XP home reinstallation... Can I do this...

  Simsy 19:52 06 Jan 2008


I spent an unfruitfull copule of hours a couple of days ago trying to tidy up my sisters PC... It's a Dell that she bought about 5 years ago.

It has XP home, NOT SP2 though, and has started to get slow and misbehave slightly...

I tried to install SP2 and it took quite a while, seemed to be going OK but crashed, without completing. So I did a cleanup with CCleaner and tried again. Same thing. So I tried safe mode... same thing.

I've had to leave it with her for now, but will be collecting it in a week or so to bring to my home to sort out thoroughly, while she is working away for a few weeks.

What I anticpate doing is starting afresh. At the time of writing this I'm not sure what the Dell recovery provisions are/were at the time, and what she was provided with by Dell by way of discs. Whatever was provided she still has. (She's good like that!) There wont be much in the way of other software, just Office I think, and I know she has the discs, and her printer driver.

So I have two options;

1)Restore to factory setting, using whatever means Dell provided, then installing SP2, hoping it completes,

or, and this is the crux of my question;

2)Install XP home afresh using my OEM XPHome SP2 disc, (Gen Microsoft, not a restore disc), using her XP home key.

I'm aware of driver issues using the second method, and can deal with this. I'd prefer this way because it means the machine wont be cluttered with all the "trial" software as originally supplied.

But, as my disc is an SP2 disc, and the original installation was not SP2, will her key code work with my disc?

I hope this makes sense.
Thanks in anticipation,



  CatTrading 19:57 06 Jan 2008

Yes all will be OK, XP Home is designed for the SP2 update.
Do a fresh install as this will then mean you can update & download various softawre as if it's a new pc.

  Simsy 20:16 06 Jan 2008

I'm aware of the benefits of fresh install...

So just to be clear, the fact that the XP keycode she has relates to an XP installation that ISN'T SP2, using with an SP2 OEM disc will cause no problems?

Another thought is that becasue it's a Dell might there be an issue with the BIOS and booting from CD. I seem to recall hearing that Dell PCs had BIOS that were somehow tied to the original installation? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?




  woodchip 20:21 06 Jan 2008

Does she have a restore disc? as that's the way to go after saving Doc's etc. As you will need all Hardware drivers and what about the Software that is installed? or you do some scans for VIRI Malaware then do a Repair With the XP home OEM disc

  Simsy 20:26 06 Jan 2008

but you've missed the point of my question...

I've done all the scans and clean-up stuff, and can reinstall all software and drivers.

I must admit I didn't think of the "Repair" route! The same question applies though... It's not an SP2 installation, so will the SP2 disc work?



  skidzy 20:34 06 Jan 2008

Your first port of call should be Dell's own recovery partition.

First check Disk Management to see if there is a recovery partition...though this maybe hidden.

Reboot the computer and tap either F10 or F11 , you may have to try a couple of times as you need to miss the post screen ,timing needs to be spot on.

If you have this recovery/restore partition you will get three options;

Reinstall windows
Repair Windows,saving data.
Restore to factory settings (destructive) all data and settings will be lost.

  Simsy 20:42 06 Jan 2008

I may try the repair option.

However, that still leaves me having to then install SP2 afterwards. What I'm seeking to do is get a fresh install with SP2 included... if it's possible.

Hence my original question concerning MY disc and HER keycode.



  skidzy 20:54 06 Jan 2008

Best thing you can do here;

Use the recovery/restore partition (if one exists)

Restore to factory settings

From another computer,download SP2 click here and save to disk or flash drive (it is a big download)

And install SP2

From another computer,download your choice of Antivirus and Firewall and save to disk or flashdrive.Some advice here click here

Install your choice.

Once online,make Microsoft updates your first visit and update the machine.

  skidzy 20:56 06 Jan 2008

Sorry meant to say also;

Treat yourself to a copy of Acronis True Image 10 or 11 and create the disc image and save to an external drive..

This will save a lot of problems in the future,not to mention keep on installing SP2.
Any issues,just use the backup image.

  Simsy 21:10 06 Jan 2008

I'm across all that, including the imaging caper, and I have a Microsoft SP2 disc, (that is the SP2 patch), as well as an OEM XP home SP2 version.

Why do you suggset that it's better to restore to factory then update to SP2, rather than do a fres install using SP2 version of install disc?



  skidzy 21:12 06 Jan 2008

Im leaving the machine in a factory state.

If you go your way and format first,you may lose the recovery partition...and this is always handy.

Your choice of course.

This all assuming the partition is there.

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