Dropping WXPP, back to KDE4

When I bought my laptop two years ago it had the obligatory MS tax for XP included. People report that one could successfully claim that tax back if insisting enough. But as I wanted to get some knowledge about that “industry standard” (to be able to help family and fellows) I kept it installed, at least in some first few GB of the hard disk.
Some other GB at the end of that hard disk have been also still occupied, by some fancy thing called PreDesktop area. This is the result of a funny idea of some people at IBM, who thought that the recovery CDs could be included right with the hard disk. So the assistent out of office does not need to call the technical service, but can simply press that big special “Access IBM” button on the keyboard and have his system restored to the default. Oh well, what a perfect operating system it is which needs a recovery option always present.

Except for some Delphi development these GBs of the hard disk were never used but missed for my daily work with the real operating system. For sure one never has enough memory. So this monday I decided to reclaim those space back and wipe both XP and the PreDesktop area. Before doing so I wanted to make a backup of XP, after all I paid for it and might find some use somewhere sometime. Newer thinkpads have a windows tool with them to create the recovery CDs from that area at the end of the hard disk. Mine is older, it doesn’t. And as I missed to call the IBM service within 30 days after purchase to get a set of real recovery CDs for free, I would now have to pay some 30 EUR for it. Money I wanted to save. And some hints on the internet told me it was possible. Well, only a day later I really knew how. Money saved, time lost.

  • Backup all your data.
  • Get some free GB on a FAT partition; if there is none, create one:
    • Resize some partition to gain free 4 GB.
    • Create a new FAT partition of the gained space (becomes C: for me)
  • Unhide the predesktop area in the bios.
  • Start the “Recover to factory”.
  • Press F3.
  • fwbackup size=640 file=C:\IMGSET
  • Wait two hours…
  • Backup restoration tool: a:; cd recovery; copy fwrestor.exe c:
  • Reboot into an operating system
  • Move the created files somewhere safe.
  • Disable the predesktop area in the bios.
  • On the full hard disk install a fresh operating system, now we are at it.
  • Restore your data.

Quite easy… if one would have known it in advance.

Now with the new kdelibs policy, which started on july 17th, it is time (and possible 🙂 ) again to follow development on trunk.
Somewhat following the instructions on the KDE wiki I soon could login into a KDE4 session and… could see that not much has changed on the surface in the last months. But things are changing. Just look at the mass of commits. And see how clean the build of kdelibs and kdebase already goes, only a few “deprecated” messages. The end of the tunnel may be coming, a usable environment for basic tasks may be not far away. Thanks to all who are driving the transformation through the dark!

Time to start the port of the contacts framework and prepare the integration with Akonadi etc…

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