Ask the Doctor: Whither Minesweeper?


I’m using a 2.8GHz PC with 1.5GB of memory and WinXP SP3. Rather than include a licensed CD in case I ever need to reinstall the OS, the OS installs from a hard drive partition. I’ve reinstalled Windows twice now and all is well.

Recently I bought another system that has Windows XP on it, but several items weren’t selected when it was installed. As a result, it has no games, and many other programs aren’t installed, but it does have a license key sticker on the case.

Do you know of any way I could access the partitioned files on the first system so I could reinstall XP on the other system? The only option I know of is to buy the XP upgrade at Wal-Mart for about $100 and then go through the Win98 installation and the WinXP upgrade processes.

I’ve thought about just installing Win98 or ME, but then I’d have to search for drivers that might not exist for some of the hardware. I could also just go out and get Vista, but as a regular reader of Maximum PC, I’ve decided Vista is just a headache waiting to happen to someone who doesn’t know better.

Mike Hammond

First, Mike, although we gave Vista a hard time when it first came out, it’s actually improved significantly since its release. The Doctor has been running 64-bit Vista on his home computer for nearly a year with no ill effects.

On to your problem: You should be able to install the missing Windows components by going to the Control Panel, then Add or Remove Programs, and clicking Add/Remove Windows Components in the left-hand menu. From there you can click each individual component’s section. Double-clicking Accessories and Utilities will bring up the Accessories and Games folders, and you can click on those to add specific components. You’ll be sweeping mines in no time.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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