Along with the OS thread, which got me thinking.http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=17737.0
OS Re-install Tips?
So what about someone partitioning for the first time ?. And concerned not to be blindsided (hearing various stories of the occasional missing partition, trashed disk, MBR manipulations, and whatever). Preparing for the 1% difficulty, also learning good practices at the same time.
How is this for a checklist ?
(Much of this can apply to any low-level activity, or a general cleanup and system review.)
* XP vs lower-level Partition tool
* Which partition tools to use - install and play w/o update (& burn to CD or put on USB as appropriate)
* Decide on number of partitions and sizes and their file types
* Decide on boot manager, if multi-boot is planned
* Settle on data backup (many good alternatives) and/or image (more sensitive) backup programs
OS RESTORE CDS AND UTILITIES
* Look for mfgr XP CDs and keep phone #s and serial #s handy
* NLite or other XP CD alternatives (Plan B to mfgr CD and good idea in general)
* Bart-PE type CD available and working
* Consider USB alternatives to CD, test booting if used
XP REGISTRATION (if an issue)
* Possible preemptive Microsoft contact to verify XP license
* Use registration save help pages, if appropriate
SECURITY SCANS (optional good time for enhanced scan activity)
* Your normal full scans
* Malwarebytes, A2 & more tools (follow up but avoid getting bogged down in the false positives)
LOCAL AND REMOTE BACKUP AND CONTACT POINT
* Net accounts used and comfy (e.g FileFactory, DriveHQ, Dropbox) to hold info, double-save some stuff
* Local puter for net contact when down, and can hold info - (Plan B, friends, library)
* Backup media - e.g. removable hard drive, USB
SAVE SYSTEM INFO
* Basic info -- e.g. Belarc --with XP#s -- to print/net/usb/backup
* Keep Serial #s of installed software is available at backup points, and list of installed software
* CHKDSK (e.g. Gparted can choke if Windows has unfixed disk errors)
* maximize PTF -- eg. SP3
* Early backup and/or image before cleaning (e.g. normal daily)
* Clean disk (eg. CCleaner) temp files etc - using utilities and any additional hand work.
* Good time for any special cleanup (see note below)
* Special note - this is not a good time for "registry cleaning" (unless previously an established routine)
* When done -- empty the recycle bin
* Defrag and compact registry, page and sys files (PageDefrag), (ERUNT before and after)
(only what is your normal practice, can be skipped entirely)
* Setup special folder/sub to hold special backup prep areas, easy to see on backup disk
* Backup Registry w/ERUNT
* Backup current drivers (allowing one-by-one restore on an as-needed basis)
* Special backups e.g Firefox extensions FEBE, Desktop Saves
* Windows Scheduler - at least note of current status, pic of what is there (not sure of backup method)
* Final report backup logs (e.g. Belarc, SiSandra, Installed Program Printer) placed in their save folders
* Any special security and password info saved
* Review that your backup program picks up all essential files from daily app usage.
* Backup data files
* Turn off System Restore if on
* Defrag (optional)
* Backup Image (2 is better than 1 - verification difficult)
* Turn on System Restore if you use it
PREPARE AND GO AND RUN
* Defrag with file placement
* Create Partitions
* Verification and test of new setup, use multiple tools to check they see system
* Install any new OS, move any data, create any recovery partitions, etc.
* Begin daily use
Partition time -- a good time to read and do once-in-a-blue-moon cleanup.
One example:. C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution (and the same name in the system 32 folder) is very deletable, likely by hand, perhaps turning off MS auto-update when on - or that caveat may be Vista-only. On my system it is 100 MB. Also a good time to use a good disk-tree software to see the things worth deleting and checking. Generally, I would delete l my downloaded files in temp folders for installs at this time, keeping the folder structure I set up.
Or you might have humongous log files of which you are unawares. Be sure that you see hidden files visible if you want to do a full analysis and study, and be careful. An example of a helpful article. http://www.optimizin...ize/deletefiles.html
Disk Cleanup: deleting unnecessary files
Oh, if you are not sure of a delete, better rename the folder, make a note, you can delete later after reboots.
Decide between data and image per your practices, a data backup is always a helpful auxiliary, even if you image. The simplest is, space available, a non-compressed data backup where the files are fully individually viewable and tested in restore. No matter how superior imaging may be for a particular installation for speed and fullness of backup, it generally will not be as reliable and verifiable and flexible for small and specific needs as simply a straight file save and restore. (I am not sure if any image software has gotten to the point of similar flexibility when used for simple restore mode, eg. allowing a dual pane explorer mode of the files within the image.)
XP (Partition Master, Easeus etc) and lower-level partition (GParted, Linux tools Grub, etc) is a fundamental decision, they can be combined yet have nuances. Discussions on the Linux forums especially can help in preparation, and they indicate that XP tools are limited in utility. Here is a sample discussion.http://ubuntuforums....wthread.php?t=347275
Partitioning for XP/Ubuntu dual boot
Tool Savvy for Linux Partition
Free tools mentioned as very savvy for Linux partition work :
livecd (with ntfstools with ntfsresize )
Apparently there are some limitations from some XP tools as to how well they will set up partitions for a Linux install.
There are also questions about primary and logical partitions, extended partitions and such. One idea that is especially interesting is a "FAT32 shared OS drive" that can hold data for multiple OS, within that partition you could set up a directory for XP-only data, a directory for Linux-only data, and a directory for shared data.
And I am still researching which is the best defrag to use before partition. How much difference it makes, what settings and such. And e.g. whether a simple defrag like Auslogics will be acceptable in clearing space if the disk is only 25%-35% full.
My understanding is that System Restore points can be a bear for drive image software.
Ergo, above -- turn off, image, turn on.
OS HOLDS DATA EXAMPLE - HOSTS FILE
An example of changeable (user-defined) data kept in the operating system section.
The hosts file.
Your thoughts ? I'll modify the above as needed.