> Thank you John.
> The XP came loaded on the computer. Foolishly, I took the 'free' upgrade
> offer to Vista. As such I have no original operating disks to do a clean
> install of XP.
> Short of giving Microsoft more $$ to purchase an operating system to replace
> the operating system I already purchased (that does not work), do I have any
> Besides buy a Mac next time?
Macs are very nice. I love my Macbook. ;-)
Since XP came preinstalled on your computer, the computer mftr. legally
had to provide you a way to restore the machine to factory condition.
This could be with an image on a special or hidden partition on the hard
drive, physical CD/DVD with a image, or physical CD with the actual
If you have lost your restore disks, neglected to create them, or wiped
out the recovery partition, contact the computer mftr. to get physical
restore disks sent to you. In most cases this is quite inexpensive,
often only around $25 USD. This will insure that you also get all the
drivers and any preinstalled software bundled with the machine.
If this is not possible, another solution is to install XP with a
generic or branded OEM (like HP, for ex.) install disk. You will use the
Product Key that is on the sticker on your computer. If a generic OEM is
used, activation will probably need to be done by phone. Purchasing
generic OEM disks (you can't buy branded OEM disks) costs less than
buying a retail copy of XP, but not by a lot. Most computer shops (like
mine) have a collection of branded and generic OEM disks. If you take
the machine to a shop, of course it will not be free nor will you get
the preinstalled software that originally came with the machine.
So you see that the best solution is to get restore disks from the OEM
if you don't have them.
Elephant Boy Computers
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User