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Partition question when reinstalling XP.

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Anonymous
June 19, 2005 2:50:30 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Hi guys.

After a couple of years I've finally gotten XP to become a bit unstable
when I use, amongst other things, the demanding Cubase audio program.
I'm going to reinstall Windows from scratch so that I have a nice clean
system. I've done formats (but not much partitioning) and installs of
Win 95 and 98 in the past but I don't really understand how the newish
idea of a system restore partition fits into the scheme of things.

I've got two harddrives so I'll put all my important files and documents
onto the second, non-boot drive while I reinstall windows - and backup
essential information on disks.

The computer is a Dell that came with the two partions on the C: drive.
The smaller partion is the system restore partition, yeah?
The questions: I want to keep things simple for myself. I presume that
I use the installation CD and choose to delete the larger windows
partition on C:. Will the setup process happily wipe Windows completely
off my computer and reinstall a nice fresh copy? I don't want it to
re-use anything and end up with same problems that I had before.

Do I need to do anything with the smaller system restore partition? I
don't really understand what it does with regards to re-installing windows.

Thanks for shedding some light on the situation for me.
--
Westie
Anonymous
June 19, 2005 2:50:31 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

"Westie" <ridewestieride@invalid.co.nz> wrote in message
news:D 928fg$8ip$1@lust.ihug.co.nz...
> Hi guys.
>
> After a couple of years I've finally gotten XP to become a bit unstable
> when I use, amongst other things, the demanding Cubase audio program. I'm
> going to reinstall Windows from scratch so that I have a nice clean
> system. I've done formats (but not much partitioning) and installs of Win
> 95 and 98 in the past but I don't really understand how the newish idea of
> a system restore partition fits into the scheme of things.

Only OEM products come with a system restore partition, and it's usually in
FAT or FAT32 format instead of NTFS format. When you select it from bootup
the BIOS selects that partition to boot from, and the manufacture's
restoration utility usually will wipe the partition that XP or whatever is
on, reformat it, and reinstall things back the way they were when the
computer was manufactured. That might or might not go well if you've added
new hardware. But basically speaking, get a Maxtor or Western Digital HDD
and use the CD that comes with them in the *box* (not a bag!) they are sold
in to copy the entire HDD to another. The utility has good help stuff you
can read, and works good too.

> I've got two harddrives so I'll put all my important files and documents
> onto the second, non-boot drive while I reinstall windows - and backup
> essential information on disks.

Good idea.

> The computer is a Dell that came with the two partions on the C: drive.
> The smaller partion is the system restore partition, yeah?

Yes.

> The questions: I want to keep things simple for myself. I presume that I
> use the installation CD and choose to delete the larger windows partition
> on C:.

No. Use the CD that comes with the Maxtor or WD Hard Disk Drive to make a
copy of one HDD to another.

Will the setup process happily wipe Windows completely
> off my computer and reinstall a nice fresh copy? I don't want it to
> re-use anything and end up with same problems that I had before.

Yes you do. Dell probably has some propriatary drivers that you want to
keep. And if you are going to put XP on a OEM computer then you (1) *must*
get the upgrade from the OEM or (2) you *must* use ONLY XP-Pro full edition
and NOT the upgrade version of XP to "update" your computer. But before you
put XP on it, if it doesn't already have it, use this Microsoft utility:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/home/upgrading/advis...

> Do I need to do anything with the smaller system restore partition?

Yes, probably. All the custom rivers for propriatary hardware that the OEM
might have installed, such as specialized keyboards or mouse, monitor
adjusting software, and so on.

> I don't really understand what it does with regards to re-installing
> windows.

Maybe you'd be better off taking it to a professional computer repair
person, then.

> Thanks for shedding some light on the situation for me.
> --
> Westie

You're welcome.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 2:18:24 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Winguy wrote:
> "Westie" <ridewestieride@invalid.co.nz> wrote in message

>>Thanks for shedding some light on the situation for me.
>>--
>>Westie
>
>
> You're welcome.

Great information. Thanks very much!
--
Westie
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Anonymous
June 22, 2005 2:49:53 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Just another couple of questions now that I've thought about it a
bit.... :-)


Winguy wrote:
> "Westie" <ridewestieride@invalid.co.nz> wrote in message
> news:D 928fg$8ip$1@lust.ihug.co.nz...
>
>>Hi guys.
>>
>>After a couple of years I've finally gotten XP to become a bit unstable
>>when I use, amongst other things, the demanding Cubase audio program. I'm
>>going to reinstall Windows from scratch so that I have a nice clean
>>system. I've done formats (but not much partitioning) and installs of Win
>>95 and 98 in the past but I don't really understand how the newish idea of
>>a system restore partition fits into the scheme of things.
>
>
> Only OEM products come with a system restore partition, and it's usually in
> FAT or FAT32 format instead of NTFS format. When you select it from bootup
> the BIOS selects that partition to boot from, and the manufacture's
> restoration utility usually will wipe the partition that XP or whatever is
> on, reformat it, and reinstall things back the way they were when the
> computer was manufactured. That might or might not go well if you've added
> new hardware. But basically speaking, get a Maxtor or Western Digital HDD
> and use the CD that comes with them in the *box* (not a bag!) they are sold
> in to copy the entire HDD to another. The utility has good help stuff you
> can read, and works good too.

Just so you're clear, it's a Dell computer with OEM XP Home on it. It
has the system restore partition.

I'm getting a new HDD and copying the entire primary drive, why? Is
this basically a backup in case the reinstallation process on the
original drive turns to custard?
In which case, do I mount the new drive with the image and use that as
the primary boot drive, or do I copy the image back onto the original drive?
So copying the entire primary drive onto the new drive transfers the
partitions too? The image includes the system restore partition? Yes?

If I do this I will have to remove my existing secondary HDD and put the
new HDD in it's place while I image the primary drive.


>
> Will the setup process happily wipe Windows completely
>
>>off my computer and reinstall a nice fresh copy? I don't want it to
>>re-use anything and end up with same problems that I had before.
>
>
> Yes you do. Dell probably has some propriatary drivers that you want to
> keep. And if you are going to put XP on a OEM computer then you (1) *must*
> get the upgrade from the OEM or (2) you *must* use ONLY XP-Pro full edition
> and NOT the upgrade version of XP to "update" your computer. But before you
> put XP on it, if it doesn't already have it, use this Microsoft utility:
> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/home/upgrading/advis...
>
>
>>Do I need to do anything with the smaller system restore partition?
>
>
> Yes, probably. All the custom rivers for propriatary hardware that the OEM
> might have installed, such as specialized keyboards or mouse, monitor
> adjusting software, and so on.

OK. Specialised drivers. Good point.
Let me get this right...

So I get another HDD, and install it in place of the existing secondary
HDD. I put an image of the primary drive onto this new HDD using the
disk utility that came with it.

I boot up the system restore from the BIOS and start the system restore
process.
That automatically formats the windows partition, and reinstalls the
original clean OEM version of XP.
I add drivers for any additional hardware as necessary, using the driver
disks that came with the hardware.
I connect to the internet, and allow Windows to download the (no doubt
large number of) updates and SP2.
I reinstall my software.
I copy my files and documents from the new HDD that has the image on it.
Voila!

Sorry if my questions seem basic.
--
Westie
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 4:22:20 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

"Westie" <ridewestieride@invalid.co.nz> wrote in message
news:D 98rc7$fn8$1@lust.ihug.co.nz...
> Just another couple of questions now that I've thought about it a bit....
> :-)
> Just so you're clear, it's a Dell computer with OEM XP Home on it. It has
> the system restore partition.
>
> I'm getting a new HDD and copying the entire primary drive, why? Is this
> basically a backup in case the reinstallation process on the original
> drive turns to custard?

You don't have to get another HDD. Simply running the restore program
(usually available as an option during boot) will fully *erase* (reformat)
and fully replace the existing XP partition content back to factory
condition. You will loose everything that was on that partition (all your
pictures, music, and so on). I guess I thought you were trying to put in a
bigger drive ...

> In which case, do I mount the new drive with the image and use that as the
> primary boot drive, or do I copy the image back onto the original drive?
> So copying the entire primary drive onto the new drive transfers the
> partitions too? The image includes the system restore partition? Yes?

Actually, both Maxtor and WD have a utility that will work directly from a
normal boot of XP to make a bootable image. Problem with that, if I
*remember* correctly (and I might not), is that it would only copy the XP
partition that way and not the restore partition --- for that, you had to
boot the CD and use the feature to do a *disk* copy (they mean an entire
disk, not just one partition on it). You will always be copying from the C
drive to something else. Be sure to use the disk copy method or you probably
won't get one of the partitions onto the new drive. You can manually make
the partitions and manually copy each, though. The *screen* help directions
with the utilities are pretty good. There is no need to make the restore
partition bigger on the new drive than it is on the old drive, but the XP
partition can be all that's left over on the new drive.

> If I do this I will have to remove my existing secondary HDD and put the
> new HDD in it's place while I image the primary drive.

The Maxtor and WD utilities will not (easily) allow you to destroy the
currently defined boot HDD. You have to copy the C drive to *some* other
drive, but if you have a free cable connector then you can use that without
having to temporarily remove a cable from another drive. Since it's a *disk*
instead of a partition copy the result will be a bootable drive once it's
finished being made, you could then make that one the C drive (at least long
enough to make sure it was working correct) if you so desired. This is how
you increase HDD space, and keep the restoration partition too. Be sure to
test the new drive as Drive C before you trust that all went well!

> OK. Specialised drivers. Good point.
> Let me get this right...
>
> So I get another HDD, and install it in place of the existing secondary
> HDD. I put an image of the primary drive onto this new HDD using the disk
> utility that came with it.

Yes, if you want to have a backup and/or a bigger HDD that you boot to.

> I boot up the system restore from the BIOS and start the system restore
> process.

No, BIOS has nothing to do with this (unless the computer is so old that the
BIOS has to be told that a drive just got connected to it). The restore
utility, by Dell, is usually available as an option that appears on the
screen momentarily (not for long, you need fast fingers) during the boot
process. It might also be available once XP has booted via some utility in
the Dell section of Program Files. You should probably keep out of BIOS.
Also, you might just boot the XP CD and be able to do it that way. But I
recommend another drive to copy to, since it's better to have a backup than
to find that user created files are gone ...

> That automatically formats the windows partition, and reinstalls the
> original clean OEM version of XP.

The restore utility by Dell does, yes (BIOS usage doesn't unless Dell's done
something odd).

> I add drivers for any additional hardware as necessary, using the driver
> disks that came with the hardware.

Hmmm. You've done this before, eh? Yep, that's correct, if the restore
utility doesn't do it for you.

> I connect to the internet, and allow Windows to download the (no doubt
> large number of) updates and SP2.

Yes. Once SP2 is on, then at least 20 more ... I hope you have high speed
internet because a dialup simply won't hang in there for the (probably days
of) required time period. When you think all the updates are done, go back
to the update site and select *2nd* option for updating instead of the
automatic one, and you will find more files to get that are not critical
updates. Then, when that's finially done, go to
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdate/default....

After you put in all this time, a shop doesn't seem to be charging so much
after all, eh!

> I reinstall my software.
> I copy my files and documents from the new HDD that has the image on it.
> Voila!

Yep. Don't forget about HDD jumpers, it can really weird out the electronics
if you mess up on that (and if left badly configured for too long might even
damage the computer). If you don't see the expected HDD's being recognized,
pull the plug fast and take a closer look at jumper settings. If you have to
pull the plug, be sure you run XP chkdsk on the affected drive/s asap.
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 4:22:17 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Winguy wrote:
> "Westie" <ridewestieride@invalid.co.nz> wrote in message


OK, I think that I've got it now.

I also think that I WILL get another HDD and make a disk copy for back
up purposes.

The computer came with a 120GB HDD and I added another 120GB HDD later
(using the second ribbon cable connector on the motherboard. The
primary HDD uses a serial(?) cable, the thin blue cable, rather than a
ribbon cable). I'll definitely have to get another third HDD, while I
can fit all my files onto the secondary HDD as a backup, I certainly
haven't got the room on it to start creating disk images of the whole
primary drive and all it's partitions.

I'm just thinking about what to do with the extra HDD after I've
finished and re-installed the OS. I suppose I can still treat the third
drive as a form of "removable" backup in case the primary drive dies one
day. I could use it as a third HDD too; attach it to the ribbon cable
and set the jumpers to slave. There's also the possiblity that I could
set it up in a RAID array but I don't know enough about that at this
stage. Then again, I may not have room in the case either...


I'm not going to rush into this. After-all, it's a time consuming
exercise and I need to get it straight in my head before I do it. I
can't get advice from the internet if something goes wrong halfway
through the process! LOL!

Thanks again for all the help.
--
Westie
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 4:22:18 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

The interface, I think, is important to the backup process. I think I had
problems once trying image an IDE (flat cable) type drive with motherboard
controller to a serial (much smaller cable) type drive. But if I remember
right, that particular time the serial drive was using a serial HDD
controller card that plugged into a PCI slot. But in your case you're not
"mixing" HDD interfaces during imaging, so I don't think you'll experience
*that* particular issue.

Since you can afford to buy another drive, then for your own peace of mind
and very easy to do backups of the C drive, if it were me then I'd keep one
non-C: drive just for backup disk imaging of C: purposes (say, a while after
major updates have been done and you're pretty sure all seems to be working
100% ok; zero red or yellow Event Viewer entries and so on). HDD's *do* get
whacked up now and then, if only from power failures at the exact incorrect
point in time, hardy as NTFS indeed is. It sure is nice just to image back
the backup and be up and going relatively quickly vs having to start *all*
over again and with unavoidable loss of user created files! The only gottcha
is that I've learned the hard way not to trust an imaged backup until I've
actually booted the drive that is the new image...

Occasionally (and I don't know why and it's not supposed to happen) booting
the new image drive will result in XP Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD). The
solution I found for that was to NOT disconnect the image drive and make it
drive C: right after performing the image process, but to instead reboot
back to the old C: drive and then run a *complete* (including checking for
bad sectors) chkdsk operation upon the new image drive, and THEREAFTER go
ahead and test it as a new bootable drive. This you can do by opening My
Computer, right-clicking the new image drive, selecting Properties, then the
Tools tab, then the Check Now button, then place check marks in *both* of
the two option boxes, and then click the Start button (you'll have to let it
"schedule" the test to occur on the next reboot, and the utility can take a
very long time on really big drives, hours and hours and hours, so you'd
probably make it an overnight thing and feel lucky if it's done by
morning -- I've never seen the utility actually hang even though at times I
suspected it had). Without exception, this has always worked as a fix for me
when a new image drive would immediately BSOD upon its first boot. But, you
have to first make the image again before doing the BSOD fix procedure, once
it BSOD's after making the image I've never been able to recover the new
image that had the BSOD.

Here's another tip. Although it says everywhere in print that your drive,
that is to be the new image drive, must be the same size or bigger than the
drive that is to be imaged, it's just not true. What is true is that the new
image drive must be big enough to hold THE CONTENTS of what is on the
existing drive that is to be imaged. So if you have a 120GB HDD as Drive C
that is using only 6GB of it (total for all partitions) then guess what, you
can image it to a 10GB HDD just fine ... so long as you do it manually
partition by partition.

You'll probably have to get some experience with the various imaging
software methods that come on Maxtor and Western Digital CDs before you're
comfortable. Maybe try it on some older useless computer until you feel
experienced enough with using it on something important! And I'd recommend
to disconnect any HDD's that you'll not be accessing during an imaging
procedure, just to keep from accidentally choosing the wrong drive!!!

"Westie" <ridewestieride@invalid.co.nz> wrote in message
news:D 9cvbc$jt5$1@lust.ihug.co.nz...
> Winguy wrote:
>> "Westie" <ridewestieride@invalid.co.nz> wrote in message
>
>
> OK, I think that I've got it now.
>
> I also think that I WILL get another HDD and make a disk copy for back up
> purposes.
>
> The computer came with a 120GB HDD and I added another 120GB HDD later
> (using the second ribbon cable connector on the motherboard. The primary
> HDD uses a serial(?) cable, the thin blue cable, rather than a ribbon
> cable). I'll definitely have to get another third HDD, while I can fit
> all my files onto the secondary HDD as a backup, I certainly haven't got
> the room on it to start creating disk images of the whole primary drive
> and all it's partitions.
>
> I'm just thinking about what to do with the extra HDD after I've finished
> and re-installed the OS. I suppose I can still treat the third drive as a
> form of "removable" backup in case the primary drive dies one day. I could
> use it as a third HDD too; attach it to the ribbon cable and set the
> jumpers to slave. There's also the possiblity that I could set it up in a
> RAID array but I don't know enough about that at this stage. Then again,
> I may not have room in the case either...
>
>
> I'm not going to rush into this. After-all, it's a time consuming
> exercise and I need to get it straight in my head before I do it. I can't
> get advice from the internet if something goes wrong halfway through the
> process! LOL!
>
> Thanks again for all the help.
> --
> Westie
>
>
>
!