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[NTO]Reformat C:\ drive

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  • Bill
    Hi Jody, (was:[NTB]Problems with NTP:long loading time) ... My hard drive is divided into C: and D: and I have wanted to reformat my C: drive for quite some
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 6, 2000
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      Hi Jody, (was:[NTB]Problems with NTP:long loading time)

      >Last night I reformatted my C:\ drive which I do a few times a year
      >anyway and the problem cleared. ;) I know those are rather drastic
      >measures...

      My hard drive is divided into C: and D: and I have wanted to reformat my C:
      drive for quite some time; however, it would be my first attempt and have
      been procrastinating (anticipating many unexpected surprises of things I
      will no doubt overlook). When I saw your post I wondered if I could ask you
      your overall strategy and approach knowing you will be doing this "a few
      times a year". Can you pass along any tips and tricks for the beginner? Like
      how do you organize your hard drive, do you have more than two partitions?
      How long does it take you approximately to format and then re-install
      applications and your customized settings?

      Thanks,

      Bill
    • Jody
      Hi Bill, Sorry, for the late reply - here is my three cents worth - the extra penny is for the length of it. :) ... Emmett gave you some good tips, I will give
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 7, 2000
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        Hi Bill,

        Sorry, for the late reply - here is my three cents worth - the
        extra penny is for the length of it. :)

        > My hard drive is divided into C: and D: and I have wanted to
        > reformat my C: drive for quite some time; however, it would be
        > my first attempt and have been procrastinating (anticipating
        > many unexpected surprises of things I will no doubt overlook).

        Emmett gave you some good tips, I will give you some info, and
        hopefully some others will to. There are some "dinosaurs" on the
        list that were computing before Window's was made.

        Only the programs that use files on C:\ drive and/or the registry
        will not work if you decide to leave some of your programs
        installed. I have more utilities, etc. that are all self
        contained than I do that uses the system folder and registry. It
        is a personal preference call on how much you actually want to
        delete which will be done in the formatting or partitioning. If
        you have programs on D:\ drive and don't know if they use the
        registry or system folder you can leave them and you will find
        out when you try to start them up. <g> I normally keep all my
        utilities and small apps that I know are all self contained in
        their on directory and are running well. If you have any of
        those on C:\ drive you could consider drag/dropping them to D:\.
        It really depends on the mood I am in and what the condition of
        my machine is on what all I keep. Certainly deleting all (done in
        the format) is the best route if you are having problems or just
        want to make sure you are clean. I like to make these things as
        painless as possible. As Emmett mention, you are looking at a
        number of reboots, however, after first installing you will be
        amazed at how fast Windows opens and closes before you start
        adding all the junk on.

        You mentioned how many drives should you have partitioned. I
        guess that is personally preference as well to some degree. I
        would have at least three, but have seven not counting A, J, and
        K. I have that amount so I can better organize and find things
        easily. For instance, I have all my utility type apps on one,
        about 10 web sites I do on another, one is to store all my back
        up zipped and install programs... I use D:\ drive to keep all my
        big programs. The only thing I have on C:\ is Windows and the
        root stuff. I believe you will find the more you can keep off of
        C:\ the better performance you will have. You need to have at
        least 200MB free on it. I have a whole GB just sitting there. <g>

        You can partition using the DOS fdisk command, but only having
        two drives now you will need to do all this in sections. I know
        my Western Digital floppy does it real easy, but PQMagic IS the
        program and you would not have to do any file shifting! ;)

        Say you decide to go ahead and delete all your programs. If you
        have been keep a folder with all your (or a lot) of install and
        zip programs it makes things much easier. You would put them all
        on D:\ along with anything else you can think to back up. You
        are bound to miss some things the first few times. :) You can do
        a few searches in NoteTab using Search Disk to get all your ini
        files opened and then Save As the same, but D:\ drive. If you
        only change the drive letter, then drag/drop can be used to put
        them back where they belong. You will find the files in their
        main folder or in C:\Windows for the most part. *Write* your
        dialup number, primary/secondary DNS numbers down in case your
        backup does not work. I also have them in a text file to copy as
        well. You can drag/drop your DUN to D:\ -it is a text based file
        and you can read it in NoteTab if you want. Make sure you have
        all your passwords that I know you already have backed up <g>
        *backed up* I have two or three floppies laying around for them
        and that many or more with a few years of my Clipbook Libraries
        on it - some things are even backed up on the web. ;) You will
        want to backup all your eMail boxes and ini file if there as
        well. Taking the time to get all those little files can save you
        a lot of time and head aches after reinstalling everything.

        Speaking of "everything," don't make the same mistake as me in
        the past and just start installing everything just because you
        had it there before. The smaller self contained utilities are no
        problem even if only used once a year. <g> However, why install
        some bloat program that makes 131 entries in the registry and
        puts 53 .dlls in System that you only use once a year? Install
        those programs on demand and uninstall when you are done with it.
        Just keep it on your back up drive. Of course you have to have
        the room for all of it. ;) Remember to try to keep your C:\
        drive as clear of programs as you can and I think you will notice
        a considerable difference - that is what I have found to be the
        case. You will want to download a copy of COA if you do not have
        it if you want to move your Program Files folder off of C:\.
        You can find it on the PCMag section of http://www.zdnet.net

        As mentioned it depends on your computer and OS on the actual
        method used to reformat. Without knowing what you have as far as
        a drive and motherboard goes I cannot tell you exactly what to do
        - don't know if I could if you told me. <g> You will need to
        have or make at least once of the following though: DOS bootup
        disk, Windows Startup disk, hard drive disk that has the format,
        partitions etc. on it, or some other DOS utility that has the
        same. You can make one as well, but it is basically the same as
        making a Windows Startup disk. Personally, I think a DOS bootup
        disk is a real pain to use if you are going to partition. My
        Western disk was real easy and so is PQMagic. I have other
        utility disk that work real easy too. If you have to use a
        regular DOS, I would study up on fdisk (if you are going to
        partition) and format. Format is a tough one. <g>

        format [drive letter:]

        If you partition, fdisk will format sure enough!-) To get help
        on it at the DOS prompt (Windows shell is fine) type in fdisk /?
        I have a Clip that will bring the info up in an info box that I
        will add at the bottom of this for you. You might want to Copy
        All from the Info box in NoteTab and print it out if that is the
        method you are going to use. If you make a Win98 startup disk it
        has a CD driver on it, fdisk, help, format and a few others as well.

        So, if you want to make more partitions it, again depends on your
        drive on what you need to do. If C:\ is not big enough to cut
        down, you will need to install Windows first, then drag/drop all
        your back up over to C:\, partition D:\, and then drag it back.
        If D:\ is already the size you want and you have a large C:\ you
        want to break up, you won't have to format first, because it is
        part of the partitioning process. I normally format first anyway
        though. :)

        You can go into CMOS when you first turn on your computer by
        pressing the DEL key on most of them and in the main CMOS setup
        you will see an entry for what drive to boot up on. On the newer
        motherboards you can boot from CD ROM. If that is the case on
        your system, then it is a breeze to reinstall Windows. You can
        check it out at anytime on startup to see if you have that setup.
        If not, you will need to make sure you have your CD drivers ready
        to install so you can install from the CD like Emmett mentioned.
        You can make a practice run on it if you want right before you
        get ready to reformat to make sure you know how to do it. You
        should be able to even practice fdisk on a floppy and make a few
        partitions on it. Just make sure you are alert and don't tell it
        to do C:\ and answer "y" to the question. ;)

        I know it is a bit scary the first time you do this, but what is
        the worst that can happen? You can't figure it ut so you have to
        drag your box down to the computer store. the tech hooks it up
        there at the counter, types in a few simple things and tells you
        to go home and load a floppy and plug in the CD -- after charging
        you $10-25 or free if they are nice guys/gals. ;)

        If you have a friend around town that knows how to do it you
        might do it on a night that he will be home so you can call if
        you run into problems.

        The reason why you will need to reboot a number of times not
        counting Windows when it sets up all your hardware is, because
        when you start installing programs that write to the registry or
        install in to System. I would reboot after every major install
        myself unless you know for sure the program is self contained.
        Some installations are not completed until after reboot even if
        they don't tell you too.

        You asked about the time it takes to do this. I can reformat and
        be back online answering eMail in less than an hour now if I am
        only doing C:\ drive, but I have my system down already that I
        use. It depends on your machine and what all you are going to be
        doing and how much you need to scratch your head, or how many
        times you have to slap yourself and say, "You Dummie!!!" :)

        Let us know the size of your drive, what you have to
        format/partition with, what flavor of Windows and if you can boot
        up on a CD and perhaps we can give you more exact information.

        On a side note: Dennis Cummins uses InControl4 to tracked
        everything he installs and then moves the dlls out of system into
        the programs on folder, runs COA, and then a reg cleaner behind
        them. ;)

        The two most common elements in the
        universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

        Signed,
        I. Claim Ignorance

        Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves
        for they shall never cease to be amused.

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