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Old 03-01-2012, 12:49 PM   #1
LMHmedchem
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clean reinstall of XP on OCZ Vertex II SSD

I am doing this, and there are a number of steps, so I thought I should post it.

When doing a clean reinstall of windows (in this case XP) on an SSD drive, it is a good time to reset the drive to its factory condition and recover performance. This tutorial reviews the process for and OCZ Vertex II 60GB drive with the sandforce controller. Care should be taken if this method is used on another drive. I have not checked to see if the same steps apply. The steps to create a properly aligned partition are not necessary when installing windows 7, since the win7 installer already creates properly aligned partitions.

Much of this tutorial is based on information from RyderOCZ at the OCZ forums, so thanks to them.

The steps are as follows,

0.0 Backup your existing setup

As always, make sure you have a complete backup of all of your data and copies of everything you will need for the re-install. You really should have all of you data somewhere other than on the OS drive, but if you don't you will need to find a place to back that data up. This is a good time to move you data off of the OS drive. You can move the location of your "My Documents" folders if you still want to keep things there.

If you have a data disk drive, or USB drive, create a folder with all of the installers you will need to restore you apps. I think it is best to go through your program files folder and make sure you have the installer files or disks for everything. If you collect the installers in one folder, it is easier to go through them to re-install. Don't forget the license files and product keys and such. If these came in an email, you can save a copy of the email in the folder, or make text files with product keys, etc. This is a good time to check for updated versions of software if you don't do that automatically.

Make sure to backup up you email and web stuff if you keep these apps and data on the C: drive. If you use Firefox/Thunderbird, you can use MozBackup to create backups and just import them after you re-install. You may have plugins for web apps, or office apps. Anything you had to download to install will need to be repeated, so keep a copy of the installer, or make a not to repeat the download process.

I also like to take a screen shot of my desktop and save it in the folder with the installers. It would be really nice if windows would allow you to export a "state" file with all of you current configurations, start menu, shortcuts, and such, so that you could just re-load that after install. If there is an app that does that, I would like to know.

I think it is a good idea to create an image of your SSD before trying any of this. You can use clonezilla freeware (or others), and it only takes about 15 minutes. If something goes wrong, it only takes about 5 minutes to load your old OS back on the SSD so you can re-group and try again with no harm done. This is a nice safety net that I think is worth a few minutes, especially if you are new to this kind of thing. You will need storage space somewhere other than on the SSD to store the image file.


1.0 Download software you will need.

1.1 Download the Linux Live Tools for OCZ SSD's.

This is the tool for updating firmware and doing the secure erase.

1.2 Download a Win 7 recovery disk iso if you don't have one, or a win 7 installer DVD (I believe that vista works as well).

This is what you use to create a properly aligned partition (only necessary for XP). Unfortunately, windows hits you for $10 for one of these. There are other tools for aligning the partition, such as diskpar, but I used a winn7 DVD so that is what I list here. Post back if you don't have a DVD and don't want to buy one and I will try to help.

1.3 Download the AHCI pre-install drivers for you motherboard if you don't already have them.

Sandforce SSDs run best in AHCI mode. I think it is possible to install in IDE mode and switch afterwards, but I'm not sure. I know I have manually switched to AHCI mode with an install in place, but that install was made on a SATA drive. I don't know if you can install to an SSD in IDE mode, so if someone can post that info, I would appreciate it.


2.0 Prepare the tools you will need.


2.1 Extract the Liver Linux Tools zip (ocz_tools_316.zip) and burn the iso to a disk or bootable flash drive.

Instructions are here,
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?99275-NEW!-Bootable-Linux-based-tools-for-OCZ-SSD-s&p=714047&viewfull=1#post714047

2.2 Burn the windows recovery iso to a DVD. Skip this if you have a win7 installer DVD.

2.3 Load the AHCI pre-install drivers on to a floppy, CD, or USB drive, depending on what your motherboard uses to load pre-install drivers.


From this point, you are going to reboot, and remove the existing partition from your SSD. You will need to have access to these instructions, so it is most helpful to have a second computer available. If you do not have a second computer, be sure to print the instructions you will need, including the instructions from linked pages.


3.0 Load the LLTools CD into the CD player and reboot.

Select the CD player form the boot menu if it is not first in the boot order.

3.1 Use the LLT utility to update the drive firmware
(you must have a working internet connection to do this)

Instructions are here,
make sure you have a working internet connection
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?99275-NEW!-Bootable-Linux-based-tools-for-OCZ-SSD-s&p=714057&viewfull=1#post714057

update SSD firmware
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?99275-NEW!-Bootable-Linux-based-tools-for-OCZ-SSD-s&p=714069&viewfull=1#post714069

3.2 Use the LLT utility to secure erase the SSD

Instructions are here,
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?99275-NEW!-Bootable-Linux-based-tools-for-OCZ-SSD-s&p=714082&viewfull=1#post714082

3.3 Exit the LLTools utility



4.0 Load the Win7 installer or recovery DVD and boot.

4.1 create a new, properly aligned, partition on the SSD


5.0 Load the XP installer and boot.

5.1 start tapping f6 to let the installer know you need to load 3rd party drivers


- not finished quite yet -

Please feel free to comment or point out anything that I am missing or have wrong.

LMHmedchem

Last edited by LMHmedchem; 03-01-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
Mr.Scott
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Just wanted to add that Paragon Alignment Tool will align a drive either before or AFTER your XP install.
Tried it, works pretty good.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:49 PM   #3
LMHmedchem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Scott View Post
Just wanted to add that Paragon Alignment Tool will align a drive either before or AFTER your XP install.
Tried it, works pretty good.
That sounds like a nice option. It looks like it costs $30, is that correct or am I looking at the wrong thing?

LMHmedchem
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMHmedchem View Post
That sounds like a nice option. It looks like it costs $30, is that correct or am I looking at the wrong thing?

LMHmedchem
A resourceful man can find it for free.
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