Upgrading to XP from Windows ME

  Jem 07:45 18 Oct 2005

I have a 5-year old Evesham Axis (AMD 1000 MHz) PC with 900 Mbytes RAM currently running under ME.

I am buying a new PC which will come with XP-Pro and want to network them. The ME machine has become very slow and unstable and I am thinking of reformatting it and installing XP-Pro after I have transferred my files to the new machine (I have an external hard drive to do this).

Can someone advise me what I should buy to do this. If I get an XP-Pro upgrade CD will it work with my ME machine even after I've reformatted its disk? I only have a recovery CD for ME not the original software CD.


  ventanas 08:35 18 Oct 2005

Probably not, if an upgrade xp disc sees no qualifying installation present it asks you to briefly swap the discs, and insert your qualifying media. A recovery disc may just be a ghosted image, and therefore not recognisable. If you do want a clean installation of XP without any vestige of ME remaining it can be done, but is a bit long winded.

Do as much as you can to clean up the ME installation so XP will install as cleanly as possible over the top of ME. Also use the hardware report feature than XP will offer at the first stage of installation. It will tell you of any item that it does not recognise (modems are a favourite here), you can then obtain any drivers you may need before you install. After installation is complete you can then use the XP upgrade disc a second time to reformat and reinstall again. It will detect an existing installation and will not ask for qualifying media. It will take twice as long, but you will have a perfectly clean installation.

Don't forget to save any drivers you have obtained, you will need them again.

  jack 08:38 18 Oct 2005

Try this.
Transfer your data out as you would for backup.
Then Run the XP Pro Upgrade as is over ME
It should convert the existing system -programs included from one to to the other and leave data intact.

Reformat should be a last option.

  ventanas 08:52 18 Oct 2005

Sorry but have to disagree, Jem has already said that his ME system is unstable, which is nothing unusual. Its best to get rid of all aspects of ME, especially in this case. I would always reformat when replacing a previous version of Windows with XP anyway. Going over the top will work as you say, but there will always be bits left behind which are best got rid of.

  Jem 19:26 18 Oct 2005

Thanks for the advice everyone.

My view aligns with ventanas but I'm not sure I follow his instructions. What do you mean "clean up the ME installation"?

Then, having done this, if I follow you correctly I should:
1. Install XP upgrade over ME using "hardware report feature".
2. When completed this use XP disc a 2nd time with "reformat option" - presumably this is something I can choose to do?



  ventanas 21:25 18 Oct 2005

What I meant was run all the checkers, make sure there's nothing lurking like spyware. Clean out all caches and temp files, in other words get rid of the crud.

To upgrade insert the XP disc with Windows running, you will be given the option to do just that, and run the hardware report. If you need any additional drivers exit the upgrade and obtain them. XP comes with a whole load of drivers and may load something that will work fine, like video and sound drivers, but will not be the correct ones.

To reformat and reinstall boot with the XP disc (make sure that the pc is set to boot from the cd drive first in the bios) and follow the on screen instructions. If you can wait I will post full instructions on how to reformat to-morrow morning, I'm a bit pushed for time now.

  Ancient Learner 21:27 18 Oct 2005

Your recovery CD. There are different flavours of these. Some are, as said, unsuitable for a reinstallation, but some are a complete job which have been 'personalised' by the PC maker, and these work perfectly. Mesh, as far as I know, use the latter, and no doubt others do too.

I reckon that if your CD gives you the option to format, I'd try that and use it to reinstall a clean ME. From that you should then be able to upgrade to XP as you suggest. After all a recovery CD should do just that.

If you allow your PC to boot from the CD, you will see all the options offered before you commit yourself.

  Jem 21:45 18 Oct 2005

Thanks again. Ventanas: I'm not in a hurry, I haven't yet had the new PC delivered or bought the XP-Pro upgrade CD. I'm trying to think/plan ahead!

I've never tried the Evesham ME recovery disc but this would give me another option.

Really appreciate the advice!

  g0nvs 22:09 18 Oct 2005

Upgrading over the top of ME never worked very well for me, it caused more trouble than it was worth. Do a format & a clean install of XP, well worth it in the end.

  phono 22:26 18 Oct 2005

A full install is always more preferable to an upgrade, it is especially more desirable in your case wher you say your system is not stable.

Back up all your important data, bite the bullet and do a full install of XP.

Just to let you know, I have a laptop with a Celeron, 1 Gig CPU, 384 Mb of RAM, 16 of which is allocated to graphics and it is running XP just fine.

  ventanas 08:41 19 Oct 2005

One way to check out your ME disc is to have a look at what's on it. If it's just a couple of (large) files, then its a ghosted image. If you can see all the usual cab and other installation files, then it may well work as a qualifier.

To reformat with the XP disc:

Ensure that the computer is set to boot from CD before the hard drive.
Enter the Bios (press Del or F2 on boot up) and make any necessary changes.

When computer starts press any key to boot from CD when prompted at bottom of screen
Windows Setup will appear on a blue screen. Allow to run as files load at bottom of screen.
When prompted press enter to set up Windows XP. Press F8 to accept agreement.
Press Esc to install a fresh copy of Windows as per the prompt.
From options at bottom of screen press D to delete the partition and return to confirm.
Press L to activate the deletion.

At the next screen press C to create a new partition. Accept the default size
Press enter to set up Windows XP
Choose the file system you want (fat32 or ntfs) The hard drive will then be reformatted.

Sep up will copy installation files (about 5 mins).
Set up will then initialize and computer will restart
Ignore the prompt to boot from CD
XP will install

At the prompt change settings to English (United Kingdom). Also change location to UK.
On the same prompt change Language and Keyboard settings to UK

At the next prompt enter name as will be used for the computer. Enter product key from disc sleeve
Enter computer name and administrator password. (Remember this)

Check date and time and time zone. Change if necessary.

At the next prompt advise you accept Typical Network Settings.

When finished computer will restart (again ignore prompt to boot from CD)
(The CD can be removed when restart complete)

When prompted add the user to the computer

Restart will finalise and the computer is ready.

Install any Service Packs, Windows updates etc

Adjust internet control panel settings and activate Windows.


My machines are now getting a bit old, and there may be a few slight differences in the procedure, but i do not forsee any major changes.

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