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Reinstall XP Home, keeping desktop layout?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Percival P. Cassidy, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Percival P. Cassidy

    Percival P. Cassidy Flightless Bird

    I have one machine with XP Home SP3 that is acting strangely --
    sometimes reads FAT(32) media, sometimes won't; sometimes takes for ever
    to boot; sometimes takes many attempts before it will shut down; etc. I
    think it's time to reinstall; I'll try a repair install first (I have an
    SP2 CD), but if that doesn't work I'll start over.

    All I have on C: is the OS itself and apps that refused to install to
    D:, which is my Apps drive. All my downloaded stuff is on E:, backups on X:.

    If I create an "archive" using Files and Settings Transfer, can I select
    what gets copied back? I assume that transferring all the old registry
    settings would not be smart. Can I save the Desktop layout?

    Perce
     
  2. Percival P. Cassidy

    Percival P. Cassidy Flightless Bird

    On 02/22/10 04:10 pm, I wrote:

    > I have one machine with XP Home SP3 that is acting strangely --
    > sometimes reads FAT(32) media, sometimes won't; sometimes takes for ever
    > to boot; sometimes takes many attempts before it will shut down; etc. I
    > think it's time to reinstall; I'll try a repair install first (I have an
    > SP2 CD), but if that doesn't work I'll start over.
    >
    > All I have on C: is the OS itself and apps that refused to install to
    > D:, which is my Apps drive. All my downloaded stuff is on E:, backups on
    > X:.
    >
    > If I create an "archive" using Files and Settings Transfer, can I select
    > what gets copied back? I assume that transferring all the old registry
    > settings would not be smart. Can I save the Desktop layout?



    Forgot to mention: restoring from recent restore points doesn't solve
    problems; attempts to restore from older restore points don't work.

    Perce
     
  3. Daave

    Daave Flightless Bird

    Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

    > All I have on C: is the OS itself and apps that refused to install to
    > D:, which is my Apps drive. All my downloaded stuff is on E:, backups
    > on X:.


    In the event that you wind up performing a Clean Install, make sure C:
    is at least 50GB. Also, it is important to have the OS and all the
    applications on C:. Almost all of your programs will have preferences,
    associated registry keys, etc. on the C: partition, so you might as well
    keep it all together. And should you wish to create images of C: for
    disaster recovery purposes (highly recommended), you will be all set.
    :)

    D: can be for *all* your data. You may have a "downloaded stuff" folder
    on it if you wish.

    I would not have a backup partition on the same drive (if the hard drive
    is toast, you will have also lost your backup!). An external hard drive
    should be used for this purpose.
     
  4. Percival P. Cassidy

    Percival P. Cassidy Flightless Bird

    On 02/22/10 05:08 pm, Daave wrote:

    >> All I have on C: is the OS itself and apps that refused to install to
    >> D:, which is my Apps drive. All my downloaded stuff is on E:, backups
    >> on X:.

    >
    > In the event that you wind up performing a Clean Install, make sure C:
    > is at least 50GB. Also, it is important to have the OS and all the
    > applications on C:. Almost all of your programs will have preferences,
    > associated registry keys, etc. on the C: partition, so you might as well
    > keep it all together. And should you wish to create images of C: for
    > disaster recovery purposes (highly recommended), you will be all set.
    > :)


    I've been caught too many times by programs that save data in the
    program directory. If that's on C: and I have to reinstall the OS --
    including reformatting C: -- I've often lost data as well. In one case I
    installed a new version of a program without uninstalling the old one;
    unbeknown to me the new version was using the data file originally
    created by the earlier version; then when I uninstalled the old version
    the data file disappeared too.

    Even now I have programs that -- even though installed on D: -- insist
    on storing configuration and data files in C:/Documents and
    Settings\<User Name>\Application Data\<Application Name>\ rather than in
    the application's own directory (or a subdirectory thereof) or in the
    folder I have defined as "My Documents" (not on C:).

    > D: can be for *all* your data. You may have a "downloaded stuff" folder
    > on it if you wish.
    >
    > I would not have a backup partition on the same drive (if the hard drive
    > is toast, you will have also lost your backup!). An external hard drive
    > should be used for this purpose.


    X: is a separate hard disk.

    Perce
     
  5. C

    C Flightless Bird

    Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

    >> I would not have a backup partition on the same drive (if the hard drive
    >> is toast, you will have also lost your backup!). An external hard drive
    >> should be used for this purpose.

    >
    > X: is a separate hard disk.
    >
    > Perce


    External I trust.

    --

    C
     
  6. Daave

    Daave Flightless Bird

    Percival P. Cassidy wrote:
    > On 02/22/10 05:08 pm, Daave wrote:
    >
    >>> All I have on C: is the OS itself and apps that refused to install
    >>> to D:, which is my Apps drive. All my downloaded stuff is on E:,
    >>> backups on X:.

    >>
    >> In the event that you wind up performing a Clean Install, make sure
    >> C: is at least 50GB. Also, it is important to have the OS and all the
    >> applications on C:. Almost all of your programs will have
    >> preferences, associated registry keys, etc. on the C: partition, so
    >> you might as well keep it all together. And should you wish to
    >> create images of C: for disaster recovery purposes (highly
    >> recommended), you will be all set. :)

    >
    > I've been caught too many times by programs that save data in the
    > program directory. If that's on C: and I have to reinstall the OS --
    > including reformatting C: -- I've often lost data as well.


    I shall repeat:

    And should you wish to create images of C: for disaster recovery
    purposes (highly recommended), you will be all set. :)

    This means you would have a little time machine of sorts. Nothing will
    ever be lost again (okay, 99.9% chance). And you will be able to restore
    the exact configuration of everything on your partition(s).

    > In one
    > case I installed a new version of a program without uninstalling the
    > old one; unbeknown to me the new version was using the data file
    > originally created by the earlier version; then when I uninstalled
    > the old version the data file disappeared too.
    >
    > Even now I have programs that -- even though installed on D: -- insist
    > on storing configuration and data files in C:/Documents and
    > Settings\<User Name>\Application Data\<Application Name>\ rather than
    > in the application's own directory (or a subdirectory thereof) or in
    > the folder I have defined as "My Documents" (not on C:).


    And that is why I suggested you make sure *all* the programs are
    installed to C:, rather than to two partitions. If you install a program
    to D: but Windows insists on placing its Application Data on C:, you
    wind up with a confusing mess. Simply use C: for the OS and all the
    apps. Easy as pie.

    Also, My Documents (no matter which partition it points to) should be
    used for data only -- data that stands alone; not the stuff associated
    with the OS and its updates and installed programs or their associated
    "Application Data." I mean all your documents, spreadsheets, e-mails,
    photos, videos, etc. Actually, *installation files* for programs may
    reside in a folder in My Documents as well.

    >> D: can be for *all* your data. You may have a "downloaded stuff"
    >> folder on it if you wish.
    >>
    >> I would not have a backup partition on the same drive (if the hard
    >> drive is toast, you will have also lost your backup!). An external
    >> hard drive should be used for this purpose.

    >
    > X: is a separate hard disk.


    This is a good. Better, of course, is if this separate hard disk is
    external to the PC.
     
  7. Anteaus

    Anteaus Flightless Bird

    Under a different useraccount, such as Administrator, take a backup of your
    user-profile under c:/Documents and Settings to X. It may also be worth
    copying the All Users profile. Ensure that hidden files are copied, the most
    important being NTUSER.DAT. (This gives you the HKCU part of the registry)

    After the rebuild, you need to create an identical user, log on once to
    create the profile, log off again, then copy the files back (as
    Administrator) to a same-named folder.

    This will not necessarily ensure that programs on D: will still work, but it
    will at least give you your desktop settings, etc. Those programs which don't
    work will need reinstalling 'over the top' of the existing copy to reinstate
    their HKLM registry settings.

    The FSTW is notoriously unreliable, BTW. I've seen people lose the lot
    trying to do things that way. ntbackup to a .bkf file mostly works, and is
    one possible approach.

    "Percival P. Cassidy" wrote:

    > I have one machine with XP Home SP3 that is acting strangely --
    > sometimes reads FAT(32) media, sometimes won't; sometimes takes for ever
    > to boot; sometimes takes many attempts before it will shut down; etc. I
    > think it's time to reinstall; I'll try a repair install first (I have an
    > SP2 CD), but if that doesn't work I'll start over.
    >
    > All I have on C: is the OS itself and apps that refused to install to
    > D:, which is my Apps drive. All my downloaded stuff is on E:, backups on X:.
    >
    > If I create an "archive" using Files and Settings Transfer, can I select
    > what gets copied back? I assume that transferring all the old registry
    > settings would not be smart. Can I save the Desktop layout?
    >
    > Perce
    > .
    >
     

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