Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop
    MYmacROX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
    Posts
    3,626
    Specs:
    2008 15" MBP Yosemite, 2012 21.5" iMac Yosemite
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop
    It's not a bad machine. A decent Windows desktop in desperate need of a refresh (and additional RAM, which I'll order online soon).
    So, I've done a little research and I've come across these instructions. They are pretty easy to understand except for the very last part about copying over data from my external. I've done a backup with WD's backup application for Windows. I guess it would help if I knew what it is I'd need to bring back once the Dell is wiped and refreshed. Is it as simple as moving EVERYTHING back over? Or is there a lot of crappy files that I won't want on my clean HDD? I've never been highly involved in Windows OS. Especially behind the scenes stuff. I've learned more about my Mac in 18 months than I have about Windows in 12 years.

    INSTRUCTIONS
    Step 1. Back up your data.
    First, make sure absolutely NOTHING you cannot afford to lose is on the drive you're going to install Windows on (let's say the C: drive.) Move all your documents and settings off the machine. Back up your Firefox settings with MozBackup, export your Quicken file, SyncBack profiles, Apache configuration and absolutely anything else that you want restored after you're done. Just make sure it's off the machine that's going under the knife.

    Step 2. Audit your current PC setup.
    Once upon a time, I did tech support for Windows 95 PCs, when "Plug and Play" was a fairly new concept that was rightly referred to as "Plug and Pray" amongst my disgruntled technician co-workers. Today, Windows XP is eons ahead of 95 in terms of its amazing ability to detect all the hardware in your computer and install the right drivers for it. HOWEVER, it's still not perfect. PC's come with a whole wide range of video cards and network adaptors and Bluetooth thingamajiggers, and it's very possible you'll install XP and it won't know exactly what brand of TV tuner card you've got and how to find the driver for it.

    So, before we do anything, we're going to take an inventory of all the hardware you've currently got installed. I used to print a report from Device Manager for this purpose (Control Panel, System, Hardware, Device Manager, Action, Print) but a handy little utility called Belarc Advisor [via Nicholas Roussos] does a nicer job than Device Manager. Belarc will create a report detailing your system, its installed hardware components, software applications and serial numbers. Download the free Belarc, run a report and print it out. Keep it nearby for reference later.

    Note: for those of you who do not have the driver discs for all your hardware - go ahead and print out the report from Device Manager in addition to the Belarc report. You'll need all the help you can get, you brave souls.

    Step 3. Take a deep breath, and say goodbye to everything on your C: drive.
    Seriously. It's all going away now. Nervous? Revisit steps 1 & 2.

    Step 4. Insert the Windows installation disk into your CD drive. Shut down your PC. Then, boot from CD.
    This part is important: do NOT run the Windows installation from Windows itself. Shut down first, and then boot up the machine from CD. My Dell has a little message as it's booting up that says "Press F12 to boot from CD," so that's what I did. If you're not sure how to boot from CD, check your PC's user guide for more info.

    The reason why booting from CD is important is because we're going to delete the C: drive partition where Windows is installed and re-format it. You can't do this if Windows booted from C:, because it can't delete the partition from which it is running.

    You CAN install Windows without deleting the partition and formatting, but that means all your program files and other riff-raff that's collected on your C: drive will still be there when you're done, just taking up unnecessary space. That's not the point of all this. Be sure to boot from CD.

    Step 5. Step through the Windows installation.
    You'll be greeted by WordPerfect 5.1-like blue screens with white text on them, which seem scary, but aren't. All the directions are clearly spelled out on each of them. Still, we'll go over what to do.

    At the Welcome to Setup page, press Enter. Press F8 to accept the Windows XP Licensing Agreement. You'll be asked if you want to repair your existing Windows XP installation. Press ESC to bypass the repair and install a fresh copy. All your existing disk partitions will be listed, like this.



    You want to delete the current partition where Windows is installed. Use the arrow key to select it, and press D to delete it. Press L to confirm. Then, to create a new partition, select the unpartitioned space and press C. To create a new partition with the maximum amount of space allotted to it, press Enter.

    Now select the brand spanking new partition you've just created to install Windows on. Format the drive as NTFS (Quick if you want, but I went thorough just to be sure.) Depending on the size of the drive and how fast your computer is, this will take some time. Get a sandwich. Then, follow Windows Setup's steps, set your area code and name and password and let it reboot as many times as necessary until it asks you to log in for the first time. Congratulations! Welcome to your fresh new Windows installation.

    But we're not done yet.

    Step 6. Install any missing drivers.
    Once you get Windows XP up and running, chances are everything on your computer won't be working perfectly. Are you connected to the internet? Can you play music? Is your screen resolution unusually large? The answer is probably no to all those questions, except the last one. Do not panic. This is the part where you install the right drivers for your hardware. First, get a list of what Windows doesn't have installed correctly. From Control Panel, go to System, then Hardware, and click on the Device Manager. Chances are it'll look something like mine did after my fresh installation:



    Those yellow question marks/exclamation points are Windows' way of saying "I know this hardware is here, but I don't know what it is or how to control it." Insert each driver CD you've got stacked up beside you and install the software needed for all your computer's components. If you don't have a driver disk, get on that other machine you've got next to you, and Google up the brand and model of each of the components for which you need a driver, download, burn to disk and install on your fresh Windows machine. Those two handy hardware audits you printed out in Step 2 will be your friend, but without the discs that came with your machine, it will be a bit of a guessing game, matching up the yellow question marks with the items on your reports. Take educated guesses. Good luck.

    As for me, I had to manually install drivers for my video card, sound card, printer, TV tuner card and Bluetooth adaptor. Your mileage may vary.

    Step 7. Update Windows.
    If you used the Windows installation CD that shipped with your computer three years ago, you've got an old version of Windows that came out 7 service packs ago. As soon as you're online (got that ethernet card/wifi card driver installed?) go directly to Windows Update and patch up Windows nice and tight and secure. Do not wait to do this as there are probably lots of computer baddies just beyond your network card waiting to ravage your virginal machine the minute it's out there alone in the wild internet. Yes, that sounded dirty on purpose.

    Step 8. Install all needed software applications and tweak Windows to taste.
    That's it folks, you're in the home stretch. Go ahead and have a big old software installation party with all the apps that run your life. When you're done, copy over your backed up data to C: (if necessary.) Then, sit back and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. You deserve it.

  2. #2
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop
    mtbinva's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2010
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    282
    Specs:
    15"MBP 2.66, 750GB 7200RPM HD, 8GB RAM; iPhone4S 64GB; 32GB iPad, White, AT&T.
    Before doing ALL of that work, get all of the drivers for the new OS, for the computer, printers and all peripherals, and have them easily identifiable on your external drive. Trust me when I tell you this will save you so much time and heartache later.

    Since you have a Dell, it will be easy for you to get the drivers you need from their site, simply plug in your Service Tag number and your specific drivers should be on the site you get redirected to.

    Good luck, and if you get stuck, give me a shout, I do this very thing often where I work.

  3. #3
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop
    MYmacROX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
    Posts
    3,626
    Specs:
    2008 15" MBP Yosemite, 2012 21.5" iMac Yosemite
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbinva View Post
    Before doing ALL of that work, get all of the drivers for the new OS, for the computer, printers and all peripherals, and have them easily identifiable on your external drive. Trust me when I tell you this will save you so much time and heartache later.

    Since you have a Dell, it will be easy for you to get the drivers you need from their site, simply plug in your Service Tag number and your specific drivers should be on the site you get redirected to.

    Good luck, and if you get stuck, give me a shout, I do this very thing often where I work.
    Thanks for the tip. I have the OS re-install disc that came with my Dell, as well as the drivers and utilities discs. I'm wondering if I will run into any problems during the process using my Logitech mouse. Should I switch back to my Dell mouse that came with the computer? I know there was software that I had to install when I purchased the Logitech mouse and that makes me think once all that stuff is wiped off, then it won't recognize the mouse. Make sense?

  4. #4
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop

    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2010
    Posts
    2
    Well, One of the windows feature is plug & play, A huge number of drivers are built in and devices get installed automatically. No driver CD's are required. Installation process is quit simple. For specific kind of drivers you can use the CD supplied with your system otherwise one can download from their website. If this is a specific kind of mouse then you need to install it.

    Few tips :-

    1. Always keep your important data on drives other than OS.
    2. Take regular back-ups
    3. Install anti virus in order to protect your system

  5. #5
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop
    MYmacROX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
    Posts
    3,626
    Specs:
    2008 15" MBP Yosemite, 2012 21.5" iMac Yosemite
    Man, you talk about a headache!!
    For whatever reason, after doing the new install, one of the missing drivers was for my ethernet card. Doesn't make sense seeing as how it wasn't something that I installed later. It came with the computer new. Anyways, I had to go on dell.com with my Mac and download the file, put it on a cd and load it on the Dell. This of course is only after a couple hours of trying the drivers cd over and over and downloading as many drivers as I could off of it. I don't know why Windows can't be more user-friendly. But that's a rant for another day. Now I'm finally online and installing all the system/software updates.

  6. #6
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop
    clayneal's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location
    Lincoln Nebraska
    Posts
    2,146
    Specs:
    late 08 macbook 2.0 4gig 320hdd10.7.3 32 gig iPhone 4s
    Man I dont miss those days . Your first post would make a great Apple commercial !


    Clay
    MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

  7. #7
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop
    MYmacROX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
    Posts
    3,626
    Specs:
    2008 15" MBP Yosemite, 2012 21.5" iMac Yosemite
    Yeah, it wasn't hardly worth the trouble. I gained maybe 5GB back, but some of that was from a few things that I didn't put back on the HDD.
    The worst part was trying to find the drivers to get the speakers that came with it to work. I wasn't getting any sound and found that it was a very common occurrence, especially with the brand of speakers (harmon/kardan). I don't know how but I eventually got the right driver from dell.com. Wasn't even in the section for my machine. Weird. So helter-skelter.

    And here I was the one trying to save a little $$ instead of getting a larger hdd for my MBP and buying a retail WinXP disc. What was I thinking?! Bootcamp would have been a much better solution....

  8. #8
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop
    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts
    1,513
    I thought I was going to setup a new PC better than the one I got. Have this great Gigabyte board ...But having trouble finding board drivers. Think Ill just put the Linux HD back in it and find another windows box.

  9. #9
    Today's the day to re-install WinXP on my Dell Desktop
    mtbinva's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2010
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    282
    Specs:
    15"MBP 2.66, 750GB 7200RPM HD, 8GB RAM; iPhone4S 64GB; 32GB iPad, White, AT&T.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenrokz View Post
    Well, One of the windows feature is plug & play, A huge number of drivers are built in and devices get installed automatically. No driver CD's are required. Installation process is quit simple. For specific kind of drivers you can use the CD supplied with your system otherwise one can download from their website. If this is a specific kind of mouse then you need to install it.

    Few tips :-

    1. Always keep your important data on drives other than OS.
    2. Take regular back-ups
    3. Install anti virus in order to protect your system
    With Dell, you need to have the drivers downloaded or have the drivers disk that came with it originally.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Today Is The Day!
    By Clipt in forum Switcher Hangout
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-03-2008, 03:37 AM
  2. Today is Towel Day!
    By MikeYMS in forum Schweb's Lounge
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-26-2007, 11:49 AM
  3. Had to re-install winXP on my dads computer today
    By coach_z in forum Schweb's Lounge
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-06-2006, 06:12 PM
  4. Today is the day
    By jsb515 in forum Apple Notebooks
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-19-2005, 03:04 AM
  5. Today's the Day...
    By schweb in forum Schweb's Lounge
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-23-2003, 11:13 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •