Basic XP Upgrade Question.

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Kraig Lang, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Kraig Lang

    Kraig Lang Stunt Coordinator

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    PatB,



    I should have been more clear in my statement. The upgrade to XP was on the machine that I had previous to the one I have now. I used to format and re-install W98SE every 6 months to keep the system clean. This would typically take me about 3 hours a night.



    At the time, I chose to go with the upgrade path in XP because I had done a lot of hardware upgrades and didn't want to wipe out the drivers that were installed for that hardware. It worked very well and XP turned out to be a great OS. Much, Much more stable.



    The clean build was on my new machine. I bought an HP 2.53G PIII about 6 months ago. I tried for a while to remove all the HP loaded crap that was on it when I got it home, but I couldn't get it all. I figured it would be a good opportunity to try a fresh build with XP.



    After finishing the install and resolving some "User Errors" :b (I forgot to download the latest chipset drivers) I found that my new system ran faster, more stable, and overall performance was drastically better. Understand, that I voided my warranty by doing this.



    If you want to try this, remember a few things

    1 - Get high speed access to the internet. There are a lot of driver updates that range from 5 to 40 meg let alone the Microsoft patches and updates for XP.

    2 - Prepare!! make a cd of all the drivers that you need before you start. Think about hardware and Internet connectivity primarily. Also, backup your personal files. I did this by installing a second hard drive for my files. Lots of MP3's ya know.

    3 - It's not as bad as you think. XP is really good at providing the right instructions for a proper install. From personal experience, the people that have problems are the people that like to fiddle with stuff or get frustrated easily. Most problems have pretty basic solutions if you take the time to think about it logically amd read the instructions.



    If you've never done this before it can be overwhelming but it's actually a very satisfying experience. So many people make it sound so difficult, but once you've been through it, it's actually quite simple.



    Feel free to ask more questions, an informed user is a happy user. Good Luck!!
     
  2. PatB

    PatB Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Kraig. Is formatting and re-installing 98SE a tough task? I don't mind spending the time but I don't want to get stuck doing something that's going to leave me with a dead PC. I wouldn't mind doing that before going to XP actually, I like 98 it's just been crashing a lot lately.
    What do I need to know to prepare for this, and will it involve my hard drive being wiped?
     
  3. Kraig Lang

    Kraig Lang Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi PatB,

    It all depends on the age of your system. Most all newer PCs are equipped to do a boot install from a CD, but some older ones aren't. For example, with my very first PC, I had to download CD-ROM drivers to install from DOS if I formatted my Hard Drive.

    The only way to get a good clean install is to format the Hard Drive. What this will mean though is that once you get the OS installed again, everything that you've done to patch, update, configure since you got the machine on day 1, will need to be done again. If you're on a dial-up line, just downloading these files could take you a week. And that's just the OS. You'll also need to re-install all the software that you'll want to continue to use. That's why I highly recommend, or dare I say it's required, that you have a High Speed Access Line to the internet.

    What I did was create a C Prompt Bootdisk, A CD with all the necessary Hardware Drivers, and created a stack of all my software in order of install once the OS was back on the machine. You know, things like MSOffice, Preferred Media Players, Video Software, Games,..etc.

    The thing I really liked about doing this on a regular basis was that I learned more about software installation and configuration then I did from any book or class I had ever taken. The other thing I learned was that the Help function in Windows is widely under utilized. I was usually able to find anything I needed by searching the help files.
     
  4. Bruce Patterson

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    Kraig's suggestion is right on the money. Wintel OS's get very bloated very fast.

    An add-on suggestion: once you get a stable "clean" XP system make a Symantec Ghost image to a second drive or CD-R. Follow this up with weekly (or monthly, if you don't change things much) backups (using the built-in backup utility in XP) to grab all files that have changed so that when (not if) you blow it with a hardware/software install, its easily restored.

    This simple and inexpensive strategy would save so many users (and companies) downtime.
     
  5. Kraig Lang

    Kraig Lang Stunt Coordinator

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    Bruce,

    It's funny you mention that. I never really cared about Auto-Backup due to my fresh building philosophy, until recently. I screwed up my machine with a software install about 3 weeks ago and thanks to XP auto restore, I was back and running in 15 minutes instead of 3 hours. Funny how stuff like that and warranties never really matter until they've actually worked.

    Kraig
     

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