XP installation getting old?

By steeve ยท 16 replies
Apr 5, 2010
  1. my xp pro sp3 installation has developed some bad behaviour lately. it's an old install, maybe 4 years. but well maintained, all updates, anti-malware, firewall etc.

    but these days it

    will not see my digital camera
    will not install any new hardware (printers, mice)
    will not uninstall some software
    restarts during reboot

    otherwise, it runs sweetly and fast!

    i know what you are thinking...clean install

    this is something i generally avoid because:

    my settings / installed software are highly customised
    i like to find the reasons why things go wrong

    so, what about re-installing sp3, is there a chance that could fix my problems (some of them at least) ?
  2. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Enthusiast Posts: 229

    you may have to make the choice. your issues sound like a good enough reason to do a fresh install. it's healthy every once in a while. you can always reinstall software. alternative is to have your system looked to make sure its in working order since you may have some other issues.
  3. steeve

    steeve TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    thanks bruce...it's looking more and more like a fresh install is looming

    actually, in the time i have already spent trying to fix this thing, the new xp install could already be humming!

    i have recently come to see that a fresh install is a healthy choice as you say. i started using revo uninstaller and i am amazed at the amount of crud that gets left behind in the registry during most uninstalls...scary...in 4 years i have installed and uninstalled a s**t load of software!
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    You may want to verify virus possibilities with the malware forum...

    Isn't it supposed to.
  5. steeve

    steeve TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    thanks, hk

    yeah i've done endless av scans not finding any sign of badness. but i might get some advice at the malware forum anyway...
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Oh yeah...with what?
    Four years is a while, mine feels rather sad after just two...
  7. steeve

    steeve TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    i've used allsorts...recently, super-antispyware, malwarebytes, a-squared, comodo. i'm downloading alvira as we speak...to start the 8 steps
  8. pjamme

    pjamme TS Enthusiast Posts: 208

    If you don't want to re-insall all your programs again, Fred Langa came out with a no format re-install some years ago, 2006 I think. It re-installs Windows and leaves all your programs and Documents unaffected. I have used it many times i the past and it is actuallyon the XP CD, you just need to know where to look. Of course you will get all the updates again. If you have a slip cd with SP3 that saves some time. I make mine with IE7and Media player 11.
    Here is a link to the article in Information Week: http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=189400897
  9. steeve

    steeve TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    very nice link, thanks, pj. i like that option. a slipstreamed disc is the way to go. would i just use my current product key? it's not the same as the original because i have reinstalled before and windows had to be re-activated. what about the activation thing...would i need to re-activate again after this procedure?

    thanks to bobbye at the malware forum my install would seem to be clean, so it must all be system problems
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Do tell how it turns out, I think i'll go do that very soon too.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Oh! I just left you (Steeve) a note in your other thread.

    Slipstreaming SP3 is also a great idea (and relatively straight forward). But one "heads up" to note: If you have an OEM install CD (like from Dell) they don't always slipstream easily vs. if you have a Microsoft install CD.
  12. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I just tried the rebuild...seems to work, but you will have to reenter your CD-Key, and reactivate, which hasn't been working (>.< i'm pretty pissed off about it), though that might be because I entered the wrong CD-Key.
  13. steeve

    steeve TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    i decided to go the way of the fresh install. have to say it is a big relief to have a fully functioning installation again

    sorry about your woes, hk...that reactivation thing is a real pain in the butt
    i had the luxury or having Boot-It NG boot manager and a second hard drive. so my original XP partition is still there, which i can access to move things over

    thanks for giving me the push i needed to do this thing and to stop wasting time trying to fix it :)
  14. Patosan

    Patosan TS Enthusiast Posts: 35

    Hope your re-install goes well, 4 years is a while. I've had a few problems and a long wish list for a while and have been researching, DLing, etc for months. Finally got XP just how I like it, a great hotfix list source and many new,better utilities.

    the point I want to make is to make an image of your C drive after you have got everything just as you like it. That way in the future getting you sweet XP back will be a quick and relatively painless process. In my view this is more important that having a slipped os.

    Anyway good luck
  15. steeve

    steeve TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    yes, very good advice... this time i will make the image! the reinstall went very well

    please tell us what new utilities you have found
  16. Patosan

    Patosan TS Enthusiast Posts: 35

    Well ... new for me at least.
    FSCapture - after moving from MWsnap300, which was a good screen capture app
    Beyond Compare - file, folder, hex, etc comparing app
    radio Sure - names says it all
    PDF-XChangeViewer - lighter and more options than Foxit, which is of course better than Adobe
    Xplorer2 - great little file manager, Free Commander is also good.
    USDownloader - for set and forget DL from Hotfile, etc sites
    TreeSizeFree - niffty for quickly and graphically checking drive use
    Portable menu Start - very light launcher for portable or any apps
    MagicJellyBean KeyFinder - as says
    MelloWare PlacesBar - adding, changing windows and office PlacesBar items
    AnyDVD Converter - as says
    PDF Tools - wonderful for splitting, merging, etc pdf
    CrystalDMI - get all BIOS info
    XPLite - removing XP components after install, as opposed to wonderfull nLite
    Advanced Task Manager - system analysis, with great grahical display
    SIW - system analysis ... doesn't miss a thing
    WinFonts View - as says
    Space Monger - good little drive mapping tool

    There are a few others that I haven't had time to test yet. The key point is that all of these are portable or as I prefer to say "standalone", so I set them up on a different drive and don't have to worry about reinstalling if windows goes pear shape. Also handy to have them inside a launcher so they can be easily copied to a usb drive when away from your pc.

    As an example I still use office 2000 since it's so light and fast but I have a standalone copy of office 2007 on another drive which I fire up from time to time. Also I use ms Ie8 but also use Firefox portable in my standalone drive. This keeps my C drive very simple and uncluttered, easy and light to image or reinstall plus it removes the unstall hassles which sometimes happen since more than half of all my apps are standalone - NOT installed ... so there's no unstalling to do ... simply delete or don't use.

    Oh yeah one last and important point is that I got all the above apps and many more FREE.
  17. steeve

    steeve TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    yes, i really like those standalone / not installed type apps that don't depend on registry entries!

    i also keep most apps in a separate partition...this time i was surprised at how many of them ran without reinstalling them...nice!

    nice list of apps, thanks, i will check them out. some that i like:

    greenshot for image capture
    sumatra pdf reader
    pdfsam for pdf split and merge
    the font thing

    and i will definitely be buying an uninstaller, maybe revo or ashampoo
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