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Fresh Start with XP...??

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by kelvin, May 20, 2003.

  1. kelvin

    kelvin
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    Not entirely HCPC related but I figured this was the best forum for it so here goes... ;)

    I'm half considering deleting everything on my laptop and starting from scratch - I don't intend to change OS or anything, simply remove all of the crap, and just start again with XP + Office - am I stupid for wanting to do such a thing??!! ;)

    I currently have a load of software on my machine that I very rarely use, and despite uninstalling a lot of it, I'm left with some stuff that I don't know if I need or not, and everything just seems to be a bit of a mess :blush: On top of that, I keep remembering how fast the thing used to be and I want it back!! ;) :blush:

    Having never attempted anything like this before - is it a bad idea? Is XP easy to re-install? Will I have to reinstall the BIOS, the hardware, and everything else?? Is that easy?

    Apologies if I sound like a total muppet - I'd never consider myself to be "scared" of computers, but I haven't done anything bigger than installing/removing programmes before.

    Any hints/tips/advice greatly received!! :)

    K.
     
  2. ChrisNic

    ChrisNic
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    I did it a couple of times with Windows 95 and that was a right pain but you will be glad to hear that its really easy with XP. Make sure you back up anything you want to save because you will obviously loose everything on the harddrive. If you have a recovery disk that the laptop came with then it will probably be completely painless, put the disk in the drive and follow the prompts. If you have a proper XP disk then you will have to set the laptop to boot from CD (im afraid I dont know anything about laptop bios so I dont know how to do this) then again you just follow the prompts to reinstall XP. You wont have reinstall the bios and its unlikely you will have to install any drivers, XP should do it all for you. It really isnt much worse than installing a programme. All I can advise is that you have all the disks that came with it handy and make sure you back-up anything you want to save or you will regret it later!
     
  3. 50/50

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    I do it about every 4 months, to clear all the crap of my harddisk, and replace it with my back up files that i need. Its nothing to worry about (unless you want to create some new partitions in DOS using FDISK).
    You just use a universal boot disk to enter DOS than, Under A: (Floppy drive) type 'format C: \u'
    wait till it formats and then run the setup on the disk. easy peasy. Windows XP works best on a clean installed. You can choose to use a NTFS or FAT32 file system (generally speaking, Fat32 is abit faster but NTFS is alot more stable)

    After you have formated your harddrive, it is very hard to do something wrong!
    Unless you have an ancient computer WinXP should find all the correct drivers without a problem. Things have changed since the days of Win95
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Yes, go for it.
    I zap my PC once or twice a year and it does make a big difference to performance.
    Reinstalling everything can be a real pain, but to make life easier I have a copy of Norton Ghost. Once everything is cleanly installed I create a backup of the drive and write to CD. Next time it gets cleaned I just reinstall from the image on CD. Saves reinstalling all the odds and ends. Just need to install any new software.

    Mark.
     
  5. kelvin

    kelvin
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    :)

    Well, it all sounds like it should be pretty painless - fingers crossed that it will be. I think my only real worry was that I might lose the drivers for my modem/network card/soundcard etc and not be able to get them back :rolleyes: Will XP's built in drivers function correctly with my equipment do you think?

    The Network card is made by a company called "Silicon Integrated Systems" - that's the only essential one as without that I won't be able to get online to download any other one's.

    My laptop's already setup to check for boot discs on both the A & D drives before it boots from C.

    K.
     
  6. nathan_silly

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    Before wiping your system, find out & download drivers for..


    Video Card
    Sound Card
    Modem
    Chipset
    IDE
    Network
    Cardbus
    and Touchpad

    Also Windows SP1, IE6 SP1, Winzip, Anti-Virus, etc etc...

    And burn onto a CD-R

    So if XP reports drivers as unrecognized devices you've got the drivers at hand.

    Nothing worse than having a non-detected Modem, you need to go on-line to download the drivers but you can't because you don't have them!!!
     
  7. kelvin

    kelvin
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    That was exactly what I was thinking!!

    I'll have a dig around then for the latest drivers for everything before I go any further. Thanks a lot for all of the tips so far :)

    K.

    EDIT: Just a thought, but if I went into the device manager to see what drivers were being used for each device at the moment, and then copied the files from their location to a CDR, would that work? What happens in the event that more than one driver is listed?

    Maybe I shouldn't be considering this... :blush:
     
  8. 50/50

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    i wouldnt worry, winxp is very good at finding the correct drivers. It will make the device functional. But it will be up to you to update to the newest drivers.
     
  9. MarkE19

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    Once a driver is installed it is unlikely that you can just copy it off the PC and then copy it back. It is likely that a driver is more than 1 file and could be in more than one place. To be sure you really need the origional install file.

    Mark.
     
  10. nathan_silly

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    You can't do that. On a fresh install, you need to run the drive(s) setup, just like a application install. This will install the relevant files.

    What laptop is it? make/model? I can find out what you need- I'll link to the drivers.. Download & then burn onto CD-R.


    Sounds like you know nothing about PC's. I would give a six pack to a geeky mate and ask him to install XP on it, and maybe show you whilst he's doing it.
     
  11. nathan_silly

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  12. kelvin

    kelvin
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    A little unfair.

    I'd actually consider myself to be fairly confident with computers - there's not a thing so far that I haven't attempted at least. All I'm doing is looking for some advice to make sure I don't make any stupid mistakes. I'm pretty sure you might consider doing the same if (heaven forbid ;)) you ever came across an issue you weren't sure on.

    Admittedly I don't know the in's and out's of everything PC related, but I try. A simple explanation would suffice :)

    K.
     
  13. ChrisNic

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    You havent got round to doing it yet then? Still sounds like a good idea to get someone else to clear up any problems. It should be glitch free but you can never be sure......

    I hated doing it the first time, it was pretty daunting but after doing it once you wont have any hesitations about doing it again. XP seems to do a great job at installing basic drivers to get you up and running then you can update them if you want, the sound and graphic drivers should definately be updated. Just hook it up to windows update and leave it for a week or to but it sounds like you have broadband so shouldnt take that long.
     
  14. kelvin

    kelvin
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    Thanks Cheapskate :)

    No, I've not done it yet - I'm away from home at the minute and all my software is back at home. The plan is to get it done when I go back next week :) Just testing the waters first to see how plausible it is...!! ;)

    There'll be someone near (nextdoor!) if things go too badly wrong, but I'm the sort of person who wants to do as much as possible by myself :)rolleyes: :blush: ;)) Everything appears to be fairly straightforward so I'll let you know how it goes :)

    K.
     
  15. MarkE19

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    As already stated WinXP does a good job of getting all the components up and running.
    The first time I did a fresh start was with Win98, and lots of the drivers were not found and luckily I had another PC on the net to get the downloads. WinXP should have none of these problems, but a friendly neighbour with a PC will at least be peace of mind.

    Mark.
     
  16. kelvin

    kelvin
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    Well... just a quick update - mainly to thank everyone for their input :)

    I finally took the plunge and went ahead with the reinstall this morning. Totally reformatted the hard drive, and then put XP, Office, and some other essential stuff back on, and didn't have a single problem! :) All in all it only took about 2hrs or so :) I also took the opportunity to add another 256MB of RAM, so my computer is noe running at lightning speed, and smoother than ever :)

    Thanks a lot for all of the suggestions, and putting up with my "newbie" questions ;) Much appreciated! :smashin:

    K.
     
  17. ChrisNic

    ChrisNic
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    Glad to hear it went ok:clap: See you had nothing to worry about! :smashin: Where did you get the ram from in the end, more importantly how much did you pay!??!
     
  18. nathan_silly

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  19. kelvin

    kelvin
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    Ordered it from Crucial in the end - cost around £40 but it arrived first thing Tuesday morning! (Despite the fact that I only ordered it on Bank Holiday Monday!) - Very Impressed! :)

    XP picked up the drivers for everything but I've updated one or two of them with the latest versions from the manufacturers sites. Just downloading Service Pack 1 at the moment...

    K.
     
  20. lynx

    lynx
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    For future reference m$ will send you sp1 on a cd. Now you see how painless it is, do it everynow and again.I do this regularly and it keeps everything fighting fit.
     
  21. kelvin

    kelvin
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    :smashin: Just ordered! That will certainly save a bit of time next time... :)

    Thanks again...

    K.
     
  22. nathan_silly

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  23. beastman

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    If you havent already, make sure you partition your hard drive and save all your data including your email to another partition in case windows stuffs up. Its happened to me just recently and my C drive partition screwed up big time. To save having to reinstall everythiing again use something like drive image to save a copy of the C drive which you can then just recopy back in 10/20 mins or so. Oh and a defrag would be good too.
     

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