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XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

I've just got a shiny new laptop which came with XP Home SP2 preinstalled.
No OS disks are supplied, and I'd really rather like to repartition the 80GB HDD to suit my needs.
(I'd like to dualboot XP & Linux )
I'm not at all bothered about losing the usual preinstalled app software.
Can I create a system disk or disks (cd/dvd) from the existing installation so that I can fdisk it (or whatever the newfangled equivalent is) and reinstall XP from scratch ?
If so, how?
And what, if any, are the alternatives?
12 REPLIES
N/A

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

You might like to consider the purchase of Partition Magic which I think will do exactly what you want with the minimum of fuss. The link to it on Amazon is here:

http://users.plus.net/QLCheesyA726134

I don't think you can create a system disk when XP is pre-installed. Can you not get a copy from the laptop manufacturer just in case you need it in the future?
N/A

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

As suggested, partition magic may be your friend here.

What make/model of laptop? You will often find there is a hidden partition which contains an "image" of the laptop which can be restored from to bring it to factory condition. You don't really want to screw that up.

The way I did it on an IBM laptop:

"Protect" the hidden service partition using a BIOS function (if your laptop has one)

Install XP. During setup, repartition the disk (I did half for windows and left half (unformatted) for linux later on). Make sure it doesnt overwrite the hidden partition.

Then, when you've installed windows, install linux. Depending on the distribution, it will detect your windows installation, and set the available partition up for Linux and use it's own boot loader so you can chose between the 2.

That's the jist of it anyway..
shellsong
Grafter
Posts: 2,191
Registered: 03-08-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

Any particular reason why you want to reinstall XP when it's already there?

Most modern Linux distros will let you repartition and install without harming a single little Redmond wart or excrescence in the process and put in a proper boot manager at the same time. QTPartEd and GPartEd are excellent partition managers and free at that!

As said previously, make sure you don't overwrite the hidden rescue partition if you don't have the CDs (my wife accidentally partially overwrote mine but I do have the CDs! Tongue )

If you've got a copy of XP you could always make the entire machine Linux and install XP in a virtual machine for when you want to visit and play with endangered species! Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

Quote
Any particular reason why you want to reinstall XP when it's already there?

yeah i don't like the default username who owns all the processes Wink (you can't change it in XP Home and I can't afford a copy of Pro even cheapish on eBay).
slightly more seriously, I just like to control my environment. The trouble is I stopped using PCs "seriously" nearly 10 years ago and I seem to remember from then that a repartition trashed the whole OS; so it's really helpful to know what's possible now.
Rescue partitions are clever but i'd really rather have some diskies
ta so far ... anyone else got any comments/suggestions?
N/A

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

I purchased a HP desktop recently. It allows you to create a system disk from the factory settings partition on the hard drive. Once you have done this you can delete the data on the hard drive. It even came with software for re-partitioning the hard drive.

I think most desktops do this now, not sure about laptops though...

Not really sure if I'm helping, but it may be something for you to check out.
shellsong
Grafter
Posts: 2,191
Registered: 03-08-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

Quote
i don't like the default username who owns all the processes Wink (you can't change it in XP Home and I can't afford a copy of Pro even cheapish on eBay


I'm not too up on XP quirks but can't you go through "Administrative Tools/Computer Management", into the "Local Users and Groups"-- apparently this is the same interface
that Windows 2000 uses, it's just hidden. You should be able to properly re-name the user there.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

i'm not well up on it either -- been running 98se for 8 years!
that option is not available in that screen (yes my user does have admin rights)and a bit of googling suggested it's not available in xp home, only pro.
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

Yes xp pro has extra administrative settings available from "run - gpedit"

Unfortunately as stated this is not available in the home edition

If you go to control panel then user accounts you can change the default account name there which will then be visible on the start menu and my docs but your "C:\documents and settings\name" will retain the original account name which you cant change in the home version
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

Ranish Partition Manager (free!) has a good reputation.

http://www.ranish.com/part/

No personal experience, but it might be worth a look.

Regards,

Neil
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

Not used Ranish myself but have read many reviews and i believe although its good at what it does its not for the beginner nor the faint hearted

Far better to go for something wizard based like the mentioned partition magic or the one i use Acronis disk director as its also very good
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

Installed, crashed and trashed myriads of other OS in my time, so not at all fainthearted Cool
shellsong
Grafter
Posts: 2,191
Registered: 03-08-2007

XP Re-Partition/ Reinstall Help Please

I don't know whether this is of any use for getting around your username problem-- it seemed feasible when I read it but I don't know whether it's supposed to work when SP2 is installed and I find some of this kerfuffle confusing. Give me a nice straightforward Linux distro any day! Wink