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  1. #1
    Senior Member george12's Avatar
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    Default "Clean install" from winnt32.exe in XP

    If one runs winnt32 (Windows XP Setup) from within the same version of XP to re-install Windows, and selects "Full/clean install" when asked to choose between that and an upgrade, how clean an install is it?

    Does it delete the old Windows folder and reinstall into it cleanly, or just overwrite the files in it that already exist?

    How about Program Files and Documents and Settings?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Clean install" from winnt32.exe in XP

    I doubt that it'll delete anything in the Windows folder. If you're in Windows at the time.

    And I doubt it'll give you a clean install, while you're using Windows.

  3. #3
    Senior Bantu's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Clean install" from winnt32.exe in XP

    Are you wanting a clean install?
    Backup anything first, eg favourites & documents/work

    Set bios to boot from cd/dvd drive first. Install winxp cd and start the pc. You will get the opportunity to select the drive to install on, from there you can format it and have a clean install.
    Set your bios back to that main drive once completed.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member george12's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Clean install" from winnt32.exe in XP

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Gonzales View Post
    I doubt that it'll delete anything in the Windows folder. If you're in Windows at the time.

    And I doubt it'll give you a clean install, while you're using Windows.
    It doesn't install from within Windows. It copies the setup files to the hard drive and boots into XP setup, exactly as if you started up off the CD. Formatting is impossible, though, because setup is running from the hard drive.

    Are you wanting a clean install?
    Backup anything first, eg favourites & documents/work

    Set bios to boot from cd/dvd drive first. Install winxp cd and start the pc. You will get the opportunity to select the drive to install on, from there you can format it and have a clean install.
    Set your bios back to that main drive once completed.
    Thanks, but I know all this. The purpose of my question is working on a re-installation solution for those who have the i386 folder on their hard drive, but no CD-ROM.

    When I sell ex-lease PCs it is legal for me to provide a hard-drive based recovery solution for customers (when the computers have OEM licenses), but I am not allowed to burn them a CD.

    I am trying to determine whether I need to put the setup files on a second partition, or provide a method of deleting the original Windows folder first. The MS documentation seems to indicate that selecting "Clean install" will delete the contents of the Windows folder first, but it doesn't explicitly say this.
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  5. #5
    Senior Bantu's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Clean install" from winnt32.exe in XP

    Oh I see. The recovery partition on my laptop sure clears everything off when i run the recovery mode. I guess it is something like that your going for. From memory it is set up on a second partition.

    A friend made one on his laptop but not sure how he did it, i guess same principal for a PC HDD

    Maybe something like this
    http://technet2.microsoft.com/Window....mspx?mfr=true
    Last edited by Bantu; 19-11-2007 at 11:24 AM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member george12's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Clean install" from winnt32.exe in XP

    I considered recovery partitions (and did manage to create one), but decided that I'd rather have it launch setup instead, to give the user more control and make the process more reliable. I don't want to have two partitions if I can avoid it, as I found that having to build multiple partitions into my imaging process meant there was a LOT more things that could go wrong.

    I still might go that route, but if I can get XP Setup to run and do a clean install (without formatting) I'll consider that a superior solution.

    The link you gave is Windows RE, which is for recovering Vista not XP. When I did a recovery partition I used WinPE and had it re-image the drive, which worked but was quite complex.
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