New Dell PC - Reinstall XP?

Just got a new Dell laptop with XP installed plus a whole bunch of who-knows-what-crap installed as well. Already deleted some of the ISP stuf like AOL.

Should I reinstall XP?

I bought a XP installation disk with another PC and I have the licence - so thats OK.

It would be nice to make the system as simple as possible and load the most recent drivers on.

Should I reformat first, or is that being too obsessive?

If you are sufficiently computer-literate, I would indeed advise you to re-install. I did it with my Dell years back because the OS screwed up within a week.

The re-install has several advantages:

  • you get rid of all the standard crap,
  • you know exactly how to do it for future reference (write down the steps you go through),
  • if you need additional drivers for hardware, you can get them easily now (and save a copy to a disk/CD). In a few years time they might be much more difficult to get by.

Sounds like a good idea. While you’re at it, you can partition the drive, so C: is your boot / system drive and then have D:, E:, etc. On my 120 gig drive, I’ve got something like a 20 GB C:, D: is 10 GB and contains downloaded drivers, intallation files, etc, and E: is where I moved “My Documents” to and is the only partition I worry about backing up.

I ‘only’ have a 60GB HD. My concern with partitioning is that it locks me into a pattern of HD usage that is difficult to change. I back my stuff up regularly and HD’s dont fail often these days do they?

You have convinced me about the reinstall of XP. Using my desktop PC I can burn all the drivers and apps I need onto one DVD for convenience.

Won’t you have problems with Product Activation if you’re reusing a disk from another computer?

For that matter, shouldn’t you get a reinstall disk from Dell as a matter of course?

I put WIN 2000 on a Gateway laptop and it has the advantages that you do not get all the promotional software that each vendor installs on their machines. No more Dell this and that so I would think it would be a good idea too.

Yes but it will reinstall all the proprietary Dell crap and “free AOL trial!” bits and so forth that he’s (she’s?) trying to get rid of.

You sure? That never happened with my old Dell WinME reinstall disk.

No. I have 2 product key stickers for XP. One on my laptop and one on my desktop.

I just use the same generic OEM installation disk that I installed on the desktop but use the laptop key. It is the sticker (key) that you pay for, not the disk. Well thats my understanding.