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· Banned
1,143 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You've formatted your hard drive (or not yet as you are reading this, unless you have another rig laying around
) and you are wondering what exact steps to follow (and in which order) upon reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows XP.
I will share my method with you hoping it'll prove useful so please bear with me.

1) Install Windows XP (duh !).

2) Install motherboard drivers such as chipset drivers, onboard sound or network adapter (installing these at this point before other software/games gives you a better chance of avoiding problems and ensuring best performance). You must reboot each time you are prompted to do so.

3) DO NOT connect to the Internet yet ! Otherwise you risk getting infected with a virus/worm since your system is still vulnerable at this point. If you have a permanent Internet connection then install and enable a third party firewall software or simply enable Windows XP's Firewall (follow the steps below to do it)
a) Click on Start -> Control Panel -> Network Connections
b) In the "Network Connections" window right click on the connection you use to connect to the Internet, select "Properties"
c) Go to the "Advanced" tab and click on "Settings" then select "On" to enable Windows XP's built-in firewall
d) Once the firewall is up and running browse to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ and update your machine with the latest security patches.
4) Install Windows XP service pack 2 (which has an estimated size of 266MB and also contains all the fixes in SP1 so you don't need to install SP1).

5) Now if you're a gamer (most of us here are) you will need to get yourself the latest version of DirectX

6) Install graphics drivers (Nvidia forceware drivers) or (ATI catalyst

7) Install sound drivers (Creative Audio drivers) .

8) Install additional software/utilities such as Winzip, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office, etc...

Note: Links to hardware drivers provided above should help most people since most own an ATI or NVidia video card. Should you need a different driver for your hardware please search for it on Yahoo or Google.

· Registered
440 Posts
1) install windows... and setting the framework can make a big difference in future performance... take a sec to set it up right!
NTFS or Fat 32. One is faster the other more stable, respectively I believe. Partitions? Multiple HD's? You want to get your root windows directory on a fast seperate HD so the pagefile can be accessed by windows independently from the games files, this will increase performance significantly. Also, to keep fragmentation to a min on both the root XP and games directories, I like to partition the non XP drive into a game and work partitions. The game only is modified for installing and uninstalling games... followed by a defrag. The work partition is a nightmare of fragments, but is not accessed by XP or the game, so it doesn't matter.

other recommendation... if you have the space... once the drivers are in and before you install applications and games... back it up. The next time you get frustrated and want to reinstall, you can just refresh to the clean install you've just completed instead of taking valuable beer consuming time to redo it all again.

Lastly... once you turn online (after the anti mal ware, firewall and virus protector are up), get your virus updates and click windows update to update everything.

· Banned
1,143 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Originally Posted by pjnt

NTFS or Fat 32. One is faster the other more stable, respectively I believe.

Granted, for small hard drives FAT32 usually provides faster access to files than NTFS because the FAT32 structure is simpler and it does not have to constantly check for user permissions (if a user can access a file or a folder).

On the other hand NTFS minimizes the number of disk accesses and time needed to find a file. In addition, if a folder is small enough to fit in the MFT record, NTFS reads the entire folder when it reads its MFT record.
A FAT32 folder entry contains an index of the file allocation table, which identifies the cluster number for the first cluster of the folder. To view a file, FAT32 has to search the folder structure.

Fragmentation of the file. If a file is badly fragmented, NTFS usually requires fewer disk accesses than FAT32 to find all of the fragments.

· Registered
15 Posts
Slipstream SP2 and hotfixes into the XP installation disc. One can do this manually, or using a tool such as nLite. Personally, I prefer to do it myself.

Include all the drivers (and the updated ones at that) on the CD.

While you're at it, create an answer file to take care of the lion's share of the manual data entries Win requires during installation (one can go full unattended this way, as well)

Write an unattended script to install programs.
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