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Reformat HD/Reinstall XP

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by cgm707, Feb 10, 2003.

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  1. cgm707

    cgm707 Thread Starter

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    I upgraded to Windows XP about a year ago. I am not having any problems. However, my hard drive is almost full...which I dont quite understand, because I dont think I have that many programs. Granted, my computer is about 5 years old.

    I would like to know if reformating my hard drive might save some space, and help my PC to run faster. I would also like to know if there might be any foreseeable problems with reinstalling XP Home Edition.

    Lastly, I have never reformatted my hard drive, and am asking for the basic steps.

    I appreciate any help, thank you.
     
  2. Jtoast

    Jtoast

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    basic steps...

    1) back up whatever data you want to keep.

    2) boot from a floppy

    3) at the A: prompt, type "format C:"

    4) when its done, boot from the xp cd and follow the prompts


    5) reinstall all your drivers (hopefully they were part of step one)

    6) reinstall/restore your applications and data.

    now to address your initial question....


    formatting your drive will open space up only if you dont put everything back on it.

    I would start by going to your control panel, add/remove programs and uninstalling all the programs you never use anymore.

    if you still need more space then formatting and just not installing as much may be an option.


    I personally would just go buy an additional harddrive as cheap as they are now instead of formatting.
     
  3. cgm707

    cgm707 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for outlining the steps for me. If I did buy a new hard drive, I'd have to reinstall Windows XP anyway, as well as my backed up data, is that correct?
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If you're having no problems, you could use the image utility that comes with many new drives, or download one, and avoid the reinstall.

    On the topic of losing space, have you deleted all the restore points? If you have Norton Utilities or System Works, have you disabled the Norton protection on the recycle bin, and reduced it's allocation to 0%? Have you run a CHKDSK /F to reclaim any lost space?

    There are also several nice programs that do a tree view with space allocation of your entire hard drive, one is called Space Explorer. This will allow you to find hidden crap that's been forgotten for ages. :)
     
  5. grampedstl

    grampedstl

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    If you are running a 5 year old machine that has been upgraded I would strongly suggest that before you get into formatting a H/D that you do a couple of full 'DEFRAG' runs first and clean up all the wasted space...

    You may be surprised how much space you have after consolidating all those stray fragments!
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Actually, as long as CHKDSK runs error-free on that drive, you'll gain exactly 0.0mb of extra space by defragging. :) You'll probably pick up some performance, but that's not disk space. :D
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    While it is possible to format from a floppy [provided he is running a fat32 file system] why not just boot from the xp cd. He is able to delete / create partitions and format with the file system of his choice. Using a floppy is rather slow and adds extra steps since he will be booting from the xp cd to install anyway.
    As to space on the hd; have you emptied the recycle bin, removed all restore points expect the last one, deleted any tmp files, etc. Doing this may free up enough space so you do not have to format and reinstall. If you do decide to format, make sure you backup anything important such as pictures, financial records etc. There will be nothing on your hd after you format.
     
  8. hammer61

    hammer61

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    What happens to product activate when you reinstall XP with a clean install, I presume you get 30 days again I dont know .When I activate mine all I got was a dialog box with OK or something like that.Just wondering incase I have to do it some time .
     
  9. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    If you are considering reinstalling XP anyway, you might do several things to make it a little better for you in several aspects.

    1. Just get a larger hard drive that spins at 7200 rpm. They are not that expensive any longer. This will give you more space and better performance. Make sure your BIOS can handle whatever size you get.

    2. Create a relatively small 4 gig (or so) partition as the primary and install XP to that partition.

    3. Create another partition which is the rest of the hard drive. This is where all your data and applications will be installed.

    4. The advantage is that you can easily create images of the C: drive with programs like Drive Image or Ghost. Then should (or when) XP crashes, the restore is only a few minutes.

    5. Keep your current hard drive as a slave and copy any data you need to the new one.
     
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