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Help needed with Reinstalling XP & Partitions


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Tommy_N

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Posted June 23 2006 - 02:32 AM

Hello all:

Windows XP has been acting funny lately and I would like to reinstall it. I have an extra 40 gig hard drive that I would like to use. I want to add multiple partitions. I think this will make it much easier to re-install XP periodically.

I’m wondering what the best way to do this is. I plan on adding 3 partitions as I install XP. One for the OS, one for programs and one for some back-up data. The majority of my data resides on another drive.

Someone told me that Microsoft Office works best if it is one the same partition as XP. Is this true? Is there any real benefit to having even more partitions, such as one for the swap file, or one for downloads?

Since I’m going to have to reinstall all my programs I am worried about iTunes. I’ve spent countless hours adding artwork, and organizing my music. When I copy my music back into iTunes from another drive will it recognize everything? I’ve search around and can’t find any information on this.

Is there anything else I should be aware of?

Thanks

Tom

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Mike Fassler

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Posted June 23 2006 - 10:16 AM

generally having multiple partitions can be more of a pain in the arse than not having so many, I prefer just to use a second drive as a backup drive i then make sure to ghost it. so if anything happens its all backed up.

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Josh Larkins

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Posted June 24 2006 - 03:15 AM

I used to do the whole multiple partition thing but... It gets to be more of a pain than it's worth and I wonder if it really does anything. If you want to separate things, I'd recommend you just use physically separate hard drives.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Tommy_N

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Posted June 24 2006 - 06:43 AM

Thanks the for advice. What specific problems have you both encountered?

I reinstalled windows once before and my computer ran great afterwords. I'm looking for the same results. My only complaint was that I had to reinstall & customize all my programs. I'd like to be able to make future reinstalls easy.

Suggestions?


Thanks

Tom

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Mike Fassler

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Posted June 24 2006 - 07:01 AM

to make it easy just ghost(image) your drive, when you have it setup the way you want. then whenever you wanna reinstall it takes very little time.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted June 24 2006 - 08:21 AM

It can make sense to have the OS and applications on a seperate partition to your data, especially if you use a partition-level backup program such as Ghost. That way you can make a quick OS/app backup before making any major system changes, or installing new apps you're unsure of etc.

However having the programs located on a different partition to your OS doesn't make any sense to me. If you ever have to reinstall Windows you'll have to reinstall all of the apps anyway so you wont gain anything.

Having the pagefile located on a seperate partition is a good idea if it's on a seperate hard drive that does not share the same IDE or SATA controller channel. That said, the performance increase is going to be minor, far less than if you just added more ram to the system.
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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 24 2006 - 09:10 AM

I don't understand why people periodically reinstall Windows XP or assume they're going to have to. If you're experiencing vague "problems" with Windows XP it is more likely to be an issue with software you've installed or ad-ware/malware that has made its way onto your system. I can't remember the last time I had to reinstall Windows on one of my own computers. (Work computers are another matter. People do all sorts of stupid things and often the most time-efficient solution is just to blow the hard drive away and re-image it.) I think I've done so once, on my oldest PC, since Windows XP was introduced. And that was because a bad driver from a vendor caused problems that were just taking me too long to solve and I needed the PC back on-line quickly. I'm not even sure if SP1 had been released at the time.

Since then all three of my XP (now SP2) machines have run just fine without ever having the OS reinstalled. They are all protected by firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. My e-mail has a good anti-spam program running with it. I excercise elementary caution to avoid scams and trojans and suspect websites. Even so, sometimes something sneaks through. In that case there is usually an update to one of my security programs within a couple of days that fixes the problem, or a removal tool from a third party will be posted on the 'net even sooner. I run it, my PC is starts working, I move on.

If one of my computers starts acting up in any way, reinstalling the OS is the last thing that comes to mind. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted June 24 2006 - 09:12 AM

Quote:
I don't understand why people periodically reinstall Windows XP or assume they're going to have to.

Yeah but some people like to have a shower once a year, whether they need it or not! Posted Image
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#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 24 2006 - 10:23 AM

Quote:
Yeah but some people like to have a shower once a year, whether they need it or not! Posted Image

True. And security software and periodic scans are analogous to showers. Very few people voluntarily go in for a full-body skin graft once a year - which is what reinstalling your OS is like. Posted Image I advocate the former, but discourage that latter unless it is medically necessary. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted June 24 2006 - 12:30 PM

Prior to Windows XP, I would do a do a clean install about every 6-8 months (actually, I had a Ghost image of a clean install and just used that... much faster). Prior to Windows XP, things just seemed to get bogged down after months of use, installs, uninstalls, etc. My system would run noticeably faster after the install.

Since I've had XP, though, I haven't noticed the OS getting bogged down like the previous versions. My next clean install won't be until Spring.... with Vista!

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Mike Fassler

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Posted June 24 2006 - 02:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino
I don't understand why people periodically reinstall Windows XP or assume they're going to have to. If you're experiencing vague "problems" with Windows XP it is more likely to be an issue with software you've installed or ad-ware/malware that has made its way onto your system. I can't remember the last time I had to reinstall Windows on one of my own computers. (Work computers are another matter. People do all sorts of stupid things and often the most time-efficient solution is just to blow the hard drive away and re-image it.) I think I've done so once, on my oldest PC, since Windows XP was introduced. And that was because a bad driver from a vendor caused problems that were just taking me too long to solve and I needed the PC back on-line quickly. I'm not even sure if SP1 had been released at the time.

Since then all three of my XP (now SP2) machines have run just fine without ever having the OS reinstalled. They are all protected by firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. My e-mail has a good anti-spam program running with it. I excercise elementary caution to avoid scams and trojans and suspect websites. Even so, sometimes something sneaks through. In that case there is usually an update to one of my security programs within a couple of days that fixes the problem, or a removal tool from a third party will be posted on the 'net even sooner. I run it, my PC is starts working, I move on.

If one of my computers starts acting up in any way, reinstalling the OS is the last thing that comes to mind. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe


I think its because most computer users arent saavy enough, or care enough to even do anykind of routine maintenance, that more tech saavy users would do, that is just a good assumption thou. Only reason I bother to keep a backup image of my drives is because, i cant afford to lose any of the data I usually backup.
I run a domain in my home and backup to my file server and then image that. I think the last time I actually did a clean install of winxp on one of my own machines was when I built my new gaming rig last year.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Tommy_N

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Posted June 25 2006 - 12:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino
I don't understand why people periodically reinstall Windows XP or assume they're going to have to. If you're experiencing vague "problems" with Windows XP it is more likely to be an issue with software you've installed or ad-ware/malware that has made its way onto your system. I can't remember the last time I had to reinstall Windows on one of my own computers......

....If one of my computers starts acting up in any way, reinstalling the OS is the last thing that comes to mind. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe



I might as well mention the reason I'd like to reinstall XP.

When I first purchased the computer (from Gateway) it would periodically shut-off and reboot on its own. It happened the 1st night I used it, before hooking up the internet or installing any apps. Over the time the problem started occurring more frequently. Gateway support suggested I reinstall XP.
Upon reinstalling XP I was shocked at how fast my machine was. It ran much better and has never rebooted on its own.

This past winter I did a bunch of upgrade to my PC. Samsung RAM, better power supply, new video card, a capture card. I also started using iTunes. Since then my PC isn't running the same. I think it has something to do with all my media players. Real Player keeps crashing, windows explore crashes but only when I am in the folder which contains my PVR files. It is just acting quirky and I’d like to start over. From what I understand even if I uninstall a bunch of programs they could leave remnants in the registry that could mess things up.

I run AVG Anti-virus, Zone Alarm Firewall, 3-4 anti-spyware programs, I defrag and do all the windows updates. I run a registry cleaner (which now I’m starting to hear mixed things about.) If I am missing some maintenance please let me know.

I also don’t fully understand how a ghost image would help me. I think it makes perfect sense if something happens suddenly. You have the ability to go back the way things were. But how does it help when things gradually go wrong over a long period of time?

So does anyone here reinstall XP periodically on their home PC?

Thanks for all the responses.


Tom

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 25 2006 - 12:28 PM

Quote:
Upon reinstalling XP I was shocked at how fast my machine was. It ran much better and has never rebooted on its own.

That's because you lost all the trial programs, instant messengers and other crap that Gateway installed on your PC in the first place, all of which it set to load on boot. Posted Image

Quote:
I run AVG Anti-virus, Zone Alarm Firewall, 3-4 anti-spyware programs, I defrag and do all the windows updates. I run a registry cleaner (which now I’m starting to hear mixed things about.) If I am missing some maintenance please let me know.

I'd lose Zone Alarm, which in my experience is a resource hog which tends to interfere with other programs and degrade Windows performance. Filescab makes a free firewall that works very well and has a small resource footprint. I used to use Sygate Personal Firewall, but dropped it when they discontinued the free version. Right now I find the firewall built into my DSL gateway to be more than adequate, so I don't feel the need to run a software firewall on top of it, and if I did I'd probably just turn on the built-in Windows firewall. As long as I keep doing well on every security test I run, I don't see any need to add more overhead to my system.

Regards,

Joe

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted June 25 2006 - 01:24 PM

I've been running XP on my home PC for the past 3 years and haven't felt the urge/need to re-install XP. Then again, I keep things as lean as possible.
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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted June 25 2006 - 01:32 PM

ZoneAlarm is not a problem piece of software. I've been running it fine for years on several different computers without a single problem, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who uses a computer while not behind a firewall.

As for the Windows Explorer crashing, it is likely caused by a specific windows update that supposedly has since been fixed. I can't remember the update ID, but I had this happen to me when browsing certain folders that contained image or video. I did a rollback on the update and everything was fine afterwards.

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC

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Posted June 25 2006 - 02:08 PM

I reinstalled XP recently, as part of a series of non-routine maintenance tasks. I had random restarts, which may have been caused by a corrupt RAM module, but in any case I decided that the easiest thing to do was just to rebuild the whole system from the same parts. I wound up flashing the BIOS, because I had been working with the wrong version for some time. Reinstalling XP was mostly because of the registry having become corrupted by bad device drivers. I wouldn't recommend it, exactly, but I did it.

One thing I noticed is that, if you want to use MFT partitions and not XP's strange active partitions, it's a good idea to format and partition the hard drive first by mounting it in your existing PC [or even somebody else's!] and using the Windows disc manager tool. Then, when you install XP, use its format tool on the partition you want to install it on. It sounds strange to format a partition twice, but it avoids having strange manifestations like a menu asking you if you want to boot Windows XP, Windows XP, Windows XP, or Windows XP.


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