Re-installing Windows, OEM or....

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by innerpeace, Dec 6, 2007.

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  1. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi, I need your advice please. I have a legal OEM Windows XP Home SP2 install on an emachines computer. My computer also has a D: 3.3GB system recovery partition. It's also FAT32 for some reason. I would love to do away with all of this, but I'm not sure I'm up to it. I have the recovery cd's made in case and there is a driver/application cd that I can or did make (I'll have to check). I also have drivers available here under downloads at the emachines site. Are those all the drivers that I would need? I assume the cd/dvd burner I just installed would be detected automatically.

    The apps listed in the recovery apps/drivers section include these wonderful tools pre-installed :cautious: .
    Aol 9.0-----Big Fix 1.7.6.0-----Google toolbar 2.0.114.10-----McAfee Antispyware
    Money 2005-----Norton Internet Security 2005-----Norton Security Center build 111
    Encarta Plus Link V1.1

    I already have the McAfee and Norton removal tools in my possession. I've heard of PC Decrapifier but don't know how well it works. I would like input if anyone has used it.

    Should I go through all of the trouble above or build my own XP cd or dvd? If I do, how and when do I install the drivers? After the windows XP install? I might be able to get my hands on a SP1 cd which would mean I would have to slipstream SP2 to it (whatever that means). I also have bookmarks about making your own XP cd.

    I really want a clean and trouble free XP install that I can image to my new external HDD. I would also like to get rid of that pesky restore partition and divide my C: and D: partitions the way I want them. I would like to make D: my data partition. Any advice or experiences will be appreciated.

    innerpeace
     
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Whenever possible, Id rather do a clean install than try to remove all the junk included.

    As for drivers, you install them after Windows. And the drivers at the emachines site should be all you need. Also keep in mind theres two entries for "Realtek AC'97 Audio Driver" and for "PCI SoftV92 Data Fax Modem with SmartCP Modem Driver". Dont download the drivers twice :)
     
  3. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Innerpeace

    Howdy-If I understand you correctly-your main objective is to create a near as perfect current Install,which you can then use to create a backup image using DiskWizard-Ati ,to be stored on your new external drive.

    Are you having any problems at present,which a normal cleanup,defrag., virus and spyware scan can't correct.?

    By far the easiest way for you would be to clean up the present install and use this for the back-up.

    The other two alternatives are that (1)you reinstall everything,using your current system recovery OR (2)format and wipe clean the whole disk and start from scratch.

    The (1) alternative doesnt make a lot of sense,as you aren't happy with some aspects of it,-so that leaves starting completely from scratch on a clean disk.

    For someone without experience this can be a daunting task,as not only would you have to install XP2,but the updates(OK you could slipstream these,but thats not much help).

    Even more intensive can be installing every software application,activating them with license keys,updating etc

    Thats assuming you have a CD containing all the apps and their keys!

    Then you have to make sure the hardware drivers are functioning

    Something always goes wrong!

    If you are really interested in doing this-which isnt really difficult,but certainly time consuming,suggest you could trial all this on your new HDD.

    Make all the errors you want-then just format!

    At this stage my recommendation would be just to optimise the existing install and use this for the backup image :thumb:

    It doesn't have to be prefect.
     
  4. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi WSFuser and thanks. I think I would like a clean install as I really would like to set my machine up to test programs and then recover to a clean state when I choose. Uninstalling the OEM stuff just doesn't seem like a good solution because of possible conflicts later. I still have Norton and McAfee stuff on my machine :( .

    Good catch on the drivers, I didn't see the 2 identical modem drivers. I've never used it anyways, but still. I did see the 2 different audio drivers and only 1 updated video. Thanks
     
  5. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    :thumb: Yes, hopefully DiskWizard works for me. I'm wanting to test new programs and play with them and recover later to a clean OS.
    Well, sorta. I'm using my original install and it's been almost 2 1/2 years. Along with removing the pre-installed junk that came with the machine, I have had NIS 2006, Defender, Avast, AVG AS, Ad-aware, Comodo 2.3 and 2.4 and countless other little programs, utilities and updates removed and installed.
    My mouse is also having problems again and I tried many times to fix it including a manual removal. That problem came after my hardware upgrade. It's happened before, but was easily fixed by re-installing the software.
    I agree and my machine has been maintained well to the best of my ability. I also have several tweaks and disabled services that I would have to redo. I have some notes that I kept and intend on keeping notes on every change I make between images.
    I think I really need a clean pure XP install. I would like to do some beta testing (hopefully) and that would require that no previous installs and driver are causing conflict.
    I should have that covered ;). I don't have many "important" apps installed. I would like to create an image of a clean windows install and all my apps to keep.
    Thanks for the encouragement :p . That should be my motto, "something always goes wrong!" lol
    That sounds like a good idea. I'm not sure about all that WGA crap that I may endure. While I was in the BIOS the other day, I changed my ext. HDD from booting first. It looks like I may have to change it back if I try your suggestion.
    Trust me, it's not :D. My goal is to make it near perfect and then keep it close to that way as I progress. I was thinking of get a base-line image to start with. Then update Windows then image again. Then tweak windows and image. Then etc. etc. etc. It looks like I have a lot to do. I think it will be worth it after creating the images.

    I have a question while I'm here. If a worst care scenario happens and Windows isn't bootable, will the Disk Wizard boot cd come to the rescue? In other words, can I load the cd and then wipe/repartition/format and then recover an archived image?

    Thanks,
    innerpeace
     
  6. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Yea,exactly-The DiskWizard Boot CD is written in Linux and is independent of Windows-it starts before Windows, so it doesnt matter if XP isnt booting.

    DiskWizard interface then comes up,just after starting.

    You then select the backup image in the new disk and it will restore quickly to the C disk.

    Regarding WGA and installing XP as a trial on the new disk,-WGA is computer dependent,not Disk dependent.

    If you have the new disk set as primary,you can install,add a few software apps and see how you go,then format and wipe clean.

    The only problem is you have to change the boot sequence in BIOS,which may be trickyo_O so it may not be such a good idea,can be very confusing


    Of course,theres nothing stopping you in installing DiskWizard,making up the boot cd-backing up the current to the new drive-if this helps at all.

    By the sound of it a clean install would be best!!
     
  7. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Thanks Hairy Coo and sorry for the late reply. I think I have created an XP SP2 cd last night using these instructions. I was able to boot to it also. I hope I did everything right as the burning program asked me a question that the instructions didn't cover. I clicked yes and it worked.

    I think I will try it on my new external drive like you suggested. It will be a good practice session for me. I also need to make a cd with my drivers, but after that I may give it a go ;).

    innerpeace
     
  8. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Good one-if that one doesnt work-you could try one designed by this guy,whose work is reasonably reliable;

    http://www.mechrest.com/plugins/BartPEGuide/BartPEGuide.htm

    As I said if you manage to install XP you probably have to fiddle around in the BIOS to get it to boot,but as long as you make notes of what you are doing,you should be able to reverse the process if necessary!
     
  9. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi HC, I made another cd just in case. I might have a look at the link you provided although I here that it may be a bit more complicated. I also have been checking around and I think I can take the cd I made and use n-lite to customize it. I'm gonna have a lot of fun in the next couple weeks :D. I just hope I'm smart enough to overcome any obstacles I may encounter.

    I am going to try the install on the ext. drive first as you suggested. I have the F2 and F10 options that come up at boot which I can select for either the BIOS or a boot menu. I haven't figured out how the boot menu works yet as it's a very simple screen with 3 options. I probably have to have something to boot to first so I can make the choice :blink:.

    I'm not going to get to fancy until I'm comfortable with the base install. I also hope the drivers I have are what is needed for everything to function. I don't know squat about drivers or what extra may be needed for everything to function properly. Wish me luck LOL.

    Thank you,
    innerpeace
     
  10. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    The big question is whether your new CD will enable you to install all your old apps,into a different/clean install of XP.

    From what I can make out,you are just making a copy of your current Windows XP OS.

    You probably have a pile of CDs that came with the computer,will these enable you to install your favorite apps. into the new install of XP using NTFS?

    Otherwise,you will have to download the exe file of the apps,for reinstallation,but then I guess you dont have the licence keys to activate them.

    Maybe emachine support could help.

    The drivers shouldnt be a problem,download them before and store them somewhere safe,or even afterwards.There are only a few and probably a Microsoft driver would be active until you load the proprietary ones.

    To access them go to Settings-Control Panel-Systems-Hardware-Device Manager-Properties(of the relevant device)

    If you load XP onto your new drive,you will have two system disks containing XP,both of which are bootable.

    Windows probably will start in your current C drive-however if you want to start in your new drive,you will have to juggle around under BIOS to make your new disk the Channel 1 Master.

    As you have one IDE/ATA and one SATA drive(?) ,this could prove difficult unless you move the jumper around on the back of your IDE drive.

    Even then it usually isn't straightforward

    So,I guess the sensible way would be to forget about booting into the new drive and leave the BIOS alone.

    Just download whatever you like onto the new disk,enter it and test whatever you are able.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
  11. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi HC and thank you. On my current OEM install, I created 5 restore cd's when I first bought the machine. There was also an option to created a drivers and application cd. It has all the apps I mentioned in the 2nd paragraph in my first post and extra ones like Works 8 and of course 5 or 6 drivers.

    When I first installed my external, It was actually listed first in the BIOS boot menu :). I'm not sure of any extra apps that came with my computer. I may have to try the OEM restore method on my internal and take notes.

    I do have so great news as I did try the install disk I made and it worked :D. It only took 35 minutes for the Windows install. All five of my drives were listed during the Windows installation process and there letters were wrong. I was able to select my J: drive which was labeled C: as it is the only 120GB partition I have. I think I read that Windows has to be on C:.

    I also used my drivers and apps cd to install the drivers and Works. I also moved a files from L: to my C: drive. I didn't go online as I haven't got a game plan to get updates and install security apps. Anyway, the test is working and I'm gonna play around with it to make sure everything is smooth.

    Cheers,
    innerpeace
     
  12. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Congratulations good work! :D

    That wrong drive letter happens a lot-you should be able to change them using Disk Management,with your main system drive with the XP os being the C drive of course.

    Right click on partition"change drive letter--"

    Otherwise everything else seems to be working and under control :thumb:
     
  13. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Good work can only be achieved by great advice and help :thumb: Thank you for hanging in there with me. A new ext. HDD and a fresh Windows install open up many possibilities for me. I've waited a loooong time for this day :).

    Take care,
    innerpeace
     
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