Attempting to Restore an eMachine Using a Copy of the Recovery Partition

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My wife’s older computer is an eMachine T3958. It hasn’t been used for a long time and is several years old. It was her primary desktop and eventually became my first home automation server. I moved on to other hardware so it’s been sitting unused for some time.

I decided to get the computer working again so we could give it to someone that might have a use for it. When I first repartitioned the system I had the foresight to backup the recovery partition to a DVD.

Unfortunately, despite spending a few hours trying to work it out, I wasn’t able to use the recovery data to reinstall Windows and bring the system back to its factory state.

Perhaps there is a way to use it but I wasn’t able to get the system to boot into the recovery mode and as far as I could tell the Windows XP install files are not included within the recovery partition or they are obfuscated somehow. Marking the partition as active among other methods simply didn’t work.

Whatever discs that may have come with this system were lost a long time ago. The burned recovery discs were never made, as far as I know.

At this point I appear to have three options:

  • Borrow a Windows XP Home install disc and attempt to use the activation code on the system
  • Purchase a new copy of Windows XP Home
  • Purchase a copy of the original recovery discs from eMachines

I’m currently working on the last option. Since the machine is rather old I won’t be surprised if eMachines sends me an e-mail stating the discs are no longer available for purchase. If that turns out to be the case then I’ll try the first option.

Updated 08/15/2011: Last night I received a response from eMachines. The recovery discs for this machine are no longer available. “Recovery discs are only available for systems for 3 years from the date the system part number was created”.

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