Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Re-installing Windows XP

I’ve decided that the time has come for me to reinstall Windows XP on my laptop. The installation is over 18 months old now and is a bit on the slow side due to my continual abuse of it – it’s had lots of software installed and uninstalled, many of it beta or even alpha quality. I also managed to goof up my IE7 Beta 2 Preview installation (the fault was entirely mine) which means that although it still works, I can’t upgrade it to the MIX06 release that came out last week.
Other factors that have influenced my decision include the purchase of a Mac, which means that I don’t really need to dual-boot to Linux anymore since a perfectly good Unix machine is available to me, and that a valid Windows XP Professional license has come into my possesion. I’m also keen to migrate to NTFS as I’m still on FAT32, which means I don’t get niceties like file system compression and encryption.
If this installation can last me at least a year, then by that time I should have a job and Windows Vista should be out, so I’d be able to afford a new laptop with Vista. Though I like my Mac and use it primarily, I still haven’t been able to wean myself off Windows and there are a handful of applications I still use on my laptop.
My plan is to start the reinstall later this week. In the meantime I have lots of data to backup.


  1. Out of interest what “handful of applications” haven’t you been able to replace?

  2. * Shareaza – I haven’t yet found a free P2P client for OS X that supports both Gnutella, Gnutella2 and eDonkey.
    * Picasa – iPhoto ’05 doesn’t cut it for me. Haven’t tried iPhoto ’06 yet but Picasa seems more suited.
    * NeatImage – the Mac version is in the form of a PhotoShop plugin, and I don’t own PhotoShop (nor can I afford it).
    * Internet Explorer – need it for testing web pages.
    * 2.0 – there’s a Mac version but it’s well behind the Windows version in terms of usefulness.
    * MSN Messenger – there isn’t a good stable Mac client that supports voice and video chat – Mercury Messenger is slow and aMSN is a bit unstable. Official client and Adium only allow text-based communication.
    * Irfanview – though I may try xnView.

  3. Be wary about using the encryption, it’s tied into your user account…. not into a passphrase (i.e. something you can independently recall).
    I had an issue where I was locked out of one of my own files due to a windows reinstall. After the install I pointed the new account at the existing files (which were on d:\ ) and I could not decrypt the file.

  4. Have you tried GAIM ??

  5. Basu: Gaim doesn’t work on OS X 🙂 . Adium is based on Gaim though, and besides, Gaim is only just contemplating adding voice and video support for Google Talk, never mind any of the other networks.
    There’s also another program I need: SPSS, which is a specialist statistics package for one of my degree modules. I also need Visual Studio 2003 since I can’t get gcc to compile the C++ code that I’m using for a project.

  6. I have had my laptop over 2 years now with windows xp. During this time I have installed and deinstalled many programs and files and now its running very slowly, also I do not have much memory left, my max is 40gb. I am thinking of formatting or reinstalling windows but do not want to lose all of my data/programs and, my pc knowlege is quite limited, does anyone have any suggestions on how to go bout it or can anyone tell me which programmes I should get rid of and which ones I should only need ie java/adobe/quicktime. The list goes on and on.