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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new HDD, and I'm going to install Windows XP Pro on it, and then turn it into my HTPC.


Given that there are so many flakey drivers and programs I will be dealing with, I'm wondering if it is advisable to create two partitions on my HDD: one for WinXP only and the other for everything else. That way if I screw up my XP install (which I have done before), I can just reformat that partition and reinstall XP, right?
 

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Phoner,


Thats the way I prefer to do it. I can't tell you how many times I have reformatted my primary partition and reinstalled Windows (98, 98SE, ME, XP Pro, XP Home). Haven't lost any data (I keep a mirrored data drive in an external USB 2.0 enclosure) yet.


One suggestion: Once you get your Windows XP set up how you like, and before you experiment, back up the partition with a utility like Norton Ghost, so if something goes wrong (it almost always does!) you can just restore the partition and not have to reload Windows and all the security updates...
 

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Been there, done that.

I finally got smart after my second re-install and created two partitions as you're asking about. Although you will have to re-install your programs, I just keep my set-up downloads in a seperate folder on the second partition and can re-install the programs from there.

The great advantage is that you will not lose your files when you re-install Windows.

You could actually do an image of your O/S onto the second partition and just re-install from there with all settings and programs intact. But that requires enough extra space on the second partition and diligently keeping the mirror up-to-date. I actually have the mirror on a third partition used for that purpose only.

Interestingly enough, since then I haven't had to re-install but there is the peace of mind in knowing that I can with ease.





:)
 

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To anyone in this thread, what has happened when you put XP on your hard drive? When you put XP on, was it an upgrade over an existing OS or a clean install? I believe there are numerous articles in regular computer related periodicals that address this. They all had one thing in common, not to install over an existing OS. Rather save all data if you can, format hard drive and do clean install.
 

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My current HTPC:


4 partitions:

WinXP Movies

WinXP Music

WinXP Test (I mess with this one and leave the working ones alone)

Data


This way I can experiment with different drivers, processing apps etc and not worry about messing up my good working partitions. I store data for all WinXP installs in the same place so if I have a major problem I dont loose any data.


I rename the individual installs so they're easy for others to figure out. My machine times out and defaults to the Movie setup after about a minute. The WAF is very important......


Paul, all of these are fresh installs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the input!


If I partition my HDD into, say, a C: and a D: drive, can I install only Win XP onto the C: and everything else (including other programs) onto the D: drive?


And if I can do that, do I still have to reinstall my programs if I start fresh with WinXP on the C:?


If I can't do this, then does it really matter if I install on a separate partition? Instead, when I want a fresh start, I could just boot with my WinXP CD and create a new partition and install WinXP on that, then move over my data and wipe the original partition, right?
 

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cdrakejr - how much space did you leave for your image partition? I think I want to do the same thing - image the basic OS install - but I am looking for ideas on which software (hopefully free) to use also. Any thoughts based on your experience?


Thanks in advance,

RDaneel
 

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I make three partitions in the following order on the drive:


C: (windows)

T: (temporary, usually 2gb)

D: (applications, data)


I move the web browser cache and the system paging file to T:, so they don't fragment my other partitions. I will usually edit the registry entry for temporary files to default to T: as well. I change the drive letters around so that T: is the middle partition, to keep it closer to the beginning of the drive, where the data transfer rate is faster. All my applications, and my documents, reside on D:.


- Chris
 

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I partition my drive into an OS partition and a data partition. I install XP and all programs into the OS partition. I put data files/MPEG files etc. on partition 2.


Then, I use DriveImage and before/after any change, I save images of my OS partition on partition 2. I make lots of images. Sometimes, I need to go back 3 image files and I can do that easily. No need to reinstall software etc. Every week, I copy one of the image files onto CD-ROM (DriveImage can break files into 650MB chunks). That way, I can recover from hard drive crashes or damaged partition 2.


If something happens, I can boot off CD, run DriveImage and restore an image from Partition 2 onto the OS partition.


Works great and at any point, you can go back days, weeks, months and try something out. A backup/restore takes about 3-4 minutes.


I turn off the swap file (as I have 512MB+ of memory) and I turn off System Restore (as that adds a lot of backup files). DriveImage has an explorer that allows you to go into an image file and restore any files you desire.
 
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