Reinstalling Windows XP

A few nights ago the main hard drive on my main desktop machine started making loud knocking sounds. Uh oh. Not good. Dead! Luckily I had recentlly backed up my photos, the only things I really needed. This seemed like a good time to reinstall XP and get a fresh start.

Maybe you are organized. Not me. My PC is as sloppy as my office–and that’s pretty darned sloppy. Starting from scratch is a convenient way to throw out a lot of crap.

I went online and found a 620 Gb hard drive. I was really tempted to get a 1 Tb, but the 620 Gb was on sale for a good price and had excellent reviews on the Newegg site. I find Newegg’s buyer reviews believable because I’ve seen so many that knock the product!

the drive itself was under $80 with free 3-day shipping. I ordered Thursday afternoon. UPS delivered it Friday afternoon. Sweet.

This machine was hand built by me and over time had accumulated 5-hard drives. I opened the case and pulled them out. Then I pulled out my original XP CDROM for the install. I’d like a dollar for every time I’ve installed Windows.

This was about the time my mechanical reconfiguration noise woke Helaine. That’s not good.

Everything went fine until Windows discovered my hard drive. Instead of 620 Gb it was reporting 131069 Mb. As I’d later find out the original XP disk only supports drives that big. Back when XP came out no one had dreamed of throwing terrabytes of memory in a desktop machine.

I ended up at Paul Thurrott’s amazing SuperSite for Windows.where I was walked through the process of ‘slipsteaming’ Service Pack 2 into my original disk. Well, almost. The current version is Service Pack 3 and my CDROM burning software doesn’t actually support what needs to be done. A few ad libs and I was on my way.

At the moment Windows XP SP3 is installing with the full hard drive recognized. It’s going along very smoothly! I’m sure something will come up to slow me down.

In the meantime, I have discovered one hard drive is a lot quieter than five.

3 Responses to “Reinstalling Windows XP”

  1. i think microsoft should come out with a new version of xp to give us a choice , xp-09. i cannot stand vista , most of my hardware i have does not have driver’s available , like laser printers etc. , after 2 months i had to get rid of vista as it was more of a chore to use it for my purposes . i went to xp 64 bit and drivers where even more scarce .

    i am now back to all xp home ( i have installed this so many times also , i love calling microsoft everytime to get a new key code ) . but as time passes i feel i am being left behind by staying with xp , it only has a 3gb memory capacity , and now i am learning hard drive size will be a project .

    i have one hard drive just for saving everything in case one dies. i drop weekly , so the loss is not that great when it happens.

    when upgrading next time going with raid would save a lot of headaches.

    good luck

    dave ( phuzzy )

  2. Geoff Fox says:

    Everything was fine until I realized my boot drive is now I:. There is a front panel media reader which Windows recognized and avoided during installation.

    It will work, but I’m sure there are some programs that will be a little upset. I’ve already had to do a workaround to get Flash installed. I might try COA32 to fix things.

  3. Heem says:

    Funny, my Suse Linux disks recognize all this stuff right at install time. Funny that people say “Oh Linux doesnt recognize any hardware….”

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