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#16
Mark D

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All hard drives have little pin switches that control whether they are the Master, Slave or cable select. If your two drives have to share one IDE channel, your data drive can't be set to the same attribute as your primary, (they can't both be the master or the slave). If you put the data drive on the second IDE port, it cannot be the same as any other device, (DVD - CD) on that channel. As I said earlier, you can add your data disk after the primary gets set up. If you attach the second drive after setting up the primary, you may have to use the computer management control in the administrative tools control panel to activate the data drive, (if its not formatted already). Hope this helps..
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#17
highland403

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I have never done this before so its freaking me out a little.

I am going to move all of my data to an external hard drive before formatting. Are there any specific steps you can recommend that I follow to make sure I move all data such as My Documents, and emails (I use Thunderbird), etc.

Also, don't I have to reinstall drivers? This computer came with several CDs... the XP reinstall, Sound Blaster, and several Dell CDs. I don't know if they need to be reinstalled or not.
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#18
Mark D

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It's really not all that hard. As long as you understand what each XP install step is asking you and read what is the correct key to press to perform what you want to do. It's true, you will have to reload device drivers, but if you have your setup CDs, it's actually pretty easy.

If your 35GB drive has been formatted with operating system before, it may 1st ask if you want to start using the Windows Recovery Console or install Windows. Once you choose install Windows, it will search for previous versions of the operating system. If it finds one, it will ask if you want to repair it or install a fresh copy. One you've chosen to install a new copy, it will ask if you'd like to format the drive. You will need your Product Activation key, (the little Microsoft tag tag on the side of your system). It will also ask you for a name, what time and day it is and what time zone you live in.

Once you've installed Windows XP on a clean drive, just make sure all your devices drivers are loaded before you install printers, programs, etc. It's usually no hard than inserting the driver CD in the DVD Rom drive and clicking "install". I usually visit the manufacture's website for any updated drivers but your CDs should do fine. Just make sure to check the device manager in the System control panel on the hardware tab for any question marks when you're done.


Your data is mainly stored within your profile folder, but 1st, make sure that your system is set to display hidden files, (open my computer, click on "Tools", "Folder Options, then the "View" tab. Change the view settings to show hidden files). When you enter your profile name under the Documents & Settings folder, you will then see Application Data, and Local Settings, (which you wouldn't be able to see normally. Below is where your thunderbird email resides, (per the Thunderbird website FAQ):


Locate your profile folder
Before the configuration files are presented, you should know how to find your profile folder, which is where Thunderbird saves all your settings on your hard drive.

On Windows Vista/XP/2000, the path is usually %AppData%\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\, where xxxxxxxx is a random string of 8 characters. Just browse to C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\ on Windows XP/2000

Your My Documents, Favorites and Local Settings->Application data are also important. How to import your Thunderbird profile would be somewhere within its program options.

Remember, don't panic and try to understand what options the XP installation program giving you. You basically want to install a fresh copy of Windows XP and asking the installation program to format the drive.

Good luck..
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