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Cleaning drive before XP reinstall?


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#1 Tedious

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:00 PM

What's the best way to go about making sure my drive is clean before reinstalling XP?

I have seen references to formatting the drive before the reinstall, formatting the drive during the reinstall (quick or full?), and also running a separate program that zeroes the entire drive. What's best? I am reinstalling due to some type of malware that has proven unable to be eradicated.

Thanks!

Tim

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#2 OldPhil

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:15 PM

IMO got to the drive manufacturers site, most all offer software to clean the drive. You may have to poke arounf a little find it!

Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#3 hamluis

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:56 PM

Depends on user situation, IMO.

If the drive is new, no need...just format/install from XP CD.

If drive has been infected or you are transferring drive/system to someone else...you may want to use something like Darik's Boot & Nuke or the hard drive manufacturer's utility for doing what is referred to (but is not) a "low-level format."

I myself use a simple rule...I delete the previously existing partition/file structure, reducing the drive to unformatted/unallocated space...then I do a clean install using the XP CD.

Louis

#4 Tedious

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 06:50 PM

Pardon my ignorance, but how does one delete the existing partition/file structure? Thanks.

Tim

#5 hamluis

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 07:58 PM

When using the MS XP install CD...the first thing that will be reflected onscreen after files are loaded into memory...is a shot of the hard drive.

If there are any previous XP installs, it will show up as such, within a partition, on the hard drive.

User has options for deleting that partition, formatting/installing in partition as it is, etc. My first choice is always to delete the entire partition because there may be something wrong with the structure/NTFS file system...that I'm unaware of.

Starting from scratch is my way of not ever having the capability of carrying leftover baggage.

Louis

#6 Tedious

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 03:49 AM

Got it - that's exactly what I'll do! Thanks.

Tim

#7 hamluis

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 09:39 AM

Easily done...happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis

#8 Tedious

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 08:00 AM

OK, so I did the reinstall. I deleted the old partitions as per discussion. Now that I'm all done, I have a couple of issues:

1) as the computer boots, it gives you the option of selecting between 2 different OSs, both being Windows XP. Does that mean that I inadvertently created XP twice? Is there a way to correct that? I've only been booting off the first one.

2) This may be moot if I get back down to one copy, but during the load it waits 30 seconds before selecting the default OS - is there a way to cut that down?

Thanks.

Tim

#9 hamluis

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 09:42 AM

I've got answers for your questions :thumbsup:.

<<1) as the computer boots, it gives you the option of selecting between 2 different OSs, both being Windows XP. Does that mean that I inadvertently created XP twice?>>

No, not necessarily. It means that the system may pick up your current install as a second, due to the way the boot.ini file works. There's a simple proecedure to correct the boot.ini...Removing the invalid entries from Boot.ini - http://windowsxp.mvps.org/bootopt.htm.

A visual check of Windows will reveal if there really are two installs. If there are 2 Windows folders on the same partition...if there are 2 partitions in Disk Management reflecting system partitions...these will be obvious.

You should also try booting into the 2d install, to see what happens.

<<Is there a way to correct that?>>

Sure, once you tell us whether you truly have two installs...or if it was just a typical boot.ini requiring correction.

<<2) This may be moot if I get back down to one copy, but during the load it waits 30 seconds before selecting the default OS - is there a way to cut that down?>>

Yes, the time can be changed in the msconfig utility. Open msconfig, click on boot.ini tab. In the box (near middle of screen, right side) is a box indicating Timeout. It should currently reflect 30 seconds (the default, if users don't change it). Set it to what you like. I always set mine to 5 seconds.

Louis

#10 Tedious

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 10:57 AM

Well, we're on the right track. The 2nd boot partition is definitely invalid - it doesn't boot, and msconfig identified it as invalid. However, msconfig deleted the 2nd partition, but I got an "access denied" error when I exited msconfig. It said I needed to be logged on as administrator, but there is no administrator account that I see, and the account I am using has admin privileges.

On the reboot, there was indeed only one partition, so Windows booted right up with no delay. However, msconfig then was started automatically, and a popup came up and said a change was made without proper access, and when I clicked back to normal startup it returned it to the previous configuration (with 2 boot partitions).

I suppose I could just leave the invalid partition in place, and reduce the startup delay, but I thought I'd ask if you had another solution. And thanks very much for your help!

Tim

#11 hamluis

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 11:06 AM

Well...all I can say is...that isn't supposed to happen.

Did you change anything else in msconfig? It sounds like you have it in diagnostic mode.

There was no reason to change any of the startup options...it should always have been in normal startup.

Louis

#12 Tedious

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 11:46 AM

No, I didn't change anything else. msconfig found the invalid boot partition, and deleted it. When I hit apply, it complained about an "access denied" error, and suggested I log in as administrator. On the reboot, it came up in diagnostic mode, and my option was to either stay in diagnostic mode, or switch back to normal and revert the changes. Is the 2nd partition going to do any harm? Maybe I'll just try lowering the time to a few seconds (if it lets me) and be done.

I wonder if it's McAfee somehow protecting the boot.ini?

Tim

Edited by Tedious, 25 October 2009 - 11:47 AM.


#13 Tedious

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 12:36 PM

Good grief - I just clicked to not have msconfig run after the restart, and it's working the way I want. Not particularly intuitive, but we got there! Thanks again, Louis!

Tim




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