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I have an Acer Aspire One D250 which originally came with Windows XP.

When I bought it I needed to start using it fast, so I only made a copy (as in, copy all the files) of the original C drive to another drive, and then I installed Windows 7 and Linux on it (erasing everything that was on the drive before, including the Acer recovery partition).

Now I would like to sell it, so I'd like to put it back in the factory condition. Is there a simple way I can use the backup of the files I've made to restore it to the original condition, ie. reinstall Windows XP?

Thanks.

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What you could try, Clean Install XP from a disc you borrow (deleting all previous partitions in the process), then remove the drive and and connect to another PC, then delete all files on the drive, copy your backed up files to the drive, put it back in and see if it boots, or delete all the partitions on the drive, format it NTFS, copy your backed up files to it then run a fixmbr and fixboot after you put it back in the Acer. This assumes you backed up All of the files in the first place. –  Moab Nov 13 '10 at 16:47
    
@Moab: for the second option, would it work if I ran fixmbr and fixboot from a windows 7 installation disk (I don't think I have any XP CDs)? –  houbysoft Nov 13 '10 at 16:54
    
No, the MBR and bootloader is completely different for Vista and W7 than it is for XP, here is an iso file for a XP recovery console boot cd, you can use it...thecomputerparamedic.com/files/rc.iso –  Moab Nov 14 '10 at 2:27
    
@Moab : I just created an NTFS partition and copied the stuff there to test and setup a new GRUB entry for it and it works now! I'll restore the original bootloader later, but it should be easy now, since I am able to boot to the install anyway. If you'd convert your comments to an answer, I'm ready to accept it. –  houbysoft Nov 14 '10 at 23:42

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Clean Install XP from a disc you borrow (deleting all previous partitions in the process), then remove the drive and and connect to another PC, then delete all files on the drive, copy your backed up files to the drive, put it back in and see if it boots, or delete all the partitions on the drive, format it NTFS, copy your backed up files to it then run a fixmbr and fixboot after you put it back in the Acer.

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There is a feature on Acer Apire One netbooks which is accessed by pressing Alt+F10 during startup. This will return it to factory condition.

Edit: in that case, there's a program I have used in this same situation called WinToFlash which allows you to install Windows from a flash drive. (This requires the Windows installation disc.) Of course this doesn't truly answer your question, but it is a viable alternative.

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Yes, but that only works provided you still have the recovery partiton, which I don't. Edited question to clarify. –  houbysoft Nov 13 '10 at 16:38

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