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Two copies of XP and other confusion

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#1 ejoan


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Posted 12 January 2015 - 03:46 PM

A friend gave me a computer that turns out to have two copies of XP. The two choices on the boot menu look identical. I usually pick the first one or let it use the default. I tried the second one today -- a different desktop came up, not the one I usually see.  I would like to clean up everything and have one normal copy of XP running.


Also has:


~ Folders for WINDOWS and WINDOWS.OLD, with the OLD one apparently running, at least sometimes. Both have today's date for when it was last modified.


~ Two  hard drives --C:\ has WINDOWS and WINDOWS.OLD, and D:\ has WINDOWS folder. The one on D seems to be an old copy since the file dates don't change.


~ Various folders and files that are duplicated. I can't tell if there's some sort of backup happening, or if someone just made copies. I know she had copies made when the computer had some maintenance done, but beyond that I can't tell much.


~ As of today, I have a Linux OS installed. That boot menu is somewhat more detailed and I can see that there are even more choices for XP there. I figured out which one brings up the two identical ones that I've used up to now.


~ Linux installed itself on the D drive, leaving about half of it for XP. That drive was almost empty and XP seems to be running from C, so I think I'm okay with the drive allocations.



Anyway, I would like to get rid of the extra XP OS and figure out if there is any sort of software creating copies of files since I might want to use it in the future. For now, I'm manually deleting files that seem safe, which means no system files until I know which to keep.  Nothing obvious shows up on the list of software -- nothing to uninstall.



Edited by ejoan, 12 January 2015 - 03:47 PM.

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#2 Chris Cosgrove

Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 07:10 PM

An unusual situation !


Your active version of Windows is the one on your hard drive identified as C:\. The Windows.Old folder suggests that at some time somebody re-installed Windows. Some versions of Windows do this as a means of creating a back-up instead of formatting the whole drive prior to doing the install. Admittedly, I know Win 7 does this, I believe Vista did it as well but I did not know that XP did this.


When you re-install Windows, and if a Windows.Old folder is created, the best thing to do with its contents is to move your data back to the positions you would normally have it in, re-install all your applications - you will find them in Windows .Old but you can't run them from there - check once again that you have recovered ALL your data and then delete the Windows .Old folder. It does no harm to keep it, it just uses up hard drive space.


The copy of Windows on your D:\ drive. Is this a second hand drive - ie, did it come out of a different computer ?  This is about the only way I can think of to finish up in this position, and since it is inactive you can safely delete it.


Chris Cosgrove

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