Looking for windows xp media center disk

Sony / Vgc-ra-810g
October 2, 2009 at 16:14:22
I have a SONY VAIO VGC-RA-810G which I purchased in Aug 2004.

Getting right to the point

I turned on the desk top and noticed a page full of garbage.

Then it tried to boot into safe mode and the system just shut down and 3 seconds later started up again back to the safe mode choices.

I clicked on all and I am not able to get into SAFE MODE at all.

I contacted SONY & MICRO SOFT but no luck.
SONY did send me the set of recovery disks but I do not want to wipe off the hard drive of my personal folders that I have accumulated after 5 years.

My outlook has very important emails, contacts and my hard drive has many personal family pictures that can not be replaced.

Microsoft mentioned if I can find the Windows XP 2002 or 2003 disk and figure a way to get service pack 3 on it I can save everything by doing a system repair.

If I can't there is another option where I can load a store bought version of XP MEDIA and load it. The programs will be invalid and useless but I should be able to grab my files off onto an external hard drive.

If there is anyone out there who can give advise please do so.

My life depends on this!

See More: Looking for windows xp media center disk

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October 2, 2009 at 16:23:58
Simply download a Linux Live CD, burn it, start pc with this CD and save all your data to USB-Stick or external USB hard drive.
Linux Live CDs like Knoppix or OpenSuSE are very helpful in this and they are free.

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October 2, 2009 at 19:30:30
I'd save data off if you can access it with a live cd.

Some recovery disks offer two or more options as to how to proceed. Some will do a repair along with a wipe of system. Might read manual to see choices.

The issue is you want to get data off to remote media first. As paulsep, live linux CD/DVD's boot to a linux OS and you can then copy off data to remote media. Some are pretty easy but all require some learning.There may be a friend that knows all this and can help.

Another idea is to build a CD based on Windows such as barts or ubcd4win. It has some advantages as you can sometimes fix simple errors. You can also include NTbackup (use system state) to save the current system and data.
You can then install your recovery disks and apply the backup to restore your system hopefully.

Also you might be able to use other tools in a live windows cd. Things such as sfc.exe and system restore are possible.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)

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October 2, 2009 at 20:38:59
Another vote for a Live CD. Having to do that now after getting infected w/sasser (and the machine finally needs a reformat anyway). My preference is NimbleX (with the built-in K3B CD/DVD burner). Small, but still useful for recovering data from a drive (recognizes both FAT32 and NTFS drives, like most distros). If you've never burned a live CD, here's a good tutorial:


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Related Solutions

October 3, 2009 at 16:53:35
I am trying to download the Linux software but when it gets to the last 10% the software fail downloads.

I have done this at three locations.

Can someone confirm which file I am to download??
Maybe I am doing something wrong.

here is another USA site from Duke


I am also wanting to download opensuse
I went to the following site.

When I downloaded the file it seamed very small 51.2KB?

My system is a 32bit Sony Vaio.

Can someone advise which to select to set up a DVD disk

Download openSUSE 11.1

1. Select the Type of Computer

32 Bit PC x86: Computers with e.g. AMD® Sempron or Intel® Celeron™, almost all desktop computers dating 2004 or earlier. This version also runs on 64bit PCs.

64 Bit PC
x86-64: Most new computers with e.g. AMD®: Opteron™, Turion™ 64, Athlon™ 64, or Intel®: Core™2, Pentium® 4 6xx, Pentium® D CPUs
ppc: e.g. Apple® Computers before 2006 with non-Intel® CPU, IBM® eSeries™, IBM® pSeries™

2. Choose an Installation Medium
Network (Experienced Users only)

3. Choose a Download Method
Standard (ftp or http)


All I want to do is secure my files that are in my dead computer and once I am able to do this, I can use the SONY System restore disks to bring it back to a Newly working state.

Or will I like this other format and want to keep it?

Any suggestions?

If you would like to offer assistance on this very frustrating task, please do not hesitate to write.
I can email or call you from skype to anywhere in the world.

Thanks to all, your the best!


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October 3, 2009 at 17:43:39
First, try to download an ISO directly (not through torrents). Second, never having used OpenSuse, I wouldn't guarantee that there's anything like CD/DVD burning software to use on it (though there is on Knoppix). A live distro such as NimbleX is around 200MB (minimal), whereas Knoppix or Ubuntu should be around 650-700MB. Here's the direct links for NimbleX 2008, Knoppix 5.1 and Ubuntu 9.04 (English, 32-bit) ISOs (respectively):




You may like one of the other distros as well, here's a good source to start:


Just remember, should you wish to commit to it, Linux (thankfully) isn't MSWindows. It takes time to configure and learn if you've never worked with it before, and although some 16-bit Windows programs may run under Wine (a package included with most distros), many of the programs you already have won't.

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October 3, 2009 at 18:25:20
Regarding any Media Center version of XP there were no over the counter retail or OEM versions unless sold installed on a new system. You would have to find someone with an OEM copy for a repair attempt. Sony only used recovery disks for their systems, not an XP install one.

From your symptoms the problem might be a failing hard drive. As already noted backup the data and test the hard drive.

Chances of finding a copy of XP Media Center are slim. My recommendation would be to backup the files, test the hard drive and if good run a fresh install using the recovery disk. You are fortunate they had a set to send you. I have been forced to install for customers using an XP Home using their key and then going through the re-activation via phone with M$ to get the system back online and then install all of the drivers manually.

XP Media Center was the only version that standard disks did not work for. That is why with Vista the Media Center version was combined with XP Home Premium and became Vista Home Premium.

Good luck


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