Minimalising time for XP reinstalls
I came across these forums some time back after a google search regarding some windows tech issue (I forget which - there are so many :) ) - and I came across an interesting solution that Jeffd mentioned (his post led me on the right path to solving the issue of the time if I remember correctly) he did with his windows setup.
Now after yet another laborious session of painful data backup and reinstall of a client's computer the time has come to explore Jeffd's idea.
The idea is to setup Windows XP (pro or home) on one drive (or partition) and setup all Programs, dynamic data (e.g. My Documents, email, preferences) and anything else on a secondary drive (or partition). This has obvious time saving and stressless advantages:
1. If a reformat and reinstall is required - it is minimal as no data backup is required nor the installation and setup of third party programs. Simply reformat the drive, reinstall windows, reboot, make the necessary system changes and reboot one more time - and everything (*fingers crossed*) works as before with all apps, malware scanners, files, prefs, etc.
2. If migrating to a new machine - simply take out the old harddisk(s) and, as in the above point, voila!
3. I have just come across [new user link] (BartPE)- which I have yet to experiment with - it appears a tailored installation per machine can be made - further minimalising the time spent to reinstall & setup.
So Jeffd - if you have the time - could you explain how you do this and if using one drive - what partition size do you recommend (allowing for future proofing) for the system partition?
Thanks in advance . . .
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As time has passed, I am tending to give the root windows partition more and more room. I consider now 40 gigabytes to be a good working minimum. Why so much when windows and the applications only take 10 gig or less? Because windows has absolutely horrible temp file handling, and a lot of windows applications have truly horrible temp file handling, especially multimedia apps, that leave temp files of literally every music or video file they have run in the user temp directory.
Sadly, you can't just delete these temp directory contents, because Windows also allows application authors to place application uninstall log data in these same temp directories, and if you remove those, the application will complain about having no install log present, and the uninstall will often fail.
This is in my opinion one of the technically worst things windows did ie, a temp directory should be just that, and only that, and should clean itself out on shutdown each and every time, as it does in linux (and I assume unix), and configuration and uninstall data should be located somewhere static, other than a temp directory.
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Thanks for that & you won't get any argument from me regarding the "temp" directory - it's obvious that there are people out there that just don't understand English. I am pretty noobish when it comes to linux - but I have been around it for years but have had partners that did all the setups and admining - I only did very basic stuff. Setting up a desktop linux machine has been on my to do list for a long time. Luckily one of my clients is switching from windows to OS X and I will be getting their windows boxes and can set one up finally.
I am on a steep learning curve atm - learning lots of new stuff (php; mysql; css to replace table based layouts - love php includes!; server admin using WHM, Cpanel, DNS, SSL, etc.; my brain hurts!). I esd going to setup up a OS X server on a G4 I have sitting around and install XAMP on it today. But guess what - the C drive on my main windows machine blew up - and it took hours to diagnose - at least with OS X and linux it is pretty easy to identify. So I have temporarily replaced it with an 80 gig drive. I ordered a new Asus p5q Pro MOBO as well for it with an interesting feature "With a fast bootup speed of only 5 seconds, the ASUS Express Gate offers an optional Linux OS bootup that allows you to enjoy instant access to commonly used functions like accessing the Internet, VoIP, and Web emailing without entering the OS."
Anyway I a rambling sorry - age does this - makes you long winded ;) I have partioned the 80gig HD into 2 - approx 40gig each. I have installed XP Home on the C drive and am installing programs on the D drive - in fact anything that allows me to modify the location I direct to the D drive.
So how would you modify windows so Documents and Setting also reside on the D drive? Any other things that you could advise that can be done so that 3rd party material can be independent of the C drive?
In case you don't know, here is a little tip. Don't know if it works on OS X but it has made me appear a god to some clients and other IT people who know far more than me. Open Office can open corrupt MS Office files (that MS Office can't open) and repair them as well - so that MS Office can open them again!
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