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I've got too many OS's, how can I start clean??

by leafhouse / July 9, 2009 1:11 AM PDT

Hi, I recently got a Toshiba Satellite E105 laptop and I was wondering how to wipe my hard drive absolutely clean of everything (including OS and partitions) and start over, installing my Windows 7 RC dvd onto a 2 GB partition and leaving the rest of the hard drive's space on a second partition, assuming that's a wise way to set up a hard drive...?

I already tried installing W7 RC only to find that there was already an OEM reserved partition where Vista is, so I was only able to install W7 RC on the larger of the two partitions, and I'm pleased to report that W7 seems great, but I'd like to re-install it onto a cleaned-up hard drive that doesn't have a big Windows.old folder taking up a bunch of space. So could you tell me how to set my hard drive up that way for my next attempt at a W7 RC installation?

So to summarize, I first want to completely wipe my hard drive clean, which currently contains two separate partitions: one small OEM-created Vista partition and the main one now containing W7 RC. From there, I want to set my hard drive up with one small partition I can install W7 RC on and another main one for storage and stuff, unless you hard drive experts think it's wiser to set a laptop up differently...

Also, as a side question, could you tell me if a hard drive backup image includes everything like partitioning, etc, or if it only contains the OS, software, data, and things like that? Because I should probably make a backup image before doing anything drastic.

Thanks for your time!

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2GB? How? And top five free backup and restore.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 9, 2009 1:15 AM PDT
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Why not simply delete the windows.old folder ...
by Kees Bakker / July 9, 2009 1:25 AM PDT

and leave the rest as it is?


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by leafhouse / July 9, 2009 1:52 AM PDT

Well, firstly, because I figured that's not a very proper/thorough way to actually remove Windows Vista entirely, and I also assume that the laptop's original hard drive setup (a small partition for OS and main partition for everything else) is a wise way to have one's hard drive set up, so I'd like to have mine that way unless anyone has any suggestions on that. I'd like to start clean from the ground up. And moreover, I'd like to learn how to do this stuff for the future's sake! : )

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So how are going to deal with the WINSXS issue?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 9, 2009 2:24 AM PDT
In reply to: re

You can start another debate over partitions but after so many years I don't bother with multiple partitions any more. NOT WORTH THE TROUBLE. I can easily create a new folder. Done.

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by leafhouse / July 9, 2009 2:40 AM PDT

Well, if the general consensus is that it's not worth it to create partitions, I'd still need to know how to clear the hard drive so I could install W7 RC, but I thought it was a good idea to have an OS partition in case it crashes so it doesn't take everything else with it?

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When I booted up my 7 DVD
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 9, 2009 2:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Re:

I was given the opportunity to wipe the drive. Why wouldn't I?

As to your comment. YOUR CHOICE HERE. We have 300+ discussions on partition choices. It makes you wonder why people don't go with their own choices.

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by leafhouse / July 9, 2009 3:39 AM PDT

I would go with my own choice if I had even a basic knowledge of why or why not I'd want to put the OS on its own small partition.

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My one question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 9, 2009 3:42 AM PDT
In reply to: re2:

I noted an issue with the WINSXS directory and supplied a link to that discussion. You didn't tell how you were going to surmount that issue.

How are you going to deal with WINSXS growth?

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by leafhouse / July 9, 2009 3:52 AM PDT
In reply to: My one question.

Okay, so if Windows is going to amass data over time and outgrow a small partition, I guess I should probably just erase all partitions and install W7 RC on the unpartitioned hard drive?

It's possible that that other partition on my HD was more like 10 GB... I have a 320 GB hard drive, so I could probably spare it if there's a benefit...

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Even at 10GB
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 9, 2009 4:20 AM PDT
In reply to: re3

If you read the link about the WINSXS we see 12GB for that directory alone.

Today, I have yet to corner my friend at MSFT about this. For you however I'd like to read your plans to deal with that.

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by leafhouse / July 9, 2009 4:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Even at 10GB

I can spare as much HD space for an OS partition as need be. My drive is 320GB, so I'm just going to go off your advice for the partition's size, but if there's no real benefit to having it on its own partition, I can just go partitionless.

Also, when I install W7, how can I make sure I've cleaned up the drive as much as possible first (thought I'd still like to be able to use my system restore discs if everything goes wrong, and I don't understand exactly how fundamental a level of the HD a disc image captures in terms of things like partitions and stuff). I do have everything that I want to keep backed up on an external drive.

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Did you check out this link?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 9, 2009 4:54 AM PDT
In reply to: re4
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by leafhouse / July 9, 2009 5:32 AM PDT

I did check out that link, but I actually already have the factory system restore discs from the OEM in case of an emergency, but I was just curious if they could still save me after booting from the W7 RC dvd and deleting the partitions in the process, because I'm considering just doing that now and going partitionless and also not using killdisk since it sounds like installing W7 RC will clear most everything off for me anyway?

As far as the Winsxs thing...I'm not a computer expert at all, so I don't have much to contribute, but I guess if there are no easy solutions (and they have to be very easy for someone like me to bother), I don't mind the OS amassing ten or even twenty GB (especially with my new 320 GB drive) or reinstalling Windows every year or so if it's becoming slowed down...

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About those backups.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 9, 2009 5:39 AM PDT

Each one differs a little. Some will restore to what most call BARE METAL or what you call a hard disk with no partitions. But a test is best.

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by leafhouse / July 9, 2009 5:58 AM PDT
In reply to: About those backups.

Well I guess I wouldn't ever need my system restore discs again if I can at any time insert my W7 RC dvd and boot from it to start over from that, or the same with when I get my free W7 upgrade. : ) Because I do have a separate disc that installs the Toshiba drivers and included software individually if I chose to put them back on the system..

So.. the plan: W7 RC dvd boot, erase partitions and everything, and install W7 RC again to have a nice clean partitionless system since an OS partition ostensibly provides no real benefit. Sound about right?

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(NT) Sounds about right.
by Kees Bakker / July 9, 2009 6:05 AM PDT
In reply to: re6
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