Of partions, two hard disks, backups & upgrades...

  Epirb406 20:28 17 Feb 04

Hi all,

During my last upgrades I put in two 80 gig hard disks , more out of curiosity than anything else.

At that stage I read up on vsarious partioning startegies and thought I'd got it right.

HDD 1: C: Windows only (ME)
E: My documents, program files, and applications

HDD 2: D: Currently free.
F: Backup
G: My Music

The idea was that if windows died or I wanted a fresh install I could do so with no probs. As I am just about to change the motherboard and graphics card I guess this would be a good opportunity to do so, but...

Will this not cause all sorts of problems with the applications, Paint shop, photoediting, word, excel, not to mention a few that have insisted on installing in a program files directory on C: Or will it just be an unlikely case of creating new shortcuts.

Thought I was being smart when I did it, have I shot myself in the foot?

Thanks for your patients (!) folks, Epirb.

If I format C: and do a clean install with

  Epirb406 21:28 17 Feb 04

I'm making something out of nothing,

Can I just stick the hard drives in the new motherboard and hope all is well??


  leo49 23:10 17 Feb 04

As you rightly suspect it's not as simple as installing the OS because you'll be destroying all the registry entries for your programs and the various files and folders they've placed on your Windows partition.Frankly I wouldn't even try and repair it but scrap the whole thing and make a fresh start.

  temp003 03:07 18 Feb 04

You can always try to stick the old hdd in and see if Windows ME loads and works properly.

But with a new motherboard, unless the hardware components happen to be similar to the old motherboard (like same or similar chipsets, similar disk controllers etc), you should do a format and reinstall of Windows, or at least do a repair installation (installing over the top of existing Windows without formatting, then you must reapply Windows updates. This way you can keep existing registry entries re programs installed, and any data on the C drive). Up to you. If your ME installation is fairly old, have a fresh start.

After a format and reinstall of Windows, whether a program installed on a separate partition will work properly depends on the program itself.

Some programs, although they appear to have to be "installed", are stand-alone programs, i.e. all you need is the .exe file which has been copied to the computer and open it. Any other files they need are probably already in the same subfolder. For these, you can just double click the .exe file or re-create a shortcut on the desktop or Start Menu.

As leo49 explains, others, usually the bigger programs, are integrated into the registry and Windows itself. I suspect Office applications fall into this category. They may still work to some extent, but you're likely to get annoying prompts or error messages. There's no way applications like Norton's utilities, are going to work.

That's why I've never felt the need to have programs installed to a separate partition. Unlike personal documents or other data, the program is either on a CD or can be downloaded again (I usually keep the original download on my data partition). No particular need to keep the installed program "safe" from the Windows partition.

Other than that, there's nothing wrong with your partitioning or strategy.

Just remember that there may still be files you need to keep on the C drive, such as your email (unless you've moved the email store directory).

  Epirb406 20:40 18 Feb 04

Looks like, as I feared it is a reinstall job.

Perhaps I should take this opportunity to grasp the XP nettle, though I was thinking of going back to 98se from ME....

Thanks for taking the time,


  R4 20:57 18 Feb 04

Re << Will this not cause all sorts of problems with the applications, Paint shop, photoediting, word, excel, not to mention a few that have insisted on installing in a program files directory on C: Or will it just be an unlikely case of creating new shortcuts >>

Most applications will allow you to 'Custom' Install to any drive/directory you like:

I have Paintshop pro & Photsuite etc. in 'Graphics'folder.. .. MS Office & Corel Office in 'Office Apps' Folder and they work Fine.

  SimonC 21:48 18 Feb 04

Just a contribution mate, why do u view XP as 'grasping the nettle'?. Trust me (and many other users in this forum XP is a truly incredible OS, can no longer imagine life without the stability of XP and I've almost forgotten wot BSOD looks like.

All the best mate


  explicitlyrics100 21:53 18 Feb 04

simonC has a good point, I havnt seen a bsod in ages (apart from on a pc i built myself that had some dead components - but its all fixed now) Xp very rarely crashes, it is user friendly and makes it impossible to go back after it

  Taran 22:11 18 Feb 04

If you aren't changing anything but the motherboard I'd run a data backup prior to changing it then just plug the drives in and boot up to see if it will run. You may get away with just installing updated chipset and IDE controller drivers, which should be on a CDROM that came with the mainboard.

As long as your data is safe, that's the most imoprtant thing.

Before doing anything though, make 110% certain you have the devices drivers for ALL of your hardware - modem, sound and graphics cards, network cards and so on.

You can store them on one of your spare partitions and I'd also suggest copying the setup files for Windows from your Windows CD onto the same partition. If you have to reinstall Windows it runs far faster if the setup files are on the hard drive to begin with since data transfer is so much faster reading from IDE had drive than when reading from CDROM. Copy the win9x folder from your Windows ME CD to the hard drive partition you want to use - the win9x folder contains all the setup files for Windows ME.

You can run the Windows setup by booting from your startup floppy disk and typing the path to the setup files, like this:


I'd agree that nothng compares to Windows XP but if you are a happy WinME user there is nothing wrong with that. I still have one system running Windows 98, 98SE and ME on different partitions, two Windows 2000 systems and the rest run XP.

So, to cut back to the chase, you may get away with only having to install some new chipset, IDE, possibly USB controller and maybe even an AGP slot driver. If you plan on changing your graphics and/or soundcard you can still do thsi without running a clean install but it's reaching the stage where I'd run a clean install anyway to start from a level pitch.

Data and drivers are your two most important considerations though.



  Epirb406 21:04 19 Feb 04

After all these comments I reckon I will, start afresh, and go for XP, hell I can always go back if I want and I shall be a tightwad, keep the XP disks for me and me dad can have the ME one!

So I reckon to make the last job with this set up to format both the drives with the OS and Program files and start again.

Don't think I shall insist on the program files being separate again! Will also copy set up disks to a partition with some space.

Just to make the point that the reason I am shy of a reinstall is mostly the updates for Windows, IE6, Outlook Express, Virus program, Media Player, Jet Audio, etc etc etc, and my measely dialup connection which goes so slowwwwwww!

Thanks for your thoughts folks,

Cheers, Epirb.

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