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Building Second Xp Partition


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#1 Gothmog

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 12:26 AM

I want to install a fresh copy of windows on my (currently) second HD. My current setup is a 80GB seagate (master) in one partition (C:) with the windows XP Home OS and programs etc. I also have a WD 320 GB (slave) drive split into 3 100 GB partitions. 1 of the 3 WD partitions is completely unused so I want to install XP on that one and then eventually use the seagate drive (currently master with OS) as a slave drive.

Now that you have read the facts here are my questions:
-should I install XP on the slave drive while it is still a slave, or change the cable and jumper configurations before install?
-can I make the new OS partition C: while still being able to access the old OS partition which is already c:? or in other words can I eventually make the partition with the second OS on a non-standard drive letter be normalized back to C: once I am done xfering stuff from my old XP partition and destroy the old one?(Damn that sounds confusing,but its the best I can put into writing)
-should I make the new OS partition less than 100GB and have 4 total partitions on the WD drive?

My main reason for annoying myself with this task is that my current windows install is bogged down with software sludge after 3 years of operation. I want to make a clean install of XP Home bring it up to date and then burn it as an image to a DVD-RW. Then down the road I can just wipe the partition and extract the image instead of reinstalling when I feel that the slow-down is too much. Any recommendations on what to install besides drivers and windows update before I backup my install? or what a good program to use would be?

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#2 rubiconeye

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 02:49 AM

probably better to keep things as simple as poss, disconnect both hard drives, connect your 3 partition slave as master (change jumper setting on hd) and then install OS (with other drive unconnected), i presume you want to install on the first partition on this drive?

once OS has installed, install any drivers req, ie, mb, network, graphics, etc, until everything is working fine.

then change jumper setting on other disconnected drive to 'slave', and connect it as such. windows will allocate it a new drive letter, h, j, whatever! you should then transfer any data you want to your c drive.

once done, i would reformat slave drive to get rid of the OS so there is no chance of confusion with bios.

please note, you will need to reinstall all your programmes, you cant transfer them over by copying files.

i use a programme called 'driveimage xml' to make regulare image backups of my c drive, perhaps others can suggest other choices.

good luck

ps - info on driveimage xml here:

http://www.runtime.org/driveimage_faq.htm#top

also, as to your question about size of OS partition, i use a 10gb partition for XP which i find ample, tho if you want to ensure plenty of restore points, large pagefile on this partition, make it larger.

Edited by rubiconeye, 28 August 2006 - 07:14 AM.


#3 Gothmog

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 02:06 PM

i presume you want to install on the first partition on this drive?

It is actually the 3rd partition on the drive, but I marked it as active in the XP disk management. I thought about making the new OS partition the first on the drive, but it just seemed like a lot of hassle juggling partitions and data to free up the first partition. It is currently set up as F: G: and H: and the partitons were created in that order so the offsets should be in the same order as the drive letters.

Do you think that the first partition should be the system partition for a practical reason or just for tradition?

#4 rubiconeye

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 04:27 PM

after post, the bios will look for the OS system boot files first at the beginning of the first sector of the hard drive (sector 0, hd 0). if directed elsewhere it will find the mbr but there will be a delay (whether significant or not, i couldn't say).

personally, i always try and keep things as simple and straightforward as possible, so i would, for practical,as well as, tradition, put the OS on the first partition. if you run into problems in future, most fixes, runarounds, etc, will be counting on the OS system being where it traditionally should be!

however, ultimately it is up to you, maybe others could suggest reasons for and against, whatever :-)

#5 usasma

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 09:08 PM

I believe your first consideration is one of licensing - you cannot install 2 copies of Windows XP without having 2 licenses for it.

Secondly, I'd recommend backing up your important data and settings - and then doing a clean install of XP to your primary (C:\) boot drive. Once it's installed, you'll update the drivers, install your favorite programs, and establish pointers for all the data and profiles on another drive (this'll enable you to restore while still having current data).

Once it's all setup perfectly for your needs - then make an image and store it - it'll be there when you need it. And with it (and the data on another drive) you can be back up and running within 20 minutes on a brand spanking new install of XP with all your data intact. (BTW - don't forget to backup the data/profiles on a regular basis).

Since you're planning on using the 320 gB W-D drive as your master - I'd suggest doing it now and saving the heartache later on. I'd also suggest that the boot partition be the first one on the drive - as it's closest in to the spindle and may be a tad bit faster than the outer partitions.

As rubiconeye says - keep it simple! I assume that the 2 drives are IDE drives and that should be fairly straightforward - but if they're a mix of IDE and SATA windows will boot off the IDE drive no matter what you do (the workaround is to remove the IDE when installing Windows - that'll force it to boot from the SATA).

For optimum performance you'll want to have the boot drive and your OS drive to be the same - and that it'll be the first drive that that OS checks in the boot sequence. Anything else will require that the system look elsewhere before starting up - and will cause some delay.

Finally, depending on the speeds of the hard drives - you may want to create a small (4 gB partition) at the beginning of the 80 gB drive for the pagefile. With the appropriate settings this will let the OS do it's thing at the same time it's using the pagefiole - and this will speed up things a bit also.

If you have access problems with your old data - try taking ownership of the files (in the Security tab, Advanced button).
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#6 Gothmog

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 12:48 PM

okay in preparation for the task I have copied all the files off of the (physically) first partition on the WD 320 and put them on the blank one. I plan on formatting the new OS one and then reassigning the letter F: from that to my new "video and music" drive so all shortcuts should stay OK until I nuke my old OS after this is all done.

My new question is with regards to creating the OS backup with Driveimage xml (or any other program anyone can suggest). Should I make the first partiton 4.5 GB, install all the OS components and updates, backup to a DVD, then erase the partition. Then I could make the system partition the full 100 GB and use the backup image to test it out and everyting should work fine. I'm not sure if makeing and image on a partially full 100GB drive will require backup of all the free space since it is just taking an image of the whole drive?

John, coincidentally I had made a 5gb partion at the end of my WD drive for the pagefile thinking along those same lines, but I thought it was making the OS look longer in the startup process for the pagefile so I gave it up. Also windows built in recovery options seem to require the pagefile to reside on the systme partion to write a dump of the system memory at a BSOD.

Edited by Gothmog, 30 August 2006 - 12:54 PM.


#7 rubiconeye

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 03:59 PM

hi, gothmoq,

regarding your os backup, with driveimage, only an image of the used space will be copied (i turn off system restore when doing this to make copy as small as poss). please note, when using driveimage, you will need a boot cd to restore an os partition as you cannot restore to a partition in use (i use ubcd - freely downloadable containing a driveimage plugin). i would advise you to practice using what ever image app you decide on, this is probably the best time to get used to such software, that way if the s**t hits the fan sometime ahead, you know your backup is ready and you know the exact procedure to get up and running again asap (as usasma says, within 20min). it is also a good system of working if you have a copy on your os and critical data on disc as well as on another harddrive (fire, flood, whatever, could ruin both hard drives, but if you still have a copy on disk...

as to the pagefile, i have a 4mb file on my c drive, and 1.5Gb on the root of my backup drive, this does speed up things a bit, but not much tho (i've never benchmarked it), but again, it cuts down on the size of the image backups i make.

good luck




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