the notebook story, part 3

a.k.a. Instal­ling WinXP accord­ing to HP’s logic…

HP ship­ped the note­book with the usu­al reco­very DVD which con­tains a pre-instal­led WinXP envi­ron­ment. Upon inser­ti­on into the dvd dri­ve, it tri­es to over­wri­te the who­le hard­disk with a sin­gle par­ti­ti­on. Why? Becau­se the note­book came ship­ped with a sin­gle par­ti­ti­on. A full 80 GB par­ti­ti­on (ok, ~74 once formatted).

Now, for tho­se of us who have more spe­ci­fic needs and for examp­le don’t keep the (dyna­mic) user files on the same par­ti­ti­on, the­re are of cour­se ways to par­ti­ti­on the HDD and put tho­se files that need to stay on the HDD for lon­ger onto one of them. Just ima­gi­ne this sce­n­a­rio whe­re you would keep the nee­ded dri­vers, app­li­ca­ti­ons and your own per­so­nal files (text, music, video, etc.) and set­tings on a dif­fe­rent par­ti­ti­on which is save and would­n’t be affec­ted once you’d have to reinstall Win­dows. And tho­se of us who are for­ced to use this OS (~ the majo­ri­ty), know about the need to fre­quent­ly reinstall Win­dows. I think the average user does that at least every year unless you never use your machi­ne and/or never install any new soft­ware (of cour­se, tho­se who just want to have a sta­ble sys­tem have their small selec­ted choice of pro­gramms they are using and other­wi­se never chan­ge a run­ning system).

Now, WinXP nor­mal­ly pro­vi­des us with a menue whe­re you can choo­se the par­ti­ti­on and set­tings for a new instal­la­ti­on. Not so with the reco­very DVD! No menue during the Win­dows instal­la­ti­on rou­ti­ne whe­re you could select the par­ti­tio­ning pro­cess and then sca­le the HDD down to your desi­red choices. Is this the OEM Ver­si­on that I bought? I DON’T WANT A SINGLE PARTITION.

And the­re are of cour­se ways to sin­gle-out the instal­la­ti­on files of the pro­vi­ded reco­very DVD and e.g. make a small Iso­buil­der CD which only con­tains the WinXP instal­la­ti­on files without any HP add-ons. But it should be easier than that.…

So I wro­te to HP, asking for a work­around and you know what they replied?

Thank you for con­ta­c­ting Hew­lett-Packar­d’s Com­mer­cial Solu­ti­ons Center.

A par­ti­ti­on is a logi­cal sec­tion of a hard disk on which Win­dows can wri­te data. Every hard disk must be par­ti­tio­ned befo­re it can be used. Often, a hard disk is set up as one big par­ti­ti­on, but you can divi­de a hard disk into mul­ti­ple par­ti­ti­ons. When you par­ti­ti­on a hard disk, you deci­de how much space to allo­ca­te to each partition.

For examp­le, assu­me that your com­pu­ter has an 80-GB hard disk. If you purcha­sed your com­pu­ter with Win­dows XP alrea­dy instal­led, or if you instal­led Win­dows XP using the default choices during instal­la­ti­on, the hard disk likely has a sin­gle par­ti­ti­on that takes up all of the 80 GB on the disk. Howe­ver, you could divi­de that same disk into mul­ti­ple partitions—maybe a 40-GB par­ti­ti­on to hold Win­dows and pro­gram files, a 20-GB par­ti­ti­on to hold your docu­ments, and ano­t­her 20-GB par­ti­ti­on for future use.

When you par­ti­ti­on a hard disk, you do not have to use all of the space on the hard disk at once. For examp­le, on the 80-GB hard disk, you could crea­te a sin­gle 40-GB par­ti­ti­on and lea­ve the rest of the space unpar­ti­tio­ned. Unpar­ti­tio­ned space on a hard disk is cal­led unal­lo­ca­ted space.

Plea­se install the Ope­ra­ting Sys­tem using the CD ship­ped along with the Note­book. Plea­se per­form the steps pro­vi­ded in the below web link:

Note: HP does not sup­port more than One par­ti­ti­on. (= the vital infor­ma­ti­on I nee­ded to get)

=> Exact­ly: a copy & pas­te ans­wer that exp­lains what par­ti­tio­ning is all about.….HELLO? Hew­lett-Packard? WTF is wrong with your cus­to­mer ser­vice? Aren’t you human bein­gs with a brain? Are you loca­ted in the USA whe­re the typi­cal user is assu­med to be as stu­pid as the pre­si­dent of this gre­at nation?
I gave you a very detail­ed ques­ti­on that would point out that you are not dealing with the average Joe User, but someo­ne who KNOWS what par­ti­tio­ning is all about and needs an ans­wer ins­tead of basic know­ledge that I could even google.
The pro­vi­ded DVD indi­rect­ly sup­ports more than one par­ti­ti­on becau­se — and this is the solu­ti­on to my pro­blem — I initi­al­ly thought that it sort of over­wri­tes the HDD with an image file (~think of Nor­thon Ghost images) without asking for par­ti­ti­ons. But what it does ins­tead is that it just runs this simp­le script in the begin­ning of the instal­la­ti­on which for­mats the first par­ti­ti­on on the dri­ve. Bingo!

Now, all we need to do is use ano­t­her pro­gram­me (free­ware tools, Par­ti­ti­on Magic, ano­t­her Win­dows ver­si­on, Knop­pix, Ubun­tu, etc.) which just par­ti­ti­ons the HDD. After the HDD is par­ti­tio­ned, the reco­very DVD only con­cen­tra­tes on the first par­ti­ti­on (=> yes, it does not sup­port more than one par­ti­ti­on, but it also igno­res all other par­ti­ti­ons — which is exact­ly what I wan­ted) and installs HP’s cas­tra­ted OEM ver­si­on of WinXP Pro.

I real­ly won­der WHY they chan­ge the­se WinXP instal­la­ti­on rou­ti­nes — I think it would be wiser to lea­ve it the way it nor­mal­ly comes with WinXP then addi­tio­nal­ly exp­lain par­ti­tio­ning pro­ce­du­res to the average user. After all, the­re are so many other unim­portant details they are exp­lai­ning and that don’t dif­fer on most com­pu­ters and lots of papers/manuals that come along with the note­books. And while I agree that most pro­blems are just soft­ware rela­ted and which btw exp­lains why MS intro­du­ced this “Win­dows com­pa­ti­bi­li­ty” pro­gram­me with hard­ware dri­ver tests etc., the manu­fac­tu­rers like HP should just con­cen­tra­te on the hard­ware and exp­lain it in full detail. If you open the manu­al, the­re’s about half of the explana­ti­ons about “using soft­ware” ins­tead of simp­le pic­tures that exp­lain how to e.g. remo­ve the Mul­ti­Bay, how to upgrade memo­ry, how to save bat­te­ry run­ti­me (by remo­ving the bat­te­ry as long as it has an exter­nal power sup­ply) and/or how iden­ti­fy hard­ware issu­es and enab­le cus­to­mers to deli­ver a detail­ed error report. I think they could great­ly save on cus­to­mer ser­vice if cus­to­mers were given more detail­ed infor­ma­ti­ons on how to sol­ve hard­ware pro­blems on their own (and yes, they DO have a dis­sassem­bly manu­al for down­load online).

But ins­tead, what HP did was refer­ring me to the MS-know­ledge base which just pro­vi­des ans­wers for a nor­mal WinXP instal­la­ti­on, not for HP’s limi­ted WinXP version.…

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