Re-installing drivers add-in cards

Dell / Precision workstation 370...
January 11, 2009 at 12:01:21
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 2.793 GHz / 1022 MB
I am about to perform a complete wipe of my Dell Dimension4550 using the provided Recovery disks because my registry is pretty hosed. I've already backed up my data.

I have a few add in cards including a different video card (ATI) than what was originally there (NVidia). Do I need to physically remove all the cards prior to reinstalling the drivers? I know typically when installing devices the manuals always say "Do not install device before installing the drivers." It's physically difficult for me to move the case.

Also in this recovery, do I need to install the original video card first or is that unnecessary? Thanks.

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January 11, 2009 at 12:19:26
Kind of hard to tell. Most add-on cards do not need to be removed. The video may give you some trouble. Might try safe mode boot at first boot. Uninstall the original video card. Then reboot and follow the OEM directions to install the card. Normally something like install the card but wait and use the cd to install drivers instead of letting xp find new hardware.

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

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January 11, 2009 at 12:24:36
Explain the "registry is pretty hosed"? Describe the symptoms you're having that's prompting this reformat/reinstall. You're gonna have a lot of work ahead of you reinstalling everything...maybe fixing whatever is wrong will be easier & quicker?

"I know typically when installing devices the manuals always say "Do not install device before installing the drivers.""

The only time I've ever seen that is in regards to USB devices. Leave your cards in place. Download the drivers in advance & burn them to a CD, copy to a thumbdrive or put them on a separate partition. Any drivers you currently have are most likely outdated.

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January 11, 2009 at 13:33:26
Thanks for the suggestions. The reason I'm starting "fresh" is because this computer has become my "old" computer after having gotten a newer used computer. I decided I could connect the "old" one to my TV and use it for basic things, internet use, and as a "TV media server". Thought it would be better to start clean.

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January 11, 2009 at 17:15:26
that's smart. ive done several reinstalls but from a clean start. not really used a "restore" cds. but as the dude above said, you dont really need to remove anything. the video may give you problems but most often if the other video card is not an onboard card that's built into the motherboard but an expansion card, the computer should just install the drivers for the current card. if it is an onboard video card, you may be able to run dual video cards. ive never run into a problem with that. most times the computer will just load basic drivers that any video card will run. then you can install the specific drivers.

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