Fresh Install of XP - Guidance needed

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jrak

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Jan 18, 2007
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I have a two year old computer that has been operating erraticaly - a program take 4 minutes to load, computer crashes when inserting a CD, a program won't load because of a runtime error. While I've been able to remedy these issues (with the exception of 4 minute load time for a particular program), I believe that the time has come to do a clean install of my Windows XP Home operating system. I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the information available on the net. What's the best guide for doing the clean install?

Please note that one of the issues that I had was a few bad sectors on my C drive. These were fixed with Scan Disk. Would it be advisable to replace my C Drive with a new one? And if I do, what would be the best way to install the new drive and operating system in my computer? My computer specs are provided below.

Thanks for the guidance!

Processor
Model : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz
Speed : 3.00GHz
L2 On-board Cache : 512kB ECC Synchronous ATC

Mainboard
Bus(es) : ISA AGP PCI USB FireWire/1394
MP Support : 1 CPU(s)
System BIOS : American Megatrends Inc. 1016.001
Mainboard : ASUSTeK Computer Inc. P4C800-E
Chipset : ASUSTeK Computer Inc Unknown (2578)
Front Side Bus Speed : 4x 200MHz (800MHz data rate)
Total Memory : 1023MB

Video System
Monitor/Panel : NEC MultiSync 70
Monitor/Panel : NEC MultiSync 70
Adapter : RADEON 9600 SERIES
Adapter : RADEON 9600 SERIES - Secondary

Physical Storage Devices
Removable Drive : Floppy disk drive
Hard Disk : Maxtor 6Y120L0 (114.5GB)
Hard Disk : ST3200822A (186.3GB)
Hard Disk : ST3300831AS (279.5GB)
Hard Disk : Promise 1+0 Stripe/RAID0 SCSI Disk Device (233.8GB)
CD-ROM/DVD : TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-S182D (CD 48X Rd, 48X Wr) (DVD 6X Rd, 6X Wr)

Logical Storage Devices
1.44MB 3.5" (ASmile : N/A
Hard Disk (CSmile : 114.5GB (40.8GB, 36% Free) (NTFS)
Disk4_vol1 (DSmile : 233.8GB (95.9GB, 41% Free) (NTFS)
Disk2_vol1 (ESmile : 186.3GB (134.1GB, 72% Free) (NTFS)
CD-ROM/DVD (FSmile : N/A
New volume (GSmile : 279.5GB (212.5GB, 76% Free) (NTFS)

Peripherals
Serial/Parallel Port(s) : 3 COM / 1 LPT
USB Controller/Hub : Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D2
USB Controller/Hub : Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D4
USB Controller/Hub : Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D7
USB Controller/Hub : Intel(R) 82801EB USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 24DD
USB Controller/Hub : Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24DE
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Composite Device
FireWire/1394 Controller/Hub : VIA OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller
Keyboard : Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse : Microsoft PS/2 Port Mouse (IntelliPoint)
Human Interface : HID-compliant device
Human Interface : USB Human Interface Device

MultiMedia Device(s)
Device : SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio

Communication Device(s)
Device : Intel(R) 536EP V.92 Modem

Operating System(s)
Windows System : Microsoft Windows XP Home Version 5.01.2600 Service Pack 2

Network Adapter(s)
Network Drivers Enabled : Yes
Adapter : Intel(R) PRO/1000 CT Network Connection
 
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Are you planning just to wipe everything clean and start over? Which is your C drive? It looks like you have a RAID setup is that where the OS is going?
 
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It is not unusual for a drive to develope some bad sectors . . however, if it does it often, it's time to replace the drive.

To install XP . . Prior to installing, enter BIOS ( Setup ) and set the first boot device as CD/ROM. Put your XP Disc in the drive and disconnect all external peripherals except the monitor, keyboard and mouse, and be sure those are not USB, or wireless. Any internal USB card should also be removed.

If you are using an upgrade version installation CD, you'll also need a CD with an older operating system ( Windows 98SE or Windows ME ) to complete the install. Also Make sure you have the 25-digit product code for the Windows XP CD.

Once you set your BIOS to boot first from cd . . when it restarts you will see a black screen with a prompt "Press any key to boot from CD" . . do that and you will be able to delete any or all partitions and recreate one or more, then proceed to formatting and installing XP.

That message can pass quickly, so have a finger on the keyboard when you boot. This will delete all data on the drive so be sure you have your important data backed up. The prompt will appear after every reboot, but do not press any key on subsequent reboots. The setup process will continue with no action required from you.

If you do not get that message, and you have another optical drive, try the XP CD in the other drive.

If you are installing on SATA drive, there is an additional step:

http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org/how_do_i_install_windows_xp_on_a.htm

This is a site that walks you thru a simulated XP installation:
http://www.echoproject.net/en/software/catalog.html

These are good guides to reinstalling XP . . you might want to print one for reference during the install.

http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sg_clean.asp
http://www.socrtwo.info/cleanxpinstall.htm
http://www.theeldergeek.com/xp_home_install_-_graphic.htm

You will likely have to reload drivers (Chipset first) and applications, If your XP installation disc does not include SP2, after the installation, you will need to download and install SP-2, while windows is clean. Prior to connecting to the internet be sure you enable the XP firewall.

If you want to save your files and settings, you can use the XP Files and Settings Transfer (FAST) wizard to create an image of them and save to cd or other removable media. These are good guides to using the FAST wizard. Just be sure you have an up-to-date antivirus before you re-instate them!

http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sg_fstw.asp
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_install.htm

For help entering BIOS: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/bios_manufacturer.htm
 

jrak

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
45
SIMPSWR, Thanks for the detailed post. It was exactly what I was looking for. I'll reinstall on my existing C drive. If any additional sector problems come up, I get a new drive. Does that make sense? If I did choose to install on a new hard drive, what addtional steps would I have to take.

Norton850, I used the raid setup to add an addition storage drive to my system. The operating system is not on it.
 
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Personally I would not do an install onto a drive with bad sectors. Although there's no harm in it I don't know if there is any purpose in creating a 1 + 0 RAID setup for storage. (Any expert comments from forum members?). You could consider making the SATA/RAID drives your OS drives. Simpswr's post details all you will need when installing Windows to a new drive. If you install the OS to the IDE drive you don't technically need to install SATA drivers to do the install, but you will need them eventually or your system won't recognize the SATAs.

Does your Windows install CD have sp2 on it or did you install that later?
 

jrak

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I installed the SP2 after installing Windows on my computer. My Windows disk is roughly 2 years old.

I don't recall the reasons for setting up the raid array, which was done some time ago. I was adding a fourth hard drive to my system at the time (I do a lot of video work and needed it for storage). The first 3 drives were ATA and the one I added was a SATA. I fumbled around a bit during the install process and ended up adding it through the Raid controller. It worked fine, so I left it at that. If there is a better way to use by controller resources, I would be eager to hear about it.
 
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jrak said:
If I did choose to install on a new hard drive, what addtional steps would I have to take.
Actually, it would be fewer steps . . when setup detects no bootable hard drives, it will start the installation on its' own . . you just partition ( or not ) and off it will go.

It's a good idea to disconnect any other drives for the installation . . just to be sure there is no confusion. You can reconnect after XP is installed.

As cheap as drives are these days, you might consider a new one so that you have the old one to salvage files from
 

jrak

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
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45
simpswr, for the reasons you mentioned, a new drive really does seems to be the way to go. Additionally, I would expect that a new drive would be a bit faster than a 2 year old drive. Thanks for the advice.
 

jrak

Thread Starter
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Jan 18, 2007
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45
I just ordered a 400 GB hard drive to replace the one with bad sectors. Is it advisable to partition it or should I use the whole drive for the boot drive?
 
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With a drive that size, I like to set one partition of 20 Gig (+/-) for the Operating System and Applications . . . and use the rest for data.

Its a matter of preference . .
 
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Good move. I would never install XP to a drive with bad sectors and I am curious about your words? Did you use Fat32 instead of Ntfs, and the reason I ask is you said you ran scan disk and fat32 would be a waste of time in XP and not taking advantage of all the XP features. It would also come in to play with partitioning as well, or did you mean to say checkdisk instead?
 

jrak

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Jan 18, 2007
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Rich-M, I meant to say Checkdisk. All of my drives are NTFS.
 

jrak

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Jan 18, 2007
Messages
45
I installed the new hard drive along with a fresh install of Windows XP. Everything works much better than before. The installation guides were a very big help. It would have taken twice as long without them. Thanks!
 
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