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Another Stupid Formatting Question (sorry)


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#1 Stang777

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:55 AM

I came across an older post on this board that was about needing drivers for motherboard and bios when reformatting hard drive and got a little nervous. I did not think those were necessary when reformatting, are they?

Also, just to confirm what I think I know, if a Promise controller card (used to setup raid configuration) shows on startup screen as plugnplay, I do not need drivers for that, right?

When I have reformatted harddrives in Win98SE, I never needed drivers for anything, video card, sound, nothing, everything was there in Win98SE. I have always heard that XP had drivers for most things, is that true?

I have an older system, pretty sure all parts were made before XP came out. The majority of my drivers in device manager have 2001 dates (one of the usb things is 2002 and the processor is 2004, kind of worried that one might be a problem) and are signed by Microsoft. The only ones that are newer than that are my keyboard and mouse and I do have drivers for those. Since I am (should I ever get brave enough to actually do it) installing the Home Edition with SP2, I should be ok driver wise shouldn't I?

Sorry to throw so many questions out, I am mostly concerned about motherboard and bios drivers.

I should really just go ahead and get this done, as I am driving myself (and probably you guys too) nuts worrying about how it is going to go. I guess it is the raid and drivers scaring me as well as worrying about the CD drive not making it all the way through the installation. The better of the two CD drives is not the one that is used for booting and I do not know how to change that since I am useless inside the case.

Anywho, thanks for putting up with me everyone and for helping me.

Edited by Stang777, 17 February 2009 - 06:18 AM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:06 AM

When you reformat a hdd it will remove the File Allocation Table which means that the data left behind can no longer be accessed, including drivers. Xp does have native drivers, but you will still need the drivers that it will not have, like the chipset drivers for the motherboard, the video drivers, drivers for your printer, and so forth.

If a device is plug and play then you shouldn't need drivers for it.

The BIOS does not have or need drivers.

If you are going to set a RAID array then you will need to set the BIOS for this, if you have any SATA drives you will need to have the drivers ready as the installation will prompt you to load those. There are a couple of ways to handle the SATA drivers, you can either slipstream them with the installation CD, or put them on a floppy. You can change the optical drive in the BIOS, you will need to make it the first device in the boot order, for the installation you may want to just disable the other optical drive. When you change the boot order don't forget to make the hdd the second device in the boot order.

I have a preference when reinstalling a operating system, I like to wipe the hdd so that everything is overwritten, this will give you a fresh slate to start with. One free application for this is Derik's Boot and Nuke.

What is the make and model of this computer?

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#3 Stang777

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 02:24 PM

When you reformat a hdd it will remove the File Allocation Table which means that the data left behind can no longer be accessed, including drivers. Xp does have native drivers, but you will still need the drivers that it will not have, like the chipset drivers for the motherboard, the video drivers, drivers for your printer, and so forth.

BUMMER, I really did not think one needed the drivers for the motherboard as I never needed them before. I guess I need those before I can install windows on the newly formatted drive, is that correct?

If a device is plug and play then you shouldn't need drivers for it.

The BIOS does not have or need drivers.

Cool

If you are going to set a RAID array then you will need to set the BIOS for this, if you have any SATA drives you will need to have the drivers ready as the installation will prompt you to load those. There are a couple of ways to handle the SATA drivers, you can either slipstream them with the installation CD, or put them on a floppy. You can change the optical drive in the BIOS, you will need to make it the first device in the boot order, for the installation you may want to just disable the other optical drive. When you change the boot order don't forget to make the hdd the second device in the boot order.

The bios is already set to use a raid array and while I am planning to undo that and unmirroring my drives, who knows what I will actually do when the time comes. At the moment I am planning on undoing the mirroring before the reformat so that when I format the drive, I am only formatting one drive. That way, after I reformat the one drive, I will still have an exact copy of everything I had on the drive before I reformatted it.
I do not know if I have sata drives, I will list my drives at the end of the post in hopes that maybe you will be able to tell me if I do
I already have the bios set to boot first from the CD drive, however, it just says CD dive, does not give choice of which one. I can change it to boot first from E (the CD drive I want to use) but then the only second boot option it gives is A and does not give a third one and does not allow me to change that. When the CD drive is set as first boot option, it gives A as the second one and C as the third, it does not let me change that order to make C be the second. I do not know how to disable the second CD device, but assume I just do that in bios somewhere


I have a preference when reinstalling a operating system, I like to wipe the hdd so that everything is overwritten, this will give you a fresh slate to start with. One free application for this is Derik's Boot and Nuke.

That is the way I like to install it too but have always just formatted it using the windows disk, that should work fine, shouldn't it?

What is the make and model of this computer?

The computer is a custom one made by a local company, so it is one you have probably never heard of. The logo on the front of case (not just a sticker, but actually part of the case) says, Totally Awesome Computer.
The important stuff in the system is as follows:
Asus P2B ACPI BIOS V.4.51 PG
Pent 3 600 mhz processor (told you it is an old system)
640 meg of ram
Plug and Play BIOS extension V 1.0
Promise Easy Parallel V100 (controller card for raid)
Nvidia Riva TNT2 Model 64/Model 64 Pro video card
2 Western digital harddrives, model number WD400BB-00FJAO with 38166 space
1 Maxtor harddrive model number 90840D6 8010 space
Sony CD Rom CDU4821
Sony CD RW CRX230E


Thank you very much for your help dc3, I really appreciate you helping me.

#4 Stang777

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:28 PM

The only drivers I can find for the motherboard on the asus site are for win9X. Their website does not even give the option for anything for XP for this motherboard. The closest thing to drivers I could find there is called Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility. The file I downloaded for it is zipped and named, intelinf.zip, is that what I need to have?

Also, since this is for Win9X, will it work in XP?

#5 chameleon437

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 05:31 PM

Hi Stang777,
No guarantee but you could try and contact these people http://www.pclaptops.com/Adoption.php - they may be able to help (or not as the case may be), regarding motherboard drivers - another solution is to see if you can get hold of another hard drive (20 gb preferably minimum) and see what happens when installing to that regarding drivers and XP. To back up your current drivers, make sure you backup System, System 32, inf folder (usually hidden so be sure to change your folder view to show all files), driver folder, .hlp files (help) and fonts folder (some software might require a font that was installed to make it run such as diagnostic software I used to use on Win98 machines) and your .pif folder.

With regards to formatting, if the free stuff works then fine, go with that - personally I would go with Acronis Disk Director if your budget will push to that. I have formatted drives in the past with a fresh install of Windows and found old folders re-appearing again. With something like Acronis you can securely wipe your hard drive - might take some time but it will do it fine with bootable media after you have installed the program to do just that.

Hope all goes well.

regards,
chameleon437

Edited by chameleon437, 20 February 2009 - 05:32 PM.


#6 Stang777

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 03:08 AM

Hi Chameleon, thank you so very much for replying and helping me, I really appreciate it. :thumbsup:

I have already contacted PC Laptops and they just want me to bring the puter in and let them do it for me and even though they won't charge me anything to do it, I really do not want to do that. Besides the fact that I don't like leaving my puter, especially with my XP disk, I have a hard time moving the puter around, it is rather heavy and I really do not have anyone around who can load it into my car for me. Last time I did it I ended up getting hurt so I don't want to do it again. PC Laptops do not make housecalls even if they are paid to so yesterday I called a few other techs who do make house calls to ask some questions and see if they would be willing to be my safety net and come bail me out should I run into trouble doing all this and they will. They also told me that with as old as my system is, I most likely will not need drivers for anything as XP should have them all, with the exception of the raid thing which I do not want to use. They also told me that if I do need drivers, I won't need them until after XP is totally loaded on my system and if that is the case, I should be alright as I should have everything available then.

Even tho what you suggested about another hard drive is a great idea, I do not have access to another hard drive or the ability to put it. I do however have most of the files you told me to back up already backed up on a flash drive. I have backed up the system folder and even though I could not fit the entire system32 folder on it, I did get the inf folder, drivers folder, except for fidbox files as windows would not let those be copied, and anything else in it that it seemed I might need. I also have all things that are on my system connected to raid backed up on that drive. After reading your your suggestions I also backed up the help folder and font folder. In addition to the flash drive, with the way I am hoping to do this, I should have a hard drive already in my system that is an exact duplicate of the hard drive I am planning to format. If I can get past the raid deal and my CD drive does not cut out part way through the installation of XP, I am now thinking I will be alright. If I am not alright, one of the techs I talked to will come bail me out and make me alright, other than the total disappointment at not being able to do something on my puter myself. I accepted a long time ago that the things inside the case are beyond me, but it will be a hard pill to swallow if I cannot do something on my puter that does not involve messing with things inside the case.

As to that program you mentioned, I just now checked it out a bit and just have two questions for you about it. To use that program to format my drive, do I need to burn it to disk and run it from there, or what? Also, is there any chance it will make it so I can boot and install XP from the CD drive I want to instead of the one that the puter wants to let me now?

I have just one more question, when I had to use a "fix-it" disk when I could not get my puter to load up, my mouse was not recognized and I figured it was because it is a usb mouse. Is there a way to make it so the usb mouse will be detected and work before windows is loaded? I cannot remember if a mouse is needed at all during the Windows installation but if it is, I would really like it to recognize my usb mouse. My ps2 one does not work very well and I hate to spend the money to buy one since it will only be used for the installation.

I really do appreciate you being willing to take the time to help me with all this and answering my stupid questions. Thank you very much :flowers:

Edited by Stang777, 21 February 2009 - 03:21 AM.





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