Windows Legacy OS forum


How to reinstall windows XP

by Guet Pooi / August 23, 2013 8:13 PM PDT

My laptop is giving me a lot of problems lately. Please tell me how to reinstall Windows XP from a CD. Thank you.

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All Answers

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by dooron11 / August 23, 2013 9:20 PM PDT

Firstly backup everything you want to keep, you could also get all the drivers for your laptop before you reinstall to save getting them later,

To reinstall go into your bios by constantly pressing delete on startup or if an older pc it may be f2,
Set boot order so boot from cd / dvd rom is the 1st option,
Put in your windows cd and boot the pc and follow the on screen prompts

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On many systems
by Jimmy Greystone / August 24, 2013 5:14 AM PDT
In reply to: reinstall

On many systems, even going back to the XP days, there is an option at boot to manually select the boot device for that one boot cycle. The bit about changing the device boot order is rather antiquated advice these days. It still works, but there's a better way. I remember first coming across this feature on Dell systems back around 2003-2004 and since then it's become pretty much a standard feature on every OEM and after market motherboard.

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A liitle more advice
by mchainmchain / August 24, 2013 3:45 AM PDT

Be sure to save your backups in a safe place, and not on the drive you are going to re-install windows on. Sad

XP Windows Repair Option using XP CD:

Note: Will be necessary to go thru the entire Windows Update set same as a clean install after repairing your original setup. But, you should not have to reinstall programs you use, nor should you lose any personal files.

Still, back up all important personal files just to be safe. Wink

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Thank you
by Guet Pooi / August 25, 2013 12:07 AM PDT
In reply to: A liitle more advice

Thank you to mchainmchain, jimmy and dooron11 for all your input. I am not really sure if reinstalling windows will solve my problem. Mainly my MS Word 2000 is playing up, giving error message that says something like 'memory almost full, need to save' The printer driver also behaving erratically, not carrying out the choice selected.

I first thought reinstalling windows and all the other software may solve the problems. Do you think it would? Confused

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You see your machine, but we can't
by mchainmchain / August 25, 2013 4:22 PM PDT
In reply to: Thank you

With an older machine, best to check all hardware is working as it should first.

Memtest here: You're checking this because of errors being reported by Office 2000. Set it to run at a time when you will not be using your system, and let it run at least one full pass, preferably four or more is best. This will take some time either way, so best to run it when you are asleep.

System specs and make and model posted here will help us to help you. Your Service Pack level is? Your call to post or not.

Check Device Manager for any yellow exclamation marks. Please report back.

If memory check runs without any errors, then try uninstalling both Office 2000 and your printer program. Does your system run better without these two programs installed?

Reboot after uninstalling each one. In other words, uninstall one program, then reboot, then do the same with the other program: Uninstall/Reboot.

Install one program at a time, then immediately reboot when installation is finished. Try your newly installed program to see how it runs now. Does it run the same or better?

Since Windows does not come with either Office 2000 or your printer program built-in, best to see if the above fixes your issues, as Windows can be just fine, but corruption in the program files can cause your issues.

Your memory must check as good; or else we lose time chasing ghosts if it turns out to be memory hardware issues.

Possible you may not have to re-install Windows if you do these preliminary steps above.

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Still in Progress
by Guet Pooi / August 27, 2013 2:19 AM PDT

Thank you for taking time to give me such detailed instructions, mchainmchain.

I am unable to do the mem test because the laptop has no internet connection. The model is Toshiba Satellite L20 with Service Pack 2, Intel Celeron 1.60 GHz, 256MB RAM. It has 37GB HD with 32GB free space.

However I did use the Toshiba diagnostic tool to check all the hardwares and they all passed, including the memory.

Device Manager did not show any yellow exclamation mark.

My husband bought this laptop about 7 years back exclusively for his word processing job. When he needs to send an email, he typed it out on this laptop and I take it with a thumb drive and send it through my Desktop, and this has worked well for the last 7 years before this mess happened.

Just now I tried to copy his email to my thumb drive using 'save as' and an error message came up and I was unable to do it. Then I used Windows Explorer, and it worked. After I have closed all the files, with no other programs running, I checked System Information. There it said: Total physical memory 256Mb, Available physical memory 27MB! Where did all the memory go?

Around the same time that this problem started with the laptop, my Desktop also slowed down markedly. I suspected some malware. But scan with Microsoft Security Essential yielded nothing, while scan with Super C Antispyware yielded only tracking cookies which I duly removed.

The Device Manager however has a yellow question mark on 'unknown devices'. Is that significant?

Any further advice will be very much appreciated.

Thank you.

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by mchainmchain / August 27, 2013 7:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Still in Progress

1.) Yellow question mark on an unknown device is important. Right-click that device while in Device Manager and select 'Properties". What does the properties box say?

2.) Likely your machine is the same way as first bought. 256 MB RAM is the minimum amount XP will run stably on; if you had more, say 2 GB RAM, then likely you would never see Office giving you an out-of-memory error. You don't have enough memory as it is to run everything you want to without having your system slow down noticeably, especially if you run more than one memory-intensive program at a time.

Out-of-memory errors also could indicate issue(s) with the swap file and proper operation of this file.

3.) Service Pack 2? Why is SP3 not installed?

4.) You have an issue with an USB drive; likely that issue is somehow connected with the Yellow question mark you see. Device Manager is only concerned with physical hardware and their current status; it will either report the device as present and enabled or it will not report the device at all (complete hardware failure) or if detected, status as 'unknown' and not enabled.

What was the exact wording of the error message for the USB drive when you chose 'save as'?

You've done well to keep this laptop running as long as you have. I assume the battery is holding a full charge? If not, you've to replace that with a new one to get your system running better.

Replacing batteries when needed is a part of routine laptop maintenance. You've also used canned air every six months on a routine basis?

On the serious side, unless you are willing to bring your system up to SP3, I would not re-install XP, but move on to a newer and more current system. I'd copy/paste all important data files I want to keep to back them up first if I've not done that already, and maybe also consider a refurbished system if cost is an issue.

If you do not ever put this system on the internet, then no need for SP3. Microsoft support for XP SP3 will end on April 8, 2014.

I'd then wipe the drive and then recycle it once I had a replacement system running well.

Is it time to put this one out to pasture?

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