How to do a clean XP reinstall on laptop?

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How to do a clean XP reinstall on laptop?

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 12:37 pm

I have a laptop with super small IDE hard drive, and it hasn't been formatted for a long while. I want to format the drive clean, get rid of the recovery partition that only wastes space, and have a clean install without any bloatware except drivers.

But my google-fu doesn't seem to work today, all links about how to do that don't seem to fill the basic questions I have.

I have a XP PRO sticker on the laptop with genuine key, the laptop was pre-activated during previous 2 installs, the first one from factory, on the second because I did restore from recovery partition, so it just did the ghosting or whatever the Lenovo recovery software did aside from installing bloat. But now I want to do a clean, XP Pro w SP3 integrated, install, so that the system is clean from bloat right from the start.

And now I don't know:
1) What kind of Windows Pro SP3 CD do I have to get and how? Is it OEM, Retail or something else?
2) How can you get the .iso file of this disc? As far as I understand there is an .iso on the Microsofts TechNet, but I am not registered there. Do I have to call them?
3) What will happen with the activation, will it just activate when I click ok, or does it skip activation because it's an OEM Laptop?
4) What about nLite? Is it worth customizing the install? I took a quick peek at the software, and somehow it seemed that it might cause a lot of troubles if I customize something wrong.
5) Any other tips?
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Re: How to do a clean XP reinstall on laptop?

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 12:54 pm

Madman wrote:And now I don't know:
1) What kind of Windows Pro SP3 CD do I have to get and how? Is it OEM, Retail or something else?

You want the OEM one.

2) How can you get the .iso file of this disc? As far as I understand there is an .iso on the Microsofts TechNet, but I am not registered there. Do I have to call them?

In situations like this, I've always had an install CD handy, or known someone I could borrow one from (to rip my own ISO). I've never tried to get the ISO direct from Microsoft.

3) What will happen with the activation, will it just activate when I click ok, or does it skip activation because it's an OEM Laptop?

I believe it will try to activate just like a generic OEM install.

4) What about nLite? Is it worth customizing the install? I took a quick peek at the software, and somehow it seemed that it might cause a lot of troubles if I customize something wrong.

Unless you need third party disk controller drivers, or are starting from a pre-SP3 ISO (and want to slipstream SP3 instead of downloading and installing it separately), I don't see any real need for nLite.

5) Any other tips?

Depending on the graphics adapter in that laptop, there is a slight risk that you will have trouble finding video card drivers for it. I ran into this once a couple of years ago, with an HP laptop that had an nVidia mobile GPU. The generic drivers from nVidia's site would not recognize the GPU, and would not install. I ended up having to use some "hacked" drivers from a third-party site.
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Re: How to do a clean XP reinstall on laptop?

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 1:06 pm

just brew it! wrote:
2) How can you get the .iso file of this disc? As far as I understand there is an .iso on the Microsofts TechNet, but I am not registered there. Do I have to call them?

In situations like this, I've always had an install CD handy, or known someone I could borrow one from (to rip my own ISO). I've never tried to get the ISO direct from Microsoft.

OEM disc... Haven't seen those in the wild since the Win95 era, all PCs seem to be preloaded with recovery partitions and everyone else just gets Retail. :roll:

5) Any other tips?

Depending on the graphics adapter in that laptop, there is a slight risk that you will have trouble finding video card drivers for it. I ran into this once a couple of years ago, with an HP laptop that had an nVidia mobile GPU. The generic drivers from nVidia's site would not recognize the GPU, and would not install. I ended up having to use some "hacked" drivers from a third-party site.

I have Intel integrated video card, if you can call it so. I think the current drivers I have were updated directly from Intel site.

I think I read somewhere that Nvidia had ini file or something in their drivers, and all hacked drivers just have those OEM card id strings added to them. So I think you can get the latest drivers, self-extract them, add your card id somewhere there and install. Something like this: http://www.rune-server.org/computing/wi ... ivers.html
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Re: How to do a clean XP reinstall on laptop?

Postposted on Tue May 03, 2011 1:19 pm

Madman wrote:OEM disc... Haven't seen those in the wild since the Win95 era, all PCs seem to be preloaded with recovery partitions and everyone else just gets Retail. :roll:

If by "everyone else" you mean "people who like paying twice as much for their OS license", then yeah I suppose...

All the major online retailers (Newegg, TigerDirect, etc.) carry OEM CDs/DVDs, and who uses Microsoft's phone support anyway? I think I've bought retail boxed Windows exactly once in the past 10+ years, and that was because I (stupidly) wanted to try to use an "upgrade" version to do an in-place upgrade from Win2K to WinXP. All the Windows boxes I've built for family and friends have used an OEM install...
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Re: How to do a clean XP reinstall on laptop?

Postposted on Wed May 04, 2011 12:02 am

Madman wrote:4) What about nLite? Is it worth customizing the install? I took a quick peek at the software, and somehow it seemed that it might cause a lot of troubles if I customize something wrong.

As always, test it out with VMs. The question of whether it is worth it depends on what "super small HDD" means. Less than 4 gigs? :o
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