Posted 04 January 2011 - 04:04 PM
I have an HP Pavilion a1100y which I got for free, supposedly "dead" & "too corrupted", a couple of years ago. After paying HP $30 to send a set of OEM discs for that particular tower, I performed a destructive recovery and have been successfully using the system ever since. The original OS is Windows XP Home SP2. I have a habit of performing a destructive recovery about once every 12 to 18 months on my systems (there are several).
By the end of this year or first of 2012, hopefully, all of the systems I'm responsible for will be either replaced with or upgraded to Wondows 7. I guess it's time. I also plan to take a couple of the old systems and turn them into Unix systems, but that's another post.
I'm wanting this to be the last time I perform a destructive recovery on this XP machine.
What I'm looking for is advice on what you would see as the best steps to take, and in what order. As I said, I have the genuine OEM discs, so getting Microsoft's updates is not a problem.
My first desire is to figure out how to load the OS without loading the Recovery drive partition. I don't use it and don't need it. Secondly, I want to get rid of all of HP's bloated, unnecessary garbage such as trial software and useless games, along with the myriad of hidden settings they pre-load for updates, etc. which I have to find & deal with. I've done this many times so, I'm not new. But, I've also had to do it over by deleting something pre-installed or uninstalling some pre-install using Revo Uninstall instead of Microsoft's rather useless Add or Remove Software.
Finally, I use third-party, open-source anti-malware tools which I've learned about here over the years such as third-party bi-directional firewalls like the ones from Comodo or ZoneLabs, along with things like Alwil's Avast Home for my active anti-virus. I also run two hard drives, a wireless network card and a separate video card (not impressed with on-board, well, much of anything).
So, what I'm looking for are your opinions on the best order to recover this system. Should I install my MS Office Pro 2003 before performing my first Windows update or after? When should I install my third-party firewall? How about my anti-malware? What about my 2nd hard drive, my video card or wireless network card? How do I avoid installing the Recovery partition or, can I just delete it & repartition the drive? If so, what the best way to do that, since I've never done it. Etc, etc.
I'm sure there are ton's of differing opinions out there. I look forwrd to read yours. Thanks for your help!
Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)