Upgrade System = Need to format Hard Drive?

Hi Guys,

I feel I should be really embarrased to even ask this question but, well, I'll do it anyway :) ...

I'm overhauling my PC shortly (new mobo+CPU+ram, etc) but will be keeping my hard drives (got 2: one for the o/s and one for 'back ups'.) I'm currently running Windows XP.

If i still wish to continue to use my currently installed XP (together with all the programs which are installed on it) during the 'build' process will I have to reformat the hard drive at any stage? Or will it just be a case of ensuring the new BIOS configuration boots the system from the hard disk, or something like that?

Any thoughts please do let me know!

Many thanks!
9 answers Last reply
More about upgrade system format hard drive
  1. On a new built with different MB, yes, you should reformat the drive and do a fresh XP install.

    So back up your stuff that you can't live without. (pictures, doc, certain game files, txt, ect)

    Also depending on your XP service pack, make sure you have drivers for any RAID devices for hard drives on floppy. If XP doesn't see any hard drives, that basically means it doesn't have the drivers needed to access them. If it's IDE mode, it should find them with no problem.
  2. Thanks Grimmy, that's helpful.

    I'm in 2 minds whether to go the Vista route or stick with XP, so checking options.

    Dual-booting's another option I'm looking at so, using the reasoning of your reply above I would have to: reformat the hard disk (during the Vista install); then using Vista/an application sitting on it, partition the disk so I've got a space for Win XP; then install XP again on the partition I've made for it. Does that sound kind of right? :)
  3. Heh, I'd rather stick with plain XP for a longer while. Seen too many complaints about Vista, but then there are those out there who are happy with it.

    I'd dual boot, if you have Vista. That way you won't be without an OS that won't be able to run some program (perhaps 16 bit app) correctly. If you have 2 separate HD, I'd say that would be the best way to go, or just split up a large HD.

    So in contrast of what your saying and what I am... You should:

    Format the Drive using XP (creating 2 partition or using a separate drive for Vista).
    Install XP 1st.
    Then Install Vista on another partition.
  4. Thx Grimmy. That sounds a safer option. A bit more work but may save some tears later on.

    To be fair, the new PC will purely be a gaming machine and, only then, will likely have only 'new' games on it. E.g. QuakeWars/Crysis. I've a separate laptop for work+picture+home stuff, which has links to a printer/scanner/hub, etc. The new machine will be very much standalone but i guess all it takes is 1 conflict with the router and I'm in trouble!

    I've got 2 hard drives so that sounds like a good idea! I'll have a look on the MS knowledge base site for more info.

    Thanks again!
  5. I will have a look at the MS knowledge base but, being lazy...

    If I installed Vista on 1 HD and XP on the other, is it quite easy to tell the PC which drive to boot from?
  6. When you right click on my computer, then choose properties, go to the advance tab.

    Then look for Start up and Recovery, and click on settings.

    Basically when you install XP, then Vista, you should be able to configure how long the Start up menu will stay, and also be able to choose what is the default OS you want to start up normally.

    Or when you know you want to start up a particular OS, you just hit F8 on the boot up to get to the start up menu, as you would for Safe Mode. That is if you didn't want to see the startup of both OS every time on a reboot.
  7. Cheers Grimmy!
  8. There is another option for swapping motherboards without reinstalling XP. Buy a copy of Acronis Trueimage Workstation with Universal Restore. This program allows you to backup your disk to a file, like on a USB drive or something, and restore it to a completely different system without reinstalling Windows. It puts Windows in the hardware detect mode like the first time you installed it to detect any new hardware but then it just boots up like it was before. You can download it here... http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/choose-trueimage/
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Windows XP Hard Drives Format Systems