Author Topic: XP, Fred and me  (Read 842 times)


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XP, Fred and me
« on: Oct 29, 2001, 08:03 AM »
Fred Langa's Special Edition on Windows XP can be found online at:

From my personal experience, Fred's take is right-on.

In my case, upgrading to XP on my nearly new 1.2 gig Athlon with a clean, month-old install of Win98SE networked to my old 333 Q has been a 2-day nightmare. If not for the knowledge I've managed to soak in from members of this forum, my Tbird would be on its way to a repair shop this morning. Well, no, I'd be begging our experts here for help first, since I'm cheap.

At one time, I had no operating system and couldn't boot past an error screen. I had to do a BIOS edit to boot to the XP CD. So I tried to install on a different, pristine partition, but the install stalled out again and again. I reformatted the partition THREE TIMES in sheer desperation before the install would proceed. Even after the OS was finally installed on that partition, allowing me some functionality, I had to tinker around in the Windows Repair and do a FixMBR to boot to that partition. I wandered around in the Help menu of the Windows Repair utility for hours, learning what each command does. A very limited DOS-like environment with which I had no experience whatsover.

None of this was even mentioned in the install directions, which would lead one to believe that upgrading is as simple as installing a new game.

After I finally had a working XP on my E partition, it crashed when I tried to access any of my programs on D. The botched installation on C wasn't even recognized as Windows by the install program, so I couldn't enter the Repair utility, yet it took up enough space on that 2-gig partition that there was no room for a fresh install. XP on E wouldn't let me format C. For a while I was stumped.

I ended up having to change the boot settings so I could reformat C from the installed XP on my E partion. Again it was necessary to reformat several times before I could manage a fresh install of XP on C. Again the install stalled out repeatedly and I would have to start over. Changing the boot settings had removed access to the OS on E after Install rebooted, so I had to figure out how to change the boot back to boot up in C.

These aren't simple tasks for the average user.

Some of the programs on D are still causing problems, so I'll probably end up reinstalling everything there.  

And all this is AFTER I flashed my BIOS to enable XP support, upgraded my video driver, removed unsupported software and hardware configurations and cleaned up my drives in preparation for the install. Do NOT believe the hype about easy installation.

As an operating system, aside from the install compatability issues, XP appears to be a big step up from Win9x\ME. From what I've seen so far, it's comparable to moving up from 3.1 to 95. But when or if you decide to upgrade, do some research on what CAN go wrong and be ready.

« Last Edit: Feb 03, 2004, 12:33 PM by Neon »