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2. Clean Install Procedures
The answer is not simple, not simple at all.
If you are using multiple OSs on the same computer (Windows XP and Windows 9x) and you want the two OSs to read the drive, FAT32 is the only way to go.
But, if you are planning on only using Windows XP, NTFS is the way to go.
There are several reasons why NTFS is the way to go.
One of the highlights of NTFS is the protection that it provides for files.
To ensure reliability of NTFS, three major areas were addressed: recoverability, removal of fatal single sector failures, and hot fixing.
NTFS is a recoverable file system because it keeps track of transactions against the file system. When a CHKDSK is performed on FAT or HPFS, the consistency of pointers within the directory, allocation, and file tables is being checked. Under NTFS, a log of transactions against these components is maintained so that CHKDSK need only roll back transactions to the last commit point in order to recover consistency within the file system.
Under FAT or HPFS, if a sector that is the location of one of the file system's special objects fails, then a single sector failure will occur. NTFS avoids this in two ways: first, by not using special objects on the disk and tracking and protecting all objects that are on the disk. Secondly, under NTFS, multiple copies (the number depends on the volume size) of the Master File Table are kept.
Here are some links to Microsoft Knowledge Base articles on FAT and NTFS:•Overview of FAT, HPFS, and NTFS File Systems (Q100108)•New Capabilities and Features of the NTFS 5.0 File System (Q310749)
This informative thread was created by user sechs:
FAT vs. NTFS MiniFAQ
When "FAT" is mentioned it usually means FAT32, which most people would use. When "NTFS" is mentioned it usually refers to versions 5.0 and/or 5.1, which are used by Win2k and WinXP, respectively. Win9x refers to Win95, Win98, and WinME. A "volume" is a data (primary, logical, or dynamic) partition.
What is FAT? What is NTFS?
•FAT32 vs. NTFS FAQ (Anandtech)•FAT vs. NTFS Performance (Digit Life)•Choosing between NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 (Microsoft Win2k Server Documentation)•Should You Use NTFS? (WinPlanet Reports)•How to Create a Bootable Disk for an NTFS Partition (Microsoft Knowledge Base)•Dual Boot Links (DSLR)
Multibooting with Windows XP Introduction
You can also find additional information from this Microsoft Help Forum thread: Dual Boot Windows - Links Galore
The WinSuperSite has a fairly good one.
An unprotected XP machine exposed to the internet without the necessary firewall safeguards and\or security patches is at risk of infection from trojans and viruses, most notably the msblast RPC exploit. Prior to installation, one should consider disconnecting the machine from the outside world. After installation, consider installing a software firewall first or at the very least, turn on the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) feature of XP before venturing out and be sure to make Windows Update your first stop.
Ok, you've backed up all your data, made certain all your drivers are available and are now ready to begin installation:
•The installer will copy the preliminary setup files to your computer. After this completes you'll be ready to start directing the install process.
•You will be asked if you want to perform a new installation, repair an existing installation, or quit. In this case, you will be performing a new install. Press the correct key to perform a new installation.
•You will be prompted to read and accept the End User License Agreement. Press F8 to continue.
•Next, you will be prompted to choose a partition to install to. You will have the opportunity to create and/or delete partitions or just allocate the available disk space to one partition.•Choose to format the partition to either FAT32 or NTFS. You'll also see two additional choices to perform a quick format of each option, but we recommend doing a full format of either option instead. After you've determined which option is right for you, press the correct key to format the partition. Go get a cup of coffee or a soda and read the next six chapters of War and Peace. The format process will take awhile.
•When the Format process is completed, then Setup will begin. ***Note - If you are clean installing using an XP Upgrade CD you will be asked for a qualifying product at this point. Just pop the CD for your older version of Windows into the drive while the XP setup completes an authenticity check. Following this you will be prompted for the XP CD and setup will continue.
•After Setup is complete the computer will restart. Leave the XP CD in the drive but this time DO NOT press any key when the message it "Press any key to boot CD" is displayed. In 5 seconds setup will continue.
•You will be prompted to choose the region and language, followed with entering your name and organization and your product license key.
•Name the computer, and enter an Admin password. Don't forget to write down your Administrator password!!
•Enter the correct date and time.
•Choose your network settings. Leave on automatic if you use a DHCP server to assign IP addresses. If you have static IP address for broadband access, enter the settings that your ISP has provided you. Choose workgroup or domain name.
•If you are connected to the Internet, then XP will prompt you to "Activate". If you choose not to activate at this time you will be prompted periodically over the next 30 days. At the end of 30 days, if you have still not activated you will no longer be able to access the Desktop. You may want to wait until all your Hardware devices are properly installed before activating. See What is Product Activation and do I have to activate XP? for more details.
•After Activation, you will be prompted to Register the product. Note - registration is not required. See What is Product Registration and do I have to register XP? for more details.
•You have just installed Windows XP!! You will be required to enter your account password to gain access to the Windows XP Desktop.
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It is best to have your OS on a separate partition than the rest of your data. This results in less fragmentation and ensures speedy operation of your system.
If your hard drive is large enough, then partitioning is probably a good idea for you. Common practice is to have at least three partitions: one ~8GB for the OS, one ~10GB for Documents and other personal files, and whatever is left for programs. This setup may vary depending on how you use your system; if you do video editing for example, you may wish to have one large partition just for video.
There is no right or wrong way of partitioning as it greatly depends on how you use your system. At the bare minimum (if the drive is big enough), have one partition just for the OS and have another partition just for programs.
If you have any questions on how you should partition for your situation, do not hesitate to post in the Microsoft Forum.
Additionally, this linked MSKB article has an in depth explanation on How to Partition and Format a Hard Disk in Windows XP.
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