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Old 11-22-2004, 05:31 PM   #1
Link
Jack Burton
 

Join Date: May 15, 2001
Location: The Netherlands
Age: 34
Posts: 5,888
Hello all! [img]smile.gif[/img]

My own computer was broken the past few months but today I came with the luminous idea to fix it using the Windows XP CD I had lying around. (yes, I know.. I should've come up with this earlier ). Anyways, it worked like a charm until I came to a certain point where the computer asked to install a new version over the old bugged version of Windows. I was hesitant, because I didn't know what would be removed (all my programs as well) so I chose to install a new copy. I thought that I might have the opportunity to do a system restore via that new installment as well, so I had two reasons not to install over the old copy. Stupid me, however, decided to install Windows XP on the same partition the old one was in.
Needless to say, my computer didn't like that move very much but I could boot to the fresh, new installment in the end, which, if I might add, is running smoothly right now -- *keeps fingers crossed*. Still, however, my (important) programs and documents are installed through that first installment. I can reach them, but they don't show in my All Programs folder in the Start menu, so I don't know how to fix that. On top of that, there's still the issue with the initial installment. I found out how to remove it, but I'm still anxious to do it because I don't know if it will remove all my important files.

So there's two questions to you computer whizzkids out there; what happens when I remove the broken WinXP installment (what happens to My Documents for instance) and how do I transfer all the programs to my new installment?
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:03 PM   #2
Arvon
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Join Date: October 4, 2001
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All your files SHOULD remain in their folders regardless of any install. That is as long as you don't reformat the HD. The only place where you could run into a problem is if some folder has the same name and reinstall over writes. (BTW MS will usuall ask first). Now you may run into problems if you have a space problem.
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:11 PM   #3
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Jack Burton
 

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So if I remove that old installment of Windows XP, my Program Files, My Documents and stuff that were installed under that particular Windows XP installment will remain on my computer?
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:15 PM   #4
aleph_null1
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Join Date: January 7, 2001
Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i
Age: 35
Posts: 837
As a rational computer scientist, I'm going to say something:

I don't trust Windows.

I don't trust it, I don't understand it, I don't know why things go wrong, and I trust it less than ever when it's running smoothly.

I would take whatever important docs / &tc. you've got and copy them to some backup media (CD-RW, Zip disk, Flash card, old fashioned floppy disk) and then just wipe that hard drive completely.

Install the Windows -- if you really really really must -- onto the clean disk.
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:24 AM   #5
Bungleau
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Join Date: October 29, 2001
Location: Western Wilds of Michigan
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I concur with Aleph_null1. Whatever is in your My Documents folder, and whatever you want to save... back up to some other media.

My Documents is a deranged twist on an old principle, that of linked directories. Your My Docs folder, while it appears to be at the same level as My Computer, is actually buried in a folder somewhere else... under Documents and Settings in XP. That's also where your menu stuff is... hidden in there.

With respect to everything else, I'd do a reinstall of all software. When you reinstalled XP, you created a new registry, and any settings that other programs put in the old one don't exist any more. So they may not work...

When someone else logs in, the link for My Docs gets switched to the space for their profile.

This leads to loads of fun when you're trying to find something later... as long as you can remember who you were logged in as when you saved it. I know I can't...

I never use My Docs for real. I always have my own directory for stuff, and I keep everything there.
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:30 AM   #6
shamrock_uk
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Join Date: January 24, 2004
Location: UK
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Indeed, don't trust it as far as you can throw it.

Windows will actually threaten during the install to delete the contents of My Documents so definitely back it all up. ( I believe it says "may be deleted" - surely it either will be or won't be?! Is it any wonder it's easy to get nervous around Windows...?)

I believe you can use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard to transfer the contents (i presume) of Documents&Settings to your current installation. I've never used it myself, but that may make the task much easier. You can find it in Start -> Programmes -> Accessories -> System Tools

[ 11-22-2004, 11:35 PM: Message edited by: shamrock_uk ]
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Old 11-23-2004, 03:44 AM   #7
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Jack Burton
 

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Okay, so you guys advise me to copy all the files to one of my harddisks and then format the entire partition with both the WinXP installations on it?

Or will it suffice to copy all the files to my new My Documents and Start Menu folders from the old one and then just delete the 'rogue' WinXP?
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Old 11-23-2004, 05:12 AM   #8
Callum
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Join Date: October 21, 2004
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Personally I would backup my documents (well nor personally... as I have nothing worth saving) and then wipe the hard drive and reinstall windows...

But what you are suggesting should work... maybe
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Old 11-23-2004, 05:21 AM   #9
LennonCook
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Join Date: November 10, 2001
Location: Bathurst & Orange, in constant flux
Age: 32
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Quote:
Originally posted by Link:
Okay, so you guys advise me to copy all the files to one of my harddisks and then format the entire partition with both the WinXP installations on it?

Or will it suffice to copy all the files to my new My Documents and Start Menu folders from the old one and then just delete the 'rogue' WinXP?
Make sure you get all of the files under C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu aswell. You will also need to get C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data , as alot of programs (especially cross-platform ones) store their settings there - Firefox for example stores your cache, bookmarks, cookies, and preferences under that folder. Infact, get all of "Documents and Settings" just to be safe.
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Old 11-23-2004, 05:52 AM   #10
Callum
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Join Date: October 21, 2004
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Also any games that you have saved games that you want to keep, be sure to check their folders for saved games. Copy them as well, and replace them in your folders after reinstalling them.
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