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Hard and Fast

Windows XP redux: the reinstall

By Antonios K, 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....)

antoniosk's profile

Antonios K
New Zealand


Antonios has been actively employed in the IT & Technology sector since 1991, and has worked on many commercial projects and products in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Working in product or actively managing programmes of work, he has always focused on building for the end customer, and not just promoting new technologies. Industry experience includes all telecommunications areas for business and private customers, private insurance, loyalty, media, energy and gambling. 

Since 2013, he has been involved with the development and launch of many popular smartphone applications in New Zealand, including

- TAB Mobile
- AMI & State Insurance digital experience
- Fly Buys
- Newshub for web and app
- Genesis Energy & Energy Online
- MyACC for Business

Genuinely passionate about technologies, internet and computing in general, he lives in the city he was born in - Wellington, New Zealand, the creative heart of hub of digital sector for the country.