Question

If l have to reinstall XP Pro

If l have to reinstall XP Pro and l have a SP 3 disc, is that all l will need? Also, l had a very helpful MS tech download & save some HP drivers to my desktop, but how would l use them? Just double click? Install SP3 first? l have all of my docs & data backed up and on Chrome, but am just concerned about my HP PC crashing after 2014 when l am unable to get support.

Thanks Everyone for your help!

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Answer
We wish it would always be that simple.

But drivers are all over the map. Some you run (double click) and some have you unpack (unzip?) them then find your way to the folder it made for your OS version and then right click install on some .INF file.

This is why I'm beginning to think that XP is getting too hard for folk today and maybe too expensive. That is, if you take this to a local support place here you get the usual 120 buck minimum charge to reload the OS and you're not assured it will have all the drivers installed for all your stuff.

And then we have machine specific issues like you read at http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7587_102-2699006.html That audio driver issue is very common today and many will be unhappy that if they install the items in the wrong order, no audio output.

-> But let's get another common issue out of the way. I find many machines do not have an OS issue but a maintenance issue. Read http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6122_102-569818/getting-ready-to/?tag=contentBody;threadListing where they cleaned a machine to get it working proper again.
Bob

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Re: reinstall XP

You first install XP from the disk, then the drivers (in the right sequence). But before doing anything I would burn that drivers to a CD and copy them to a USB-stick (that are 2 backups), just in case the contents of your desktop are deleted during the reinstall.

And of course, you'll need to install all your non-HP drivers and utilities (say, the software for your Logitech mouse, your Epson printer and your Canon camera), your antivirus, your MS Office and other applications, Be sure you have the install program for all of those or can download them. Occasionally, we see people that lose the license codes of their shareware programs during such a reinstall and need to buy new ones.
And of course there are some 100 security patches from Windows update to do.

After 2014:
- Microsoft won't support XP any more
- These forums still exist!
- The same procedure you do now, still works then. So take some notes.

Kees

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Answer
If your computer ...

is working fine now but you are simply worried about the future one of the BEST solutions if to simply create an image of your hard drive and save it on some removable media (I find that USB hard drives or flash drives are better than multiple CDs or DVDs) and it is best to make at least two copies of the image.

There are commercial applications that do this and there are freeware applications.

One of the simplest and best commercial imaging solutions is Acronis True Image (sells for $49 but you can find coupons and sales that bring the cost down to around half that)

The freeware versions range from clonezilla to Macrium Reflect (free or commercial versions)
Clonezilla = http://www.clonezilla.org
Macrium Reflect = http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

I personally prefer and have used Arconis for several years as it is excellent as a file backup application also. Acronis True Image will also create a hidden partition on your hard drive for restoring your system simply by pressing the F11 key when notified during the boot process which is similar to the system restore that many new computers come with but has the added benefit of returning the system to a image that includes the updates and new apps you have added.


If you simply create new images immediately after installing any updates or new drivers or new applications

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