I have three windows ... 2000, xp and 2003 server. My primary drive ( c:\) has a windows xp installation ... now my windows xp is getting corrupt and I want to wipe it out and install a fresh one.

The problem is that if I format my C drive, I wont be able to run my other windows again (or if I can how ? ). How can I overcome the problem.

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I assume you have the different Windows versions on different drives or partitions? Boot to one of the other Windows versions, Delete the \Windows folder on the drive or partition you have XP installed to, and then reboot from the XP CD and run the installation again.

XP should run fine after you reinstall your drivers and programs, and your multiboot configuration should be retained.

Yes I do have windows on different partitions ...

Will the delete process recover all the space on the C drive ... I've seen in my previous experiences (it was windows 98 long ago) that some space is still taken on the drive ... what is the reason for that ?

Will the delete process recover all the space on the C drive

No, it'll simply show the setup routine that Windows XP is not present, and allow you to install an uncorrupted new installation of it.

some space is still taken on the drive ... what is the reason for that ?

All Windows versions reserve some space for the swap file etc. The space is not physically 'stolen', it's simply reserved so that you are stopped from filling the drive beyond what Windows will comfortably run in.

So should I first delete the swap file ( is that the paging file ? I do have paging file on all my partitions) first and then continue with deleting windows ?

You're trying to make things too difficult by worrying about things which don't need to be worried about.

First step:

Is the drive full? If so, begin by freeing up some space by getting rid of some stuff on it. Unecessary data files, can be removed, programs uninstalled etc. You should NOT have the system drive full, no matter what Windows version you are using.

Give full details of your drive/partition structure please, and what you use each partition for.

I'm not worried ... if I lose all my windows then I'll have to install each and everything again .. thats frustrating for me.

All my drives are ntfs.

C drive is 10 gb and 6.8 gb is free .. it has windows xp in it.
d drive is 7 gb and 3.5 gb is free .. it has software in it.
e drive is 7 gb and 3 gb is free .. it has games in it.
f drive is 7 gb and 5.5 gb is free .. its my roomate's drive.
g drive is 7 gb and 4.5 gb is free .. it has my study stuff.
h drive is 7 gb and 5.3 gb is free .. it has windows 2003 server in it.
i drive is 7 gb and 5.5 gb is free .. it has windows 2000 in it.
j drive is 7 gb and 5.5 gb is free .. it has all the i386 folders of all the windows installed.

Thats all. Is that enough or I'll have to give some other specific info?

You have plenty of space available. In your situation I'd simply do what I advised earlier - delete the Windows folder on the XP partition and run the installation again. XP will install as if it's not there already, and your multi-boot should be retained without problems.

You'll likely need to do some setting up and reinstall your programs to recreate registry entries, but reinstall to the same folders as the programs were installed before and they will simply be overwritten. No extra space will be used.

Deleting the Windows folder gets rid of all the corruption that has occurred to stuff up the previous install. There should be no need to worry about deleting anything else.

okay thanks .. I'll report when I reinstall.

heh heh.....

Make sure you have your internet connection configured in another of those OS's before you start - just in case of unforseen problems :D

Nope .. I mainly use windows xp for internet access .. the other two are for practice purposes .. no antivirus or firewall or any other facility installed on both others.

Then configure your internet connection in one of those before you start making changes to your XP installation. Just plain commonsense to do so ;)

okay ... but there's almost a chance that I dont ... cuz I'll have to setup all those updated security measures for the other windows too ... I hope I'll go for win 2000. Or I'll just use my roomate's laptop for net usage if I need to ask anything from you.

I use both the windows 2000 and 2003 for study purposes .. and before implementing anything I set a restore point on that drive .. and when I'm finished I simply restore windows .. So the windows are always brand new.

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