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View Full Version : Fresh (?) reload of XP and Office



Lorne
March 1st, 2010, 03:13 PM
So I bought a SSD for my desktop computer, and used an image program to clone the old HDD.
It wasn't running as fast as I thought it should (dead quiet though - all you hear is the fan), so this weeked I thought I'd partition and format the SSD, as I'm sure there was a bunch of crap in the old HDD's registry that I didn't need.

Then of course, I had to do all the updates.
8 hours later......
XP's first batch consisted of 57 files (one of which was SP-3, which must contain hundreds of updates), then there was 12, 6, 12, 8, and a few others (I got sick of keeping track).

Next up was Office 2007, which needed 30, followed by 6, 4, and a few more (even more peed'off keping track at this point).

So much for a nice, new, clean install.

With the time all that took, I think next time I'll just junk the old computer, and buy a new one.
Taking the time involved into account, it'd be cheaper in the end.

Ole Juul
March 1st, 2010, 05:37 PM
With the time all that took, I think next time I'll just junk the old computer, and buy a new one.
??? How many minutes does it take to install the OS and Office? It can't be very many - or was there some particularly valuable setup to preserve?

BuggZ
March 1st, 2010, 11:23 PM
Installing the OS and Office isn't the problem. The problem is when you have to download and install all the updates for XP/Vista and Office. Unless you have a slipstreamed cd/dvd with the service packs it can take hours to get all the required updates.

kishy
March 2nd, 2010, 01:40 AM
Anything above about 20MB (especially service packs) I keep a separate installer for, eliminating the need to even be online. Because of this even my crappy internet connection (512 kilobits per second, functional max around 70 kilobytes per second) can get Windows fully updated and Office partially updated (small ones only) in ~2 hours. For the remaining Office updates I bring the system somewhere else if feasible, like with my laptop, or if it's my desktop I'll wait for a weekend and let it run all Saturday if need be.

A nice touch for my laptop was being able to find a copy of my OEM's XP Professional install disk including SP3. Slipstreaming your own is ugly and more trouble than it's worth.

Regarding buying a new computer: you're basically buying the reason you wanted to reinstall the OS. Think about what comes on most new computers...easiest cleaning process is a reinstall, so you're back where you started but this time you paid for it.

Lorne
March 2nd, 2010, 04:56 AM
??? How many minutes does it take to install the OS and Office? It can't be very many - or was there some particularly valuable setup to preserve?

It's the updates that take forever, not the actual install.
Download the updates, wait for them to be installed, reboot, and then repeat (numerous times).

Vint
March 2nd, 2010, 06:38 AM
Over the years I've spent countless hours, as many of you must have also, putting Win XP back together. I won't go into great detail - but it's not been fun. The last straw was when I 'upgraded' to Service Pack 3 only to have it render my PC useless! There was a patch my particular PC needed 'before' trying to install SP3, that I wasn't aware of till much later.
A while back I tried the trial version of Windows 7 and found it to have the best image backup program I've ever encountered.
Although I had to go back to Win XP after a while because my PC didn't have enough oomph to fully run Win 7 to my satisfaction, I was happy with Win 7.
Since then, I've been on the lookout for an image backup like the Win 7 one. A couple years ago I bought Perfect Image 11 by Avanquest. I made monthly image backups and could be back in business from a 'corruption' in less than an hour. The SP3 crash wouldn't let me access my backup and I had to go back to a day 1 restore from original CD's, a 5 hour restore - and then spent forever getting rid of all the bloatware that came with the PC in the first place. Anyway, I'm looking for an image backup as good as the one on Win 7. It'd be worth it's weight in gold for it's time savings ability.
My experience with Perfect Image 11 has been, sometimes it worked - sometimes it didn't.

linuxlove
March 2nd, 2010, 06:41 AM
I think Microsoft is trying to force you to move away from Windows XP and get at least Vista. My dad at work has been having so many problems with XP SP3 and Windows Installer 3.1 when the problems weren't around about a year ago.

Vint
March 2nd, 2010, 06:55 AM
Linuxlove, I've been there with SP3 and Windows Installer troubles too. (I now run SP2 only and I refuse to let Windows Update have it's way. No updates for me, thank you :) As for Vista, I've never been there and when it came out, I tried using it on several other peoples PC's, and just knew I wouldn't go there. So, I've totally bypassed Vista - stuck with XP and just learned to fix 'one thing at a time' with it. I'll probably buy a new PC in a year or so and it will have Win 7 and I'll have to learn new bugs as I go along. I just assume, anymore, that any update that fixes 50 old bugs just introduces 10 new bugs. You pays your money, and you takes your chances :)

Chuck(G)
March 2nd, 2010, 07:15 AM
There's a technique called "slipstreaming" that a lot of IT managers use. Essentially it creates a new installation CD with SP updates. There's a handy tool called vlite (http://www.nliteos.com/) that helps with this procedure. Essentially, what you get is an install CD that installs XP with the current service pack. If you do a lot a machines, it's priceless. A single machine, I'm not so sure. See this (http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_to_slipstream_windows_xp_sp3_and_vista_sp1) for details.

I've railed before how modern OS applications seem to need to infiltrate every corner of the OS, instead of being compartmentalized. When you updated your version of DOS, you never had to reload your applications. Now, you're lucky if they'll still run after you update.

MikeS
March 2nd, 2010, 06:47 PM
For simple, boot-from-floppy creating/restoring images I like Ghost.

For more features like creating restore partitions, bootable restore CDs etc., both Seagate and WD have free versions of Acronis' excellent True Image program.

Lorne
March 2nd, 2010, 07:12 PM
For more features like creating restore partitions, bootable restore CDs etc., both Seagate and WD have free versions of Acronis' excellent True Image program.

The Acronis imaging program was what came with the SSD I installed.
It was very easy to use, and worked just fine - I like it.

I figured a fresh reload of XP would be a better idea - I'll think again next time.

Ole Juul
March 2nd, 2010, 08:05 PM
. . . Regarding buying a new computer: you're basically buying the reason you wanted to reinstall the OS. Think about what comes on most new computers...easiest cleaning process is a reinstall, so you're back where you started but this time you paid for it. Agreed. I liken it to buying a picture frame at the novelty store. It comes with a nice picture of a puppy. I'm the guy that puts in my own picture when I get home. :)