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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Hello

    This is my first message so I hope I get it right.
    MY PC which is (was) running XP Home Edition has fallen over (it boots up but is doing all sorts of strange things), so I thought I would re install XP. It's only 18 months old and has only ever had XP Home edition as the operating system
    I have a 40gb HDD which is partitioned into 4 x 10gb. XP is installed on the C drive. I want to format the c drive and then do a clean re install of XP. Is this possible or will formatting the C drive partition also format the whole drive?
    Could someone advise the best (and safest and simpliest) way of doing this.

    Is it also possible to split the C drive partition into 2 partitions of 5 gb each. I thought if I did that I could just have XP and office in the one partition and put the other program files in other partitions, so if I need to format again I wouldn't have to spend hours backing up all the program files on the c drive.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks

    Sonia

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Hi Sonia,

    <hr>I want to format the c drive and then do a clean re install of XP. Is this possible or will formatting the C drive partition also format the whole drive?<hr>
    You can format the C: partition without losing data on any of the other partitions. XP's Setup program will do it for you. Perhaps, though, before formatting you could run a repair installation (an option on the setup screens) and correct your problem(s).
    <hr>Is it also possible to split the C drive partition into 2 partitions of 5 gb each.<hr>
    Yes, but you would need a 3rd party tool like Partition Magic to do this without destroying the other partitions on the drive. Once XP is reinstalled, you are going to have to re-install all of your programs anyway - you could direct the programs to install to one of the other partitions at that time, which would keep the directories intact. For what good it is, here is how I partition my system (on a 120GB drive):

    <UL><LI>C: (5GB) Windows XP
    <LI>D: (1GB) Swap/paging file
    <LI>E: (3GB) Temporary - for both Internet Explorer and the operating system. I call this "scratch" because it can be completely formatted without me risking my data.
    <LI>F: (93GB) Data. My Documents is located here, along with the installation files for XP, Office, and all my other applications (I don't have to hunt for the CD this way)
    <LI>G: (13GB) Program Files. All software is installed to this location.[/list]This setup allows me to keep my data in one place, programs in another - and separate from the operating system partition. I've wiped and reinstalled on C: more times that I care to admit. I can be back up and running with my essential applications in short order using this configuration.

    Hope that helps!
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Thanks Mark for the quick response. I hope any other questions I have in the future will get as quick a response.

    Yes I have already tried the repair option in XP and it didn't help at all ( I actually think it created a couple more problems, that's why I thought I'd go with the reformat and clean installation).

    Thanks for the information on partitioning, I do have Partition Magic so when I've reinstalled XP I'll give it a go.

    I only have a 40gb HDD and at present I have XP, Office and a number of Program files on the C drive, a range of other program files on the F drive, G drive has my music and video files and H drive I use to back up data too ( and to a CD also)

    I'm thinking of putting XP and office on the C drive (5gb), programs on another 5gb partition and pretty much leaving the other partitions alone. Does that make sense.

    Just one other thing, what is the best way to go about formatting the C drive then installing XP again. I haven't actually done that before. Can it be done by accessing the XP CD or another method.

    Thanks again

    Sonia

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Putting Office on the same drive as the OS sounds reasonable enough - since it's so tightly integrated that is! 5GB should be plenty of room for XP and Office both.

    As far as formatting the C: drive, if you boot with the Windows XP CD-ROM, it will present you with the option to format the partition(s) you choose. Just follow the on-screen prompts. That, to me, seems the easiest way to accomplish what you seek. You will have the option to perform a quick format or normal, and I always go for the long way around - not that there's a whole lot of difference, one simply erases the pointers to existing files and the other re-writes the entire partition. Quick formatting is fine as long as you don't change file systems (FAT32 to NTFS for example), in which case you don't have a choice.

    Hope that helps....post back with any other questions. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Once again thanks Mark for your advice. I'll give it a try tonight.

    Cheers

    Sonia

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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Hi Mark

    Well I managed to reinstall XP without too much of a hitch.

    However after the installation, all my drive letters have changed.

    Is there a way to reassign my drive letters

    Thanks in advance

    Sonia

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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Hi, Sonia ~<UL><LI>'Control Panel' > 'Performance and Maintenance' > 'Administrative Tools' > 'Computer Management' > 'Disk Management'<LI>Under 'Volume', right-click a drive > 'Change Drive Letter and Paths...'[/list]I don't think, though, you can change the drive letter for the drive from which you boot to Windows (usually C.

  8. #8
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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Thanks very much Bruce, that worked.

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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Sonia--

    There are two quick things you might want to do since you have some additional unused partitions anyway, and you'll notice Mark has done this with his paging file. You can move the paging file (swap file) and the spool folder to another drive:

    307886: How to Move the Paging File in Windows XP
    308666: How to Move the Spool Folder in Windows XP

    Doing this will have the benefit of speeding up your system. Although the paging file KB doesn't say why, moving the page file is advantageous, the reason is that when the paging file is on the boot partition, Windows must perform disk reading and writing requests on both the system folder and the paging file. Moving the paging file to a different partition than the OS will decrease competition between reading and writing requests. Moving the spool folder will increase performance and free up some space as well.

    SMBP

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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Moving "the paging file (swap file) " to another partition on the same hard drive will slow things down. One NEEDS to have a second hard drive and which needs to as fast or faster.
    The speed is gained by the heads not having to travel as far from one location to another. So if one was to use just another partition on the same hard drive, theds will need to travel much farther, and will appear to respond slower.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    It definitely hasn't slown things down for me and a number of other people, Dave. If it did, I'd simply move it back--it's not an irreversible change, and I appreciate the information.

    SMBP

  12. #12
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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Actually, I've found the performance advantage/hit to be negligible. I keep the paging file on a separate partition for a very simple reason - to prevent it from becoming fragmented. However, Dave's statement is correct - there is a small hit when it lives on a separate partition on the same physical drive, although I can't honestly say that I've ever noticed a difference. I doubt many would be able to tell, unless the workstation was used for heavy graphic or video work. A few benchmark points aren't something that can be seen in actual use.

    With sufficient RAM, the paging file is used less. Because RAM is infinitely faster than a mechanical hard drive, there can be a noticeable advantage - and memory's cheap. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  13. #13
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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Thanks Mark and Dave for the good info. In the past I had tried to pin some MS people down on the reasons for the improvement alledged in the KB, (since I couldn't see a palpable hit one way or the other), and that's what they came up with. I suspect without using the programs Mark mentioned, I won't see the difference but it's always good to understand why and when it could happen. It's my understanding that the page file rarely becomes defragmented, but I'm sure it can and certain programs--perhaps graphics or video can dispose it to become fragmented. From time to time I use Diskeeper's option to defrag the paging file for that reason.

    In general do certain types of applications cause more fragmentation than others--on a partition or of the paging file?

    SMBP

  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Please, please can someone help me (as simply as possible - very limited computer skills!)

    Just over a year ago, I bought my son a Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop running Windows XP Home Edition operating system which is now out of warranty. The operating system has become corrupted and the laptop will not 'boot' at all. When it's turned on, immediately after the Dell corporate log appears on the desktop the following message appears:

    Windows could not start because the following file
    is missing or corrupt:
    > > <Windows root>system32hal.dll.
    > > Please reinstall a copy of the above file
    > >
    > > Momentarily says "Invalid BOOT.INI file"
    before message above appears

    The really bad news is that the Boy has managed to lose the Recovery disk!! (Yes, I know!)

    Dell have been no help at all. The best they could come up with was to download file cdenab.exe onto floppy but this turns out to be Windows 95 and the pc won't boot from a floppy anyway.

    1) Can I get a replacement Recovery Disk from somewhere (Dell say no)
    2) If not, do I have to buy and install a new operating system and
    3) if so, will I lose existing data?

    Any help/suggestions gratefully received.

    Regards, Ian

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall XP Home (XP Home Edition)

    Ian, the loss of your recovery disk is a sad thing to hear. However, I'm rather surprised Dell won't lift a finger to replace it for you. It might be worth arguing the point.

    Regardless, you will need a Windows XP CD-ROM to get past this. You can find good prices on it at the Cheaper Windows website.

    Your data should be safe, until you can get into the machine. You just might have to cough up a few bucks for a valid CD first.
    -Mark

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