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Decision Point on PC Upgrade

  1. Apr 20, 2007 #1

    FredGarvin

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    OK. I am looking for advice/opinions.

    My desktop PC has been upgraded 4 times since I bought it. It really isn't the original any more. The only thing I have left is my main hard drive. The main hard drive is where Windows is kept with some of the other important programs like my wireless router software and my ISP's software for internet usage.

    Here's where I need to decide on what to do...The main HD is coming up on 10 years old. It has had 10 years of loading, removing of programs etc...It is really starting to go to heck. The registry is a mess and there is a ton of legacy files that, for some reason I am unable to get rid of despite best efforts. I have a suspicion that I need to wipe it and do a fresh reload of everything.

    So...do I go without home internet for a while until I get everything wiped and reloaded on a new HD or is there some other option that I can look at? I do have another, brand new HD that could be used as the main drive. Would Windows allow me to move XP and all of the associated files so I can keep it going while I replace the old one?

    I open the floor to all who wish to lend suggestions.

    FG
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2007 #2
    if you've got room in your case to run both drives, set up the new one as a boot drive and install windows to it. Set up the old drive as a second drive or slave and then you can copy the files you need from it to the new drive at your leisure after you reinstall all the software you need to get functional again.

    If your case doesn't have room, USB enclosures can be had for pretty cheap, so stick the old drive in an enclosure, install the OS and necessary software to the new drive, then plug in the old drive and start copying the files you need.
     
  4. Apr 20, 2007 #3

    chroot

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    You can install both hard drives in the computer at once. You can then install a brand-new copy of Windows on the new drive (do not copy over the old Windows installation!), which will only take you an hour or so. Finally, you can begin migrating your important files from the old drive to the new one at your leisure, so you can continue to use the computer even while you're making the transitition. When you're all done, switch over to booting from the new drive.

    - Warren
     
  5. Apr 20, 2007 #4

    chroot

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    Wow, it's creepy how alike our posts are. I guess I should have refreshed the thread before I posted to it. :wink:

    - Warren
     
  6. Apr 20, 2007 #5

    FredGarvin

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    Cool. Thanks guys. I was hoping that there would be some way to do it other than the painful way.

    One more question...I originally had windows 95 and upgraded to XP. Does the upgrade CD have all of the files I would need to run on the other drive or do I need to purchase a full copy?
     
  7. Apr 20, 2007 #6

    chroot

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    I can't say for sure, but XP has essentially nothing in common with 95, so the disc probably contains a complete XP installation. On the other hand, the license or installer might not let you do a fresh install.

    - Warren
     
  8. Apr 20, 2007 #7
    The upgrade CD is the same thing as a regular install CD with the exception that it has a verification check for a previous version of windows. I'm not sure how it works with WinXP, but when we got the Win98 upgrade, at one point in the installation it asked us to put in our Windows 95 cd and cd-key. It deleted the old windows installation completely and was a fresh install, I believe.

    What imabug and chroot said is basically what you need to do. You will want to do things like driver installation and program installation in a certain order though (look this up). Before converting to the new hard drive, I suggest that you download all the latest drivers for all of your hardware, download all of the programs you want to install (like AIM, firefox, firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc), and collect all your cd programs (like games) that you want to install, so that when you convert to the new hard drive everything is streamlined and it will take you a lot less time (save all the downloaded stuff to a folder on the old hard drive). You will be able to go online in the meantime as you do these things though, so don't worry about that. Just install a firewall before doing so (you will want to disable the windows firewall if it's turned on by default). You will have a BUNCH of security updates to install for WinXP though, so keep that in mind.. You will have quite a fun time playing catchup. I suggest you use firefox to browse around before you get caught up. IE has a LOT of vulnerabilities in a fresh WinXP installation.

    Note: For anti-spyware and anti-virus, you can skip scanning your new hard drive, but I recommend you do an anti-virus scan of the old hard drive so that you are sure that your computer is a nice, fresh installation that is virus-free. :) And then.. After everything is installed.. Create a restore point. Call it "fresh install."
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  9. Apr 20, 2007 #8
    Indeed windows95,98 and me are Based on a fat32 file system where as XP is NTSF-

    Here's an Idea. Do you have a CD burner? If so, you can zip or copy some of those important files directly to a CD and or CD's. this way you wouldn't have to worry about installation, CD burners come even in portable and work just by hooking them up to a cereal port or some other port.
     
  10. Apr 21, 2007 #9

    FredGarvin

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    Sweet guys. Thanks a ton. After doing some looking around MS's web site, I found an article on installing Windows and it mentions exactly what you guys mentioned in regards to switching drives and having to insert my previous version's CD.

    I think this is good karma and I'm gonna go for broke...sometime...hopefully this weekend.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Apr 22, 2007 #10

    mezarashi

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    I'd just like to add a little comment here:

    OMGOMG! You have an artifact in your home! >_< First time I've heard of a computer that's been around for 10 years. As people are upgrading to Vista... this is just a bit shocking for me. But alright, good luck to your upgrading. I can safely say that it's been long due ;)
     
  12. Apr 23, 2007 #11

    Integral

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    Yeah, you need to replace that 10yr old HD, what it is a 1 or 2G? You can get 300G for ~$100 now.

    I have done this (OS install) literally dozens of times, XP goes on pretty easy.
     
  13. Apr 23, 2007 #12

    FredGarvin

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    I know...I know...Like I said though, the only real thing left of the original is the hard drive. IIRC, it's a 10 GB. I remember it being pretty large for the time.

    It was so nice out for the first time this year that I had to work in the yard. I didn't get around to it like I had hoped. Soon I will though.
     
  14. Apr 24, 2007 #13
    soon..

    *a year later passes*

    really.. soon.. any day now..

    I know how that goes.. lol
     
  15. Jun 5, 2007 #14

    FredGarvin

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    Tech Support Time...

    Ha ha! Not quite a year. I am pushing on.

    I figured I had better double check before I proceed any further...

    I got XP loaded on my good drive an now I can boot off of either drive. I am now migrating everything over to the other drive. Now here are two questions for those that have done this before:

    - My new drive is going to be the main boot drive, my "C:" if you will. Should I really bother with getting all of the windows updates and security fixes for my current, temporary install of XP? I am going to install the new drive and then reinstall XP on that drive so I am thinking NO.

    - If I reload software for something like my DSL and router, will that conflict with the existing installation on the other disk, or are they going to be completely separate? I am thinking they'll be separate (if my internet access goes down while I am doing this, my wife will kill me).

    Thanks guys.
     
  16. Jun 5, 2007 #15

    chroot

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    No, you don't need to bother with updates if you're only going to be running it temporarily and then deleting it. You don't need any software for DSL or for a router (they're plain Ethernet).

    - Warren
     
  17. Jun 6, 2007 #16

    FredGarvin

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    Cue the Mr. Burns voice: Eeeeexcelllent.

    Thanks.
     
  18. Jun 6, 2007 #17
    After you install Windows, drivers, and all the essential software make an image backup of your system on another disk or partition. That way when you decide to go back to a fresh beginning you can simply copy that image back.

    There are various software programs that can do this, I prefer a product called Acronis.
     
  19. Jun 6, 2007 #18

    FredGarvin

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    Thanks for the suggestion. That is another thing I have to address as well. Back ups.
     
  20. Jun 18, 2007 #19

    FredGarvin

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    Holy moley.

    Update: I was in like Flynn. Things were going really well....and then....I believe I have fried my motherboard or my CPU. Crud.

    I had my new fresh install up and running and was working on getting my SATA driver installed for my new drive. I went to reboot my computer and.....and.....zip. Nothing. Nada. I get my cooling fans coming on and that's it. It doesn't wake up my monitor and I don't even get the initial memory test or a chance to get into the bios. I then proceeded to unplug one thing at a time and try rebooting. Eventually I was down to just my video card. Still no go.

    I should have just kept my 10 year old HD and kept going. Crud-olah.
     
  21. Jun 18, 2007 #20
    If the machine doesn't POST, then the motherboard has probably gone belly up. everything else is probably fine, so you could probably get back up and running by replacing the motherboard and moving all your components over.
     
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