Windows XP Disaster – Update

I posted a while back about the problems I was having with my Windows XP installation on my home P.C.  At the time, I was having a real issue trying to get anything I plugged into a USB port to register properly. Even swapping the existing peripherals around was a dead loss.  I tried to find a solution including a re-install of the Motherboard chipset drivers.  My last ditch effort was to delete the USB devices from the hardware manager… of course you can guess what happened there can’t you?  Yup the damned deviced would not re-install.

I could have run another repair install of XP but since I had already gone through one of those about 18 months ago I figured I’d rather go through a fulkl clean-up and install everything from scratch.

This in itself should be relatively simple.

Plan A was to upgrade the HDD storage capacity on the machine, this fell apart when I tried to buy a drive from Ebuyer and chose the paypal payment option.  What I had not realised was that you had to ensure the registered paypal address matches the delivery address.  I found out AFTER I confirmed the paypal payment and was redirected to Ebuyer.  I got a nice page telling me the addresses didn’t match and that my order is being converted to a quote.  I got suspicious and went to paypal to see that I had been refunded, but since the money had not come from my bank yet the funds were frozen and would be released once the money has made it through from the bank.  This meant that Ebuyer had refunded me but Paypal can’t cancel the request to my bank.

I decided to wait for the paypal situation to pan out and free up my funds, so Plan B – Back-up the few remaining bits and wipe the main partition for a fresh install.

So Saturday comes around and I begin. Back-up was done mid week so I boot to the XP CD and go through the prompts right up to the bit where I have to hit enter to set up XP.  Nothing… The Wireless keyboard isn’t playing ball.  I swapped the connections around… nada… zip… Damn!

I spend a few minutes trying to find the corded keyboard I have for this sort of emergency… of course I can’t find it.  So I hop in the car speed off down to PC World (may God Forgive me), and buy a keyboard nice and cheap.  Of course I can’t resist a look around the store and I come home with a new mouse and a 300GB HDD to resurect plan A.  At this point my luck was fragmenting so I figured the extra HDD and a proper clean install with the ability to go back to the other HDD if it all goes pete Tong is a good idea.

So I plug in the new Hardware and start again.  Boot to CD get to the hit enter to install bit and I hit enter… on the wireless keyboard by mistake… and it frikin works!!!!! WHAT the…

Ah well so I continue and eventually Windows install tells me it can’t find a qualifying version of and OS on my system.  If I had an upgrade version of Windows I guess that wouldn’t be an issue but this is a full version, Original with the hologram and everything! I tried a couple of reboots and I clean the CD but it still wants the qualifying product…

I eventually find an old copy of windows NT4 at the bottom of a box and this satisfies XP’s sudden desire to be an upgrade version.

a few hours later I have a shiny new install that is lightning fast compared to the original install.  As I mentioned in the original post I am trying out a new virtualisation solution from Altiris called SVS – Software Virtualization Solution.  This is a really nice piece of software, and if you get it from the Juice network you can get a free version for personal use.

Setup is really easy and to get your apps ‘virtualized’ you open the manager, create a new virtual layer, point it at the install and it will capture all the changes made to your system.  Once Install is complete you can activate or de-activate a layer (application) and you’ll notice that start Menu and desktop icons will appear/disapear respectively as will all other changes to the system.  This means I can install software and maintain peak performance.

It’s early days yet so I’ll give updates on how I get on with this solution in the coming weeks.

For now, I’m back up and running.  All I need to do now is re-install my games and start playing again ;0) 


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