March 17, 2009

A clean desktop. The hard way.

My hard drive has been complaining recently and yesterday gave up the ghost. I found a few decent replacement drives online, but needed a new one right now. We had a gift certificate to Staples and what do you know - they had a reasonable 500GB SATA drive for $80. I called them last night just before 9pm - not only were they helpful late at night, but they put one behind the counter for me. Nice people there.

This morning I backed up all my files to my Linux server here at home and swapped in the new drive. I re-installed Win XP Pro and my machine was now a blank, default machine with no drivers for all the hardware plugged into it - like the big monitor, the speakers, power management, etc. I finally figured out Dell's horrible user interface for installing drivers and soon was back to a running machine with a clean desktop (first time in several years).

The only oddity was the clock was off by an hour. The old Win XP install didn't know about Congress changing when Daylight Savings Time started.

After restoring all my files, I needed to update Win XP and install all the old applications again. Not too hard, but time consuming.

Here's the order that I restored things

  • Dell drivers
  • Firefox browser
  • iTunes (so I could have music while restoring everything else)
  • PuTTY
  • PasswordSafe
  • Windows XP service pack 3
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Java 6 SDK
  • Eclipse
  • Apache 2.2
  • Tomcat 6
  • DBVisualizer
  • TortoiseSVN shell
  • GTalk

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