Installing Windows with a Bad CD

January 24, 2010

So, day 2 using Arch and I am still really digging it. I have my system pretty much set up how I like it and the only problem I am having is regarding mounting a logical partition.

The logical partition that contains my music/videos, which I set up during install, mounts fine and is writable by my regular user. However, the partition I set up for my virtual machines mounts fine, but is only writable by root. With the latter being set up after install.

Since the other one works, I imagine it has to be something I am missing regarding HAL, as I have tried mounting it using a number of different options, as well as adding it to fstab and so forth. Like I said, it mounts fine at boot, but is only writable by root.

Other than that, everything has been going smoothly.

Why VirtualBox?

I decided to give Sun VirtualBox a try, as I had previously used libvirt and Virtual Machine Manager. The main thing that I like better about Sun’s VirtualBox is that you can network the virtual machine, without having to bridge the connection.

Before, this had prevented me from installing a virtual machine on my laptop, as I would have either had to disconnect my media center or go in the other room with the router. Neither was a good choice, because if I went to the router, I might as well just use my desktop and unplugging the media center means not being able to use the Internet on my tv or access my Media Server.

It installed quickly and painlessly and I was up and running.

Installing Windows with a Bad CD

Sun’s Virtual Box installed fine, but I did end up having to fight XP to get it installed.

However, this was because of the condition of the CD. To give you an idea of the condition, if you hold the CD up to a light, you can see through it in at least a dozen places.

I ended up using this CD, as well as another one I had, and between the two was able to get it installed. This involved switching CDs each time I got an error, which in retrospect was not a good idea, as I kept on getting the 0x80004005 error.

This error states “A problem is preventing Windows from accurately checking the license for this computer” and prevents you from logging in.

I was able to boot into Safe Mode, but only without networking, so I spent some time messing with the registry and trying all the fixes on Microsoft’s support pages.

How I Got it Working

First, I did a repair install using my other Windows XP CD and pressed escape to skip copying any corrupt or missing files.

After a restart, the Windows Install Froze, so I put in the first Windows CD, the one that I wanted to install in the first place, and did another repair install. Again, I skipped any missing files.

This time, after restarting it finished the install without issue and I was able to boot into XP.

What I Learned

From this, I learned that probably what I should have done was installed the first CD skipping all corrupt files, but writing down their names.

Then, if the installation failed, I could go back using the other Windows XP CD and using the recovery console, “expand” the missing files. I am fairly certain doing it this way would have been much faster than doing two repair installs.

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