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Reinstalling OEM Windows XP MCE

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June 1, 2007 4:57:47 PM

I am having problems with my current MCE install and the hard disk atm is a little too slow for my liking.

I was thinking of purchasing a 150GB Raptor and then putting MCE on that drive, and then using the 320GB I have at the moment as storage for the files and recordings.

Will I have problems activating my OEM copy of MCE 2005 on the new hard drive even though the rest of the computer is exactly the same (bar the graphics card, the RAM which I will replace with Kingston RAM & have 3GB instead of just 2, and the ATA 160GB Hard Disk which I will be removing to put in another computer) I have read some threads which state that the copy of Windows once activated is fixed to that computer.

Does it look like I'll have to purchase a new OEM MCE 2005 to install on the new hard drive or can I fix this by phoning a freephone number to call Microsoft? Worst of all because I bought the OEM copy will I have more hurdles to get over?
June 1, 2007 5:19:32 PM

the smaller the drive the better it runs.

so this, what I do is I have a 70GB Raptor for my OS and programs but everything else is on a separate drive ;) 

as for old drive new drive and activation, just use Acronis True Image to copy your current drive to the new one this way there is no need to reinstall or activate ;)  you just move it all over to the new HDD ;) 
June 1, 2007 8:54:51 PM

I was intending on having a setup exactly like that. Windows XP, Programs and Games run off the Raptor so I can enjoy fast transfer rates. Any MCE recordings, my ripped DVDs done using DVD Shrink 3.2 , my downloads from Limewire and documents will be on the second 320GB Hard Disk.

I would follow your advice on using True Image, only that the installation of MCE is so buggered up the point where I want to reinstall. Media Center doesnt work and all MCE features dont work as they think they are running on Windows XP Professional!?! System Restore is kaput and there is always a mesage about Registry Recovery on startup. Plus several other niggles and conflicts like the systems hanging for over 5 minutes when switching user or logging off, and on startup the XP logo loading screen stalling for 30 seconds. Tried the usual defrag, anti virus n spyware to no avail - I think that warrants a reinstall.

Only thing that concerns me is how I will get the motherboard to boot off the new SATA drive - I would plug the new drive in SATA port 1 and then use the other port for the existing hard disk. Under BIOS I cannot choose WHICH SATA disk I boot off I just get the option RAID/SCSI which represents the SATA controller.

I would think about doing a RAID array but I'd rather save that for my PC build later this summer when I have a batch of Raptor's handy, otherwise the performance will only be as good as the weakest link right?
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June 1, 2007 9:37:43 PM

yes the performance would be as good as the weakest link.

as far as your pc talking a long time to boot, it maybe the apps you have starting. msconfig and disable all none ms services and then disable all startup apps. reboot and see how fast it loads.

if its fast then you just need to edit the services and apps you got to set at startup.

if its slow then you can do a repair or if you want to reinstall then go ahead.

just install your sata drive first and let your pc boot into it, since its the only drive your pc will recognize it, if you get errors or problems then you will need to do a repair off the xp cd.
June 1, 2007 10:20:39 PM

So what happens when I have installed the new drive and stuff and then I plug in my existing drive into the second SATA port - wont it see two versions of Windows and then get confused as to which one it boots into?

My sneaky suspicion is Norton that is slowing it down at the boot screen (this stalling occurs before anyone has even logged on!!)

So yer a fresh install with NOD 32 and then my 320GB alongside it should do the trick. As for RAID - this PC is for the family and they would hardly appreciate the speed in RAID - they def wont appreciate the risk involved with the data in the array either!! The PC is a powerful enough spec for MCE PC anyway!! Is it??
June 1, 2007 11:21:11 PM

its gonna recognize the second one and give you option to boot or its gonna thing the drive is corrupt and delete the mbr I think not sure to be honest. but I thought the second drive was gonna be storage and it would not have an os on it.

I'm willing to bet its norton alone slowing you down, install nod32 trial version and see for yourself.

ya ofcourse its good enought for MCE ;) 
June 1, 2007 11:54:21 PM

Well it will but I have to plug it in and format it somehow - I was hoping to plug it in and then use the Disk Management in Windows on the new installation to format the 320GB Hard Disk.

I am also hoping to get an external 500GB WD USB 2.0/eSATA drive for temporarily moving the 320GB Contents so that I can format the 320GB and start again. The eSATA function is so I can (hopefully) hot swap it with my PVR equipped with a eSATA port. Ideally I was hoping I could plug it into my PVR, record onto it and then plug it back into the computer via USB 2.0 to download the recordings and then use Nero Vision to edit them.

I was contemplating on which hard disk I assign the Virtual Memory/Swap file to. If I place it on the second hard disk then because of its inferior access time I'll only introduce a bottleneck, thus I should leave Windows to automatically assing Virtual Memory to the Raptor Drive, am I thinking along the right lines?

Also, I read somewhere about how you can edit the registry so that the My Document's folder that appears on the desktop can be moved onto another drive. How can I go about configuring my PC so that the My Documents folder is on the second hard disk and so that when saving and opening files, by default it refers to the My Documents folder as if it were on the C: Drive?

Failing that, my other alternative was to simply introduce shortcuts which point to dedicated folders on the other Hard Disk and teach my family to save their stuff within those folders instead of directly on the C:\ Drive.

I take it that these measures will ensure effective performance, right?

Oh I forgot to mention, my MCE is also being used for some games (i.e. FarCry, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, NFS Carbon, BF2 and Hitman 2 onwards 8) I'm changing the graphics to an X1950 PRO so I can squeeze as much juice out of my outdated AGP Slot before the good cards become extinct!! :p 

You are absolutely right, Norton is causing the problem. On all the other XP PRO machines I have installed this on, it does hog system resources but it has never caused the Windows XP startup logo to stall for 30 seconds!

When I first set up the MCE PC the loading time was slick but on restart after installing Norton, this stalling problem began and remained ever since. I thought my hard disk had died - the light went out and the blue bar froze!!

At the time I didn't think of any other alternative plus I wanted to use up my first free virus def subscription for the year! As for NOD 32 - I don't suppose you know anywhere I can obtain a fully working version for free do you?? Projectw.org is down and Limewire is fresh out of results :cry: 

Thanks for your help so far!
June 2, 2007 2:04:49 AM

we are not at liberty to talk about crack stuff here, however nod is one of those apps that is not easy to mess with, so its not as simple as using edonkey lite or bittorrent. the crack versions of it give you your updates via third party, which means that its basically pointless, I dont know about others but I'm not willing to take my anti virus defenitions from an unknown or known third party.

I don't recommend moving your document folder to another drive its pointsless and I don't even know why the other person did it, the best place for your OS stuff to be is as close to the OS as possible.
June 2, 2007 10:30:24 PM

Hmmm - Norton seemed easier to crack - nevertheless I shall discuss no more.

So the My Documents folder should remain on the C: Drive. Same story for applications and large files like ripped DVDs and recorded shows or will I benefit from improved performance by placing these things on the bigger 320GB Hard Disk?
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