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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Reformat/Reinstall (XP Professional (SP1 or 2?)

    Hi

    I bought my PC about 3 years ago and have discovered it to be slow & keep getting lots of crashes etc. Windows restore has also stopped working.

    I was think that I should probably, reformat and re-install XP and start again. Would you guys recommend that? Also, since my XP operating disc is about 3 years old - can I still use it & will it update to all the latest changes (like security updates etc) ? Or do I need to buy the latest copy of the operating system?

    Also - it is 120 gb hard disk - currently just a single partition c:? What would be the best configuration? Multiple partitions? i.e. programs & data.

    Thanks for your response in advance.

    Robie
    Thanks.
    Robie

  2. #2
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    Re: Reformat/Reinstall (XP Professional (SP1 or 2?

    Hi,
    I think that generally a reformat and re-install is the last thing to do. However, sometimes it is so bad that one have to re-install. Why some may go the re-install route more often than others maybe is caused by not knowing how to troubleshoot error messages, which tools that can be used etc. One must also be able to rule out hardware problems such as memory problems, otherwise a re-install will not help.

    You ask if someone would recommend a clean re-install, it is hard to answer that question without knowing what problems you have.

    You can certainly use your XP disc, no need to buy anything. But since it is before the latest service pack (SP2), you need to add the service pack and the following updates since 2004.

    If you are going to reformat, it can of course be a good time to think about disk layout. How many partitions, if any more than one, must be a personal choice depending on how one uses the PC. I don't think it is anything wrong with just a single partition, but on the other hand by separating data files from OS and programs you can save your data files in the future if anything happens to the system partition. So a separate partition for documents, photos, music etc. is good, but it will of course not help if the HD goes bad.

    I see nothing gained by separating programs from OS partition.

  3. #3
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    Re: Reformat/Reinstall (XP Professional (SP1 or 2?)

    Is there a common belief that reinstalling XP requires a reformat ?

    Although I've only had to reinstall XP the once, (on a laptop that had a fatal BSOD due to corruption of the system files) I did not have to reformat the HDD - the reinstall process recognised that it was attempting to recover a system and only re-wrote the registry and system folders.

    Yes, I had to reinstall all my old software, but I didn't lose any of My Documents etc.

    The main problem I had was a failure to correctly install the MSI components (controls the installation of other software), so I had to download and run some patches but other than that it went pretty smoothly.

  4. #4
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    Re: Reformat/Reinstall (XP Professional (SP1 or 2?

    Hi,
    I'm not Robie, but I would like to reply that from my point of view, and at least some that I know, it is not necessary to reformat when "reinstalling" Windows XP.

    What you mention is a repair, to reinstall Windows over an existing installation (or also called In-Place Upgrade). When one has accepted the license agreement in the setup program it will search for existing Windows installations. As you mention, one can then chose to repair the Windows installed. Or remove the partition (or format it) and start over (clean install).

    Depending on what the purpose of the whole exercise is (deliberately want to clean the disk or has a reason to believe that a repair can fix the problem), one can of course chose between a clean reinstall or a repair.

    But many times there is a very little difference in work involved between a clean install and a In-Place Upgrade; for instance you must reinstall all updates to Windows in both cases, with a repair you can in some cases risk to lose program settings, but you can at least return to save data (documents etc.).

    Then of course one can sometimes repair parts of Windows from the Recovery Console, without the need of a "reinstall".

    In Robie's case we don't know what problems he has.

    At MSFT: How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP

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