Want to reformat and install a new OS.

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Old 02-14-03, 02:02 AM
diane333
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Question Want to reformat and install a new OS.

I have a Pentium 3, 733 with added RAM memory. What I wqnt to do is reformat my hard drive and then install Windows XP...oh, I'm currently using Win98 2nd Edition. I am clueless about what files to back up using my CD burner. I know this sounds totally ignorant, but I don't even know how to start. I'd like to back up some settings for programs as well. How do I know which files to back up and will
I be able to reinstall them from the backup? Do I copy any registry files? If one of you who knows what to do could point me in the right direction for information regarding what I propose, I'd be so grateful. And how do I back up programs that were installed from internet downloads? I have no CD to reinstall several of them.
 
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Old 02-14-03, 02:34 AM
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diane333... I went through this same ordeal not 9 months ago, except I, luckily, was on a lan and able to send all of my files to a friend b4 reformatting.

For the programs you downloaded... check the folder you downloaded them to. The .zip, .rar, or .exe files you'll need for reinstallation should be in there. (unless you moved them)

For saving program configurations, we'd need to know, specifically, which programs you're referring to. If worse comes to worse, you'd just have to pencil down what you have things set to so you can transfer them when the reinstallation is complete.

As for personal recommendations... here goes:
I recommend burning the contents of your 'Cookies' file to disc. That way, any passwords and usernames you have set to be automatically entered at websites will still be in effect when you replace them in the new cookies file.
I recommend burning the contents of your 'Favorites' folder to disc. Obviously you'd want to pass on all your bookmarked websites to your new OS.
Be sure that you have all of your serial numbers/cd keys for your programs written down somewhere (at least for the programs you plan to reinstall)


Post-reinstall:
Immediately after you get XP installed and running again, I highly recommend defragging before installing anything else.
Also, depending on the size of your hdd... if it's over 30gigs, I suggest adding at least one partition to keep your hdd clean. Use Partitionmagic Pro 7.0 or 8.0... it's very simple and easy to use. That way, you can store all of your static data... pictures, texts, movies, etc. on one drive and install all of your software on the drive with XP.
 
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Old 02-14-03, 05:07 AM
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Since you are going to reformat, use FDISK and partition the drive first. That way you can reformat the operating system partition any time you like.
You could also use partition magic now and coppy all you data to the new partition. Then format the boot drive and install XP. If you forot to save some files they will still be on the other partition.
 
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Old 02-14-03, 09:03 AM
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Re: Want to reformat and install a new OS.

Originally posted by diane333
I have a Pentium 3, 733 with added RAM memory. What I wqnt to do is reformat my hard drive and then install Windows XP...oh, I'm currently using Win98 2nd Edition. I am clueless about what files to back up using my CD burner. I know this sounds totally ignorant, but I don't even know how to start. I'd like to back up some settings for programs as well. How do I know which files to back up and will
I be able to reinstall them from the backup? Do I copy any registry files? If one of you who knows what to do could point me in the right direction for information regarding what I propose, I'd be so grateful. And how do I back up programs that were installed from internet downloads? I have no CD to reinstall several of them.
Backing up program settings can be really tricky. A lot of it depends on the program itself. Some programs put custom settings in the registry. Others uses .ini files or specialty files. Odds are pretty good that you will have to recustomize a lot of stuff. You may be able to utilize the individual program's help features for info on this. Some programs will tell you the names of the files to back up.

As for internet downloads... odds are, you didn't delete the downloaded package, so you will have to search all of the locations on your harddrive where you have saved downloads in the past. Most of that will still be compressed in that location. The problem you may have is compatibility with XP. If you have a download that was created in 1999 for Windows 98, it may not work on Windows XP and you may end up rebuilding your system again because this screwed it up, so I would actually recommend downloading the lastest versions of these freebies if you can get away with it. Those will more than likely be XP compatible

As for other backups... I do this stuff all the time, I have never had to back up individual registry keys. So I wouldn't worry too much about reg backups... besides, the registry structure of Win 98 is significantly different from Win XP; so much so, that even if you did back things up, you wouldn't be able to restore them in the same directory... For personal files, webmaster hit them all. You want to do c:\windows\cookies, c:\windows\favorites, c:\windows\mydocuments. Also look for any other locations that you would place word files. If you use quicken or microsoft money, make sure you grab the appropriate financial files as well. If you use turbotax or tax cut, grab those backups as well. Those are not stored in the same location. MP3s are useful to take if you have a music library.. Computer games also save to different locations.

Formatting: If I remember correctly, XP will allow you to reformat and repartition your drives, so I don't think you will need to Fdisk or anything that complicated. You can go into the BIOS and set the system to boot from CD as a first option. Place the XP cd in the cdrom and it should take over (remember to turn that off after your first reboot). The XP wizzards should guide you through it. That is probably the easiest way to do it.

Now for my questions. Is this XP Home or Professional? Have you considered what file system to use? FAT32 or NTFS?
 
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Old 02-14-03, 03:51 PM
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My question is why do you want to reformat and install? True, that is the best way to do it, but can be a real pain. Why not just upgrade your installation of Win98? You can run the XP install from within 98 and upgrade instead of new install. If you really want to keep your settings and programs, etc (or if you just have no good way of backing-up everything) I would highly recommend an upgrade.

Good luck!
 
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Old 02-14-03, 04:05 PM
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Actually SafeWatch, a 98 to XP upgrade isn't possible. It has to be a complete reinstall. I tried finding a way to do it when I had to, but unfortunately, it just isn't an option. And the worst part, when XP installs itself, it reformats the hdd.
 
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Old 02-14-03, 04:07 PM
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Oh really? I haven't tried it, but I have ungraded from ME to XP, several times (in the past couple of days - long story.)

I'm not sure about the XP reformatting though, it depends on your FAT table, XP only works on FAT32 and NTFS (which, of course, 98 does not support.)
 
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Old 02-14-03, 04:16 PM
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I'm glad I read this post about XP and upgrading (or the inability) from 98. I've been debating whether or not to go for the XP, but the reformat and partitioning deal has me a little leery. Guess if I decide to do it, you guys can walk me through it step by step and answer the tons of questions I will have?

Kay
 
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Old 02-15-03, 07:10 PM
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***My question is why do you want to reformat and install? True, that is the best way to do it, but can be a real pain***[SIZE=3]LOL[/SIZE] (you know why!!)

***but I have ungraded from ME to XP, several times (in the past couple of days - long story.)*** Wondered where you had been...why dont you tell us the story...might learn something
 
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Old 02-15-03, 07:37 PM
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LOL, yeah, I knew someone would ask sooner or later, shoulda known it would be you

I think it may have been a program I grabbed the other day or something, but McAfee missed a virus I believe. I keep my computer on for days at a time, so there's really no telling what happened. Anyway....

I restarted XP for some reason, bogging down something like that, and suddenly, I couldn't start XP. Computer would POST, then I would get a General Protection Fault screen. So, I figured maybe MBR, or something like that. I tried several basic troubleshooting techniques, of course none worked. I couldn't get to the boot menu, so really there wasn't much I could do anyway. Tried a couple of boot disk, nothing.

Well, luckily, just a few days earlier, I had made my first Ghost Image backup and saved it to the second partition (which didn't have much else on it.) So I restarted with the Ghost disk and continued to reimage the partition, sure it was going to set me back a few days, but better than not starting at all, right? I wish. Like a DA, I didn't backup the current image before reimaging (I swear it didn't get to 1% before I realized this - too late - DOH!) Not 10 minutes later did I really wish I had backed up that image, the old image was corrupt - SOB!!! Ok, ok, no problem. I have another XP machine. Moved my disk over to the other machine (crossed my fingers - hoping not to infect the other disk.) Opened the image from within XP (for some reason this worked, but not from the PC-DOS Ghost.) Copied my important files (e-mail, work files, etc.) Whew! Ok, so now I've got the important stuff, so I'll just reformat and reinstall (shut-up, this was a serious problem, not just a bad DLL ) on the corrupted partition. So, I proceeded to reinstall WinME, as I couldn't run XP install from DOS (another long story ), and then upgrade to WinXP.

Told ya it was a long story. Think I should post it in the DOH (Bloopers and Project Blunders) section?

BTW, I don't wanna hear it, tae. Call it karma, call it what you will. I had no choice.
 

Last edited by SafeWatch; 02-16-03 at 02:26 PM.
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