will XP or Vista help me?

  bemuzed 19:43 28 Sep 2008

Hi - I have an old PC with a 30GB drive split into a 20G and 10G partitions, with Windows Me on the 20G partition. I added a 120G HDD split into 75G and 45G formatted as FAT32. I would like to upgrade to XP. Could I unplug the 120G drive then put XP onto the 30G drive where I would be happy to overwrite all programmes, OS and data, then just plug in the 120G HDD and be able to read the data I stored on both partitions?
Or if I put Vista onto the 30G drive could I do that and woudl it read data off 120G FAT32?
Reason I ask is on other threads I see problems with XP and FAT32 (BTW I sound way more expert than I am so please put me right if I need it).

  MAJ 19:50 28 Sep 2008

Yes you can install XP on the 30gig drive and it will read the data on the FAT32 partitions of the 120gig drive. XP doesn't have a problem viewing FAT32 partitions. I advise converting both drives to NTFS, as it's a better file system than FAT32, the 30gig during the installation of XP and the 120gig afterwards.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:54 28 Sep 2008

"I have an old PC"

Unlikely to run Vista

How much memory does it have? XP will run on 512 but prefers 1G.

XP will read FAt32 ok.

  MAJ 19:57 28 Sep 2008

As it's an old PC, make sure it is up to the task of running XP. Minimum rquirements suggest it should have at least a 500MHz processor and 256MB of RAM, although a far better spec than that is way better.

  bemuzed 20:06 28 Sep 2008

It's a 2.8GHz processor as I replaced the motherboard and has 1G of memory. If I change teh 120G to NFTS does that reformat the drive and lose the data?

  MAJ 20:13 28 Sep 2008

That's okay for XP and I suspect Vista as well, although more memory would be better for Vista. Personally I don't like Vista, so if it was me, I would use XP.

The 120gig can be converted to NTFS without loss of data, after you install XP on the 30gig drive. To do that, go to Start > Run (in XP) and type in:


and click OK.

When the Command box appears, type in:

CONVERT ??: /fs:ntfs and press Return

Where "??" is the letter of the 120gig drive (probably D)

  bemuzed 20:17 28 Sep 2008

thanks for the help. I'll consider more memory and Vista but if that turns out to be a lot more money I'll stick with XP.

  MAJ 20:19 28 Sep 2008

As is advisable when doing anything like this, it is always wise to backup any important data to CD or DVD (if you have that option) even though converting to NTFS in this manner shouldn't result in any lost data. Belt and Braces.

  Woolwell 21:06 28 Sep 2008

Make sure that you can obtain all the drivers you may need.

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