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Thread: WinXP Installation on pre-formatted NTFS

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    WinXP Installation on pre-formatted NTFS

    I'm trying to install WinXP on a drive that is already formatted as NTFS and has data on it that I do not want to delete. I can't boot to the c: prompt on that drive to install as the computer doesn't recognise the ntfs drive. I want the installation to be a fresh install.

    Is this possible?

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    when you say the machine doesn't recognise the NTF partition in place then you may well have issues anyways.

    what may be better is to boot up with a winPE disk and get the data off that NTFS partition
    then flatten the disk and start again
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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Given the relatively low cost of hard drives, why not buy a new pristine drive, install XP on that, then install the old drive as a slave (or master on a second IDE channel and get the data off it that way? Then you can be certain not to risk trashing the data on the old drive...
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    Thats probably the best idea, get a small drive for windows etc, 40 or 80gb. Then you can use the other drive for storage - thats where the majority of my space has gone.

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    Its a 250gb hdd and has some camcorder stuff that I can't delete. Its going in to a media box so now needs to have an operating system as welll. I can access the drive fine from my normal windows installation, but when I try to do a fresh install at the "dos" prompt it can't recognise the NTFS drive. Not sure how to get round this. I think normally WinXP requires a blank disk to have a fresh install, is this the case?

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    Is the drive formatted all as one partition?
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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    You mcan still put the OS on a separate drive...
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    c: prompt?

    the c: prompt comes from ms-dos, which hasn't been part of windows since 2000 - and it's certainly not a part of xp

    for one thing, ms-dos has no concept of ntfs (so you can't do ntfs stuff with it)

    if you want to install xp, boot the xp install cd - make sure your BIOS is set to boot that cd first.

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    The drive is formatted as one partition.

    I know its not possible to do ntfs stuff from the dos prompt (hence the "dos" prompt instead of dos prompt). If I boot the XP install CD will it be able to recognise the NTFS partition and install to a disk with data already on it?

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    yeah, just boot from the CD. it will ask you where to install and give you the choice of available partitions. There is the option in there to format and repartition before installing *if you want to* but you can just use the drive and preserve the contents.

    In the long run it is always easier to have an OS partition and at least one data partition. If you don't want to buy hardware, how about something like Achronis Disk Director? Fit the drive to your other system, resize the partition, then install windows into the free space.

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    I think I will stick with the one drive this time, but in future have a separate partition for the OS. Thanks for your help! Now I've just got to go and give it a go!!!

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