Here we are, some 40 hours since my desktop decided to stop working (well, since Windoz decided to stop booting, except no BSoD). I know what all the Apple and Linux fanboys/girls are thinking – time to switch!
Not so fast.
Having reinstalled various versions of Windows in the past, I decided to do a little research (lucky that I also have a laptop) before taking the long-winded, standard reinstall path. After speaking with some friends (thanks CH | WE) and reading various forums, I was finally equipped to bring my desktop back from the dead with nLite!
Thanks to this free software, getting my comp back up to speed was less painful than ever before. According to the company site:
nLite is a tool for pre-installation Windows configuration and component removal at your choice. Optional bootable image ready for burning on media or testing in virtual machines.
With nLite you will be able to have [a] Windows installation which on install does not include, or even contain on media, the unwanted components.
In other words, by using nLite (which still requires a valid copy of a Windows install disc – of course), I was able to customize windows components and settings prior to installation. The tool allowed me to slipstream Service Pack 2, other various updates, needed hardware drivers, and even my theme of choice (Royale Noir) into my own customized Window’s installation disc.
In the end, I was able to reinstall a custom version of XP Pro right from the start, saving me both time and the headache of installing needed updates and drivers, AND avoiding the potential registry nightmares that can occur while re-configuring my system.