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I inherited a Toshiba Portege R500-S5008X from my supervisor and would like to reformat it and reinstall Windows XP before starting to use it. I eventually found Toshiba's support pages that list drivers and utilities for Windows XP.

What essential steps should I take before doing this to ensure that I will be able to get it running again with full features afterward? I have exported all the information from System Information (msinfo32.exe) and e-mailed it to myself so that I can find the names of any missing drivers. Anything else I should do?

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Have you checked with your supervisor to make sure it's ok to reformat it? Some companies have policies which prohibit non-IT staff from making any changes to computer configurations. Also, if your organization uses Active Directory, you will need to have domain administrator credentials to add the machine back onto the domain once you've reformatted. I would definitely check first to see if there's any sort of official policy for reimaging machines where you work. –  nhinkle Oct 29 '10 at 23:59
    
This is a good point, but I have already checked with IT on this. It was actually the idea of the IT desktop support specialist to make the list of installed drivers. –  Michael Hoffman Oct 30 '10 at 4:52

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I would go to toshibas site and download all the drivers for it and put them on a separate drive or burn a cd. Yes you have their names - but if this is your only machine, once you wipe it lets say you need the network driver to use the network to download the drivers..like the network driver? that would be an issue-very annoying. I always download the need (and 'unneeded' drivers) first and then do the wipe. And check their site to see if some drivers must go on before others. This is not unusual that some low level drivers, especially for laptops, need to be installed in a certain order. Also, might as well check BIOS level while you're at it.

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I think this is good advice. +1. Good question too. +1. –  Xavierjazz Oct 29 '10 at 22:42

If like the Toshiba Tablets I have at work your laptop has a recovery partition, you might be better off using that, it will save you time looking for drivers. The only downside is that it may also install all of Toshiba's utility software, some of which is pointless as it mirrors what Windows does normally. (wifi controls, etc)

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