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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Settings not transferred (XP Pro)

    I have been having some trouble with some corrupt system files and ended up reinstalling XP last night. In the process, which was complicated by a CD drive that no longer opens automatically, I changed my file structure from FAT to NTFS and am now stuck with users and other annoyances. This is a home PC and I am the only one who uses it.

    My main problem is that while all my files are intact as are all programs, when I log on as one of these new users (two versions of myself!) I no longer have access to any of my desktop, or more importantly, programs on the start menu. They're all there if I go and look at the C drive, the system clearly isn't set up properly to see them. I tried the transfer settings wizard but I didn't point it to the right place.

    If I am transferring on the same machine, what do I actually need to point the wizard to in the way of files/directories?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Settings not transferred (XP Pro)

    My condolences. You just did what many Loungers advised against for. You installed a new instance of Windows "on the top" of itself. Now you have a new Windows installation and fragments of previous installation.

    Some basic explanations. In Windows XP only haif of the installation (Windows, Microsoft Office and many other programs) consists of different files in your hard disk. The other half is in Windows Registry, and your old Windows Registry is gone. That's why you see the "two versions of yourself" - there are files in "Documents and Settings" folder which correspond to your new user account in the Registry (your old account is gone) as well as "the reminder" of your old user account. Since your old configuration is gone, you have to reinstall most of the programs (for instance, Microsoft Office) - there is no other way to put to work fragments of their installation which you can see in "Program Files" folder.

    Of course, you can copy some of your settings (for instance, desktop and Start menu shortcuts, favorites, etc) from your old user account folder to your new user account folder. You can recover your Office settings by copying corresponding files (normal.dot, excel.xlb) to the different folder - if you did not save your settings using Save My Settings wizard - and restore them after Office installation.

    Once again, installing Windows "on the top" of previous Windows installation will cost you much trouble (and is almost the same time-consuming) than "clean" Windows installation (deleting existing partition, creating a new one and installing Windows on it).

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Settings not transferred (XP Pro)

    Oh well. We live and learn. The upside is that it is giving me the opportunity to clear out a lot of junk. I was able to save a fair bit including a lot of bookmarks etc for Firefox and Thunderbird and the only real hassle seems to be Office. I ran the installation disk which completed very quickly but clearly didn't install everything as Access was missing the system.mdw, so I uninstalled Office again and deleted a lot of legacy files to try to force a new installation to be more complete.

    For future reference, if I end up with a corrupted system file in XP in the future, which is what started this whole mess, where in the world do I look for "repair" Windows? It seems to me that was pretty easy to find with Win 98 and I looked quite a bit and never was able to find it. Nor did the installation disks offer to do that the way office does.

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Settings not transferred (XP Pro)

    Peter,
    ----------------------------------------------
    where in the world do I look for "repair" Windows?
    -----------------------------------------------

    It depends on if you have an original Windows CD or a "modified" CD from an OEM like Dell or HP.
    If you have the former, then boot up to the CD and on the first screen it will offer Repair, but this is the Repair Console, not a repair install. Go to the SECOND screen and it will then offer to do a Repair Installation of Windows. It will run through what appears to be a new install but will only install the necessary WIndows files and leave any apps you may have installed alone.

    If you have the latter, it will install all of the junk demos and other "add ons" that the OEM puts on the initial CD, for your convenience?
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Settings not transferred (XP Pro)

    Thanks for the info. I have an original upgrade copy as I bought this computer with Win98 right around the time that this buggy new system called XP came out. Preferring MS operating systems to have 3 years to settle down first, it took me a while to upgrade.

    As a side note, it was worth it to completely re-install the system. I got rid of a lot of junk I wasn't using and a lot of little software quirks that I wasn't attributing Windows seems to have been either Windows or conflicts with Windows that the removal of junk has solved. Bottom line, my computer is MUCH faster and will keep going for a while longer. Re-installing stuff wasn't that big a hassle and of course, Office was the biggest pain of all.

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