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Show ALL Forums  > Technology/Computers  > Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?      Home login  
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 1
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Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?Page 1 of 1    
I've been having trouble with my computer lately.
Microsoft updates wont download. I cant get much help from any source, even the Microsoft help center.
The sound settings wont stay, I'm constantly resetting the volume.
The computer has trouble coming out of hibernate or rebooting all together. It's starting to take 3 or4 tries to get it to reboot.

I'm thinking of doing a complete reload of Windows XP from the original disk.
Has anyone ever tried doing this and can give me suggestions ?
I've gotten instructions from the internet and it seems pretty easy, but what are the risks and would that solve my problems ?
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 2
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Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/1/2012 4:56:28 AM
You mean reformat it?

Well the risk are you will lose all of your personal stuff if you don't back it up first like pictures, music, videos, programs, hardware drivers etc...

So make sure you back up those things on a protable hard drive, before reformatting it. Other then that it will fix all of your porblems you are having with windows because it will erase the old copy off the hard drive and put a fresh copy back on it.
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 3
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Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/1/2012 5:31:41 AM
Whether it will solve your problems or not, will depend upon whether your problems are being caused by software.

It's possible that some of them are being caused by hardware problems.

Try a couple of other things first, only because the restoration to where you are process after a wipe and reload is a pain (as is mentioned above).

1. with the power off and the battery removed, reseat your memory modules. Sometimes they will either some loose from vibration over time, or will have contact problems, and a reseat (take them out, wipe the edges off with alcohol and then put them back in) will make them have good contact again.

2. Go through your files, and delete anything you are done with altogether, and offload things like pictures you want to keep, onto CD's or DVD's, to free up space on your hard drive. Then use the Disk Defragmenter program in System Tools, to defrag the drive. That will speed things up a little, and reduce some hiccups that can occur just because the timing of finding bits of files messes up the flow of a program.

3. Go through each program you have, and all the associated add ons (Adobe Reader, Quicktime, etc), and download and install any updates for them. Make sure your web browsers are up to date the same way.

4. Run a spyware cleanup program, like Spybot or Adaware, to clear out any internet nasties. In addition to slowing down your online experience, those little buggers can also cause problems to show up in the sound portion of other programs, among other problems.

If none of that helps, then you could still have some hardware problems. Check your Hard Drive first. Here's a link with a how-to for XP:

If you find your hard drive does have defects, then a reinstall of XP will help, but might be only temporary, since a hard drive that has shown SOME deterioration, might well CONTINUE to deteriorate. So if that process does find a lot of problems, then replacing the hard drive and installing XP on the new one will be a good idea.

Actually, if you can afford it, getting a new drive and keeping the old one as it is, would allow you both to see if the refresh was what you needed (WITHOUT losing any of your data), and then you can hook up the old drive using a USB adapter, and drag and drop your files from it. If a new drive with fresh XP does NOT fix the problems, then you will know that you have hardware troubles. Having a spare hard drive is often very handy, and since hard drive prices are relatively low, not all that painful to do.

One last thing: if you decide to dive in and do the reformat and reinstall, be sure in addition to backing up all your files, to make a copy of your bookmarks file. Nothing is more depressing for me in these days of "everything's on the Net" than to find I have to start all over again, locating all my favorite websites.
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 4
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Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/1/2012 10:13:14 AM
I found a technique on the internet where you can do an XP reinstall which will not erase your programs. It will replace a corrupted XP with the original and return your XP to it's beginning factory state.
However, you do have to re download all the old updates along with sp1, sp2, and sp3.

I'm wondering if anyone's ever tried this.
Joined: 6/9/2010
Msg: 5
Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/1/2012 11:36:06 PM
Do not reformat, run defrag or chkdisk, or re-install the OS until you have answered these -
Unanswered questions:
1) Does the system lock up after a specific amount of time from when it was turned on?
2) Does the system lock up while giving a loud, continual tone from your speakers?
3) Have you ever seen the "blue screen of death" telling you of a system error that has halted the system.
4) If so - how often is it happening?
5) When booting unsuccessfully, can you tell if the hard drive seems to be "seeking" continually until you kill the power?
6) What brand and what age is your system and have you ever updated the motherboard and/or microprocessor?
6a) I'm going to make a wild guess and say that it's an eMachine ... yes?

If you answered yes to any one of these questions your problems most likely are not software problems, and re-installing XP will only erase your user files and data and will not fix the glitch. There are solutions to hardware problems but you have to narrow it down, first.

... my money is on a hardware problem. (and specifically one that is heat related)
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 6
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Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/2/2012 1:19:19 AM
I'm using an old Dell 2400 with XP home and sp3.
The only hardware I've put in is a 1 gig Ram stick about a year ago, making it 1.25 gig Ram.
It has locked up before but not regularly after a specific amount of time. I've never gotten a tone from the speakers.
I've never gotten the blue screen or a system error message.

I do a defrag pretty regularly every few weeks.
I run about 4 different free scanning programs on a rotation and scan for viruses and the registry at least every day.
I use Avast, CCleaner, Slim Cleaner, and MyTurboPC. I also use Comodo Firewall.

I get that " seeking " sound occasionaly, expecialy when it reboots after doing a scan.
It simply wont come out of hibernate. It always goes to the black F2, F12 screen. I've found that F2 and F12 aren't any good. I restart and punch F8, then select 2nd option, " Disreguard ( whatever ) " , " Boot normaly " wont work.
I have done the Alt-E, Alt-F, Alt-B trick and that works for a while.
I have done a chkdisk " scannow ", but that wasn't any good.

It's amazing how much you learn about computers when stuff goes wrong.
I'm afraid I may need a new hard drive but I'd like to eleminate all the software possibilites first.
Joined: 6/9/2010
Msg: 7
Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/2/2012 9:45:35 AM
Yep, ... I concur with Cowboy on this one.

My questions above are symptoms of heat problems either with the graphics board, sound board, or main processor, and all will lock up the computer - especially an eMachine. The continual seeking of the hard drive is a symptom of several problems with the drive, but all are caused by overheating and it always ends badly.

Follow Cowboy's advice and switch out your hard drive. The sooner the better! Once the new drive is up and running you can plug in the old drive and transfer whatever data you need from it.

If you can determine where the bad sectors are on the drive and know how, you can change the sector data in the Master Boot Record to exclude that portion of the drive, reformat, and use the drive as a secondary data storage. The procedure needs a DOS operating utility program or from a Windows based utility once you have your OS on the new disk. I wouldn't trust the drive for valuable data storage if you don't do this - chkdisk is only a temporary cure for a drive in the process of eating itself.

Actually Microsoft's chkdisk can cause further damage to a drive with bad / damaged media (magnetic film) because it will keep scanning the same area of the disk - over and over again causing further physical damage. I tested this on an older drive with about 10% known bad sectors or damaged media. By running chkdisk on it repeatedly, it was down to about 90% bad sectors before I stopped testing.
Joined: 6/9/2010
Msg: 8
Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/2/2012 10:31:37 AM
This is not a cure but a matter of curiosity on my part and a trouble shooting step to further narrow down where the problem is on the drive.

If you turn off "virtual memory" in Windows System Performance does the problem persist?

If not then the bad sectors on the drive are located where XP is writing the virtual memory and would explain a lot why it may not come out of sleep mode. Unfortunately this is usually located somewhere in the middle sectors of the partition and the only way to exclude them in a reformat is to put 2 boot sector locations in the MBR that are outside of the damaged area. This is not (exactly) the same thing as creating a logical partition, but makes two drives out of one.

Anyway - just curious.

Two opinions agree - get a new hard drive - quickly!
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 9
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Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/2/2012 8:15:35 PM
Well it looks like I'll be getting a new hard drive.
I've been looking up the instructions for installing one and it seems a pretty easy thing to do.

I'm thinking, the best way would be to install the new one as a second drive and clone everything to the new drive.
Then take out the old drive and replace it with the new one since the old drive is defective anyway.
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 10
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Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/3/2012 6:40:07 PM
The clone idea isn't going to work.
I took a look inside the computer and the Dell 2400 has no place to put a 2nd. hard drive. So that means I'll have to back up everything and reload it onto a new hard drive, replacing the old one.

Replacing the hard drive seems to be a simple operation. The drive is secured in a metal bracket which must be unscrewed from the frame. Then unplug it, plug the new one in, and screw the bracket back in.

I'm also going to replace the power supply from a 250 watt, to 400 watt.
I've read that a higher power supply will make the machine run cooler especially when upping hardware. Too much heat may be a lot of my problem to begin with.
Replacing the power supply is also a very easy thing. Simply unscrew the bracket in front of the fan, take the fan and the power supply out, unplug the old one and plug in the new one, and put it all back in.
Joined: 6/9/2010
Msg: 11
Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/4/2012 10:52:56 AM
In your original post you stated that you have the original XP install disks - If that's the case here's one alternative to cloning;

*Swap out the old hard drive
*Clean Install XP on the new hard drive (with the old drive unplugged) and get it set up how you prefer.
*Now plug in the old hard drive as Cowboy describes (cardboard prevents the metal case of the loose drive from shorting out the mother board - If the ribbon cable is long enough or you have an extension I would leave the drive outside the computer enclosure. I have found that a small desk fan blowing across the drive will help . Not always but if part of it's problem is over heating this will help it long enough to transfer data)
*At boot time, enter the Dell System setup (F2 on many older Dell systems) and make sure the Dell system setup recognizes the old drive as a "slave" secondary drive.
*You MAY experience the same difficulties booting the system while the problem drive is plugged in. OR the new XP may run, recognize the old drive but not "mount" the drive if the boot sector is un-readable. You might be able to run "diskmgr" and attempt to mount the drive from there.
*At boot time you may be asked which OS you wish to run - this happens if you have more than one install of Windows, which at this point you would. Also happens when you have a "clone" OS on an active drive.
*Create a new folder in the new OS and transfer all the data you need to that folder. This is to get the data off the old drive as quickly as possible.
*Re-install the programs you use - hopefully you have records of any activation keys you may have purchased.

@Cowboy I use Bootmaster NTFS Recovery ( to work with ailing NTFS drives. It runs in NewDOS (or DOS 6.# or later) from a diskette or CD, has a deleted file recovery utility and several utilities for locating and recovering corrupt boot sectors , or manually creating new boot sectors. You can manually enter boot sectors in the MBR (but this is definitely not for the uninitiated) This is similar to using FDisk but it gives you "finer" control over number of sectors and their locations on the drive which allows you to exclude large portions of the drive. If you are a professional tech I highly recommend this software. I have recovered completely "dead" drives with this program - even on Dells and eMachines with factory install partitions (hidden "Restore Partition") that refused to install on a corrupt disk.
Joined: 11/29/2012
Msg: 12
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Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 12/11/2012 1:04:27 PM
The hard drive mounting, unless someone else was in the computer 90%of all Dell Dimension 2400 computers come with dual hard drive mounting brackets stacked on each other mounted to the fron of the case. I have never had an issue putting an off the shelf power supply in any dell computer except when it came to where the power cord plugged in on the taller dells. the standard dimension 2400 case will take any standard atx power supply.
Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?
Posted: 1/18/2013 8:32:58 AM
I have to agree with *Cowboy* that this might be a good time to upgrade to Windows 7. I was reluctant to do so, I only upgraded to XP from 98, 5 years ago. But I am finding more & more things that XP just doesn't work well with & that problem is only going to get worse. And if you have DVD burner, that might be a faster & easier way to backup, rather than hooing the old hard drive up. If you don't have a good DVD burner program, there are plenty of free ones out there. Also many companies give you a 15 (or 30) day free trail, to check out their newest software.
Show ALL Forums  > Technology/Computers  > Anyone ever tried a Windows XP reload ?