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kLOTTiS
21-01-2007, 09:29 PM
A lot of my system files have been modified and my computer is currently running quite slow (AMD Athlon XP 2400+ 512mb RAM). I would like to revert back to a fresh install of windows. However I have around 80gb of files that I need backed up and only 40gbs of available storage on my network. I do not want to back up to any other media because it is quite important data.

If i reinstall windows over the top of my current installation (Eg. not formatting the drive first) will this be as good as a fresh install? Also what is the risk of losing my data

Any help is appreciated

Metla
21-01-2007, 09:40 PM
If i reinstall windows over the top of my current installation (Eg. not formatting the drive first) will this be as good as a fresh install?

Hell no. A dirty install is usefull for getting a achine going, But a poor substitue for a wipe and reload.


Also what is the risk of losing my data

Any help is appreciated

Quite high if you have to ask, I suggest you buy a HD and external caddy and copy over all the data before going ahead. It may even be a good time time to upgrade the HD in your current PC, Drop a fresh 400Gb baby in her and use your current HD to hold all your data.

godfather
21-01-2007, 10:02 PM
However I have around 80gb of files that I need backed up and only 40gbs of available storage on my network. I do not want to back up to any other media because it is quite important data.

If the data is that important, multiple backups should exist off the network.

Data that only exists on one HDD is data that you do not really care about or worry about losing.

Nomad
21-01-2007, 10:59 PM
A 2nd HDD is always a good idea. If you go travel and you are keen in photography you can use it as a portable HDD downloading pix or it can be converted to music walkman I think. You can share that 1 external HDD around.

IMO your risk of software and user is more apparent than a hardware fault.
I lost 3 months of email last few days, lost some bookmarks which was fine. I had all my stuff backed up before burning to disc and the computer was a bit slow. I used CCleaner and Cleanup. I went to System Properties and saw multiple profiles, one which is mine and two other which each was called "unknown" after deleting it I found out Windows duplicated it onscreen for some unknown reason ... I could still use windows, but essentially it wiped out all the files on my profile .. MY Documents, My Pictures, Desktop etc etc .. Outlook email.

I did data recovery and got back my (2) most impt files Excel, lost 3 months of email. I don't store work stuff on my HDD so that part was fine, nothing really devastating lost.


You say they are impt data so you don't want to backup. What happens if you lost that (1) only copy? If that happens can you picture what you will be doing? If its on the network I gather its quite important, its not something you can simply redownload off the net.


Other than that I found speed improves if you create a new window profile and use that. Use software to give it a good clean. You don't necessary need to format and redo .. but then I don't know the state of your computer.

SurferJoe46
22-01-2007, 04:33 AM
I too have copious amounts of data that is just a little hard to back up...eight 200gig hdds with data that I don't want to disturb.

I do the following at least 3 times a year and I have never had a problem destroying any of the current settings and files and programs that exist on the root-drive and other places.

I know this is quite long, but it works and I recommend printing it out if you want to be able to read it while you perform the repair/cleansing. My son (M$ Certified) got this for me, and although I have no idea who wrote the actual text, I would be more than happy to give credit where credit is due.


Completely rebuild, or repair, or even "refresh an existing XP installation" without losing all your data, having to reinstall user software, reformat, or otherwise smoke your setup.






I am going to assume that sometime in the near past time, you ran Belarc Adviser (http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html) [that's a link] to get all your licenses and keys...right? Save that as a print-out like you would a marriage license or divorce decree!!!!...it's very valuable.

Now...this is XP's most powerful rebuild/repair option, and yet Microsoft chose to hide it behind seeming dead ends, red herrings, and a recycled interface that makes it hard to find and (at first) somewhat confusing to use.

Itís worth exploring because this option lets you completely and nondestructively rebuild, repair, or refresh an existing XP installation while leaving already-installed software alone (no re-installation needed!).

This option will also leave user accounts, names, and passwords untouched and takes only a fraction of the time a full, from-scratch reinstall does. YOU WILL STILL NEED THE KEYS, HOWEVER!!!! See the 1st paragraph again....

Unlike a traditional full reinstall, this option doesn't leave you with two copies of XP on your hard drive....instead, you end up with just the original installation, but repaired, refreshed, and ready to go.

This technique is one of the various XP repair/rebuild options, but unlike fixes previously used as first aid......(like the things you try first)..... this will remove limitations on XP's Recovery Console, turning it into a more complete repair tool.


You know that when the Recovery Console techniques don't work...... you're facing the prospects of a total reformat/reinstall.....STOP!

Try this no-reformat reinstall technique and you will get your XP running again in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the hassle of a grand mal seizure and burn-down.

FIRST, A PROBLEM...or not:

The no-reformat reinstall operation starts with a normal boot from an XP setup CD. Try to save time by using a setup CD that's been "slipstreamed" to include the SP2 patches and upgrades. (http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sp2_slipstream.asp) Getting SP1 into a slipstream isnít necessary, as SP2 takes it all into account anyway.

If slipstreaming is too hard, just have your SP2 disc ready after the end of this article, it will be just like adding SP2 to XP, and everyone hadda do that one time anyway.

Start your PC with the setup CD in a drive, and hit a key to boot from your XP setup CD to gain access to the no-reformat reinstall option. Stay with me here...this looks wrong..but carry on.....

Once your PC starts to boot from the CD, Let the CD boot proceed normally and automatically through "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware..." to the "Windows Setup" screen.

Let the CD boot proceed normally and automatically through ''Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware...'' to the ''Windows Setup'' screen.

After a minute or two, you'll see the "Windows Setup/Setup is starting Windows" screen, shown in the third screen you will see.

Don't be alarmed: It's still just the setup process running, and nothing's been changed on your PC yet.

The ''Starting Windows'' screen is a bit of an overstatement; it's just the setup process getting going. Windows, as we normally think of it, isn't running yet, and no changes have been made to your PC.

Soon after Screen Three, you'll be presented with the normal "Welcome to Setup" screen.

The "Welcome to Setup" screen is again poorly worded; the "Repair" option we want isn't the one explicitly offered here.....in fact, the repair option we want isn't shown at all.

Then, to top it off, the poorly worded options in Screen Four lead many users astray.

The only mention of "Repair" here is "...repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console..." but that's not the no-reformat repair/reinstall we're seeking.

(The Recovery Console Repair option is useful in its own right for fixing relatively minor problems with the operating system, but we arenít doing that now.)

The repair option we do want.....a nondestructive, no-reformat reinstall.....is actually hidden beneath the Setup option, "To set up Windows XP now, press ENTER."

So hit Enter, just as if you were setting up Windows afresh and from scratch.

The next screen, about licensing, gives no reassurances that you're on the right path for a nondestructive repair/reinstall.....in fact, it's the same screen you see when you're setting XP up on a virgin hard drive.

This is only the first of many screens that the Repair option will borrow from a full-blown setup. Press F8 to accept the licensing terms and to go on.

NOTE


The licensing screen gives no indication that this is a Repair and not a brand-new, from-scratch installation. Donít get scared here.........you're on the right track.


Next, the XP setup process will show another screen that you may recall from your initial setup of XP. It searches for "a previous version of Microsoft Windows." In our case, we're not replacing a previous version of Windows, but rather repairing the very same version that's on the setup CD.....but that's OK; it's just M$-speak.

Our intent is to repair the same version of Windows as is on the setup CD, but another poorly worded screen makes it seem like you're upgrading a previous version of Windows or installing a new one.......don't let the bad wording alarm you; we're still on track for a nondestructive reinstall.

NOW....COMES THE LIGHT!!

AHA! Screen Seven finally shows verbiage that's not recycled from the generic XP setup, but is specific to our Repair task.

Setup should now find your damaged copy of XP and present it for repair.

At long last, Setup begins to refer to a Repair option. Here, Setup should have found your damaged XP setup, which you can select and then press R to start the nondestructive repair.

If your damaged copy of XP isn't highlighted in the list box, curser around to highlight it now. When it's selected, press R to start the repair process.

The Repair process then selectively deletes system files in the \Windows folder and subfolders and copies undamaged replacement files from the setup CD to their proper locations.

The Repair operation replaces all potentially damaged system files with fresh copies from the CD.... then works on the current setup's Registry, leaving much of it intact and rebuilding the rest.

This part is one of the nicer things in the Repair process: Setup retains what it can in the current Registry so that already-installed hardware and software will remain installed.

The system then needs to reboot and will do so automatically....but...if your setup CD is still in the drive, remove it now so that the system won't try to boot from it.

The PC will now boot from the hard drive instead of to the CD.

The first Repair reboot will take longer than normal. Don't be alarmed.......and don't be alarmed when Setup resumes.

Once again, it will appear that you're performing a full, from-scratch setup; there's nothing on-screen to indicate that you're repairing an existing version of XP.

Although the setup screens are the same as what you'd see in a full install, it's still a repair process, as youíll see soon.

The first two of the Repair setup screens ask for your language preferences and product key. Click these in......you HAVE the key..right? You DID read the first paragraph...right?

When Setup resumes, it will appear that you're performing a full, from-scratch setup. But don't worry--you're still indeed repairing your existing version of XP.

Many of the next few Repair screens will also be familiar.

The "installing devices" screen, for example, is identical to the one you normally see during a full, from-scratch setup.

Repair is actually retaining much of the current setup's configuration and so will move through these steps faster than in a full setup.

The Repair version of the setup process skips or shortens many steps because it already has the information it needs from the existing setup. For example, Repair's "installing devices" and the network setup steps are both much faster and require less user input than a new setup does.

The setup screens don't reflect the fact that a Repair proceeds much faster than a normal, full setup...youíll also see the time estimates in the setup progress bar will be way off.....you'll be done in far less time than the progress bar predicts.

When this portion of the Repair is done, you'll see a "completing installation" screen.

The ''completing installation'' screen means most of the hard work is done, and you're just minutes away from finishing the repair operation.

Setup then reboots your PC again, and this reboot will also take longer than usual. This is normal.

With the bulk of the repair work done, your PC needs to reboot once more and will do so automatically. This reboot will take a bit longer than a standard boot, but this is normal.

After the reboot, you'll be brought to an abbreviated version of the "Welcome To Windows" setup pages.

The Repair process ends with still more screens borrowed from the full setup.

You'll be asked if you want to register and.....depending on how badly hosed the previous installation was......you may or may not be asked to reactivate the copy of Windows.

Then, the setup software handles the final networking details and then offers a "thank you" screen.

The final steps in the Repair process pass very quickly, and you'll soon reach the last screen in the Repair operation, another ''thank you.''

In most cases, the system will now reboot for a final time.

The Repair is done. It's a normal boot, bringing you to the normal choices for login.

With a final, fully normal reboot, you're done.

Your copy of XP should be as good as new, but with all your previously installed hardware, software, and user configuration data undamaged!

If all has gone as planned, you'll find all the user accounts and passwords intact, all the hardware devices set up as before, and all the previously installed software still installed and configured.

In fact, if all has gone as planned, the only significant change will be that whatever problem your copy of XP was previously experiencing will now be gone!

You now have a range of repair tools at your disposal, ranging from simple on-the-fly fixes such as Registry cleaning and safe Mode fixes to Recovery Console fixes and, now, a nondestructive, no-reformat repair/rebuild option.

With this information, you should almost never have to face a dreaded start-over-from-scratch reformat/reinstall of XP!

I make no warrantee as to whether this will or will not work for you...there's always Murphy's Law to consider and yours may be the one in a thousand systems that won't work..but I have successfully used this for a few years and just keep it in my XP arsenal for the times when a 30.06 to the tower seems to be the only other option.

pctek
22-01-2007, 08:01 AM
The repair option we do want.....a nondestructive, no-reformat reinstall.....is actually hidden beneath the Setup option, "To set up Windows XP now, press ENTER."


Setup should now find your damaged copy of XP and present it for repair.

The Repair operation replaces all potentially damaged system files with fresh copies from the CD.... then works on the current setup's Registry, leaving much of it intact and rebuilding the rest.
.

This isn't hidden, nor is it a secret. Its exactly that - a repair.
It doesn't clean out the accumulated bloat you get over time with Windows.

What I did, was install the O/S on my C: which has nothing at all but the O/S. All else is on D:. Including the MyDocuments. Thats one to watch, by default programs will save docs, pics and all that in there so I moved it to D: also, even though I don't use it.

I removed parts of Windows I didn't want and then turned off a lot of services, including System Restore which is another bloated pig. Yeah its handy for some but I hate it.

Once I had my PC set up how I wanted I then ghosted C:.

A simple Ghost restore on occasion cures it of bloat.

Backups of stuff on D: are done to an external HDD.

There is another lesser cleanup for the Reg my friend came up with.
Backup your desktop first:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell \BagMRU]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell \Bags]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell NoRoam\Bags]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell NoRoam\BagMRU]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\StartPage\ProgramsCache]
"ProgramsCache"=hex:0

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\StreamMRU]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\Streams]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\TrayNotify]
"IconStreams"=hex:0
"PastIconsStream"=hex:0

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\Wallpaper\MRU]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\AppCompatibility]
"AppCompatCache"=hex:0

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Se ssion Manager\AppCompatibility]
"AppCompatCache"=hex:0

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Control\Se ssion Manager\AppCompatibility]
"AppCompatCache"=hex:0


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Run]
"WINDVDPatch"=-
"UpdReg"=-
"Jet Detection"=-
"CTStartup"=-

kLOTTiS
22-01-2007, 07:04 PM
It may even be a good time time to upgrade the HD in your current PC, Drop a fresh 400Gb baby in her and use your current HD to hold all your data.

It was a good time to upgrade about two months ago :D Its a relatively new drive (250gb) and Windows installation, However I use it about 8 hours a day every day and my 500mhz 256mb is running faster than this PC

Ill try and grab a Portable HDD if I can. Until then ill just clean out everything manually :(

Adrian23q
22-01-2007, 08:02 PM
yay reinstall >.<

Twelvevolts
24-01-2007, 07:14 PM
Buy second hard drive and drag and drop the data onto it. Use Windows File and Settings Transfer Wizard (saving the results to the new drive) to save all your settings. Clean install windows on the original hard drive, making sure you don't pick the drive with the data on it. . You'll still need to reinstall the programmes but the data and settings will be saved on the new drive.