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Old 03-07-2009, 05:55 PM   #1
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Default installing xp to a hard drive with info already on it... will it erase my drive?

i need to install windows xp on an extra hard drive, all of my drives are already used and have info on them that i do not want to lose or have erased. can i install xp on one of these drives, or will it just erase the whole drive? during the xp install, there's an option to create a partition in the unpartitioned space, can i do that and use the new partition for windows files and will it leave alone the files already on the drive??
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: installing xp to a hard drive with info already on it... will it erase my drive?

You will need to format the hard drive to install a fresh copy of XP if it is not already installed on that drive. Only thing that could be recommended would be to backup those files to another hard drive, and then run the install.

If you have XP already installed, you can do a repair and it will only overwrite the OS files. leaving the hard drive untouched.

The partition that you are also mentioning, would delete all files as well. When you create a partition it will split that hard drive, and you will need to format using FAT or NTSF. Either way you will erase everything on the drive.
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: installing xp to a hard drive with info already on it... will it erase my drive?

if you choose to delete or reformat the partition, then you would lose files.
To keep the files, choose the partition, and there should be an option to install windows without messing with any of the files.

But if the Hard Drive doesnt have an OS installed, then it will automatically delete all the files on it. (Hard lesson I learned. )

Its always best to back up your files onto something, like another HDD, or a DVD/CD.
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: installing xp to a hard drive with info already on it... will it erase my drive?

yeah i know, the repair wont work. nor will live cds. there is a file on my original hard drive with xp that needs to be deleted, but gotta log onto windows first.

the hard drive i want to install xp has already been formatted and has 500GB of info on that drive already. are you saying that i cannot install xp without reformatting the drive again and losing or backing up all the info already on it? partitioning it won't work???
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: installing xp to a hard drive with info already on it... will it erase my drive?

The way partitioning works is...

Lets say your 500 gigs is all on the same partition (Partition 0).

To split the the drive into 2 partitions, you will need to "Delete" Partition 0 to create Partition 0 and Partition 1. After those two are created, you will have to format each. There is no way around this.

Backup is your main option to save the files if you are wanting to go ahead with an install. After you backup and partition you can save the files to the secondary portion of the harddrive to where you will never have to lose those files again if you need to reinstall the OS at a later date.

If you had a partition already created, you could do what you are wanting.
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: installing xp to a hard drive with info already on it... will it erase my drive?

gotcha. well since i can't log on to windows, i guess there is no way i can back up any of my drives, right? and i don't have any blank hard drives laying around, which means i am basically stuck buying a new hard drive to install xp on.
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