How to install XP on new disk w/out data loss

June 9, 2009 at 22:52:00
Specs: Windows XP
Running XP Pro on my D:\ drive (lets not get into why, that's not important). It's now crashing on pretty much a daily basis, I figure there's something wrong with either the drive or the controller (or the mamaboard). So, I bought a new controller and a new 1TB drive (under $100, amazing!) and installed both. Both work great, all my drives are still functional. I started to move data files (videos, etc.) to the new disk and have moved about 200GB (6 months worth of downloads and plenty of time moving from disk to disk).

Then I realized that I needed to install XP on the new disk. I'm concerned that if I do a fresh install of XP that I'll lose the data I've transferred. Does anyone know for sure if I can install XP Pro fresh on a "new" disk without losing the data I've already put on that disk? Remember, XP has never existed on this new disk, just data.



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#1
June 9, 2009 at 23:44:34
It depends on a couple of things.
First you should not make comments on what is pertinent or what isn't!

What type of controller did you buy?
Just because a drive works in a storage capability does not mean that you can use it to boot with. This is determined by the BIOS and whether or not it is configured (or can be) to boot from an auxiliary device.....I have found that some BIOS will not boot to SATA controller cards.

As to the drive itself. Was it partitioned properly or is it just one open drive storage device? If it was partitioned and you have a clean partition that is not being used and your system supports the booting of the drive then you should be able to install xp without any problems....you will need to reconfigure the partition assignment of drive letters first.

You mentioned that your older drive was partitioned with XP on the D drive. What is on the C drive? This is important as to what type of installation disc that you plan to use or are you trying to keep a restore partition on the new drive. Is it possible that the boot files and all that is on the C partiton and the operating system is on D ? This is important as changing the paths to the transferred storage can make it unacceptable and would be extrememly troublesome to get it back in order.

You kind of left us in limbo without more information about the computer itself so that we could make a more definite assessment.

Change Is Good
http://www.citizenlink.org/Stopligh...


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#2
June 10, 2009 at 08:35:56
There is only one partition, and in it's current configuration it's my I: drive. I used device manager to format the drive and get it recognized by XP.

I expect I'll have to pull out the other drives in order to ensure it's my C: drive at the time of OS installation.

Based on what you're saying below, it would seem that because I didn't add a second partition just for the OS that I'm going to lose the data on the drive. That's what I was afraid of.

I don't suppose anyone has a second opinion that says "as long as there's enough space it won't overwrite existing data but will instead use unused space for the OS" ??


As to the drive itself. Was it partitioned properly or is it just one open drive storage device? If it was partitioned and you have a clean partition that is not being used and your system supports the booting of the drive then you should be able to install xp without any problems....you will need to reconfigure the partition assignment of drive letters first.


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#3
June 10, 2009 at 09:28:42
"I'm concerned that if I do a fresh install of XP that I'll lose the data I've transferred. Does anyone know for sure if I can install XP Pro fresh on a "new" disk without losing the data I've already put on that disk? "

You WILL NOT lose data or anything for that matter as long as you answer correctly to XP installs question of do you want to format the drive or leave file system as is.

You of course want to leave the file system as is.

You would not have folders called Windows. program files or other XP folder names or they would be overwritten by install.

Yes it is a good idea to leave all other devices like card readers and other drives disabled in the system when installing xp.

If the present controller card is also booting the present xp system there should be no issue booting the 1TB drive. XP install will mark the partition as bootable and install the boot files.


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Related Solutions

#4
June 10, 2009 at 12:55:09
My normal answer is to use ntbackup, install xp then apply the restore.

It may be that you have to many other error to do that.

Sometimes it is better just to reload from scratch.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10


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#5
June 10, 2009 at 14:47:27
If iHateUserNames restored the system state he would be back to a nonworking system due to drive letter change.

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#6
June 10, 2009 at 15:35:05
I suggest that you bite the bullet and start over.

I suggest you partition the 1TB drive into at least 3 partitions. Use the First one for WinXP. The second for your installed programs. The third for those files you have been copying.

The C partition only needs to be about 50GB. The same for the D partition. Normally I wouldn't even make them that large but with a 1TB drive, why not.

You do know that all hard drives can and probably will fail. If your bought a 1TB Seagate then it will probably fail sooner (3months) rather than later.

Anyway any data you want to keep should be backed up somewhere.

If you take my advice then disconnect the existing OS drive until you have WinXP installed. Then you can reconnect it in order to copy the files.

I also suggest imaging the C & D drives. That way if you do have a failure or need to reinstall for any reason you will have that capability. Saves a lot of time.


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