Drive/Partition conundrum

By Silver Shadow ยท 8 replies
Oct 10, 2007
  1. Currently I have two partitions

    The C-Drive was the original drive, that had 2000 on it. This is the drive my father used for the longest before he gave me the computer, and coincidentally is also a drive filled with ridiculous amounts of spyware, viruses and such. Anyway I recently installed XP and wasn't really paying attention, and it was installed onto a new drive: named D. What I want now is for the C-drive to be completely erased, but I did some searching and it seems some of the system files required for XP are still on the C-drive, namely boot.ini and other stuff.

    Because of all the malware on the original drive, my plan is to reinstall XP on a 3rd drive/partition, then copy old programs/files from the D-drive as necessary, before totally erasing the two older drives.

    My questions are:

    1) Before I expend like 6 hours for this, is there an easier way? (free stuff only; I'm not paying for anything no matter what it does)

    2) Is forcing XP to install everything on a new drive, so that it will still function when the two older drives are erased a complicated procedure?

    3) Would I have to reinstall programs, or could I just copy and paste them from one drive to another?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    What you can do is run the XP File & Settings transfer wizard to get your documents and some basic settings backed up, just leave that file on the D drive somewhere.

    Now Install XP, but this time when you get to the partitions segment of the install (early on, still in the white text on blue screen part) tell it to do a new installation onto that C drive. It either asks you, or does a complete format of the C drive. Once you get it installed, run the file and settings transfer wizard again and point it towards the file you made earlier. That will get stuff like bookmarks and any specific adjustments you made to Windows's behavior transfered over. Files too. You'll see when you run it the first time what it will get for you.

    What should happen is then when you boot up you'll get 2 choices, both XP. The first choice will probably be what you just installed, the second will be what you did have installed. Both should boot, but probably no need unless you don't have some installs for programs anymore.

    Once you get stuff transferred over, then you can format your D drive. You'll still have a boot menu at start, but you can fix that simply by editing your boot.ini to have a timeout of 0 seconds (there is a more correct way to edit the boot.ini, but if you set a timeout of 0 you really don't need to concern yourself with the other way).

    You WILL have to reinstall your programs, there isn't really any getting around this.
  3. Silver Shadow

    Silver Shadow TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did that... it wouldn't let me delete the C Drive partition because thats where the temporary setup files were moved, and then after everything was done all the old files and such on the C Drive were still there. I even tried using Run --> CMD to reformat the drive manually and about 10% into it I get some blue screen of death.

    Oh and another problem. The keyboard I have is a USB wireless keyboard, and so doesn't work until the computer has booted up, meaning I can't access the start-up setup menu or any of that stuff.
  4. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    Why not just wipe out everything with your installation(again) Delete all partitions and reformat (NTFS)and install XP on C only. (C being the entire drive wiped clean). You don't really need partitions unless you have a special reason.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Are you booting from the XP disk or trying to do this from within Windows? If its the former I don't understand your problem then because I've never seen it and don't see how its possible. If its the latter, you are doing it wrong, you can't begin the setup in this case from within Windows.

    If your USB keyboard isn't letting you press any key to boot from CD when the Windows cd loads then you need to get a wired keyboard for $5.
  6. Silver Shadow

    Silver Shadow TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Isn't there a way to edit the boot ini file so that the CD is the default thing to boot from?
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    No. Set it in your BIOS. The cd will automatically boot then, but the problem is it then goes to a screen that says "Press any key to boot from cd..." or some such. If you don't, it will go to booting off your hard drive. This is why it is essential you figure out how to make your keyboard work, or you use a wired keyboard. So EVEN if you could set the boot.ini to boot off the cd, you'd still have to hit the key after the cd has became active, otherwise it would go back to your hard drive. This is because of the CD, not any setting you can change.
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    no way !

    There are many vital reasons to have more than one partition !
    Imaging a system partition to a backup; keeping the system partiton small by separating programs and data; backing up important data are just a few.
  9. Granny

    Granny TS Rookie

    Please, please, please use partitions - makes life easier for ya

    Just for your info, here's what I've done for years, works well, and people can be talked through a reinstall easily

    d: data - anything you create, move my documents to d:
    e: extra programs, Office, Graphics pkgs etc

    AND one large extra partition for installs, backups etc - copy your XP install files to a directory on this drive so you don't have to dig for a cd when ya need it (make a text file in that directory with your serial number on it)

    then if your c drive goes south, you can quickly fix it up

    turn off restore points on all but the C: drive

    there are free Driver backup utilities that will back up all your drivers to a folder, place that folder on d: so it gets backed up... DriverMax is what I use, it's from Innovative Solutions....

    there are many free syncro or backup utilities out there that let you back up your contact lists on a regular basis to the d: drive

    every now and again, burn the contents of the d: drive to a cd/dvd

    that's the basics, then you can also look into a drive imaging program which will let you make an image of the C: drive when you have it 'perfect' - (store that image on the last drive as well, and you can also burn it to a cd - most of these programs will let you create a booter that helps you roll back to perfect) - doing this will get you back up and running in a flash when something dumb happens...

    Just an old lady's opinion - hope it helps
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