Thanks Thanks:  3
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Computer O/S upgrade

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Posts
    118

    Default Computer O/S upgrade

    When it comes to computers, I'm not all that clued up so please be patient... My home computer is running Windows XP Home Edition. It has been updated with all the updates and service packs and has been running Ok for about 5 years but has gradually been getting slower and slower and now some usually reliable applications (GSAK and MemoryMap to name but two) are starting to show problems. I would like to 'clean it out' and start again. I've been given a new and unused copy of Windows XP Professional Edition. The package is still sealed and it has all the hologram stickers and stuff and looks perfectly genuine although it says that it should only be supplied with a new computer.
    Question 1... If I just put the CD (DVD?) in the DVD drive, will it start up and install the new O/S without me having to un-install the current system first?
    Question 2... Would it be better to reformat the hard drive first?
    Question 3... If I do reformat the hard drive, will I lose the drivers for the DVD drive and end up not being able to read the new disk?

    Thanks for any help offered and if I've missed the plot completely, please don't laugh
    John
    John
    Age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    99

    Default

    these are my best guess answers, although if they were complete guesses, I wouldn't have bothered posting!

    1) It would probably happily install over the top (effectively an upgrade)

    2) I would very much recommend this option - its much cleaner and gives you a chance to clear out the old software that you've installed over the years and don't use any more!

    3) Should do - Most new O/S would be installed from scratch this way.

    However, as always, the word of the day is backup!

    Things to be aware of before reformatting the hard drive. Obviously, personal data needs to be backed up. If you have a separate partition on the hard drive, then you can back up to this and only format the c:/ part - I usually do this but it carries a very slight risk.

    You will want to consider backing up e-mails, favourites, and other things like that that get forgotten. I would also look through all your installed software, see what you use, and make sure you have the Cds, DVDs or downloaded files to re-install them. Also make sure youo have copies of any registration codes that may have been e-mailed to you.

    Hope thats a bit helpful!

    You're other option, which may actually be the easiest, is to purchase a new hard drive and install windows on that - no nasty formatting of the old one until you know you have the new system working. They're pretty cheap these days!

    Good luck!

    Dave

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    322

    Default

    I had the same issue with slow down etc a while ago.

    It is probably more to do with carp filling your computer than xp itself.

    I dowloaded spy bot search and destroy

    http://www.spybot.com/en/index.html

    This besides having a great antispyware system also has and advanced menu.

    In this there is a whats running on startup section.

    As you go throught the list of what runs when your pc starts up it tells you what they are and if you actually need them to run on start up.

    It's probably worth doing this before reformatting stuff.

    If you do format the hard drive you will need to reinstall mother board drivers etc, the pc will boot from a cd rom if hard drive stuff is unavailable.

    Also of note is that spybot can immunize your pc against many common threats its a usefull little program.

    Any time i notice my pc slowing down i check the stratup program list first as windows has a habit of reactivating some when it "updates" itself.
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

  4. #4

    Default

    I agree with markandlynn, but would also add


    • check how much free space you have on your hard drives, & delete any carp you don't need.
    • defrag your hard drives (In Windows Explorer right click the drive, choose properties, then the tools tab, then defragmentation).
    • consider increasing the virtual memory size if you've got enough disk space.

    If you do go for the reinstall option you'll need to reinstall GSAK etc so you'll need to have the registration code to hand.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Posts
    118

    Default

    Thanks for your replies. I've done all the usual stuff... virus checks, anti-spy-ware, clearing out temporary files and orphaned registry keys, defragging... etc. but most of the problems remain. I regularly back-up all my important stuff to an external USB hard drive and keep hard copies of software registration details. I suspect I'll be in for a traumatic couple of day re-building the PC sometime over the Christmas holiday.
    John
    Age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.

  6. #6
    VladD Guest

    Default

    Hi John,

    you probably would do better formatting and reinstalling completely, though drivers shouldn't be terribly hard to come by, and you shouldn't worry too much about dvd drivers - if you can boot from the dvd (check first by placing the dvd in the drive and rebooting) then you should be okay - there's an option to format the disk in the install menu that you should be able to reach when booting from the dvd.

    Do make sure that you get all your irreplacable files off before formatting, naturally, and perhaps check using a spare hard-drive whether that OEM copy of windows will work on your machine. I've suggestions that might make it work, but I'm not sure this forum's the place. PM me if you get stuck.

    Good luck.

    Vlad.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Oxford soon to be Bristol
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Can I recommend that you go and buy yourself a new hard drive. They are pretty cheep these days, and it will mean that you can rebuild your PC and keep all of your old data etc safe on your old hard drive. Once you are confident that you have retrieved everything you can then reformat it to give yourself more storage space, I would wait several weeks though.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Surrey, near Heathrow
    Posts
    143

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Phillimore Clan View Post
    Can I recommend that you go and buy yourself a new hard drive. They are pretty cheep these days, and it will mean that you can rebuild your PC and keep all of your old data etc safe on your old hard drive. Once you are confident that you have retrieved everything you can then reformat it to give yourself more storage space, I would wait several weeks though.
    I'm not trying to be picky here, but I find this rather alarming. Surely you don't have to wait for weeks before reformatting the old disk, because all your data will be on your backups?

    Everyone does have backups, don't they? And I mean multiple layers of backup, not just a single copy that is overwritten each time by the next backup? And they do test the backups to make sure the data really is there, and recoverable?

    If you don't have a backup, sooner or later you WILL lose all your data. This is not an IF or a MAY, it's a dead certainty. Either your hard disk will malfunction, or it will become corrupted due to external problems. It WILL.

    Obviously the amount of time that will elapse between such occurrences is variable, but if you want an average ball park figure, lets say every 5 years. That's not a long time. If you don't store your data somewhere else too, you will lose all your data every 5 years.

    So when you come to do an upgrade you just make certain your backups are right up to date. If you're insufficiently confident in your backup mechanism to want to rely on it to restore your system after a planned upgrade, then it's not good enough to rely on to recover after a breakdown. You need to get that sorted out NOW, whether you plan an upgrade or not.

    To return to the bit about multiple levels of backup, in case anyone didn't understand what I meant, I'll expand on it a bit. It's quite possible for your data to become accidentally deleted or corrupted without you realising it. Maybe you use a file only once a year - you may not find out about it for quite a long time. If you run a one level backup, then over-writing your one backup with another one means your backup is corrupted in just the same way as the primary system. Furthermore, if the failure occurs during the backup, you might also be screwed. To guard against this you need to keep multiple levels.

    Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but it is a "public service rant" . I'm a programmer, and often get asked to help recover data by friends and family. Sometimes, with a lot of work, you can get some back. Often you can't, not at a realistic price anyway. My sister came close to topping my youngest nephew when he lost ALL the family photos for about 8 years, including those of the birth of her grandchild.

    So don't wait until the upgrade, get the data off the machine NOW .

    Rgds, Andy

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    99

    Default

    I'm not sure Phillimores were suggesting that BackUps weren't essential!

    I'm a little slack in my backups, but for me the most important things to backup are photos - everything else wouldn't be catastrophic! I also store ALL my data on a separate partition, which means I can format and reinstall an operating system without much fear (and have done many times!)

    However, although many people will back up the obvious data, some things get missed, and it is this stuff that would be useful to have the old drive around for - waiting until it comes to light!

    For example, how many people forget to backup their e-mails, e-mail address book, favourites folder, etc, all of which is buried deep in a windows system folder, and all of which would be very annoying to lose!

    Not disagreeing with Andy here, merely pointing out that not everyone remembers to back up everything! I forgot to backup the saved progress in Championship Manager once, which annoyed me somewhat!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Surrey, near Heathrow
    Posts
    143

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Gerrie View Post
    However, although many people will back up the obvious data, some things get missed, and it is this stuff that would be useful to have the old drive around for - waiting until it comes to light!

    For example, how many people forget to backup their e-mails, e-mail address book, favourites folder, etc, all of which is buried deep in a windows system folder, and all of which would be very annoying to lose!

    Not disagreeing with Andy here, merely pointing out that not everyone remembers to back up everything! I forgot to backup the saved progress in Championship Manager once, which annoyed me somewhat!
    But Dave, that's really the point of what I was saying. If your backup isn't good enough to handle restoring after a planned upgrade, it's not good enough for restoring after an emergency.

    At some point you WILL have need of an emergency restore. Getting the backup right covers both eventualities, so it's more important to get your backup right than it is to keep the old disk. Consider - everything you HAVE to recover from the old disk is data you WOULD have lost had it been an unexpected failure.

    The amount of effort you put into it should of course be commensurate with how much the data means to you. I put a lot of effort into backup because it's my work and my customer's data as well as my own personal data. I back up EVERYTHING, many generations alternating on physically separate offline magnetic media, and even more generations on write once optical media. Everything important is duplicated at separate sites. Not everyone requires that level, but for most people it really is worth putting some effort into getting it right, otherwise at some point, sooner or later, it WILL be too late.

    Rgds, Andy

  11. #11
    molfrew-mosstoad Guest

    Default

    Talking of backing up I was put onto http://allwaysync.com/ recently it seems to work really well as you can set folder/drives to backup to a 2nd HDD (or wherever) automatically therefore you dont forget to back up (as I do!)

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Surrey, near Heathrow
    Posts
    143

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by molfrew-mosstoad View Post
    Talking of backing up I was put onto http://allwaysync.com/ recently it seems to work really well as you can set folder/drives to backup to a 2nd HDD (or wherever) automatically therefore you dont forget to back up (as I do!)
    Better than nothing at all, but be aware that is not a backup program, it's a replicator program. If you accidentally delete an important file, it's disappears from the synchronised copy too. That's not normally what you want from a backup.

    Rgds, Andy

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Nr Pershore, Worcs
    Posts
    93

    Default

    Any suggestions on easy to use back-up prog's would be appreciated.

    Are USB connected HD's ok for this? I seem to remember XP is a bit iffy if a second HD is installed after the original computer build, or did I dream it......

    Cheers, H

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by L8HNB View Post
    Any suggestions on easy to use back-up prog's would be appreciated.

    Are USB connected HD's ok for this? I seem to remember XP is a bit iffy if a second HD is installed after the original computer build, or did I dream it......

    Cheers, H

    Yes USB HDs are fine for backups, I bought a Freecom 500GB USB disk a year or so ago and it came with it's own backup software, I think that's fairly common with USB hard drives as it's what a lot of people use them for so check the content list on the box. I can't vouch for the Freecom S/W as I don't use it but I think that you can set it up so that every time you plug the disk in the software recognises it and starts your backup automatically.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Surrey, near Heathrow
    Posts
    143

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by L8HNB View Post
    Any suggestions on easy to use back-up prog's would be appreciated.

    Are USB connected HD's ok for this? I seem to remember XP is a bit iffy if a second HD is installed after the original computer build, or did I dream it......

    Cheers, H
    USB HDs are pretty good, albeit with some weaknesses. I've got 2 of them, each of 1Tb capacity, part of a backup strategy. One advantage is that you can back up to them and then turn them off, which means the data is probably a bit safer than if it is online all the time. All the time it's online there's always a chance that something will nobble it.

    I use a program called SnapShot which backs up the entire hard disk in the background - after you've kicked it off you can work on the machine, but the backup reflects the state of the machine at the time the backup commenced. So best to close down active programs just while you start it up. There are other programs that work on the same principle, but SnapShot is perfect for me because it's a tiny program that does all I need and nothing more. It's got 3 buttons - backup, restore, and mount the backup as a virtual disk. It costs peanuts to register.

    I always do 100% backups, though I would never try to do a 100% restore. What I mean by that is at any point where I suffered a system failure forcing a reinstall, I would always take the opportunity to clean up the system with a fresh install to get rid of the crud, rather than restoring the crud from an image. But the 100% backup ensures I don't forget to back anything up, e.g. see Dave's message.

    I have multiple dated copies and overwrite them in a way that means I have one that's a week old, one a month old, one 3 months old, one a year old and so on.

    The main reason why they aren't perfect on their own is that they have a finite capacity, i.e. sooner or later you have to overwrite an old backup. It has been known for me to have to go back 10 years to find a file I needed, and the USB hard drive would likely not be much good for that.

    So in addition, I selectively back up data to write once DVD, but as there is only room for 4.7Gb per disk I have different strategies for data that remains essentially constant but is added to, like photos or MP3s, and data that is dynamic.

    Of course, optical media doesn't last forever. There is a very strong possibility, however, that it will outlast me . You youngsters might have to think of something else.

    Rgds, Andy

Posting Permissions

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