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What is the best way to reinstall Windows XP Pro SP2?

Posted on 2011-10-24
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What is the best way to reinstall Windows XP Pro SP2? I need to reinstall because my internal harddrive is faulty (has bad sectors). I've tried to create image/backup but it doesn't work because of the faulty harddisk. So the only way for me is to reinstall the OS, the software from the manufacturer HP and all the other software, one-by-one.

I want to copy the whole C: (almost 40 GB) to my external harddrive, just to have as reference when I setup the new harddrive (install all software and as reference for settings).

Can I do that, copy the whole C: on 40 GB to my external harddrive? It would save me a lot of time, can just take quick looks at old C: on the external harddrive during install of all the software on my new internal harddrive and Windows XP Pro.

Also, should I update Windows XP Pro SP2 completely before I begin to install any software (except for the software from the manufacturer which I install immediately after OS-installation)? But sometimes it takes a few days before all updates are found so how can I know when all updates have been found? At least I will update to SP3 before installing any other software.
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Question by:hermesalpha
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by:chakko
chakko earned 400 total points
ID: 37017155
Sounds good.  Should be no problem copying your old drive C: to an external hard drive (like a USB drive).  If there are bad sectors then it may take a longer time to copy.  You might end up with some damaged files (the ones located at the bad sectors).

I would download XP service pack 3, before you reinstall, then install that after you finish reinstalling XP SP2, then let it get the windows updates after that.
I would also install Anti-virus as one of the first programs, or keep your PC off of the internet (as much as you can) before installing Anti-Virus.
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by:splanton
splanton earned 80 total points
ID: 37017158
Hiya,
I'd be tempted to slipstream the latest service pack with your install. If that's going to be an issue (no spare machine) then I would install the O/S, then the latest service pack, then any Motherboard drivers for devices (e.g. chipset, etc). If you need to install Lan drivers then there is no harm installing the motherboard drivers first followed by the latest service pack.

I then install my antivirus! It's tempting to forget this and go off looking for all those driver updates and tweaks from manufacturers sites to get things working but it's easy to pick up something nasty :)

Then go for windows update and keep on re-scanning untill it is REALLY finished. After that it's all your apps and tweaks.

Have fun.
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by:_3mp3ror_
_3mp3ror_ earned 80 total points
ID: 37017171
You can get Win XP SP3 CD which has all the updates. Saves the trouble of getting each individual update.
As for hdd cloning I do remember that Norton Ghost had an option for skipping bad blocks. Maybe other backup software has this option.

To get the update cd and read more go here
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Download-Windows-XP-Service-Pack-3-ISO-9660-CD-Image-File-85094.shtml

I have no used this backup software but I heard good thins about it.
http://clonezilla.org/
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by:hermesalpha
ID: 37017201
Just one thing before I begin to copy the 40 GB to external drive: On C:, there are also about 20-30 by ESET Smart Security quarantined files (about 15 Trojans). Is there any risk in copying these to the external harddrive?

After I've installed the new internal HDD and all software I would use WipeDrive to completely wipe the 40 GB away from the external HDD. But until then, will the 15 Trojans etc. have any chance of getting out of the quarantine?
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by:chakko
ID: 37017223
If you don't open that folder it should be OK.  But, I would delete that folder before copying.
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by:hermesalpha
ID: 37017294
The problem I had a hard time locating it last time I tried. Same thing now, can't find it. So I should be able to copy everything on C: anyway, and finally wipe everything away when I'm done with the reinstall?
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by:chakko
ID: 37017468
it should be OK, copying the files won't activate them.
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by:hermesalpha
ID: 37017755
I couldn't copy everything from C:. Are there any more folders than Fonts in System-folder that could be worthwhile copying? I got important fonts there for languages such as Chinese, Hindi etc., difficult to find again.
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by:hermesalpha
ID: 37017809
I can't copy the whole Documents and Settings-folder, says it's already being used by another program. Are there any folders there I should copy (I've already copied Start menu-folder and Desktop-folder)?
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by:chakko
chakko earned 400 total points
ID: 37017966
you may have a problem copying your user profile (documents and settings).

An easy way would be to make another account in your computer (administrator level).
Login with that account.  Then copy your user folder inside of documents and settings again.
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Gary Case earned 1440 total points
ID: 37018951
Rather than copying your old drive, just use a USB bridge device to attach it as an external drive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812156102

Simply remove your old drive;  install the new drive; install XP and get it up-to-date;  and be sure you install a good A/V program (Microsoft Security Essentials works well & is free).

THEN you can install your programs -- and can attach the old drive to access as needed through a USB bridge ... it will simply be another external drive.    If you have any issues accessing specific folders the solution is to either set Windows Explorer to see both hidden & system files;  or it may possibly require that you "take ownership" of the file structure on the old drive.

As for getting everything up-to-date:   Simply run Windows Update repetitively until there are no more updates.    This will take a few iterations .. but till take a few hours -- NOT days.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37022491
I installed XP Pro, installed all the drivers and software from manufacturer HP but then I got these two problems:

1. Extremly slow startup, even slower than the old faulty harddrive (even though msconfig startup options are the same).
2. Password for my two external Freecom Toughdrive harddrives (each 250 GB) only worked the first time. Now, they can't be opened on the new installation, the window completely freezes and I have to press the power-off button.

Can it have anything to do with the install of drivers and extra HP software? If so, it's because I installed too much drivers and extra HP software, not too little, because I installed those drivers and softwares that I was in doubt whether they were necessary, just to be safe:

Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for HD Audio
ADI Soundmax Audio Driver for Windows 2000/XP
HDA Modem Installer
HP Integrated module with Bluetooth wireless technology
Broadcom BCM440x 10-100 Ethernet Drivers - Windows XP
TI-PCI 6x12/7x12 Cardbus Driver
Synoptics Touchpad Driver
Video Drivers and utilities
WLAN Driver Installer
Intel Chipset Installation Utility for ICH7
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37022494
As the situation is now, my old faulty drive works better than the new one. But I get a blue screen each time I power off the old faulty drive.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37022550
Isn't there any way to check exactly what drivers and software I installed on the old faulty drive? Then I just do the same on the new drive.
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by:Gary Case
Gary Case earned 1440 total points
ID: 37022588
Okay -- start over.

Re-install XP Pro => choosing to delete all existing partitions during the install;  then create a new partition for the install.    After the install is complete, but BEFORE you install any drivers, look at Device Manager and see what the list of "unknowns" is like.

If it "knows" about your network driver, go ahead and connect to the internet and do all updates through SP3 BEFORE you install any other drivers.    Be sure you use the "Custom" option in Windows Update and do any hardware-related updates in addition to the Windows security updates.    THEN see what Device Manager looks like.

After you've done that, THEN it's time to install other drivers -- but only those you still need, based on what's still "unknown" in Device Manager.    On many systems, the answer will be you need NO other drivers.



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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37022750
The problem with Password.exe is solved: I remember now that I tried ESET Smart Security version 5 earlier but changed back to version 3 again because it didn't work with Password.exe (couldn't open my external harddrives because of ESET version 5). Now it works again when I installed version 3 of ESET.

But the new installed XP Pro is still extremely slow so I'll do as you suggest garycase: reinstall again.

Some questions before I begin:

1. I deleted all partitions before I installed XP, then created totally foúr partitions and installed XP on the first partition. Should I do the same now during installation?: delete existing partitions, create four partitions (so I later can install Windows 7 and two Linux) and install XP on the first.

2. Do you mean that "unknown" drivers in Device Manager are those that I must install (no other drivers)?

3. If Device Manager doesn't "know" about my network driver and I can not connect to internet, how should I proceed? I think there will be no internet connection wizard available before I use the HP CD, and the China Telecom connection I have require that I use a username and password (PPPoe-connection). So I have to setup the connection before I use the HP CD, but can I do that immediately after XP installation?

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by:Gary Case
Gary Case earned 1440 total points
ID: 37022947
1 =>  I'd delete all the partitions;  then just create one partition of the size you want to XP => just leave the rest of the disk unallocated.    You can add partitions later as needed.

2 =>  Yes, you only need to install drivers if there are unknown devices in Device Manager

3 =>  Meant to address this earlier -- if the network adapter is an "unknown" in Device Manager, then install JUST the network driver, so you can get on the internet.    Then proceed as I noted above.


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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37023167
I think I have two network drivers, but isn't it this I should install (if it's unknown for Device Manager)?:

Broadcom BCM440x 10-100 Ethernet Drivers - Windows XP.

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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37028999
I have not yet reinstalled, actually the system is very fast now. When I checked Device Manager, there were no unknown devices. Do you think I could skip the reinstall and go ahead now to update everything?
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37029006
It's really fast even without my VPN, both opening folders and internet.
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by:hermesalpha
ID: 37029010
No, I could see now that when I try to validate my Windows I get "Not Responding".
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37029014
Yes, it's verified now and the laptop is quick. I get the option to install upgrade to SP3 (33 minutes).
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by:Gary Case
Gary Case earned 1440 total points
ID: 37029222
If it's working well now then your last reinstall must have gone fine.    I'd just do all the updates and then IMAGE the system so you can easily restore it if you ever need to.
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by:hermesalpha
ID: 37029296
The only thing now is that the bootup is extremely slow, but other than that the whole computer is quick and nice to work on after updating to SP3 and all security updates.

It might have something to do with that I installed 16 keyboards for about 12 languages, and also installed support for non-unicode programs (I checked all possible alternatives, perhaps close to 100).

I turned off auto-play with Powertoys for Windows XP/Tweak UI and removed Messenger. But it's still very slow bootup.

By the way, is that enough to turn off auto-play with Powertoys for Windows XP? I vaguely remember something about I had to change it at two places.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37029300
I still haven't done the software and hardware updates, perhaps the bootup will be faster after that.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37029335
Is there any way to check what's going on during boot-up, exactly what programs that are run? When I check msconfig I have minimum programs running during boot-up (same as on my old harddisk). I turned off autoplay so the external harddisks shouldn't be checked during boot now.
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by:Gary Case
Gary Case earned 1440 total points
ID: 37029465
"... I installed 16 keyboards for about 12 languages, and also installed support for non-unicode programs (I checked all possible alternatives, perhaps close to 100) ..."  ==>  It certainly seems likely that this is a major part of the reason it's booting slow ... preparing all of these alternatives undoubtedly adds to the boot time.

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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37029477
Perhaps I can live with the slow booting. When using Windows, after I've installed more programs, do you think it will have any impact on CPU and general performance that I selected all these alternatives for non-unicode support?
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37029484
There is a new problem now because I changed Set program access and defaults from Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox. So when I try to update from Control Panel I don't get to the update page because of Mozilla Firefox:

http://www.update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/thanks.aspx?ln=sv&&thankspage=5

I get redirected to this welcome page immediately, no time to copy and paste the first web address.

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by:hermesalpha
ID: 37029614
I think I'll reinstall because it's not working very well. For example, sometimes I can't go to this website:

http://www.dict.org/w/databases/start

And startup is very slow. Probably I'll reinstall, update immediately after reinstall and finally install HP-drivers and software. If I don't choose all those alternatives for non-unicode program support, can I add that later if needed?
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by:chakko
chakko earned 400 total points
ID: 37035727
yes, you can install stuff later if you need it.  Keep the Windows CD available for that, or better is to copy the i386 folder from the CD to your hard drive.  Any new stuff you install may require access to the CD - or i386 folder that you copy to your disk.  If it asks for the CD just browse to the i386 folder location on your drive.

To keep your PC faster, you should install only what you need.  
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37035844
After installation, I started the Accessibility Wizard (just to see what it was, I was curious), but stopped after a few steps (screen resolution changed etc.) and chose to undo changes. But somehow my font is now completely changed (think it's bigger than before, and not at sharp as before, more faded style). How should I get back my old font?
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37035848
I have updated all security updates and installed all drivers and software from HP-CD but not updated the SP3 yet.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37035893
The icons in my taskbar are too big now, and resolution on them is more blurred. And in the web browser there is another font being used after I had opened the Accessibility Wizard (although I chose to undo changes). Is there any way to change back to default for font and resolution and icons in taskbar?
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37035915
I got the icons back to normal size after right-clicking on Desktop/Appearance/ and selecting Normal size for font.

I think the browser font is normal now but I'm not sure, perhaps it's more faint.
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by:splanton
ID: 37036635
hermesalpha: With all due respect, how many questions are you going to piggy back onto this thread? Whilst I understand you are having still having issues we are now miles away from the initial question.
Please Accept an answer, close the initial question and ask fresh questions for your new problems.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37036672
The thing is that from minute to minute new problems come up, even after completely fresh install, completely unpredictable, I have reinstalled two or three times now, I don't know what to do because my best customer waits for me to send a translation job, and I just start over and over again reinstalling in vain: immediately after reinstalling I start to get problem, internet connection works perfect for fifteen minutes, then can't connect, freshly installed SDL trados works perfect immediately afer installing and activating, ten minutes later get error messages I've never received before and I can't open it, etc.  
 
So I have to reinstall a fourth time, if I do it because I have tried everything so far, but it doesn't work, nothing works!
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by:splanton
ID: 37036732
I have asked for a moder to step in on this thread.
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by:Gary Case
Gary Case earned 1440 total points
ID: 37036739
First, I presume you are NOT using your faulty hard drive to do these installations ["... I need to reinstall because my internal harddrive is faulty (has bad sectors ..."

Second, when you DO perform a clean installation of XP SP2, you need to install JUST that -- nothing else ;  then get a "clean" Device Manager;  and then do all the remaining updates (through SP3).   Do NOT install "... 16 keyboards for about 12 languages ..." !!    In fact, before you install ANY additional languages, keyboards, or other programs you should IMAGE the fresh install -- so if you DO decide to back up and "reload" the system, it will be a simple matter of a 10 minute restore from an image.

Note that if that "clean install" still has issues, you may very well a hardware issue -- intermittent memory failure;  an unstable rail on your power supply; etc.

One other thought:   If your system is new enough to reasonably support Windows 7, you could simply install Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate (probably Ultimate, since you like to support many other languages), and just run the free XP Mode virtual machine for whatever work you need to do with XP.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37043223
I have just made another posting, I begin to think it's something with my hardware. No, it's my new harddrive I do all these installs on, and this time I just installed according to the default settings (no 16 keyboards or extra support for non-unicode etc.). I made no extra things, but there are small issues all the time even immediately after fresh install.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37043227
Some (what I think) are indications of faulty hardware (things that happen now immediately on my freshly installed XP Pro):

1. Windows delay for a few seconds on the screen when opening new windows on top, so fragments of these "old" windows are displayed with the new windows just opened.

2. When clicking a tab in the browser to get to another window window freezes and takes some seconds before this new window gets displayed.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37043231
3. Scroll bar can't use for a few seconds because CPU runs up to 100 %
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by:chakko
chakko earned 400 total points
ID: 37043239
Hardware would be the next guess.
Is it under any warranty still?

not sure your exact model, but maybe there are diagnostic tools you can try.

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?locale=en_US&taskId=110&prodSeriesId=321850&prodTypeId=321957&objectID=c00029593

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by:Gary Case
Gary Case earned 1440 total points
ID: 37043615
When you do a fresh install, are you installing all of the hardware drivers?    The video display issue sounds like a problem with your video driver ... although it can also be caused by several other things.

One thing to look at:

Go to Device Manager;   expand your IDE/ATAPI controller line; and, for each IDE channel (Primary & Secondary) do a right-click, Properties, and look on the Advanced tab to see what the "Transfer Mode" is set to and, more importantly, what the "Current Transfer Mode"

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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37043659
This time when I did a fresh install I only installed the drivers from Device Manager by right-clicking each of the yellow question mark and choosing Update driver. So then all the yellow question marks in Device Manager disappeared after SP3 was installed. So no, not all drivers from HP CD-ROM was installed.

Everything is about delays and slowness and CPU that doesn't stand anything (downloading a single file takes ages and CPU runs up to 100 %).
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37043665
Some webpages are difficult to access from time to time, especially Windows Update and http://mail.live.com/default.aspx
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by:chakko
chakko earned 400 total points
ID: 37043957
Press the Turbo button.

OH, that feature was taken out a long time ago.  That computer sounds like it has a problem, or your missing something somewhere.  Did you adjust any BIOS settings at any time?

If your cpu is 100% then try to open Task Manager, click Processes Tab and find what is using all the CPU up.

On the Performance Tab is your Physical Memory reporting correctly, is the amount right?
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by:Gary Case
ID: 37044138
Check the IDE/ATAPI controller details as I suggested above and post them here.
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