I'm working on two different computers today. The one here, is my son's computer. This is a windows XP with only 248 MB RAM and 40GB space, with only 12.2 GB space left to it. That is probably the whole problem--we need more RAM and more storage. Right now, we don't have a whole lot of money to spend on computers, so I'm wondering if I should do a whole reformat (if that is the correct term for wiping everything out and reinstalling everything from the cd that came with the computer)
Here is what I have done:
Ran PC Doctor--everything is fine
Updated and ran Avast! antivirus, Adaware, Spybot, ccleaner
Did the msconfig startup item list, turning off a bunch of stuff.
Ran Disc defrag, checkdisk, compressed old files
uninstalled many unused programs and am starting to load some other stuff on a pen drive and cds
There was one virus in the av scan, a win32:CTX, which was in a system restore file. That was quarantined.
We have owned this computer from the start, it was at one time the whole family's computer, so various levels of games and school programs (we homeschool) have been loaded and eventually removed via add/remove programs. Eventually it became a shared computer for my sons' school and games, and then only one son's computer, for school and games. I thought I read somewhere that despite being removed, lots of programs still have left "bits and pieces" on the 'puter, and that eventually I would have to do a "wipe the whole thing clean and reinstall everything" (My paraphrase and limited understanding)
Supposedly the computer would run as it did when we first got it--which would be WAYYYYY faster than it does now--it takes about 5-6 minutes to boot up completely, and opening any new program sometimes takes awhile--even waiting for a browser window takes awhile. My son has reported that is has gone to a black screen in the middle of playing games several times now and the only way to shut down is via the power button. (control-alt-delete doesn't work). It glitches a bit in his school program, also, but we have been able to make that work. (believe me, I am saving all his work every couple days on a pen drive so we don't lose his finished schoolwork!)
I don't know what else to do at this point-- I don't know enough to even attempt anything in cleaning up the registry if that would be something I should do. We are all connected to the internet via the same router, so I realize i can save his stuff on my computer--if I set up the networking--which I don't know how to do yet.
So, do ya have any suggestions for me? Is reformatting the only choice? And if I do that, how do I save and reuse some programs--for example, we bought the school version for microsfot works, where we got 5 licenses for installing it, and I think we have used all 5 installations--I don't want to pay for another installation when minutes before I did a reformat I have a perfectly working program. (or am i misundersatnding the liceanse? I still have the license key)