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Archived entry | Matt Wilcox .net

Windows XP's no-reformat, nondestructive total-rebuild option

Turns out you might not need to format and re-install after all.


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  1. Matthew J Ward posted 3hrs, 49min, 3sec after the entry and said:

    **Start of Rant!**

    Sorry to say, but the repair option is never as good as a full format and reload. It can get your machine working nice and quickly, but really all it does is re-copy all the xp files from the i386 dir on the CD over your current install. Thus if a problem has occured it should allow you to boot your install again.

    However 90% of the reg hive is still intact meaning all those program entries etc, are still in the registry.

    If youre going to do a reload…Do it properly…(Thats my thinking *to be fair i can comment on this* just think what i do for a living.*)

    The only time this is usefull, is if last know good or safe mode cannot get you around a lost install.

    Just thinking in my head here….the best use for this option is if you do a major hardware upgrade and need to get back into windows ASAP. Maybe you replaced your mainboard with a new one, the OS will keep blue screening until you either format or reload… But as always you will have all the old drivers etc, still sitting in the system32 dir. Whenever you do a major hardware update a full reload is the prefered option…

    Gets my back up a little when people in my team at work, do the repair / non destructive install, to get a machine we have brought back to the office working within the hour…When really that machine SHOULD be backed up and reloaded fully. Taken as a prime op to install latest updates and latest apps etc…

    **End of Rant! smiley icon: wink **

  2. Matt Wilcox posted 5hrs, 16min, 34sec after the entry and said:

    Back to a straight re-format / re-install it is then! smiley icon: laugh

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