Satya's blog - Windows XP re-install

Nov 11 2008 20:09 Windows XP re-install

Today I re-installed Windows XP.

The windows box has 2 drives, a 15GB with Windows ME and Windows XP on it, and an 80 GB data drive. The 15GB drive failed. So I booted an Ubuntu Linux live CD to run tests on the drive. It seemed to have read errors, so goodbye.

I used the Live CD to move whatever I could, what little was left, onto the data drive. The data drive had 4 partitions, 20GB each, I emptied one of them and crammed the other ones full. "Move over in the lifeboat, folks."

I tried re-installing XP (which involves inserting the ME disk at one point to prove that no, really, I am entitled to the XP upgrade edition) on the 15GB drive. It took forever to format it, and eventually it hung at the keyboard selection screen. I realised later that this was probably because Windows, for some reason, loses it completely when the keyboard/mouse (PS/2, both) go away and come back. I don't know why.

I think the disk may have started failing when I cleaned the computer a few weeks ago. I found the IDE cable was loose. Contributing factor? Maybe. Besides, it's seven years old. Time to move on.

So I disconnect it and reboot a few times, always coming back to "No hard drive found" after a long time of the BIOS poking around. Eventually I realised that changing Hard Drive 1 from "AUTO" to "OFF" worked much better. (Hard Drive 0 is the first one.) Oh, and it helped to put the former data drive on primary instead of secondary. Being an OEM drive, it had NO instructions on it. Usually the jumper instructions are on the drive itself. I bet they were under that cover... but I realised that it was probably on Cable Select when I bought it, and I mus have left it that way, so I just plugged it into the master interface. That worked.

And then Windows refused to install into the first partition, the one I had emptied out. Why? Because the whole disk was one big "Extended" partition with 4 "Logical" ones inside it. Windows refuses to install into a logical partition. Yay. Luckily it had 5GB free, unassigned space at the beginning. and I convinced the Ubuntu Live CD (yay!) to create a couple of random partitions (5GB and the 20GB that got shot up while trying to install Windows in it).

So eventually Windows was installed in a cramped 5GB partition. Windows updates will probably fill it up. Don't care. Remember, my primary computer is Ubuntu; I use the Windows box for games.

Now I just have to get the updates, service packs, etc. I already installed Firefox, Ad-aware, and zonealarm. AVG anti-virus refuses to install until at least service pack 2. But I can play Septerra Core, which was the objective. My newest save game file survived the crash, too.

Tag: geeky