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  • FIRST POST
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 3rd Mar 18, 5:20 PM
    • 1,005Posts
    • 317Thanks
    JohnB47
    Reinstall of an XP laptop
    • #1
    • 3rd Mar 18, 5:20 PM
    Reinstall of an XP laptop 3rd Mar 18 at 5:20 PM
    Hi all.

    I'm thinking of reinstalling Windows XP on an old laptop I have.

    I have a win 10 replacement laptop but it doesn't have a Firewire 400 port. The old laptop has one of these ports which I occasionally use with a Digital Audio Interface. This is the only reason to keep it and it's running very slowly now, hence the idea of reinstalling.

    There will be no great loss if this all goes horribly wrong and I realise that I need to take all docs, images etc off before I start and make sure I have all the product keys for various programs (I'm pretty sure I've done that anyway, cos I'm using most of the programs on my win 10 laptop now too).

    So, a bit of advice please. First, I have Product Recovery disk (Microsoft Professional) that I got with the laptop. Do I just use that and follow the simple the instructions that came with it?

    What about the firewire bit? Will the necessary software load up too and maybe I'll just need to update drivers for everything, including the firewire?

    I realise that I'll loose Microsoft stuff - which was free at the time but is no longer. Presumably this is not on the recovery disk? Is there a way to copy the Microsoft word/excel etc stuff off and reinstall? I seem to remember its 'enterprise' software that I may have been given a disk of (no longer have it) but I'm not sure.

    Anyway, any help and advice welcome.
    Last edited by JohnB47; 03-03-2018 at 5:36 PM.
Page 2
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 6th Mar 18, 10:35 AM
    • 1,005 Posts
    • 317 Thanks
    JohnB47
    Your recovery disc is just an OEM version of Windows XP with SP2 with branding and the components needed to shake hands with the string that is tattooed to the Motherboard(for auto-activation)

    The one I have supplied is just a later version of the same thing, with SP3. I can organise a Pro with SP3 OEM image if you really need it, though even your disc with do the job.

    Your manual is here
    Originally posted by EveryWhere
    Wonderful, thank you. I've just removed a lot of my files from the laptop and it has freed up half of the disk space. I've run CCleaner and it removed another few Gb. Not sure if there's anything else I need to do with CCleaner other than a straight analyse and run (using the default checks in the left hand window).

    Next I'll remove unwanted programs (I'll use Revo Uninstaller), then remove unwanted programs from Startup and then do a Defrag.

    Any other thoughts, other than a full reinstall?

    BTW, now that I have a win 10 Laptop, maybe I'm wrong in thinking that the XP laptop is slow. Is there any way to get an objective view of how well a PC is running - a program maybe?

    Thanks again.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 6th Mar 18, 2:28 PM
    • 8,209 Posts
    • 5,984 Thanks
    esuhl
    Thanks. Lots to think about there. I've had a look at my Recovery CD. It has two folders, i386 and Tools.
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    The I386 folder is the only one you need for nLite.

    Any other thoughts, other than a full reinstall?
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    So you're trying to tweak your current XP installation?

    Once you've uninstalled any junk, have a look at the following registry keys which are used to run programs on startup. You'll probably have to google the entries to see what they do and decide if you want to delete them. Don't forget to make a backup of anything you delete!

    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    If there are startup programs that you want to manually run, you can right-click in Explorer and create a shortcut. Just copy the "data" field of the registry to the "location" box.

    ------------

    As well as defragmenting program files, it might be worth trying to stop fragmentation of your page file. You can do this by disabling virtual memory, rebooting, defragmenting, and then creating a page file of a fixed size (rather than "dynamically allocated").

    Additionally (or alternatively), you can use PageDefrag to defragment the page file ad hoc, and also defragment registry hives.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/pagedefrag

    ------------

    There are a number of services you could disable, such as Themes, Indexing, Error Reporting, Messenger, System Restore (if you never use it), etc. that should improve performance. There's a good guide to what all the XP services do here:

    http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 6th Mar 18, 2:35 PM
    • 8,209 Posts
    • 5,984 Thanks
    esuhl
    Wonderful, thank you. I've just removed a lot of my files from the laptop and it has freed up half of the disk space. I've run CCleaner and it removed another few Gb. Not sure if there's anything else I need to do with CCleaner other than a straight analyse and run (using the default checks in the left hand window).
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    I'd be careful use the registry cleaning section of CCleaner like this. It's best to only delete entries if you know exactly what they do.
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 6th Mar 18, 3:32 PM
    • 1,005 Posts
    • 317 Thanks
    JohnB47
    I'd be careful use the registry cleaning section of CCleaner like this. It's best to only delete entries if you know exactly what they do.
    Originally posted by esuhl
    Thank you again. Actually I'm just trying to get my XP machine to run as fast as it should. I'm not confident of messing with the registry at all, so I'll leave that!

    AS I said, I'm wondering if there is any way to check how efficient a pc actually is - are there programs or checks that you can do? I seem to remember hearing about a disk check and a memory check. Is that something I can run manually and would it be of any use?

    I'm currently running malwarebytes and it say it found 3 'threats'. I'll see what there are after it finishes. I ran Defrag too.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 6th Mar 18, 4:55 PM
    • 8,209 Posts
    • 5,984 Thanks
    esuhl
    Thank you again. Actually I'm just trying to get my XP machine to run as fast as it should. I'm not confident of messing with the registry at all, so I'll leave that!
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    No worries. If you really don't want edit the registry directly, go to Start/Run and type msconfig and hit enter. Click the "startup" tab, and you can enable/disable the same startup entries in the registry keys I mentioned just by ticking/unticking a box.

    It might be worth disabling unnecessary services too. But, like registry editing, you need to be careful. The XP services guide I linked above gives you all the information you need, and if it doubt, leave it as it is!

    AS I said, I'm wondering if there is any way to check how efficient a pc actually is - are there programs or checks that you can do? I seem to remember hearing about a disk check and a memory check. Is that something I can run manually and would it be of any use?
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    You can get benchmarking software that will run tests on your PC and give you a benchmark score of performance, but... there are hundreds of different benchmarks you could run. And no one benchmark tool will reflect the way that you actually use the PC. You'll get a more accurate idea of how well a PC performs by just using it normally and seeing how fast/responsive it is.

    The hard disk and memory checks are probably just to test your drives/RAM to make sure they're working properly.

    You may be able to find software from your hard drive manufacturer that runs SMART diagnostics (or look at the link below) -- this can give you a rough idea as to how "healthy" your drive is (whether its generating lots of read errors, whether there are lots of corrupted sectors, whether it's overheating, etc.).

    https://www.howtogeek.com/134735/how-to-see-if-your-hard-drive-is-dying/

    I'm currently running malwarebytes and it say it found 3 'threats'. I'll see what there are after it finishes. I ran Defrag too.
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    If you get any kind of infection (especially with XP), it's well-worth throwing everything you've got at it to make sure you get rid of absolutely every trace of malware!

    I'd also run adwCleaner and a full scan with your antivirus.
    https://www.malwarebytes.com/adwcleaner/

    SpywareBlaster might come in handy in future. It blocks malicious websites in popular web browsers without slowing down your PC. Great for XP.

    https://www.brightfort.com/spywareblaster.html
    Last edited by esuhl; 06-03-2018 at 5:02 PM.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 6th Mar 18, 5:12 PM
    • 8,209 Posts
    • 5,984 Thanks
    esuhl
    Oh -- and run this from the run box too:

    Code:
    sfc /scannow
    Windows File Protection in XP tries to prevent important Windows files from unauthorised modification. This command scans for missing/corrupt files and replaces them with uncorrupted versions.

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/310747/description-of-windows-xp-and-windows-server-2003-system-file-checker
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 6th Mar 18, 5:41 PM
    • 1,005 Posts
    • 317 Thanks
    JohnB47
    Oh -- and run this from the run box too:

    Code:
    sfc /scannow
    Windows File Protection in XP tries to prevent important Windows files from unauthorised modification. This command scans for missing/corrupt files and replaces them with uncorrupted versions.

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/310747/description-of-windows-xp-and-windows-server-2003-system-file-checker
    Originally posted by esuhl
    Excellent stuff, thanks, I'll have a go at all of your suggestions.

    Just for info, Malwarebytes found over 100 'threats', all listed as PUP.Optional.* where * was:

    Incredibar, Perion, Telstra.chvPRST, Spigot, Babylon, DigitalSites.

    Most were files (many repeats of Incredibar), with one Folder (DigitalSites) and a couple of Registry Values and Keys. I 'removed' them all.

    I seem to remember having a problem with Incredibar a few years ago and thought I'd got rid. It hasn't been giving me a problem since -probably just stuff sitting in the background not doing any real harm.

    Thanks again.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 6th Mar 18, 6:01 PM
    • 8,209 Posts
    • 5,984 Thanks
    esuhl
    Just for info, Malwarebytes found over 100 'threats', all listed as PUP.Optional.*...
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    I think these are all "Potentially Unwanted Programs" that are optional during an installation.

    You need to check all the installation options when installing free software. You should always choose a "custom" installation if given the chance, and make sure you've unticked any options to install random unknown software.

    I seem to remember having a problem with Incredibar a few years ago and thought I'd got rid. It hasn't been giving me a problem since -probably just stuff sitting in the background not doing any real harm.
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    Hmmm... I would worry about any kind of dodgy unauthorised software running. Even little remnants can mess up drivers, or slow down your PC. Grrr!

    As I said before, if you get infected, run as many different scans (and different types of scan) as you can. There's always a chance one program will pick up something others have missed.

    I just remembered Trend Micro Housecall. As you probably know, you can only install one (live) antivirus on your PC at a time. But you can also use this free online scanner. It doesn't need to be installed -- it runs in your web browser. It sometimes picks up things other scans miss.

    http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

    Oh -- and that reminds me of RootkitBuster from the same people -- have a look here:

    https://www.trendmicro.com/en_gb/forHome/products/free-tools/rootkitbuster.html
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 6th Mar 18, 8:13 PM
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    • 317 Thanks
    JohnB47
    Great. Cheers. I ran sfc /scannow and left it to it. When I came back after an hour or so, there was nothing showing, so I presume it ran clean.
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 7th Mar 18, 8:52 AM
    • 357 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    EveryWhere
    A clean install would have been faster and a simple HOSTS file would suffice to keep Browsing up to speed.
    The CPU and the HDD are where the bottlenecks reside.
    Fitting a SSD would improve matters, but the relatively poor single core CPU is the cheapest useful upgrade you can make. Perhaps 4 for a suitable Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7200.
    That would be where I would put my money and concentrate my effort if I wanted a usable machine.
    • H1a3rt
    • By H1a3rt 7th Mar 18, 10:34 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    H1a3rt
    I agree, I would have went with a clean install. There!!!8217;s a piece of freeware out there called drivergrabber. Run this and it will pull every driver (including firewire) off onto a USB HDD.
    Once you clean install windows just go into device manager and any driver that is not installed just point it to your USB HDD.
    I have a copy of driver grabber if you can!!!8217;t find it.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 7th Mar 18, 7:34 PM
    • 8,209 Posts
    • 5,984 Thanks
    esuhl
    Great. Cheers. I ran sfc /scannow and left it to it. When I came back after an hour or so, there was nothing showing, so I presume it ran clean.
    Originally posted by JohnB47
    Yep -- sounds good, so long as it went back to a command prompt and hadn't just crashed.

    As above, I'd go for a full reinstallation of XP too. Windows systems seem to need reinstallation every year or two to maintain performance.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 8th Mar 18, 9:17 AM
    • 7,097 Posts
    • 5,874 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    Not sure if there's anything else I need to do with CCleaner
    I used ccleaner to disable start up items. Quicker and safer than uninstalling.

    From memory my xp pc ran very slowly after the updates ended which was caused by windows checking for missed updates. Can't remember how I stopped this. Possibly by turning off updates.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
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