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New build, reformat?

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February 9, 2008 4:46:15 PM

Hi, I am about to build my new system in about 2-3 days. I plan on using new components except my CD/DVD drive and still keep my Harddrive.

1) Will I need to reformat my Hard drive since I am using a new mobo/CPU/etc. ?
2) Will my System Restore disc be enough if I have to reformat? For getting my OS re-installed that is
3) What's the average wait time of a Reformat [250gig Hdrive]?

Thanks

P.S. 1 last question, I am planning on building my new PC w/ a DS3L Gigabyte mobo. Since this motherboard lacks raid, does this mean it's not possible to add an additional Harddrive [secondary] for more storage? Thanks.

More about : build reformat

February 9, 2008 5:50:15 PM

New hardware = Always start clean. Sometimes you can install over a pre-existing install, but I would advise against it. Why? Because if you start having problems, one of the first things you are going to have to try is a clean install. Why waste the time? Just do it correctly the first time.

You say System Restore disc? Is this a CD that came with an OEM computer (HP, Dell, or some such)? If it is, it's not likely to work with your new hardware. Most OEM System Restore CD's are locked to the hardware they were sold with, meaning that it detects the hardware you're attempting to install it on and if it doesn't match the system that it came with it will not install.

As for format time, it will likely take approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour to format the entire 250gig drive. If you want to have more than one partition, you can cut that time down by using less than the full size for your first partition. Of course you will format the rest of the space later (post Windows install). Of course if you want to keep the entire 250gig as one partition this doesn't apply.

RAID has nothing to do with adding additional drives. You can add as many drives as your motherboard has SATA connectors (assuming your talking about using an SATA drive). If your talking about IDE, then it depends on how many IDE connectors you have on your new motherboard (likely just 1) and if your optical drive is IDE or not. Each IDE connector can have 2 devices connected to it (1 Master, 1 Slave). So for instance if you have an IDE HDD and an IDE optical drive, and only one IDE connector on your motherboard, that's it, you can't add anymore IDE devices. I am sure that your motherboard has SATA connectors, so any additional drives you buy to augment your storage system should be SATA.

Seeing as these are some fairly basic questions you have asked, I have a suggestion. Since you have a few days before your build, download your motherboard manual from GigaByte and read throroughly. This will help you get a grip on what your motherboard configuration options are.

Also if you post some more detailed information about the system you intend to build (motherboard, CPU, RAM, HDD, optical drive {particularly the interface types}) we can provide you with more specific information.

Just one last query because you mention the System Restore disk (which makes me think you are upgrading an OEM computer), are you getting a new case? Most OEM cases are not built to just have the motherboard changed. This is because most OEM cases don't have knock-out IO shields, they are usually static (ie can not be removed). This will make your installation of you new motherboard difficult if not impossible.
February 9, 2008 6:54:26 PM

Thank you very much for your help. New system build:

VGA=8800GTS
Case=P182
Motherboard=Gigabyte DS3L [Has 4 Sata connectors I think]
CPU=E8400

Yes, the system restore disc is from Gateway [OEM]. I have the Serial Key for Windows XP, the disc says "Use this disc to re-install your operating system". Are you telling me that this disc might not work? If so, what would be my other options? Once again I have my own Serial Key from my current PC and I am sure you can install XP on multiple computers if you have the serial key.

Thank you.
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February 13, 2008 5:08:00 PM

I'm in such a similar situation its not even funny, we even ordered the same processors zhadows :) 

My plan was: format the HD in my current pc (the one the recovery cd came with) and install xp via this system, then simply transplant the HD to my new rig, and copy the image to my new seagate barracuda and then just run from that :)  Only problem comes if I actually need to reinstall XP on this rig in the future...
February 13, 2008 5:41:09 PM

You shouldn't have to reformat from what I understand. Techgeek, what do you mean by "clean start"? Are you advising against a reinstallation of windows?

If you switch chipsets you just need to reinstall windows under the new chipset. I did what you are doing...I got a new mobo and used my old hard drive with XP. There is a trick to it though, you have to start the process on your old chipset then switch the HD/CD to your new chipset when your system restarts to go through the installation. Windows Help has a full detail instruction guide.
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