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Hard and Fast

Windows XP redux: the reinstall

By Antonios Karantze, in , posted: 26-Apr-2007 19:45

I run a number of computers at home. An older machine with Vista Home Premium on it (more on my experiences in a later blog). A small form factor desktop as a Windows Home Server. A new machine with XP SP2 on it (main machine, which the family uses = "I'm happy with it, don't touch it" says the wife). And my beloved Toshiba Portege R100, the first truly RAZOR sized lappie, imho. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of getting this machine without the Toshiba DVDROM, which has a PC Card interface. I'm not paying that exhorbitant fee (it was $750 some 3 years ago), I can pick up a USB drive. And i did, a Philips Jackrabbit from Heathrow on my way out from the UK to move back to NZ.

A year later when I had to reinstall XP, I discovered the R100 couldn't start from a USB drive. It needed to start from a USB Floppy.


Microsoft thoughtfully supplies boot creators for Floppy. There's one for XP SP1, and one for XP SP2. Does anyone recall how long it takes to start from a floppy drive? here's a reminder. It's 15 LONG minutes every time. And I know this because yesterday I was forced to reinstall after the boot partition finally failed (spectacularly I might add).

So why do I say every time?

Well, floppy disks aren't popular these days. And I didn't have any, so I bought a pack of Imation from DSE. 3 turned out to be duds. But I only found this out at the end of 6 disk startup, when my machine would blue-screen.

4 restarts and a lot of anger later...

I had created an image using nLite, a tool that supposedly creates 'lite' XP installs. Except it didnt copy the first 2 critical files to my 'lite' image, so I was forced to resort to my SP2 install disk. I have four copies of XP (many trips to Microsoft store in Redmond over several years), but only one had SP2.

It was only halfway through install I remembered that the disc was slightly dodgy, and a copy of it was required to proceed (if you ever have a chance to visit the Microsoft shop, remember there is a reason why some of the software is only $20!). My disc's are legit. But I have to make a backup to proceed with the install.

2 hours and a lot of pent-up why-did-i-ever-get-into-technology moments, here I am waiting for the disc to be created.

I know I will complete. But these days I don't have much time to waste on stuff like this. And as I get older and grumpier, my tolerance is just evaporating like XP support from MS....

Other related posts:
The click of death. Or not. A use for UFB?
Freitas in shock move
Is your XP running slow? (again....)

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antoniosk's profile

Antonios Karantze
New Zealand

I'm a born and bred Wellingtonian, and have chosen IT and Telecommunications as my industry, as a Commercial Manager.

Credits include but are not limited to:
- The O2 Xda smartphone range, and O2's range of 3G Mobile Internet services
- Numerous TelstraClear Mobile and IP voice products

In my journey through the industry I have worked at
- Bellsouth NZ
- Telecom NZ
- ICO Global
- T-Mobile International (formerly One2One Communications)
- O2 Plc
- TelstraClear
- Vodafone NZ

I'm a fan of technology, and what it can do for people and business... and I enjoy bringing new things to market and seeing them grow. Enjoy the blog, take the time to think about what I write - it's not technology heavy, and is my reflection on life and the people around me.