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Does reinstalling windows wipe the hard disk?

This is a discussion on Does reinstalling windows wipe the hard disk? within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. This is a question that has been bugging me for a long time. I need to do this but i


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Old 12-06-2007, 01:14 PM   #1
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This is a question that has been bugging me for a long time. I need to do this but i don't wanna lose all my file either. Any help?

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Old 12-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #2
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Yes, if you reinstall windows over you current partition, it will completely wipe all your data. Now if you do a "system repair" it will just reinstall the window system files and all your data is left untouched.

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Old 12-06-2007, 01:25 PM   #3
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If a system repair isn't yet completed and I choose to abandon that install and reinstall windows, will i lose my files?
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:32 PM   #4
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I have never tried that .. so I can't tell you ..
Many years ago I re-installed XP over a previous install ..it didn't erase my drive just RESET everything back to a new install . all my program files were available just lost the registry entries so had to be re-installed. But there are no guarantees. Only a repair install leaves your existing installation intact and re-installs ONLY the hardware drivers
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:37 PM   #5
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no you shouldnt lose your files because all the "system repair" is doing is repairing the system file not any of your personal data. Now if you abandon a xp reinstall then yes.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:51 AM   #6
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If i abandon the current install (which i think is a system repair), will it then give me the option to do another system repair?
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:32 AM   #7
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I would say that it depends at which point you decide to "abandon" the repair. If you babando before the repair starts then YES .. however if you try to abandon half way through, you'll probably be looking at a recovery job .. Windows looks for a valid bootable partition and a few other files like boot.ini, Hal.dll, ntldr in order to "understand" that a previous XP install exists. Once gone (when trying to replace with new files) XP won't recognise the old partition and will probably only allow a NEW INSTALL which will remove all rights to tunning all your programs, not to mention as MS warn so often , that you could lose all files
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:42 AM   #8
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Okay. I managed to get to the repair stage. I can now open windows and i assume that i haven't lost any files. The only problem now is that when i log onto my computer (i have a series of profiles on it) all the icons and the start menu dissapear. The cursor is still there, however, none of the shortcuts work either. Does anyone know a way i can retrieve my files (so that i can format the Hard Drive).

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Old 12-14-2007, 10:56 AM   #9
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I have the impression that you must have made a new install rather than the repair install that we have been talking about.

Can you navigate to the files inside the folders and get them to open ??

Try writing your files to CD\DVD .. making sure that you copy the files rather than links to the files .. sometimes Windows confuses things .. make your back up copies of all the files that you consider important and also any files you have downloaded for installation purposes. Don't forget the registration keys too.

Since it would appear that rather than a repair install you did an "install" over the top of the old install .. most of your old installed files wil not work and require re-installing, as will your profiles.
If you can open your e-mail program , try saving your old messages to a new file and writing them to CD. If you have Outlook you can open a new pst file on another drive or flash drive then transfer all our messages and contacts to it. Outlook Express requires that you make an archive and isn't ( IMHO) quite as simple.

try not to forget anything that you'll need future wise since once the format is done .. it's even more difficult getting back.

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