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Author Topic: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380  (Read 13254 times)

Steven Avery

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XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« on: April 12, 2009, 07:07:31 PM »
Hi Folks,

  Bear with me through a wordy one.  Or move on :) .

  My main system crashed with a lsass.exe message, something like "end of format is invalid".  This is a real tacky crash -- technically it is a reboot cycle in the early stages of booting XP. (I have some some conjectures about possible culprits, later I will try to look at my MJ Registry Watch and event viewer logs.) On the net this problem is pretty frequent .. sometimes folks attach that message to a user account mashup corruption, other times pagefile-related confusions, other times this and that, lsass.exe is fundamental and resists, for some reason, simple replacement .. from what I could tell.  This also resists sfc /scannow and registry fixes and deleting the page file and lots of other tries.  And often effects safe mode, so that it has a reboot-cycle just like regular mode, you never make it to safe mode, and you can't get to where you could try the "last successful boot" (or whatever that wording is).  Even when folks on the Net get this semi-resolved, it seems like it is often a temporary fix and the problem recurs. 

  Thus .. it is format and reinstall XP time.  I like to do that occasionally anyway on a busy system -- well when needed. Granted .. if I had a recent image I could try format and image reinstall, in the future I plan to design my systems for dual restore.  This is a Dell system, Precision 380 --  I was able to get into some special tool-testing section that Dell has .. went through their whole "OS not booting" test phase without a difficulty :) . And I was able to boot with UBCD4Windows (and Parted Magic if I want) for lots of tools.

   And, using the Dell CDs, which I have, I am able to get into "Windows XP Professional Setup" which allows a deletion of a partition followed by an XP restore (all solidly registered with Dell and MS).  Even when the support time is officially over Dell is pretty good on answering things like -- what should I do ? -- do you have a CD ? etc).

   For backing up the most recent data I simply did an essentially full file-by-file Free Commander (!) backup from UBCD to a removable drive connected by USB that is one of those 150 Gigabyte or more thingies.   I got a chuckle seeing that with the dozens of tools that they have there on UBCD, the one that I trusted for simple file backup was copy files in Free Commander !  (Perhaps the DriveImageXML has that as a sub-feature, however it gave me no confidence .. I would use that for images, which you do not create on crippled machines and expect much.)

 I also used Double Driver, nicely in UBCD, to be sure the drivers were backed up nicely, although I likely had some backup on the disk already.

 Now Dell does not give you an XP CD, they give you a "reinstallation" CD with the service pack, also separate CDs for drivers and an application CD are with this.  And the reinstallation CD pretty clearly is not a fresh install .. I'm pretty sure of that. 

  Important change-note.  I may well have been wrong on that.  The wording on the CD was unclear, it may well be a fresh install, so that would make the rest of the following moot for my XP.  In fact I think I did use it that way once before a year or more ago ! After a Vundo infection and some other difficulties if I remember. Although even if so the questions below may still remain for future reference on other systems.

  So I wonder .. should I look for a generic XP-iso on the net to burn (on another puter) ?  Should I see what Dell has officially that I may have to purchase ?  Or should I try to create a special CD on another puter using some of those strange build-your-XP utilities .. however those I think they want the same hardware.   Or maybe at work where they have a dozen Dell XPs there is actually a full XP OS and if so I should get that in the AM and use it ? Or should I bring it over to the techie guy (who just sold me another decent Lenovo XP system for $100) who installs XP in his sleep in 15 minutes and then types it from the numbers of the box-side.  He is busy tomorrow -- he picks up the one generation old machines from Port Authority by the dozens which is why I was able to get a decent system cheap and, with patience, watch XP in the making .. watching XP is a bit like sauerkraut or frankfurters or whatever has that adage .. oh yeah .. sausage .. hmmm.. Hebrew National may be better.  Well I had to find the Ethernet driver and he ended up giving me two XP-OS in one partition - Windows and Windows.0 -- yet one was trivial to delete, surprisingly. Anyway, he can't help till Tuesday so should I try one of the other methods ? Does an XP-iso work ?  Is it doable without going to crackerjacker sites ? 

  Any thought on the variety pack of choices appreciated.

Shalom,
Steven Avery

PS.
This system downloads my email, so if it is down for more than a day or two some stuff starts bouncing, or I have to download unto another system, which is awkward with my Eudora filters. Thus I like to get it up fairly quickly even if I have another puter doing all my essential stuff.  The system, although a couple of years old, is still very nice, especially after I upgraded the memory.  (Oh, yeah, taking out some memory sticks was another try that I found unappetizing.)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 07:25:48 PM by Steven Avery »

Carol Haynes

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 08:27:02 PM »
If you use a generic XP ISO you will need to enter a license code and activate it. There should be an XP code on the case but they don't always work.

You can always use a utility to backup the current activation state of your XP (and read the current registration code - which won't be the one on the outside of the case).

There is a link in these forums for the official ISO files of Windows XP SP3 (both Home and Pro editions) from the MS website. I don't know if they still work.

Here is the link I was looking for: Download XP SP3 ISO files. Not all the links work now (but some do).

If the links don't work there you can download an XP ISO from http://www.majorgeek...k_3_Final_d4323.html (click on 'The  Author's Site' link near the top)

Unfortunately I am not sure if that one is Home or Pro.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 08:29:17 PM by Carol Haynes »

4wd

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 08:31:31 PM »
Important change-note.  I may well have been wrong on that.  The wording on the CD was unclear, it may well be a fresh install, so that would make the rest of the following moot for my XP.  In fact I think I did use it that way once before a year or more ago ! After a Vundo infection and some other difficulties if I remember. Although even if so the questions below may still remain for future reference on other systems.

Just have a look at the CD structure, if it's the same as a normal XP install CD then the chances are it is.

capture_04132009_112338.jpg

In which case you can do a repair install over the top of the existing installation.

If the i386 directory exists on the HDD then you can recreate a install disk as shown here: Create XP Install Disc

Borrow someone else's XP Home/Pro, (depends on your version), and do a repair install - or a full install using your CD key, (usually on a sticker on the PC).

Download a XP iso and use your CD key.

40hz

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 09:03:07 PM »
I'd just use the supplied Dell Reinstallation CD. It's the easiest and fastest way to get your machine back if that's all you have to work with.

The reinstallion CD contains the licensed copy of Windows you paid for. You shouldn't need to buy anything else from Dell to get your PC working again.

The Dell Reinstallation CD will give you a fresh install of your OS in whatever version and at whatever Service Pack it was on when you originally bought it. You will also most likely need to reinstall some device drivers once you complete the OS install.

Before you do this, you might want to consider removing the modem card (if you have one) unless you still use dial-up - or send faxes directly from your PC. For most of us, modems do little more than waste power and tie up a slot.

The recommended reinstallation procedure (per Dell) is to redo your original OS installation using the recovery disk; then download and install all relevant Microsoft updates starting with the most current service pack; then reinstall your drivers using the supplied disk.

In practice, this sequence doesn't always work. Especially if the OS installation doesn't recognize your NIC because it's missing the driver.

Having restored my share of Dells, I've found the best approach is to get your machine back to the original factory configuration first (i.e. OS & drivers); then install any Microsoft updates; then install your antivirus tool of choice; and then see if any hardware drivers need updating.

I'd also run PC Decrapifier to get rid of any 'affiliate' product garbage that came along for the ride.

Super important point: minimize your use of the web until you completely update Windows and get a decent antivirus app installed. I've found an installation of Avira's AntiVir Personal and PCTools ThreatFire to be an exceptionally effective combination. Both are free for personal use. AntiVir and ThreatFire also play very nicely with each other, which is an important consideration if you're running multiple anti-malware apps.

---

If you don't have a copy of XP's Service Pack 3, I'd download that using your working machine and burn it to a CD while you are reinstalling XP on your Dell. By the time you've reformatted the Dell drive and reinstalled Windows, SP3 will be ready and waiting for you. That's a big time saver, better for security, and gives you an archive copy for the next time you need to repeat this exercise.

---
It is usually possible to get Windows XP off a manufacturer's recovery disk so that it can be used with nLite or the RVM Integrator. Doing the same for a Vista recovery disk gets a bit more complicated. But that's a topic for it's own thread.

---

Hope this was helpful.


P.S. IMHO Hebrew National is better - although Ball Park All-Beef Franks will do in a pinch. Especially if you can score some SilverFloss Sauerkraut :-*  to go with them.






« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 09:07:47 PM by 40hz »

steeladept

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 09:42:57 PM »
Not that it helps now, but for the future I would also use something like Acronis or Ghost and make a full image copy of your OS fully updated to today (whichever day you do this) and use it as a replacement for your Dell discs.  You will want to install all drivers and updates before you do this, but no programs.  NONE.  This becomes a base restore disk.  Next time you refresh your machine you can update this disk, so for this reason I use RW disks.

Once this is done, I install all the software I consider critical, including Antivirus software, Email programs (unless you use the one that comes with the OS), alternative browsers (if appropriate), critical utilities (for me this includes JKDefrag, ScreenshotCaptor, Process Tamer, and several others), and maybe other software that I rarely, if ever, change.  Then I repeat the process with RW disks for a base WORKING image.  The key here is if I need to recover, then it is all preloaded, but if I don't plan on using all this software anymore, I go to the base image.

Lastly, I take occasional differential images so there is little if any recovery required.

Just my two cents.

mouser

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2009, 11:01:23 PM »
steeladept is right about making an image for future restores.

for what it's worth i have found that generic windows installation cds seem to work fine for formatting the 2 laptops i have tried it on instead of the reinstallation cd, BUT that some specific drivers for the touchpad or battery were difficult for me to find and install -- so be on the lookout for drivers that you used to have but don't anymore after a generic windows installation.

Steven Avery

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2009, 03:37:36 AM »
Hi Folks,

  Right, I am basically following 40hz suggestions, since I have the Dell CD -- use it. It knows my puter, then add any more necessary drivers and SP3.  Especially since I did it once before and only had to find a better video driver and a bit more. 

  I noticed there was a small FAT32 partition as well.  Probably left over from the original puter.  And the big partition -- that I deleted and restored XP.  At the moment I left the small FAT32 alone, although probably it could have been deleted, or maybe still can be after the install ?  I'll look with PartedMagic later. 

   Lots of sites have good info. This site has nice pictures of the install questions.

http://www.wallpaper...indows-xp-t6255.html
Windows XP Installation

   They had to use a special utility to take pictures :) .  Maybe something on PartedMagic or UBCD4 .. interesting.

   For free anti-virus I usually use Avira, although on occasion I have used the other similars,  Avast or AVG.  So that is simple, although there are many other good alternatives too.  I generally use Online Armor Free now for firewall with mild HIPS, in the past Kerio-Sunbelt -- would not mind trying Comodo as a new try to compare. And good ol ZoneAlarm, always a good program, they lost me once for future use by leaving some stuff in the registry on an uninstall that was a big problem, although those were the days before Revo Uninstaller and they probably cleaned up their act. Although Online Armor's free is not real robust, most of what it doesn't have I handle outside of firewall programs anyway, and I like its style of notification, so it probably gets the nod.

  If Threatfire plays nice, I understand it is strong HIPS, Wilder's folks like it too, sort of, I did not realize it had a strong-function free as it shows here.

http://www.threatfire.com/download/
Threatfire

  So I will plan on starting with some combination that includes Threatfire, to widen the defense arsenal a smdgen.  Hmmm... it is PC Tools now.  Thinking.

  And I also will do some of the image stuff, after the base install stuff is done, probably including the anti-virus types of installs. I could see if it is a Maxtor or Seagate drive and use their Acronis equivalent. I may actually make a couple of images in that early state, including from DriveImage XML. Early state images are kewl and should be relatively small, uncomplex and less likely to failure. I realize image software is a huge complex discussion -- one point to note is that in this case it would only have saved me a smidgen of time, as the partition delete and/or format was necessary in any case. Right now it is finalizing the installation.

  After the anti-virus installs I plan to add a partition for data (optionally another partition for apps but I am skeptical that this is worthwhile since so many programs pour their .dlls and other stuff in the Op-Sys folders -- so at the moment I am leaning against it) and from that point on try to have data (and antivirus logs) on the new D:. 

   All this is behind a light older Belkin router, btw, reducing the immediate vulnerability in that interim period. 

   Right now XP is up installing a printer driver, so that all worked quite quickly from when I posted before, about 15 minutes of actual puter time. Ok, much more with all the settings and updates and SP3 and such, so I will get that all tweaked now, including some basic freewares that can be part of the image.  (Hmmm.. afaik there is no freeware image program that is to an extent hardware independent, that is usually  more advanced programs, like a special Acronis edition, you can see how that could be a nice program.) 

  And I installed the Ethernet driver from the Resource CD, so it up on the Internet.  Moving along !

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 06:11:12 AM by Steven Avery »

40hz

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2009, 07:23:18 AM »
Be careful with that little FAT32 partition. Some systems keep a small partition reserved for diagnostic/recovery information: special drivers, license keys, etc.

Still, I wouldn't worry about it too much since most systems (IBM, some HPs, etc) that do have them won't use a DOS/FAT partition for that purpose. AFAIK, Dell doesn't use a diagnostic partition, but I can't be completely sure they don't.

However, if you see any small (10-20MB) non-DOS (i.e. type = "unknown") partitions when you run fdisk, do not delete them until you know what they're used for. Those usually are used for diagnostic purposes. There is a chance you won't be able to use a recovery CD if you get rid of them.

I'm guessing that Dell originally set up a small partition for use with the 'hibernate' power-save option. If that's the case, and you don't use hibernation, you can get rid of it.

 :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 07:35:46 AM by 40hz »

tomos

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2009, 07:47:05 AM »
I'm guessing that Dell originally set up a small partition for use with the 'hibernate' power-save option. If that's the case, and you don't use hibernation, you can get rid of it.

just curious - why would they do that?
Tom

Steven Avery

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2009, 12:09:15 PM »
Hi Folks,

 Yes, I will be careful with the FAT32.  Dell surprised me with some special diagnostics when I booted with UBCD4, so the partition may be related to that.  Good thought.

  All pretty fine, doing some post-driver (no question marks now or exclamation points in Device Manager) , post-setup, post-basic-software imaging at the moment.  It seems testing images can be a bit squirrelly, trying to test without risking your system. Maybe a restore to another partition which likely won't boot but will allow a full restore might be a good test.  I'd rather test some images now when I have 3 Gigabytes (plus 2 if I keep the pagefile) than later when there is more complex stuff. My plan is to have two or three totally different software images (from different apps).  DriveImage XML is in process now, the no-brainer freeware however not the most robust and flexible.   After a couple of imaging softwares comes the partitioning with PartedMagic.  Everything in decency and order.

  The drivers took some checking and hunting, the Intel site for their chip-set driver, three other driver sets from the Dell CD or Dell site. I do like Double Driver for saving for future use, the program is very well-designed for simplicity, giving clear options (Microsoft or non-MS drivers, safe to folders or to an .exe .. save a list .. kewl stuff). 

    Now I do wonder how to determine for sure that my drivers are USB 2.0, although they came with the system and the Precision 380 is supposed to be 2.0.  I have some special pages to read on that .. apparently in that area the vendors are a little slack in giving clear info.
 
   Thanks for the help, guys.  My system is much crisper now.  I might put in a list of my pre-image software additions.  (Basically top freeware that it is not version-volatile and a couple of browsers and this and that.)  Settled on Online Armor and Avira for now on the security, turned off System Restore (which might confuse an image, I gather) and the Windows Firewall, kept the pagefile for now (the Big PageFile Debate !!)

  Oh, I still have the email project to do, restoring the data, probably to a separate partition, and setting up Eudora, checking settings and download.  So far I really haven't found any compelling reasons to change from Eudora and the filters are rather extensive. I plan a second-stage c:\ image after some more stuff like that.

  One strange thing for later.  DiskTune, the defragmenter, triggers the Dell Resource CD prompt.  Something a little strange there, the triggering of the Dell Resource CD was a situation I had before and I was trying to track the source.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 12:12:36 PM by Steven Avery »

Carol Haynes

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2009, 12:35:58 PM »
Now I do wonder how to determine for sure that my drivers are USB 2.0, although they came with the system and the Precision 380 is supposed to be 2.0.  I have some special pages to read on that .. apparently in that area the vendors are a little slack in giving clear info.

Simple solution is to plug in a USB 2 device (a thumb drive?). If it isn't USB 2.0 windows should complain and say that you could run it faster with a USB 2 port.

40hz

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2009, 06:29:43 PM »
Now I do wonder how to determine for sure that my drivers are USB 2.0, although they came with the system and the Precision 380 is supposed to be 2.0.  I have some special pages to read on that .. apparently in that area the vendors are a little slack in giving clear info.

Simple solution is to plug in a USB 2 device (a thumb drive?). If it isn't USB 2.0 windows should complain and say that you could run it faster with a USB 2 port.

Quick, clean, and effective solution. Bravo Carol! :Thmbsup:


Steven Avery

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2009, 03:01:10 AM »
Hi Folks,

  Oops, I accidentally modified my previous post, rather than add a new one.  Occupational hazard.  I'll try to dup the main part in the next post.

=======

   Now I am looking at the articles about using programs like Partition Image (PI) or Clonezilla (CZ) to do a low-level XP save.  Note: This is meant as a learning experience as much as a practical need. Practically speaking, my external disk holding the DriveImage XML and Macrium images really should be sufficient.  So I do not want to get bogged down too much, I think DI-XML and Macrium are designed to work quite nicely by having you boot below Windows with e.g. Bart-PE.  In a sense this may be the best of all worlds (if it works) allowing for Windows XP for doing the backup, and fairly easy-use low-level stuff for restore.  So I am beginning to doubt that the full low-level method (PI-CZ) is worth the effort in a home-light-use environment (thinking out loud here).

  First, a well-done Lifehacker article worth reading, at about my level, with excellent comments from readers.

http://lifehacker.co...the-system-rescue-cd
Partition and Image Your Hard Drive with the System Rescue CD  - By Gina Trapani

  Notice that there are lots of discussions about the various places to put the new partition backup. These can be another partition on the same disk (easy to get trashed in a disk crash or corruption, so should only be auxiliary), a partition on another disk in the system (more safe, but still internal and insecure, also you need a 2-disk system), a network drive (fancy-shmancy for now) of various sorts, a USB bootable (would use up a USB stick which you may well lose under the rubble, but is interesting), a burned-and-bootable DVD (quite elegant but more laborious requiring good DVD burning) and what I think is the easiest of all -- simply a regular FAT32 backup USB-connected external disk This has a nice advantage that one backup disk could hold images from various programs and states and still only use up a small portion of the disk space.  You simply are sure to name the folders very clearly ("Macrium Clean XP Install Dell Precision 04-14-2009". ) Unlikely to be lost.  If you want redundancy, you simply have two such $75 removables floating around.  Make sense ?  After you do that, you try the DVD method :) .

========================

  So far the only major downsides of simply backing up to non-bootable removable disk (well at least with DI-XML or Macrium Free) are : 

  You do not have a bootable restore, you have to go into a specially made Bart-PE style program, however all the programs seem to give good instructions for this.  In fact, this would be very similar whether you did a Macrium, DriveImage XML or a Linux-style Partition Image/Clonezilla type of backup.  Right ?

   You do not have the niceties of incremental backups and of file-by-file restore with viewing individual files in this type of image. However that is not the purpose here, we are simply trying to have a XP plus a smidgen type of restore ready (smidgen = full drivers, some basic XP utility programs, anti-virus and firewall, browsers updated, etc.)

  You do not learn all the super-techie stuff.

=====================
 
   There is a question though on trying to do this with a PI/CZ type backup.  I think you have to designate a Linux-style path on the hard drive  which in my Partition Image starts as "SBD1". It is unclear whether this is doable on the fly in any of the programs or not.  While Gina at Lifehacker gives some instructions for doing this with the SystemRescueCD, I wonder whether this is doable on the fly in Partition Image, Clonezilla -- or another program -- or first using another tool in the Parted Magic toolkit.  If anybody here follows me on this and can give the simplest method.. please share away.   I think what I am asking may be very simple, but since this is a first time, I want to err on the side of caution, to be sure not to mess up the removable in any way.

  Thanks. 

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 10:32:39 AM by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2009, 10:36:57 AM »
Hi Folks,

   For the USB .. the throughput is pretty good, maybe 5 gigs in 5 or ten minutes, so I guess that is not 1.0, which is supposed to be molasses slow.  I put the 2.0 USB sticks in and got no squawking from Windows .. however I am not 100% sure that Windows would squawk based on earlier drivers rather than an earlier physical port. The driver mfgrs do not seem to go out of their way to indicate that a driver is 2.0.

  My main XP Op-Sys backup is using DriveImage XML and Macrium Reflect Free, saving an image to a removable FAT32 disk.  Both programs were fine to use from Windows, hopefully the restores would work, always the issue with images.  One reason to have redundancy, more than one program. If each one has a 75% chance of working the two together would increase that to over 90% ... good enough for me for a home Op-Sys, rather than critical data.

  Macrium did show me very nicely that the small FAT32 partition was "Dell Utilities" .. using up a primary partition but definitely something that I will save !

 Incidentally I decided to simply do the "working image" rather than the super-pure image.  Partly because I was downloading an XP program anyway to do the image and by the time I had the XP program downloaded I had done some more stuff.  In a pinch (selling the puter to someone who wants a cleaner install) I could see that the earlier image would be nice -- however it would take only a few minutes to use Revo to get very close to a clean XP. For my own use a working image with light program installs is fine.

Shalom,
Steven   
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 10:50:52 AM by Steven Avery »

Carol Haynes

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2009, 11:24:54 AM »
Sounds like USB 1.1 to me - theoretically USB2 should be able to move about 60MB/sec (about 3.5GB/min)

In practice it is much slower than this with USB thumb drives because they can't reach that speed themselves but 1Gb per minute seems a bit too slow for USB 2.

Try using Windows Update to see if there are any hardware updates for your USB drivers (version 2.0 drivers should be included with XP SP2 onwards).

Silly question - do you have USB2 ports?

steeladept

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2009, 05:12:01 PM »
Quote from: Steven Avery
...It seems testing images can be a bit squirrelly, trying to test without risking your system. Maybe a restore to another partition which likely won't boot but will allow a full restore might be a good test.  I'd rather test some images now when I have 3 Gigabytes (plus 2 if I keep the pagefile) than later when there is more complex stuff. My plan is to have two or three totally different software images (from different apps)....
From my perspective, the easiest way is by using some sort of virtual software such as VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation.  You can load your image on to these and test it.  It will likely complain about drivers and how it is going to use the lowest common denomintator (e.g. default drivers), but it will at least tell you if the image is good or not.  Of course I love working with VirtualBox because Sun makes it available for free.  That said, it isn't quite as easy as Workstation (though it is pretty close).

For those using the ultra-clean base image idea:  The only problem with doing this is you can't test a base image on the same computer.  If you have another one available, that is fine, but if not, your "base" image may just have to include this software if you need to rebuild it because it is a bad image.  Not a true problem, but not as clean from my mind (just one of those little annoyances to me).

EDIT:  One other thing I found really useful to do on any image - make a txt file that lists everything on it at that point and put it on the desktop just before creating the image!  That way when you wonder if you installed this or that, you can just reference that file after you restore it.  It also provides a simple list that you can add to any metafile data you have for that file.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 05:17:31 PM by steeladept »

Carol Haynes

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2009, 08:28:05 PM »
EDIT:  One other thing I found really useful to do on any image - make a txt file that lists everything on it at that point and put it on the desktop just before creating the image!  That way when you wonder if you installed this or that, you can just reference that file after you restore it.  It also provides a simple list that you can add to any metafile data you have for that file.

I use SnagIt to take a snapshot of my Start menu which also works well.

steeladept

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2009, 09:23:21 PM »
I use SnagIt to take a snapshot of my Start menu which also works well.
That is good, but I also note system changes I make that you can't screenshot easily.  Thanks for pointing out that I wasn't very clear on that.

Steven Avery

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2009, 12:13:04 PM »
Hi Folks,

  Excellent idea, steeladept.  A local fella just the other day had just made the suggestion of VirtualBox -- or a similar -- instead of dual boot.  I countered with ... well virtual is never quite the same as real, driver squawks as you mention, or emulation response-time hits or possible this and that. 

  The only time I ever saw an OS actually take 100% in a mode on another puter was when the full (or almost full) object code was essentially ported without emulation, and to a faster box.  The IBM System 36 SSP mini on the OS/400.  Once emulation and the host OS is involved, there are always nuances and differences and concerns. 

  However your idea of using the virtual at least to test the image .. very excellent !  I could even try the various free image softwares one after another .. four of them at this point, DriveImageXML, Macrium, Paragon and Easeus, all were rather pleasant interfaces.  Will they allow reinstalls to a virtual box ?  Should be an interesting test, without the troubles of risking my actual OS partition.  Now if a couple of them take in the virtual, and I have two totally up-to-date real backups, I might follow the virtual up with a c:\ test.  (It is funny reading the web, how most of the  image softwares have some folks saying -- fantastic, works perfectly !  And for them it likely has.  And then a couple of others bemoaning how the restore did not take .. or their hardware is forced to be different and it is close to useless.  Or they had to fall back on file-by-file attempts, if available.)

  After the virtual test .. then take it from there, you get two tests in one .. the image restore and the virtual environment.

  Carol, yes, I think it may simply be a USB 1.0 box.  I thought it would be 2.0 because Precision 380s I noticed checking the web were advertised with 2.0 .. but the changeover may have just been taking effect in the model line. I looked at a couple of Belarcs and Auslogics System Information, and e.g. for my external disk Auslogics says it is USB 2.0 .. yet since none of the actual ports say 2.0. So very possibly not.  So it really is not molasses-slow, more like acacia honey.

  And that is my strongest box at home.  Maybe time for an upgrade and make that #2.  Although with the clean install and the full memory it runs nicely.   (With help from Process Tamer and arguably CleanMem :) .)

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 12:24:08 PM by Steven Avery »

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2009, 12:48:56 PM »
Cost very little to shove in a USB2.0 PCI card (literally a few dollars - probably under 10 if you look around) - worth doing even for a second computer.

PhilB66

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Re: XP-iso for reinstall after crash ? Dell Precision 380
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2009, 06:56:23 PM »
@Steven Avery

See this thread... USB Info (identify your USB ports)