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  1. #1
    Mahonee

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    Wee Computer problem ?

    Alright guys,

    hoping someone may have an idea of what i do to fix my problem.

    I have a little laptop that I had tried to format. Unfortunately it appears I have two versions of windows on it and I don't know how to get rid of them ?

    obviously I only want one but on start up the computer asks me what operating system I'd like to run and comes up with two windows XP.

    Any idea's how to totally format the computer and re-install just one edition of windows ?

    cheers,

    G.
    2001 Audi A4 1.8t - quite nice really

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  3. #2
    Rich's Avatar
    Rollin on boost mother hubbards

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    Go to start button and click run.

    type in 'msconfig' and press Enter

    Go to the boot.ini tab - look under [Operating Systems]

    Set the one you want to keep as default and then set the timeout to 0 seconds. Windows will then start from the one copy only and wont ask you what to start each time.

    Alternativly you can boot your machine with the windows CD inserted* and install windows again - when it asks you make sure you format your drive** and it will kill everything on it and install a fresh copy on its own.

    * You may have to go into your PCs set up - look for a message saying "Press F2 to enter setup" or similar on boot up and press the key. look for an option called Boot Order and make sure the CD Drive is set as the first device, then restart your machine with the Windows CD in and it should load the installer.

    ** The best way is to delete the partition on your drive when it asks where to install, and then create a new partition which windows will format.
    Last edited by Rich; 9th March 2007 at 10:50.

  4. #3
    Mahonee

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    Tried that rich but it tells me I have to input a timeout of 3-999 seconds. tried to go into F2 but there isn't an option for that. only an F8 for advanced options only to do with 'safe mode' etc.

    wondering whether or not this has something to do with having two hard drives ? could I have a copy of windows on both ?

    Is it possible to format one of the hard drives then I can completely re-install windows on the other one ?

    sounds like your up to the task of answering that questions !

    wee thanks anyway though !
    2001 Audi A4 1.8t - quite nice really

  5. #4
    rodenal's Avatar
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    sounds like it, go into your bios and make sure you have the one you want to format set as the slave drive, then format it and leave it blank.
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  6. #5
    Rich's Avatar
    Rollin on boost mother hubbards

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    You could have a copy on both. If you want to force it to have no timeout, open the C:\boot.ini file in notepad and you should see the timeout entry in there. If you change it to 0 and save it you wont get the boot menu.

    The F2 for set up might not be F2, could be F10 or delete somtimes. It happens before the F8 thing - before windows starts to load. Basically as soon as you turn the PC on.

    And yep, if you boot from the windows CD - it will get to a screen where you can select which drive to install windows on. So basically select and format that drive, and then install windows on it. If you still have a windows install on the other hard drive it may create the boot menu again after you've installed windows but in which case I'd just open the boot.ini file in notepad again. Set the installation you want as default and then set the time out to 0. You could then delete the windows folder from the other ahrd drive.

  7. #6
    Beerzo's Avatar
    Masa'warty 3200... Talk To Me!

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    What make is your Laptop?

  8. #7
    Mahonee

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    dam

    Right I have managed to set the timeout to 0 now.

    I still can't get into advanced setup. is there any other way to delete the second copy of windows. If I can do this by re-installing it then how do I do this. I don't really get the questions setup is asking me ?

    cheers,

    G.
    2001 Audi A4 1.8t - quite nice really

  9. #8
    Rich's Avatar
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    Actually, post the contents of your boot.ini file as it is now and I'll tell you what you need to delete to completly remove the 2nd copy.

  10. #9
    Mahonee

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    Here it is now:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=0
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\window s
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="micro soft windows xp professional"/noexecute=optin/fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\windows="micro soft windows xp professional"/noexecute=optin/fastdetect

    The laptop is a Sony Vaio PCG-K115M

    cheers.
    2001 Audi A4 1.8t - quite nice really

  11. #10
    Rich's Avatar
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    Aaah ok, well that tells me you dont have 2 drives but 2 partitions.
    Which in this case means the drive is virtually split in half to make it look like 2 drives but only one physical disk exists.

    Currently your loading windows off the first partition as you can see in the 'default=' section.

    So all you need to do to completly remove the 2nd windows installation is delete the \windows folder off the 2nd partition (whatever hard drive isnt the C

    Then you can delete the last line from the boot.ini file as that just points to the installation on the 2nd partition which we are removing. Hope that makes sense!

  12. #11
    Mahonee

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    so how exactly do I do that ?

    Went into the computer management->storage then tried to delete the partition from the c drive but it wouldn't give me the option.

    Son not totally sure ?
    2001 Audi A4 1.8t - quite nice really

  13. #12
    Rich's Avatar
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    You dont need to delete the partition, you can either just delete the windows folder on the 2nd partition, or reformat that 2nd partition

  14. #13
    Mahonee

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    ok?

    Ok,

    So does that mean literaly delete '\windows' in the notepad document using the delete key ?

    so i change it to be:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=0
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\window s
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="micro soft windows xp professional"/noexecute=optin/fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)="micro soft windows xp professional"/noexecute=optin/fastdetect


    Also, how do you format a seperate partition ?

    I take it this means I only have one windows xp installed but it's the same copy that is running but in a different partition depending on the one you choose at the start.

    is that right ?
    2001 Audi A4 1.8t - quite nice really

  15. #14
    Rich's Avatar
    Rollin on boost mother hubbards

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    No I mean delete the windows folder! on the 2nd drive, then delete that last line from the boot.ini


    You can format partitions in disk management or right click it in my computer

  16. #15
    Mahonee

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    Right.

    Right,

    I formatted the D drive and I don't seem to have the option on the C drive to delete any partitions so I assume that means there is none on either of the drives ?

    Deleted the last line then reset the timeout to 10 seconds and tried to restart the computer. started first time with no ptions. set back to 0 seconds.

    Does this sound right and all in order now ?

    cheers.
    2001 Audi A4 1.8t - quite nice really

  17. #16
    Rich's Avatar
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    Yeah - your D Drive was the 2nd partition. The lettered drivees you see in windows are just logical names.

    ie "C:" is partition 1 on the physical hard disk and D: is partition 2 on the physical hard disk.

    Anyway what you've done sounds right - D: should now be blank and you can use it for your data, your boot.ini only has the one entry in it now as you removed the last line so that menu asking which windows to load shouldnt appear anyway.

    Sorted

  18. #17
    Caesium's Avatar
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    Partitions are **** and a pain in the arse, if it were me i'd install from the CD and take down the partition and do a format.
    Chris

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  19. #18
    Mahonee

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    Thanks guy's !

    sorted
    2001 Audi A4 1.8t - quite nice really

  20. #19
    1st Gear

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    Use a 98/Me boot disk to low level format.

    If you use an XP cd etc it will leave information on the drive, even though you assume it is blank.

  21. #20
    Rich's Avatar
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    No it wont, lol.

    If you use the XP cd and delete and recreate the partitions and then format it its the same as what you would do with the 98 boot disk with the fdisk command.

  22. #21
    fallmonk's Avatar
    Turbo Sport

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    ok , not quiet the a same problems , but have noticed pc is loading up very slowly ?
    any quick fixes?
    I bought a convertable in the wettest country in the world who says Scotsmen dont have a sense of humour !

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  23. #22
    Rich's Avatar
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    Run msconfig (start > run > msconfig > ENTER) - check startup items and disable all from the list. Reboot PC

    Download hitman pro @

    http://www.hitmanpro.nl

    V good spy/malware remover - downloads componants from all the best ones, runs them and cleans the computer automagically.

  24. #23
    fallmonk's Avatar
    Turbo Sport

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    Run msconfig (start > run > msconfig > ENTER) - check startup items and disable all from the list. Reboot PC

    Download hitman pro @

    http://www.hitmanpro.nl

    V good spy/malware remover - downloads componants from all the best ones, runs them and cleans the computer automagically.
    Am running AVAST anti Virus , will hit replace it ?
    I bought a convertable in the wettest country in the world who says Scotsmen dont have a sense of humour !

    "Lets fire up the Quattro" DCI Gene hunt,,,,,,,ashes to ashes

  25. #24
    unkle's Avatar
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    Buy an external HD case off ebay (about 5 to 15 quid depending on quality), put your HD into it and plug it into another PC and format it, that way you get a proper 'clean' format with no information from the HD's previous use.

    Then put it back in the Laptop, insert dodgy XP copy, insert your mate daves serial number and away you go...
    Volvo V50 D5 R-Design

  26. #25
    1st Gear

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    The XP format saves data about your previous windows install, and writes it to disk after you create an NTFS partion.

    The info re-written is inconsequential, and is there mainly because of 'XP home', and the way its activation was handled.

 

 

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