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dismaldonkey

Problems with computer

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I have just been given a laptop by a friend. The laptop is loaded with both Windows XP and 2000 server (don't know why). When I look at the disk management it also seems that the hard drive is partitioned, with the two OS in a partition of roughly 10gb and 30gb of unallocated space sitting empty.

 

How can I just delete the whole damn structure and start again with one OS and no partition? I have formated drives before to reload windows, etc, but never on a laptop, and I have never played around with partitions. The laptop has no floppy A drive. Is it possible to delete the whole thing and then simply reload from the windows xp disk? Will the laptop even recognise the cd rom? How do I delete everything?

 

Cheers

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Did the laptop come with one of those Recover CDs?

If so, then it's a matter of throwing it in, navigating to the Drive and double-clicking setup.exe

It should give you an option to format the drive, then it will install the OS

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Hey Dismaldonkey,

 

We haven't chatted in awhile. How's that font site doing (that you bought from Padawan)? You know, I'm still jealous over your simply-graphics.com website, I think it rocks!

 

I would suggest that you get a Mac...they're so much easier to setup, install and maintain. (But I guess that suggestion wouldn't help you out too much right now, would it? :) ) Even though I'm a solid Mac techie, I've had my share of PC problems with my Athlon +2200. I found a few sites that might help you out with step by step installation instructions (including partitioning hard drives).

 

RADIFIED Windows XP Installation Guide

http://windows.radified.com/

 

Windowsreinstall.com

http://www.windowsxpprofessional.windowsreinstall.com/

 

Both are pretty good sites, pretty straightforward information on getting your system installed.

 

Windowsreinstall.com has screenshots which visually guide you through your installation, and they offer installations based on different scenarios (brand new install, install over old OS, upgrade install, etc.) The site also offers many other install guides and checklists, along with links to great informative articles re: computer components, checklists, procedures, etc.

 

RADIFIED.com has a good guide too. Their installation seems more personal; the person who wrote the guide adds their own little tips and links (I guess they're tips he/she found useful in their own installs) and seems that a few people added their two cents to the document. Another good thing is that the guide is available as a downloadable PDF document. So you can print it and read at your leisure instead of being tied to another computer screen.

 

--

 

My own two cents: Your laptop was partitioned into two areas probably for the reason that the owner wanted to run two separate operating systems (Windows XP for everyday stuff and Windows 2000, which is a commercial server software, and more reliable than XP, from what I hear.)

 

If I'm not mistaken, when installing Windows XP from original CDs, at one point in the installation a window will show you the available partitions on your hard drive. From this window you should be able to delete partitions and reformat the complete drive in NTFS format. Or you could repartition the hard drive into two areas (one formatted for FAT32 for DOS applications and the other NTFS for Windows XP).

 

I hope this info helps you out. Like I said, I'm more into Macs, so if anyone else on the forum has some insight on this, please post away!

 

Dave

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First, what OS was originally on the LT? Be care not to go through this process, attempt to load XP only to find out that it was not a legal/registered copy. If it was an upgrade copy, you won't be able to dump and build up from scratch either...

 

... do you have a really big magnet? Just Kidding!!

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That's a good point WR! Always make sure you have a working install CD before you start wiping out hard drives. If you've got an original Windows XP install CD (not upgrade) you should be sailing.

 

Also, some computers (Dell, Compaq, etc.) come with customized OEM versions of Windows XP. If you already have one of these CDs from another system, do not assume that they will work on ALL computers because it's an original Windows CD. They are usually customized to work only on the type of system they shipped with. (You could try using them to install, but do so at your own risk...BACKUP FIRST if you can.)

 

Also, as a general note to EVERYONE: if anyone out there decides to use a hacked/cracked version of Windows XP for installation, please note that Microsoft has cut you out of the loop for system upgrades. You'll probably be stuck at Windows XP SP1 for awhile!

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Also, as a general note to EVERYONE: if anyone out there decides to use a hacked/cracked version of Windows XP for installation, please note that Microsoft has cut you out of the loop for system upgrades. You'll probably be stuck at Windows XP SP1 for awhile!

 

Unless you get a version that's already been upgraded to SP2 (Wooooooohahahahaha 'Dr.Evil laugh') Just kidding... Very good point... you should not use a hacked / cracked version.

 

However if you do have an install cd for an existing Dell and it's going on a dell LT then all you need is the serial on the bottom of the machine to make it work properly.

 

As far as the wiping and re install.... I've done this a few times for clients... If you have Yahoo messenger and can stay online with one machine and message me I'd be happy to walk you through it ;)

 

sublimes_rockstarr on yahoo or x_neo1_x

 

Otherwise... you basically go into your BIOS make sure that your boot sequence is off the cd first... then you can restart f10 or f8 or f12 (depending on the system) when it asks if you'd like to erase the drive I belive it's D then F (don't quote me on that) I'm one of those guys, I've done it a thousand times and can't remember unless it's sitting in front of me :D

 

Basically follow the steps to delete everything....Then I would delete the other partition so that you have all 40G accessable. You might want to leave 2G for a backup (that's what I usually do) Then go through the install processs...Make sure that you have a legit serial before starting this project though... or you're going to get the lsass.exe "system is shutting down in 60 second" problem...

 

L8 M8

 

NeO1

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Thanks for the replies. A couple of points. Yes, I have a legit, full instal Windows xp disk. No problems there. Have checked the BIOS settings, boot sequence is ok.

 

Cheers for the links, Bushman. I will have a look at them in a while.

 

Progress is now this. I have managed to clear off the old OSs, but the hard drive is still partitioned. It is set as the C drive at 10gb and 30gb of "unallocated" space. Via the xp install setup it wont let me adjust the size of space on the c drive. I have set the 30gb of space as an E drive and loaded xp onto this. Loads ok like this, but I still have lost 10gb. (gives me 3x more space at least). What I really want to do is clear the lot off and have one single drive with all the space. It doesn't seem to let me adjust the existing partition size. :frown:

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Actually you're probably better off proceeding as you have it.

 

Having your hard drive split in 2 can increase performance and give an extra layer of protection if something bad happens.

 

I would install Windows on the smaller partition. Then install programs and put data on the other partition.

When installing windows, make sure you format as ntfs, if not already

 

My drive is split into 4

c: Windows

F: Program Files

G: Data

H: Development Server

 

:D

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I think you would have to use the FDISK command to wipe the hard drive clean of partitions and return to one large partition. However, it's a DOS command, and I would usually use the command while booted from a floppy startup disk.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Dave

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I think you would have to use the FDISK command to wipe the hard drive clean of partitions and return to one large partition. However' date=' it's a DOS command, and I would usually use the command while booted from a floppy startup disk.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Dave[/quote']

Normally you do that if you cannot boot with the cd or boot at all.

However, with the Windows cd, during the installation should prompt you for Formatting and erasing partitions

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I think you would have to use the FDISK command to wipe the hard drive clean of partitions and return to one large partition. However' date=' it's a DOS command, and I would usually use the command while booted from a floppy startup disk.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Dave[/quote']

 

Agreed. If I was you I'd just boot off a live CD (I usualy use knoppix) and run fdisk.

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Isn't fdisk for partitioning, not formating ? It's a Win9x utility that has no place in an XP system.

 

I cannot format the drive from within. It will just tell me that I am trying to delete the system drive and it wont allow that. I have done it dozens of time on a pc, but always via a floppy. This laptop has no floppy drive. :mad:

 

Is it possible to do it via cmd.exe or would that still be trying to delete from within?

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If you're really desperate...and I've done it before on 2 desktop PC systems, is you could remove the hard drive from the laptop, install it into your desktop PC system (if you've got the right cable connectors) and wipe it out from there. Since it's not a system disk at that point, you should be able to wipe it out. But you'll really need the proper IDE cables for this to work.

 

Dave

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I would install Windows on the smaller partition. Then install programs and put data on the other partition.

 

Good call. I hadn't thought of that. I just might give it a try.

 

Cheers.

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Fdisk is a UNIX command (maybe DOS as well) which will let you delete all the existing partitions and start fresh.

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1) Dynamic Disk in XP is able to do this type of stuff.. I personally don't like Dynamic disk because it is a POS and when you do a fresh intall of XP the installer screams because it doesn't know what to do with the partition.

 

2) managing my computer in XP is nice coz you can manipulate partitions in the drive management portrion of it. Very handy and powerful too - don't gaff your HDD doing anything in there.

 

I hope this helps

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New problem.

 

I can't seem to get the modem to connect. It looks like it is installed ok. I have the original disk. In the modem properties it says there is no conflict. It wont even attempt to dial a connection though. I get a message telling me something like the modem is trying to use a com port that is being used by another application. How can I find out which? In the device manager it doesn't show any com ports at all though, just the ltp printer port.

 

Could this be a com port problem, a problem with the modem install or something else? It feels like I have tried everything (several times over!)

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It could be as simple as an DMA/IRQ conflict - go to the system setup when the computer boots up and switch it to a different channel. If that doesn't work, I live near Louisville Ky and can send you a really good bat :)

 

Actually, another option if you can't resolve easily is get you an inexpesive USB modem and just go external ...

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It turns out that it wasn't a problem with a partition. The blooming thing has two hard drives!

 

Live and learn...... :rolleyes:

Are you sure about that? It'd be awfully hard to cram 2 hard drives into a laptop. Btw, if you ever need to mess with partitions again use Partition Magic.

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