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Reinstalling Dell OEM XP on a Reformatted Hard Drive


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#1 Fielding Melish

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 05:50 PM

Due to a recent infection by a Master Boot Record trojan, the "Am I Infected?" forum suggested I post here for advice/guidance on wiping and reformatting my hard drive, then reinstalling Windows XP.

Before I got too far into it (and over my head), I wanted to confirm I'm going about it the right way.

My system:
Dell XPS 410
Windows XP Media Edition, R3
Intel Core 2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz
500 GB Seagate Baracuda (ST3500641AS) hard drive (SATA, RAID configured)
Warranty exprired

Installation Discs
Iíve got the following discs (both of which came with the PC):
  • Reinstallation DVD: MS Windows XP Media Center Version 2005 with Update Rollup 2
  • Dell Dimension ResourceCD (containing device drivers, diagnostics, and utilities)
Here are my specific questions (at least the first three of them):

1) It was recommended that I wipe the hard drive with a program like Active@ KillDisk, which I want to do to eliminate all traces of the trojan. Is there a problem that I'll be reinstalling with OEM discs? I wasn't sure if Dell preformatted their hard drives in some way before installing...

2) I have only one hard drive installed, but itís configured for RAID. I have a general sense of what that's for, but will wiping/reformatting affect that configuration? Once I start to reinstall, are there special considerations or extra steps I need to go through to deal with the RAID?

3) I do not have a floppy drive on my PC. Some of the descriptions Iíve read of the XP reinstall process indicate that the setup program looks for a floppy in the A: drive for drivers. Is it safe to assume Iíll be able to use the Dell Resource CD to load drivers during setup or that the necessary drivers included on the Reinstallation DVD?

Anything else I need to watch out for as I go through this daunting task?

Thanks!

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#2 Larry1024

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:09 PM

Before you do any thing make sure every thing is backed up then booting to Re-installation DVD: MS Windows XP Media Center Version 2005 with Update Rollup 2 should be all you need to do after clearing partitions with Active@ KillDisk; also nice to have the 2nd cd with all the drivers. No you do not need to mess with any of the raid configuration just because of this.

Edited by Larry1024, 31 July 2009 - 06:11 PM.


#3 Fielding Melish

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:13 PM

Thanks for your response. I'm working on backing up my data files now -- taking my time to hopefully ensure I don't bring over anything that will reinfect my newly-cleaned hard drive.

I've also been looking around for step-by-step instructions on the XP reinstall process, and some that I've found seem to indicate there are special steps needed for SATA drives, though the instructions are not terribly specific about what they are - I think it has to do with the drivers. Is there something specific I need to be prepared for with a SATA drive? Anything special I need to do with the BIOS settings before or during the process?

Thanks!

#4 hamluis

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:38 PM

The first thing you need to be sure of...is that those recovery/restore CDs...are not dependent on any existing partitions, etc. to work properly. Many are geared to operate in conjunction with hidden partitions.

To see if you have any hidden partitions...just take a look in Disk Management and the partitions on the hard drive.

It might also help if you took a look at your owner's manual.

Louis

#5 Fielding Melish

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:23 PM

Yes, that was what I was concerned about - that the resintallation disks might not work after wiping and reformatting the hard drive.

The PC came from Dell with three partitions. A 55 MB "EISA Configuration" partition (FAT) at the beginning of the disc, the C: drive (461 GB, NTFS) in the middle, and a 4.63 GB "Unknown partition" (FAT32) at the end.

As I understand it, the "EISA Configuration" partition is a utility partion and the "unknown" is a system restore partition. The system restore is supposedly accessible by pressing Ctl-F11 at boot-up, however this does not work for me. I believe that I lost that functionlity during the trojan clean/repair process - Dr Web Cureit could not restore my original boot sector and had to replace it with a "standard" one. I think the Dell-specific MBR is what enables the Ctl-F11 functionality.

What I don't know is if the XP Reinstallation DVD from Dell specifically looks for that second partion to install the operating system or if they'll work on a reformatted hard drive. The user manual does not mention the Reinstallation DVD -- it only provides Windows System Restore and the Dell System Restore (Ctl-F11) as options.




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