Upgrade Report [Hardware Tips: Prepare for a Windows Reinstall - 09/06/2005]

Discussion in 'IBM' started by Ablang, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Ablang

    Ablang Guest

    September 6th, 2005

    Hardware Tips: Prepare for a Windows Reinstall

    by Contributing Editor Kirk Steers

    Sometimes the only way to rid your PC of rogue software and other
    maladies is to revamp your Windows installation. Follow these four
    tips to keep your hardware on good terms with your reinvigorated
    Windows setup.

    Get Your Discs in a Row

    Before you begin, gather the CDs containing the device drivers Windows
    will require to run your computer, printer, and other hardware. Almost
    every component in or connected to your PC needs to have its own
    device-driver program installed in Windows. This includes printers,
    graphics cards, network adapters, and even individual chips on your
    system's motherboard.

    All of the drivers your PC needs may or may not be included on the
    Windows CD (or on the restoration disc) that came with your system.
    After recently reinstalling Windows XP on my Dell Dimension, I found
    that the machine's OS CD failed to install my network drivers and
    other key hardware drivers, which meant that initially I had no
    Internet access. Since I had lost the disc holding my network card's
    driver, I had to use another PC to connect to the Web and download the
    necessary program from the maker's site. Many drivers--such as those
    for equipment you bought separately--may have to be installed from
    their own discs, so keep all of your software CDs handy.

    If you're reinstalling Windows from a standard Microsoft Windows CD
    rather than from the disc that shipped with your PC, don't assume that
    the generic Windows CD will have all of your system's current drivers.
    Visit the support sections at the Web sites of your PC and peripheral
    manufacturers, download up-to-date drivers, and save them on removable
    media (the reinstallation will likely wipe these updates off your hard

    Check Out an Overview

    Stan Miastkowski's December 2002 "Step-By-Step" provides a
    start-to-finish look at the Windows-reinstallation process:

    To transfer all of your current Windows settings to the new
    configuration, consult Lincoln Spector's September 2003 "Answer Line":

    Avoid Hardware Activation

    Every time you reinstall Windows XP, you have to phone home to
    Microsoft to reactivate the OS. Avoid this annoyance by copying the
    existing hardware signature file that Windows creates from your
    computer's configuration and pasting it back into the freshly
    installed version of Windows XP.

    Open the C:\Windows\System32 folder in Explorer and copy the files
    "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" to a floppy disk, CD, or other removable
    medium. At the end of the XP reinstallation, choose not to reactivate
    Windows. When the reinstallation finishes, reboot your PC in Safe Mode
    by pressing F8 before Windows launches. Once Windows has opened in
    Safe Mode, copy the two files over the new versions in the
    C:\Windows\System32 folder.

    Note: This works only on the PC where the "wpa.dbl" file was
    originally created; it won't bypass Windows XP activation on other
    computers. And if you made significant hardware changes to your PC
    before reinstalling Windows XP, you'll probably have to reactivate the
    OS anyway.

    Do a Driver Check

    Finally, check Device Manager to confirm that all of your drivers were
    installed. In XP and 2000, right-click My Computer, click Manage, and
    select Device Manager on the left of the screen. In 98 and Me,
    right-click My Computer, select Properties, and click Device Manager.
    Any entry marked with an exclamation point (!) in a yellow circle (or
    a white question mark in a green circle in Windows Me) has a problem;
    if you're lucky, a new driver will fix it.

    For more ways to keep your PC humming along, go to PC World's Upgrade
    Center and scroll down to the "Tips & Tricks" section:

    Send your tips and questions to:
    kirk_steers at pcworld.com

    Read Kirk Steers' regularly published "Hardware Tips" columns:

    "People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents."
    -- Andrew Carnegie, 19th-century robber baron
    Ablang, Sep 8, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Ablang
    Jan 26, 2005
  2. Ablang
    Aug 10, 2005
  3. Ablang
    Dec 22, 2004
  4. Ablang
    Apr 6, 2005
  5. Ablang
    Jun 29, 2005