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137 Gig Block On Xp


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#1 looney2340

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 10:36 PM

Hi all can someone give a good set of instructions on how to unblock the 137 GIG hard drive limit on XP.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 10:45 PM

Do you have SP2? If you do you shouldn't have a problem with the 137GB limitation.

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#3 looney2340

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 10:53 PM

Im doing a fresh install of xp with an upgrade to vista will service pack 2 need to be installed first before the vista upgrade or can i do the upgrade without it and still not have a problem with the 137 gig block........im rebuilding a machine for a friend the computer currently has a 500 gig drive installed

#4 dc3

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 11:52 PM

If you are doing a fresh installation and the SP2 is on a separate CD I would slipstream the two together, if you need instructions you can read this article.

As for Vista, I personally wouldn't install it until a non beta service pack comes out for it, there are others here that will argue, that's only how I feel.

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#5 usasma

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:08 PM

Most new hard drives have a utility from the manufacturer that will enable the ability to read over 137 gB.
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#6 Platypus

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:03 PM

I don't think there should be any need to add any level of Service Pack to an XP installation to enable a subsequent Vista upgrade. All that is required is to enter the Vista install routine from within an existing Win2k or XP OS.

Vista has the capability to expand the system partition. If XP is installed onto a single partition of less than 137GB size, once upgraded to Vista, the partition should be able to be expanded to occupy however much of the unallocated space is desired.

It used to be easy to simply install an upgrade as a clean installation on an empty drive by showing the setup program the installation media for the previous OS when it requested it, avoiding the necessity of double installation. This option has been removed from Vista, but a Google search will reveal that there is a method known to achieve this. A direct Vista install would avoid the 137GB restriction completely, but due to the aforementioned option removal, it still involves doing two installation procedures.

Remember that with an upgrade, regardless of the installation procedure, the licence of the previous OS is retired, it cannot legitimately continue to be used on any other computer. This was the reason the option to accept previous installation media was removed from Vista. People would install the cheaper upgrade version onto a new drive by showing it the installation disk belonging to another active Windows installation, so there was never any legitimate upgrade process.

Edited by Platypus, 14 March 2008 - 06:05 PM.

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#7 looney2340

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:53 PM

Platypus thanks for the info i have some questions.....

1) Im doing the install on a fresh drive with the re-installation discs that came with the computer its a dell XPS will this retire the the key in the restore disc so i can not reinstall it in the future if there is a problem ? Or does it retire it only so it can not be used on any other computer other then the one it is originally installed on? I want my friend to be able to reinstall using the restore discs in the future if he has any problems or if he just simply does not want to use vista and wants to reinstall XP.

2) You stated ..........

If XP is installed onto a single partition of less than 137GB size, once upgraded to Vista, the partition should be able to be expanded to occupy however much of the unallocated space is desired

..........the drive installed is 500 gigs i will install the OS on at least 2 gigs....does this mean once vista is installed it will automatically see the other 498 gig with no problems ?


I hope the questions make sense thanks for the help

#8 usasma

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:31 AM

I would think that, during the Vista installation, you're going to have to boot from the Vista installation DVD in order to make changes to the partitions (you won't be able to do this if you launch the Vista installation from within XP).

Here's the link: http://www.theeldergeekvista.com/vista_upg...nstallation.htm

And an image from the link. The important part is the last line on the page "To make changes to the partitions, restart Windows from the installation disc" Posted Image
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#9 Platypus

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:57 AM

Windows licensing can be convoluted. The OEM XP from the Dell cannot legitimately be used on another computer in any case. But I would think if you don't like the Vista installation, you should be able to restore the computer to its former condition - it would be as if nothing had changed. In fact if an image was taken of the computer's original XP installation, then re-installed, (or if the Dell restore disk provides a pre-activated volume licensed installation) there would be no license key or reactivation issues at all. I guess the "temporary" Vista installation could be seen much like the original OS had become corrupted and had to be re-loaded. :thumbsup:

What could present difficulties would be trying to use the Vista upgrade subsequently. Upgrades inherit the license of the OS they upgrade. If that Vista upgrade has been activated on that system, you would have to convince Microsoft there was a valid reason to activate it again in the future on another system, and that it wasn't being used to upgrade more than one system. That was the purpose of activation after all, to prevent people from cheating and installing either full OS or upgrade on multiple computers.

Curiously, it seems XP does need SP2 to be installed in order to do an upgrade Vista installation. Refer to the conditions here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932616

also note the combinations of Vista version that can upgrade from various eligible base OSs.

However, the meaning of "upgrade" is for Vista to take the place of the existing OS with all installed programs, data and settings preserved. The alternative is a Custom install, which does a clean install of Vista, installed programs are not preserved so must be re-installed, and data and settings must be backed up prior to Vista installation and restored after. That's how the Vista install must be done for Win2000, there is no upgrade path, just the custom or "clean" install, which seems to be what you want anyway. It reads to me as if that would probably also hold true for XP without service pack.

Vista requires 15GB of free space on a drive for installation (to accommodate all the installation temp files), so a pre-installation of XP should go onto a partition that will leave at least this much free space - eg at least 20GB. Only have a single partition on the drive. Once Vista is installed, it will see the full 500GB drive, and you can use drive management to expand the existing partition out into unallocated space.

I prefer not to have the system partition occupy an entire large drive. Keeping it smaller makes drive maintenance tasks like defragmentation and backup imaging more manageable.

Edited by Platypus, 15 March 2008 - 07:04 AM.

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#10 looney2340

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:19 PM

Hi Everyone....i want to say thank you for all your advice i was able to reformat and reinstall the O.S without any problems

#11 Platypus

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 05:13 AM

Glad it worked out well for you!

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