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greggerm

Reinstall compelete! Like having a new PC....

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Greetings one and all,Well, what a weekend! Bit the bullet Thursday, and went to PC World and bought a copy of XP Home, just the quick

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Guest jboweruk

I'm planning on running both, at least until I see what works and what doesn't in FSX. A re-install often works wonders for a tired PC, Windows accumulates a lot of clutter over time, and even if you know what you're doing in the registry finding it to clear it out can be a daunting (not to mention seriously time consuming) task.The last part of my new rig came yesterday so hopefully by the weekend I'll have that up and running, quite a bit of kit too:Asus p5W DH Deluxe moboP4 dual core 3.4 cpu2 X SATA 400Gb hdd's1Gb RAM (made a mistake when ordering as I really wanted 2Gb)DVD RW/RAM etc.Combi DVD/CDRW drive (couldn't get straight 52X CDROM)SoundBlaster X-Fi sound cardRadeon X1900 XTX graphics.So looking forward to seeing how stuff runs on that lot.

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Guest waltch

HiI am planning to do the same before FSX is released. I also want to run again FS9 on a new clean system. I also have a separate HD where I can save all the necessary files.How did you exactly proceed to wipe "C" completely?Thanks Walter

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Its a simple process Walter, although one which is perhaps best investigated via the web! For instance, even though I knew it would be a simple process, I printed out some step by step instructions which I found online. There are numerous sites offering guides to a reinstall.But basically, once you have your full version Windows XP CD, you change your boot order in setup, so that initial boot is from your CD drive. Insert the XP CD, and reboot. Follow onscreen instructions to format and reinstall Windows. Its as simple as that, but as I say, I felt happier with some printed instructions in my hand to follow!Regards,Al.

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Guest jboweruk

Another word of advice, make sure you have ALL important data backed up first, and ensure you have all your driver CD's to hand, there's nothing worse than getting near to finished only to find that you've misplaced an important CD.

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Guest waltch

Thank you guys for the advice.I have all my (saved) files on a separate external hard drive and of course the WinXP orginal CD and a CD with all the necessary drivers ready.I was just wondering whether you meant with "wipe C completely" that you used some kind of "disk wiper" tool like "DBAN" before reinstalling WinXP. I guess there are people on the net who believe that with just reinstalling WinXP there is a chance that not everything gets cleared off from the previous installaiton, including nasty things like viruses.ThanksWalter

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Hi again Walter.I myself just did a clean format and reinstall, without the use of any other cleaning applications. From what I have read about formatting and reinstalling windows on the web, it strikes me there is plainly no way of ever satisfying everyones view on what constitutes a completely painless and totally thorough wiping of a previous installation!I didn't feel the need to disconnect my HD, jam it in a bench vice and take an angle-grinder to the disk surfaces! (Huge exaggeration here, but it just seems that there are so many processes one can go through to 'alledgedly' come out the other side with a completely clean HD!) So with that in mind, I simply did what I was capable of! :)Al.

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>>But basically, once you have your full version Windows XP CD,>you change your boot order in setup, so that initial boot is>from your CD drive. >Regards,>>Al.You shouldn't have to change your boot order just to boot the OS CD; unless you changed it from the default settings to boot your hard drive first.Just put the OS CD in and boot; if you get a prompt to "press any key to boot from cd" press any key and you are off to the wonderful world of OS installation.

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Most default settings boot from the HDD, not the CD. So, in most cases it's necessary to change the boot order.Doug

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Guest jboweruk

>Hi again Walter.>>I myself just did a clean format and reinstall, without the>use of any other cleaning applications. From what I have read>about formatting and reinstalling windows on the web, it>strikes me there is plainly no way of ever satisfying>everyones view on what constitutes a completely painless and>totally thorough wiping of a previous installation!>>I didn't feel the need to disconnect my HD, jam it in a bench>vice and take an angle-grinder to the disk surfaces! (Huge>exaggeration here, but it just seems that there are so many>processes one can go through to 'alledgedly' come out the>other side with a completely clean HD!) So with that in mind,>I simply did what I was capable of! :)>>Al.The simple truth of the matter is once a hdd has been written to it's been written to, period. You can never wipe it 'clean' in that respect. Even viruses tend to die when the hdd is formatted as that is where they reside, this only becomes a problem if you have 2 drives and both are infected. If you have files backed up to any other device and those files are infected then as soon as you put them back on your pc they will infect it. Best bet is to use anti virus software to check all your files before opening them after a re-install, just to be safe.The fact is, any format will clean the drive as effectively as any other, even the best 'cleaning' software only writes a series of zero's to the drive so that the old data is overwritten.

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I received the components for my new computer today and personally I'm gonna make a dual-booting system so that I install FS9 on one system and FSX on the other. I also have made a habit of always creating images of the installed system at different steps. So when Windows XP is fully installed and patched and all drivers installed, I make an image (using ghost) that I save on another partition. Once MSFS is installed with all add-ons I make an image at that point too. In that way, I can have a fully installed and very clean system running in a matter of 20-30 minuters, if I decide I need to re-install everything. I simply run Ghost and load the ghost image I created thereby overwriting everything on the active partition.Very practical if you install one add-on that messes everything up and you otherwise would end up spending an entire day installing MSFS and locating passwords/serials for the add-ons...

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Wiping vs. Formatting:Yes - what everybody else said. :)Forgive me if most of you already know and understand this, but Im going to end up going into the basics of "wiping" and why it's important. But first, some quick and basic terms!Format: VERY simply put, formatting initializes a disk by reestablishing the "table of contents" (Master File Table) on the drive and possibly laying down a basic framework for your files.Wipe: Wiping is a process in which structured and random data is written to the disk over the course of multiple passes with the intent of destroying any underying information. All you need to do when reinstalling your Windows OS is to reformat. (Or delete and re-create the partition). This quick process will simply clear the table of contents for your drive and make the computer think it's empty, giving you the clean slate you need to start over. You *could* wipe the drive, as it would accomplish the same thing, but it would take longer and really isn't needed for the task at hand.As some said, this runs a risk of "re-infecting" your computer if you have another hard drive, so just be sure to run a virus scan at some point before formatting to give yourself peace of mind. - == - == - == - == - == - == - == - == - == - == - == - == Since wiping was brought up, I thought I'd waste some time here at work to talk about it. Forgive me if you know what it is already, and obviously I know there may be a technical detail here or there which may not be perfectly accurate... it's just a basic writeup. :)When you use your computer, you are constantly writing and deleting information from the hard drive. Something not often thought about is what happens to the information when you delete it. Lets say you just downloaded "Super FPS Booster 2006.zip" from AVSIM. You tried it out, discovered it's a crock of poop, and want to get rid of it. You drag the file to the Recycle Bin, and then empty the bin. Gonzo. But wait - as of right now, it's only gone in the eyes of the operating system! When you delete a file, the OS simply erases it's entry in the Master File Table (MFT). This hugely important index tells the system where files are on the drive. By erasing a file from the MFT, the OS no longer has any clue about the file, and it considers the space it occupied as free.Looking at it from a more technical view however, you'll see that the hard drive didn't actually REMOVE any information. Only the MFT was changed. Your "Super FPS Booster 2006.zip" data is still sitting on the drive exactly where it was placed, just no longer referenced by the OS. Eventually, the operating system may use that "free" space to write another file, and your old .zip will be overwritten.Taking it yet another technical step further, hard disks are magnetic media. Whenever you write information to magnetic media, it leaves a microscopic magnetic signature on the drive. At the end of the above example, the .zip file was overwritten by the operating system because it considered the space it occupied to be free - which is fine. But because of the way magnetic media works, the disc still holds a shadow of the overwritten .zip file. This doesn't impact performance in the least, but it does have some security implications. Advanced and specilized computer forensics could find and extract that .zip file, even though it was literally overwritten by other information. There comes a point, though, after several rewrites and such, that the shadow of the old file will become so obscured that it would be unreadable to even the experts. Now that we know all that, we see why there is a need for wiping!Wiping is used as a security step to essentially guarantee that a drive is free of all logical information. Wiping generally uses a system to write to the hard drive separate from the operating system, insuring that everything including the boot sectors and MFT's are wiped. Wiping comes in various flavors. High security types take a long time and will make many passes across the disk - sometimes writing all 0's, others all 1's - still others in set patterns 1001001001.. and others completely randomized. These multiple passes of data writing takes every nook and cranny of the drive and writes over it so many times that any shadows of information contained on it are no longer visable. Anyone looking to forensically gather information from the drive will end up looking through random patterns of 1's and 0's only to find more random 1's and 0's. I use wiping at my job all the time. I work in a bank, and whenever I take a drive out of service or move a drive to a different level of service, I hook it into a wiper which performs a long process to guarantee it's "sterile" of information. This destruction is needed, because it'd be a big problem if any of our customer's information made it out into the public - even if it was buried in the layers of the hard drive. The federal regulators have some exceptionally strict guidelines (as you may imagine), so even if I move a drive from one department to another, I still wipe it clean. (Drives that don't function anymore are literally crushed and shredded - not your run of the mill shredder!) And that - in a rather large nutshell - is how and why wiping is used.As you see - you don't necessairily need to wipe if you are just reinstalling. It can't hurt, but it could be considered a waste of an afternoon. But if ever you sell your computer, or want to sell your hard drive, it is a VERY good idea (borderline NECESSITY!) to perform a wipe on the drives and reinstall the OS to insure your personal data is destroyed. Sorry for the rambling!-Greg

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