I foolishly opened an attachment which I believed was legit and it was an executable. What I saw happen was as if the computer rebooted and when it tried to come up there was only a message that says something like:

Nt won't start due to not enough low memory...you have 499K and need 512K

What I've done so far after trying everything I know is to take the hard drive out, put it in an external box and make an image of the entire drive on my win8.1 machine. I can now get to the files but there are some I cannot find...there are a lot of files on there. The main issue now is that I would like to try and get the computer running again because I have programs on there that will only run in xp and I need them. This is my only xp machine at this point.

Right now, I've put in an ubuntu boot disk and have the machine working without the hard drive, just to see if there's anything wrong hardware-wise. Unfortunately I don't know much about ubuntu and so far it's not gained me much.

I'm thinking as a last resort to putting the hard drive back in and try to access the D: drive since it's an HP machine and just return the machine to original state. I do have the image of the disk on my other computer. But I'm not sure this plan will allow me to run programs even if I copy the image back because of registry issues. That's a question as I'm at the edge of my knowledge.

I don't want to take any chances in case it is possible to get this thing up and running again so that's why I'm here at this point and I appreciate any help.

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That message sounds rather suspicious, and I'm not altogether sure that Windows could run on 1/2 Meg of RAM anyway. I've seen it manage with 128 MB, but 1/2? I think you need to do a scan, and for that you will need a bootable cd or UFD.. may I suggest the free Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 from http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/rescuedisk/main
Instructions and guides are there, and the link to the download. Burn the iso to a cd or load it to a FAT32 formatted UFD with a suitable tool (there is one on the site.. find the link near the iso download link).

May I suggest that you install locate32 to find your files in win 8 ?

It seems your XP hard drive may have been infected with a virus/trojan from the link you opened. If you can boot it into "safe mode with networking" you should be able to update your anti-virus scanner from there and run a full scan. If not then unfortunately a full format and re-installation of Windows (this may be better in the long run).

However you mention you copied an image of the drive and stored it on your Windows 8.1 machine. Run a scan of the image with the AV on the Windows 8.1 unit to confirm the presence of any virus/mailware. If there is and the AV does not remove then contact the AV supplier for support regards its removal. Then save the files you need, re-scan them and then and as mentioned above wipe the drive and re-install XP.

those are good ideas and I'll scan the files asap. I'm going to tinker with gerbil's suggestion above...also got a boot disk coming from a friend.

here's the problem with wiping the drive. I've got the data ok. But what about the programs that are on there that will only run in XP? Can you copy the Program Files folder to another drive and run it from there? For example, if I put in a new disk and loaded xp up on it, the programs on the old drive wouldn't be registered with the new os installation.

It is possibly a virus/trojan infection...you can try to boot your pc into the safe mode and then scan your pc with a good antivirus software. And if the above method doesn't work you can try AVG rescue disc>> http://www.avg.com/in-en/avg-rescue-cd to scan and remove the infection if any.

You say you have the computer working with a Ubuntu boot disk: that points to there being a problem existent on the hdd. The malware? so far sounds like an annoyance, not much point to it at all. It just needs killing.
I don't know the structure of your hdd, the partitions on it and what they contain. Here's the thing with images. If you have a disk image and copy it to a hdd then it should run; partitions will be the same size and with same drive letters, the registry will be identical, all references will be as they were. If you copy back an image of a partition, especially one with programs, then you must ensure that the drive letter you assign is the same as on the original partition. Copying back and starting a boot drive image is somewhat less straightforward.

"... Can you copy the Program Files folder to another drive and run it from there?"

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is usually "no".

When you install a program in Windows, the installation process will not only create files under the "Program Files" or "Program File (x86)" folders, but it will also add entries in to the Windows Registry, and perhaps install files (drivers, for example) in locations other than the "Program Files" or "Program File (x86)" folders.

Given that, simply copying a program's "Program Files" folder to another computer will not work.

Well, I've still got the HDD in an external box...the computer would not start in safe mode with it in the computer so that's why I put it in a box. I can get most of the data running it on my win 8 machine so the only thing lost is the programs.

I was wondering if I install a small, new HDD and load it with XP, then install the original HDD as a secondary disk, but Gerbil's post seems to eliminate that possibility as the new disk would have to be named c: and the programs were installed and were running under c:

I did run malwarebytes on the HDD as an external....nothing found. I havn't done a lot of work on it as an external drive because I could get to the data. But perhaps there's a way to clean it up and then put it back in the original computer?

Just looking at the responses you have got since my last posting. Some programs in your program files should work in a new Windows XP imaged drive providing they either have a setup or the name.exe file within the folder. Also look in the c:/Documents and settings/local settings folder under application data or temp as you may find backup copies of the original installs/setup files there. Ensure they are scanned with an up to date virus/mailware scanner before you copy to a new drive. I also presume you have some of these programs on CD or other external source. Also most XP programs would be still available for download, as they usually will run on Vista or 7 (not 8 or 8.1 with the exception of most Microsoft products)

Also with Windows 7 Home Premium or higher (professional/Ultimate) you can download and run a virtual machine using Windows XP having the best of both worlds. This is available for free from Microsoft. So if you can get a copy of Windows 7 it might be an option with a new HDD or the original one completely wiped/formatted. This feature only applies to Windows 7 as far as I know.

For further info have a look at this link:


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