Erase the hard drive and reinstall the operating system from the CD that came with the computer (all those years ago).>>
Easily done, regardless of whether this is a restore/recoveery CD or MS XP install CD. If a restore/recovery CD, I would make myself knowledgeabout about the proper sequence of steps and why I should take them...before I worried about deleting anything on the hard drive.
. Download the updates for Windows XP and drivers.>>
7 years ago would have been 2002...the easiest way of updating would be to just install SP3 (assuming that SP1 is already installed), then installing all critical updates issued since then.
As for drivers...do not get driver updates from the Windows Update site. Go to the website of the system manufacturer and download the drivers which are specific for your system and version of Windows.
. Reinstall and update additional device drivers as necessary.>>
Not sure what you are referring to here...drivers were covered in Step 2.
. Load the following programs: ZoneAlarm (or other) firewall, Adaware, Avast Anti-virus, Mozilla Firefox, Open Office, Easeus Partition Manager,
Easeus ToDo Backup, IObit Smart Defrag, ccleaner.>>
What programs you install is up to you. But a system that's 7 years old with only 256MB of RAM...is not going to properly run a large number of burdensome programs.
. Partition the hard drive into
- C drive for the operating system and programs,
- D drive for data
- and an E drive where I want to install the Linux operating system.
Whatever method you use for installing XP...covers the C: partition. You have to predetermine how large you want it. I guess that I don't think of a 40GB drive as being exceptionally large and I would not ever put two different O/Ses on the same hard drive. If the drive fails, then everything is conceivably lost.
Makes more sense to me to put them on separate hard drives, but...it's your system.
>>. Create a ghost image of the operating system on a CD, using ToDo Backup.
I don't know if a Ghost image of the O/S will fit on a CD...I suspect that it won't, especially so after all critical updates are installed. If I recall correctly, the SP2 CD and the SP3 CD...each of those is over 300MB and a CD only holds approximately 700MB. I also don't see Ghost among the programs you intend to install....but I do see an Easeus product.
Since you have Easeus Partition Master (name has changed) among the programs you intend to install, I would suggest buying another hard drive and simply cloning your existing XP install to another drive.
>>. Every six months or so, reload the operating system from the image, update the software and create a new image to be used next time. The purpose is to try to keep the registry free from unwanted items.
I don't think most persons understand much about the registry...it's not a garage that needs to be cleaned up periodically so that we can find last year's gardening tools. That being the case (or, at the least, my premise)...how do you determine what are "unwanted registry items"?
And...Win XP is not Win 9x, which required constant reinstallation (primarily because of a lack of tools to deal with problems).
In any case. my suggestion to clone the partition/drive
...would cover this. If you choose to pursue a different plan, that's your strategy.<<1. Is the entire XP operating system contained in the directory c:\Windows or are there
OTHER FILES (possibly hidden) that are part of the OS and which should be left on the C drive and included in the image?>>
The manner in which images are made...varies. The software that I have makes an image of whatever partitions that I specify, I cannot specify individual files/folders...nor would I want to. All of the O/S files necessary to have a functioning O/S lie on the C: partition (if XP is installed to that partition).<<2. How big should the C-drive be? I am thinking of 10GB for the C drive, 10GB for the D-drive and 20GB for the Linux. I would welcome advice from someone with knowledge.>>
Answers here will vary...but I use a standard 20GB or so partition to install XP and all programs that I intend to run. I don't do linux...I would not waste time creating a 10GB data partition. I say that because 10GB of data is nothing (2 movie files, in some instances)...I need much larger partitions for data files on my systems.
Seems to me that you have it backwards when it comes to partition sizes for Windows/linux. You want to give a linux the size partition Windows should have and vice versa, based on my understanding of space needed for linux partitions.<<3. Should I add additional memory?>>
If I sold RAM and computer parts for 7-year-old systems...my answer would undoubtedly be...YES.
I find it difficult to suggest to anyone that adding over-priced RAM to a system that is 7 years old...is going to prolong the life of that system.
If you intend to continue using that system...it needs more RAM, IMO.<<4. I have never partitioned a hard drive before, so any help would be very welcome.>>
Already covered. If you have an XP install CD, just follow the prompts. If you have restore/recovery CDs, read up on how to use the system put in by the system manufacturer.
You have Easeus Partition Master on your list of installs...please read all instructions on how to use it.
You also have the Windows partitioning tool in Disk Management, Disk Management - http://www.theeldergeek.com/disk_management.htm
FWIW: I sometimes get the feeling that many persons do not realize how inexpensive systems can be these days. Small-form-factor PCs are readily available which provide much better computing at a reasonable price...than many users of older systems are likely to spend on repairs/replacement parts for the older systems.
That older technology...is never coming back, is never going to perform as it did when initially released. I suggest letting it go and moving forward to systems that are much better, have a warranty, and are considered to be reasonably priced.
Examples at http://www.walmart.com/browse/Computers/De...elected_items=+