So it's holiday, and I finally got a few minutes in my studio. Having bought my third machine in September I need to reformat my older two and turn them into slaves for Vienna Instruments and Garritan instruments.
The problem is I don't seem to be able to get XP to behave itself. Everything was so simple when you used to install from DOS, but XP seems very unpredictable. I actually rebuilt both machines last year, after some hardware failures, and everything went fine. I can't see that I'm doing anything different this time, but I don't seem to be getting the same results.
I'd like to format all my sample drives, to leave them clean before installing Windows. But every time I try the 'format drive' tool in Windows it claims the drives are in use. I don't have any applications open, so I've checked through all the background processes and can't find anything that should be causing this.
The installation itself - last time it also gave me the option to format the drive first. This time that only seems to be available if I want to install to a new drive. Once I select the partition that Windows has always been in, it withdraws the option to format the drive.
I went through all the warnings about losing files, and wiping the old installation, and chose the 'install to this partition anyway' option, which has previously given a very clean installation. This time, though, it seemed to leave the old installation essentially intact, and renamed any new folders that might have wiped something. For instance I now have double the number of 'documents and settings' folders (eg my personal folder used to be called 'Dave.' That's still there, along with a 'Dave.Slave1' which has appended the name of the machine to avoid wiping the old folder.) Even the registry already seems to contain stuff, and, since the main reason for rebuilding was to get rid of programs that won't sit next to each other (eg. I had gigateleport, but will now be using fxteleport) this isn't ideal.
I'm absolutely sure I didn't choose the 'repair this installation' option, which would be my first thought if someone else was describing this problem. Does anyone have any ideas?