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Formating & Starting Again.

By Dayus ยท 4 replies
Oct 15, 2004
  1. Hey all,

    I'm thinking of wiping my current installation of windows xp home and all the other data on the hard drives, and starting again. I've read all the info i can find on performing a clean install using the windows xp setup program on the windows cd.

    I'm still at that newb-ish stage where i know some stuff, but not quite everything yet. So as i've never done anything like re-installing the os befor, I'm still debating with myself as to whether to do it, or just put up with the comp the way it is. I've been putting this off for a while because of all the new stuff i'd have to learn/read up on in order to successfully re-install an operating system correctly, but hey.. i'm gonna have to learn this stuff sooner or later so i figure it's best to learn now and go through the "trial and error" stages of learning & testing new stuff like this while the computer is still under warranty :)

    So as you can imagine i have alot of questions :) and they are abit long-winded, because i need to explain some stuff aswell, so you get the whole picture. Here goes..

    (1) My general understanding of how a reinstall of windows xp goes when using the windows xp setup program off the windows cd is thus:

    * Fire up the computer with the windows xp cd in the cd rom and boot from the cd and let the cd load it's setup files.

    * Press enter to accept installation of windows xp, and accept the license agreement.

    * Select a partition to use for the installation, and select a file system for that partition, then format the partition, then let some more files load.

    * Then the computer will restart, and the windows xp setup wizard will go though some information gathering stuff, and ask for the product key, then reboot again.

    * Then it will boot into windows to setup a user account and activate windows

    Is this all correct, and the way it's still done ? as some of the sources i used to read up on how to install windows xp via the windows setup program were abit old and were written when win xp was first released. Also some of the guides even talk about using setup floppy disks/fdisk tool/format tools on floppy's.

    (2) In some guides on how the installation process goes, they say that before the setup program begins, the first thing you'll see at the bottom of the screen is the option to press F6 if you need to install a SCSI or RAID controller. My current windows installation is currently installed on to two maxtor 80gb sata drives in a raid 0 array setup, meaning the two hard drives a combined, and all data is stripped between the two, which is confirmed by the following text that comes up just after POST, but before windows loads, when the system is booting:
    FastTrack 378 (tm) BIOS Version
    (c) 2002-2005 Promise Technology, Inc. All rights reserved

    1*....2+0 Stripe....163928M.....19929/255/63.........Functional.

    Press <Ctrl-F> to enter FastBuild (tm) Utility..._

    I must have read all the manuals that came with the computer over at least twice now, in preparation for this os re-install lol, as i didn't actually build the computer myself :) Anyway i've been reading the motherboard manuals, and apparently FastTrack is the utility used for the raid arrays. So as the utility that is used for the raid array is already setup and "Functional" as it says, my question is do i need to press F6 and install any drivers at the "install raid/scsi drivers" part of the windows setup program, granted that the FastTrack utility thingy is already setup ? or is the FastTrack utility thing suppurate form the drivers ?

    (3) When I actually get around to re-installing windows i'm planning/hoping to be able to select the partition that my current windows installation is installed on (eg the raid array, which is one whole big partition) and then format that partition when i get to the file system selection part of the setup program, and install the new clean installation of windows on that. Will i be able to do this ? or will i have to delete the whole partition ? I'm not too keen on messing with the current partition on the raid array, as i don't know if i delete the partition whether i will be deleting the raid array FastTrack stuff along with it. Which i don't want to do as i don't want to have to setup the array again. (Mainly because i don't know how to yet lol :) ) or will even just formating the partition delete the FastTrack stuff or the raid array ?

    Basically if i keep my existing partition on the raid array, and don't delete it, but just format the partition for the new windows installation, then that should mean that the FastTrack stuff and the array it's self should not be interfered with right ?

    (4) Finally, once windows is installed i'll obviously have to reinstall all the drivers for all the device's in the system. I don't mind doing this. However i've learned by accident really that you can apparently install drivers of any of the devices in the device manager list by clicking on an individual device and click update drive, then you can just pop in the cd for that device and the windows driver update wizard will automatically search the cd for the correct driver for that particular device. What are you opinions on this method of installing drivers for hardware ?

    PS - oh yeah, i've just noticed that on my windows xp home edition cd, that there is a tiny little spec of sticky paper on it off the cd sleeve or it might be a scratch on the cd it's self, i don't know, but do you think that it could interfere with the windows installation ? As i have read about some people having problems with missing files and errors happening because of stuff on the cd. If it could be a problem, how do you recommend i sort it ?

    Cheers in advance for any help,
  2. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    What you have done is what I dld long ago to learn. Read a lot, browse forums, read some more and apply it. Your understanding of the install process is correct. On the RAID drivers, I suggest downloading the latest copy from MSI > Drivers and extract them to a blank floppy. You will need this for the 'Hit F6' part. Yes the RAID utility, as well as the RAID BIOS(where you setup your RAID array), is different than the drivers. When you finally get to the point of actually selecting the partition to install to you will have the option of deleting and creating partitions, so you will be able to change to more than one partition at that point. Your RAID array will stay intact even if you repartition the drive into more than one logical drive. I like to have a Windows drive, game drive, media drive, and an archive drive (where I archive all my drivers and downloaded applications, which I also burn to CD every month or so as they get updated).

    Once windows is installed, and the basic mainboard drivers for getting the network running to get on the Internet, I usually get online and download the latest Drivers for my hardware. Most drivers have an Installer that installs the driver for you. I rarely use the Device Manager method of installing drivers.

    If the speck on your CD is just glue from the sleeve then I'd say use a little Windex and a T-Shirt to clean it off. Raidial strokes are recommended. If it's a scratch then you may have troubles. You could try copying the entire CD to your HD to see if there are any read errors.

    Good Luck
  3. rbbibble

    rbbibble TS Rookie

    Check out http://radified.com - This site has great guides for setting up partitions, installing windows, using ghost...etc. I used the windows guide on thise site to recently set up windows and everything is running very smoothly. Check it out.
  4. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Check the date of this thread lol. Yes I`ve posted in old threads too in the past.

    It`s from over 15 months ago.

    Regards Howard :)
  5. rbbibble

    rbbibble TS Rookie

    haha, oops
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