Reinstalling Windows XP

  JamDaMan 13:42 04 Aug 04

I m trying to reinstall windows XP because im having problems with. However I have both Windows XP and Windows Me installed on my hard drive and when trying to reintall XP i get the error message saying i can't install XP because i already have more than one operating system. I can't delete Windows ME because that is what i am using to ru setup from, i can delete XXP however. But i don't want to lose the content of folders such as Doccuments and Settings and My Downloads. Someone please point me in the right direction. Thanks

  cga 13:53 04 Aug 04

If you get stuck I will try to help but I rely on my tools (Partition Magic, Bootmagic & Norton Ghost) for my solutions. I am sure that there are more knowledgable posters who can help you with native solutions. If not - I will keep an eye out for this and do my best.

  beeuuem 14:16 04 Aug 04

Running a repair install of Windows XP can be a handy way of fixing the installation of XP without having to start totally over and deleting important data from your PC.

To do this type of install boot from your XP installation CD.

At the welcome screen, choose enter.
Once at the license agreement, press F8.

At the next screen, choose to repair the selected Windows XP installation by pressing R.

The files will begin to install and then your PC will reboot. During the reboot you will be presented with option of booting from the CD again by pressing any key.

DO NOT PRESS ANYTHING! Allow it to finish the install without booting from the CD again.

  cga 20:31 04 Aug 04

I hope the repair install detailed by beeuuem was a help to you. A repair would certainly be easier if you can get it solve your problems.

If you really do need to do a clean install then, in the absence of any other advice, my ramblings may help.

First, you say you have both XP & ME. How do you do boot selection? I am assuming that you let XP set this up and you use its own built in boot selection process. Based on this you will find that the active partition is always the same and a selection is controlled by BOOT.INI. I don't have a mixed system to play with so I cannot tell you which partition it is on. What I can tell you is that, if this does not point to valid partition then XP installation from the CD will not recognise the existing XP system. How do you do this - well, if it is on a NTFS partition - carefully. You will need to boot into XP command mode from your CD to edit/copy/rename this file.

The next thing is that I assume you want to keep your existing XP partition intact to recover the files. Remember you can only have 4 primary (or 3 primary + extended partitions) on a disk. Hopefully you still have one spare and the space. I am not sure what tools you have to mess around with the space.

How would I do it:-

1. Use Partition magic to copy the existing XP partition into an extended partition and format the original partition.

2. Use Norton Ghost to Save images of both the XP partition and the ME partition

3. Install Clean from the CD

4. Create a separate data partition so that you dont have data in your system partition if this happens again.

5. Use Boot Magic to control booting between your two systems (this will involve changing boot.ini to only boot from it's own partition.

The tools I would never be without are :-

1. Partition Magic (worth its weight in gold). I have never tried the free Ranish Partition Manager which is supposed to do the same.

2. Norton Ghost. Take an image backup of a partition. Clone copy images etc.

3. A Windows XP PE (PreInstallation Environment) bootable CD. This allows you boot a freestanding system to edit files on an NTFS partition. Can be done from the XP installation CD but not as conviniently.

Just a few ramblings - hope they help. I am sure someone else can be more concise (and maybe correct me).

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