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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
XP is trying to get me to loose my mind.
After an all day struggle with a Seagate drive I finally (don't know how) got it install and the system recognized all 80gb instead of the 32gb it read yesterday.
I have another Seagate drive (250GB) set as a slave partitioned in two 125 gb drives. Now I discove that the boot drive is designated as G: (which I didn't think was possible)
This is a Dell Dim 4400 2gzh system. Now I am concerned as to the ramifications of a G: boot disk. Any ideas?
 

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Hi Robtrapp

If you are still having trouble with your system setup - here are some tips:

Are you more interested in saving the current installation, or is a clean install something you're interested in? I think you'd be best off starting over, for two reasons 1) you cannot change the letter of the boot volume with Disk Manager http://www.dellcommunity.com/suppor...arddrive&message.id=56629&c=us&l=en&cs=&s=gen http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307844 2) drive overlays have complicated your current drives setup.

I looked at your threads for the drives situation, and for the Norton UnInstall troubles, and it sounds like you've been using "drive-overlay" software to install your drives. Such software is best used only as a last resort - and I imagine you should have a good chance to forgo using any of these.

Your system is recent enough, that I would imagine a Bios Update should allow both your drives to be setup entirely by Windows XP Setup, during a clean install. Here's the only Bios Update listed for your model on the Dell site (though you can visit the site, enter your Service Tag #, and get exact-match listings) --- http://support.dell.com/support/dow...8&typecnt=1&libid=1&releaseid=R45077&vercnt=6

Unfortunately, Dell doesn't provide any information on the features of the update (such as whether it adds 48bit LBA support [which is what would allow the motherboard to use the 250gb full capacity without resorting to drive overlays) - but you could call or email them and ask.

If you decide to use the 80gb WD drive as the system drive, put it as the Primary on the first IDE (or SATA, if it's a SATA drive) controller. The controllers are usually well-marked, even if the lettering is tiny - use a magnifying glass and flashlight if you need to make it easier to read. Set that drive ahead of any other hard drives in "Boot Order" item in your computer's Bios Setup.

*** Note - If you've added a Zip drive to your Dell, disconnect it while installing Windows XP. Otherwise, the Zip drive may be detected as a hard drive, and assigned the drive letter C. You can reconnect the drive after XP has installed successfully. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326683/

If you start with the drives wiped completely clean, XP Setup will prompt you through the process of creating partitions and will offer to format them. After that, it should be just a matter of following the prompts.
____________

During your XP installation, it's a good idea to be entirely disconnected from any networks, wired or wireless (unplug ethernet cables, disable wireless), and to be disconnected from printers, scanners, cameras, multifunction devices, fax machines, PDAs, memory card readers, USB flash drives, external USB/Firewire/SATA drives, etc. And after the installation, be sure to have your firewall, antivirus, and antispyware programs installed and running - before you reconnect to networks.

Before you restore any of your backed up personal data, scan it for malware first.

. . . Gary

[P.S. to clean the drive overlay software from the drives, you need to wipe the MBR or zero write. A zero-write takes a very long time on a 250gb drive, so you could use the option to just write zeroes to a certain percentage of each partiton. The best tool for zero-writing, if you decide to go that way, are the diagnostics from the manufacturer http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Plain vanilla now

Hi Robtrapp

If you are still having trouble with your system setup - here are some tips:

Are you more interested in saving the current installation, or is a clean install something you're interested in? I think you'd be best off starting over, for two reasons 1) you cannot change the letter of the boot volume with Disk Manager http://www.dellcommunity.com/suppor...arddrive&message.id=56629&c=us&l=en&cs=&s=gen http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307844 2) drive overlays have complicated your current drives setup.

I looked at your threads for the drives situation, and for the Norton UnInstall troubles, and it sounds like you've been using "drive-overlay" software to install your drives. Such software is best used only as a last resort - and I imagine you should have a good chance to forgo using any of these.

Your system is recent enough, that I would imagine a Bios Update should allow both your drives to be setup entirely by Windows XP Setup, during a clean install. Here's the only Bios Update listed for your model on the Dell site (though you can visit the site, enter your Service Tag #, and get exact-match listings) --- http://support.dell.com/support/dow...8&typecnt=1&libid=1&releaseid=R45077&vercnt=6

Unfortunately, Dell doesn't provide any information on the features of the update (such as whether it adds 48bit LBA support [which is what would allow the motherboard to use the 250gb full capacity without resorting to drive overlays) - but you could call or email them and ask.

If you decide to use the 80gb WD drive as the system drive, put it as the Primary on the first IDE (or SATA, if it's a SATA drive) controller. The controllers are usually well-marked, even if the lettering is tiny - use a magnifying glass and flashlight if you need to make it easier to read. Set that drive ahead of any other hard drives in "Boot Order" item in your computer's Bios Setup.

*** Note - If you've added a Zip drive to your Dell, disconnect it while installing Windows XP. Otherwise, the Zip drive may be detected as a hard drive, and assigned the drive letter C. You can reconnect the drive after XP has installed successfully. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326683/

If you start with the drives wiped completely clean, XP Setup will prompt you through the process of creating partitions and will offer to format them. After that, it should be just a matter of following the prompts.
____________

During your XP installation, it's a good idea to be entirely disconnected from any networks, wired or wireless (unplug ethernet cables, disable wireless), and to be disconnected from printers, scanners, cameras, multifunction devices, fax machines, PDAs, memory card readers, USB flash drives, external USB/Firewire/SATA drives, etc. And after the installation, be sure to have your firewall, antivirus, and antispyware programs installed and running - before you reconnect to networks.

Before you restore any of your backed up personal data, scan it for malware first.

. . . Gary

[P.S. to clean the drive overlay software from the drives, you need to wipe the MBR or zero write. A zero-write takes a very long time on a 250gb drive, so you could use the option to just write zeroes to a certain percentage of each partiton. The best tool for zero-writing, if you decide to go that way, are the diagnostics from the manufacturer http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 ]
The "not C:\" boot only lasted a few times before collapsing. I did use an software to clean, press, fold, and erase all data from the drive. It then booted up and installed XP. I feel there is an attack on my IP; I need to beef up security better than the Win firewall and AVG antivirus. Using spybot I remove an inordinate about of technical organic matter. I'm not out porn-ing; I don't know where the stuff is coming from.
 
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