Bad Sector Recovery after a Hard Drive Imaging

To recover sectors marked as bad on a newly imaged hard drive (from a previously 'bad sectored' hard drive):

C:\> CHKDSK hard_drive_letter /b

N.B: Unfortunately it requires the Windows Vista or Windows 7 version of chkdsk to work.


Attaching a Windows XP OS hard drive, that I had imaged previously, via usb to a running Windows 7 instance, and then running the above command worked well.

Recover from Activation Window not appearing after doing a Repair Install

Installation of IE8 can sometimes lead to a repair install afterwards failing to be able to run the Activation Wizard. The steps below allow you to get an extended 30 days to be able to re-install IE8 AFTER the repair install (since the repair install probably installs IE6?). This then enables the Activation Wizard to work again:

1. Turn On your PC
2. Press F8 repeatedly and go to Safe Mode
3. Logon as per normal (note: Administrator password is usually blank, but hopefully you know your password)
4. Allow the Desktop to fully load (answering "Yes" to continue into Safe Mode)(note: This is just a long way of saying go to Safe Mode)
5. Click on Start - Run
6. Type in exactly: 

    rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk 

     (and click OK)(note: one space, after "rundll32.exe " also the Oo are two letter o's in "oobe"; capitals and comma are important)
7. Wait a couple of seconds (although you will Not see any change)
8. Restart your PC normally (Start - Shutdown - Restart - Ok)
9. You are now able to go to Normal Mode again (For another 30 days !!!)
10. Install IE8, do not pass go do not install ie7, install ie8. that should solve not being able to browse and not being able to activate somehow it's tied to the broken ie. Let me know if this works. Now do whatever you like, you're back to Normal. 

Registry change for XP Home to XP Professional

I needed a way to be able to install a legitimate XP Professional Open-License version over top of an XP Home without losing programs and data, etc.

This is the registry hack to do it:

Open Registry Editor (regedit).
  1. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/ControlSet00X/Control/ProductOptions, where ControlSet00X is the one with the highest number.
  2. Delete the ProductSuite registry key.
  3. Then, create a new DWORD value and named it as Brand.
  4. Set the “Brand” value data as 0.
  5. Reboot the system.
  6. On boot up after the BIOS screen, press F8 to display Windows XP Startup Menu.
  7. Choose Last Known Good Configuration (LNG) and hit Enter.
  8. Voila! Now it's XP Professional (as far as the XP Pro installer is concerned).

(N.B: I am in no way condoning doing this for illegitimate purposes but purely to save yourself time in not having to save the customers data and re-install programs)

Burning a Bootable, Slipstreamed Windows XP CD in K3B

Follow this guide to slipstream XP with the Service Pack of your choice and then instead of using Nero use K3B with these settings to burn the CD:

(original site)

Settings that DON'T matter
- load segment
- volume name

Settings that DO matter
- file system

So now, k3b settings.
In "edit boot images"
- Boot Load Segment: 0x0 (My retail CD actually shows 0x0, but you can use 0x7C0 if you really want)
- Boot Load Size: 0x0

In "Properties" -> "Filesystem"
- Select "DOS Compatibility" then click "Custom..." (I selected DOS... just cause it's the cleanest template)

Then make sure the following are checked
- Generate Joliet extensions
- Omit version numbers...
- Allow 31 characters...
- Allow ~ and #...
I left everything else unchanged

Now burn and you're good to go.

Actually, if you're really lazy, all you really have to do is
- Select DOS Compatibility then click "Custom..."
- Check Allow untranslated ISO9660 filenames.

Changing Default Windows XP Style

To select a different visual style for login you need to edit the following registry entries




When you are there, look over to the right-hand pane and look for this key -

DllName - this key is for the Visual Style you are using currently, Luna is the default Visual Style in XP = %SystemRoot%\Resources\themes\Luna\Luna.msstyles