can copy windows files from (official windows upgrade discs won't work for that same reason) and Microsoft's official site isn't too generous with their installation software. I don't want to buy XP again, (if it's even still on the market) as I plan to install 7 as soon as I upgrade the ram later this week, but I do need it running Windows as soon as possible for work-related projects requiring windows-only software.
Currently I can run Ubuntu, joli, BT, etc from disc, use their default browser and wired connection and hunt for solutions this way, but I'm hesitant to install Linux first with how finicky Windows is about having the first partition... I did check for Linux-compatible versions of our work programs, and no, they aren't possible with WINE.
My first thought in cases like this is "find a friend's computer, torrent an XP iso and start up Nero" but since I'm uncertain where the line Is between Fair Use and dastardly Piracy laws, I'd like to get a second opinion before risking it. On my own system I wouldn't hesitate, but out of common courtesy I'd rather not go this route on a friend's computer if it could potentially cause legal trouble.
Just in case I'm missing something incredibly simple, here's a system summary...
Compaq (originally... Can't seem to find exact model, built for xp and vista)
AMD64 Athlon processor
Pioneer DVD R/RW drive (it does work, XP disc is just beat up)
200gb seagate SATA HDD (registers under devices in BIOS, formatted ntfs)
200gb maxthor IDE HDD (also registers in BIOS, also formatted ntfs)
PCI ports have a linksys wireless N card, graphics card, and a gorgeous sound card... (specs on request, too lazy to open machine)
BIOS and jumper settings are correct. Boot order is USB, DVD drive, seagate, maxthor, network.
No USB thumb drives or external HDDs are connected, all other common boot loader and bios-related steps have been considered. I'm certain the scratched disk is the prevalent issue, although it was nice to see everything else working properly.
Running Dariks Boot n' Nuke might not have been the best idea, but the unwanted data, excessive partitioning and non-loading operating systems on those "new" hard drives were a cluttered nightmare -.-
Isnt there any way to legally obtain a backup copy of your original OS disc without angering the Copyright Gods? Or is everything built into that windows recovery menu that only works when windows is already installed?
Any responses are appreciated, links to legal ISOs would be fantastic, maybe instructions on how to get this directly from Microsoft? I'm running out of google search terms :)