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Wipe Computer Clean


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#1 dczesak

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:04 AM

I would like to erase all info on my computer and star as if it is brand new. I figure this will give my computer a fresh start, have only what I need on it and hopeful it will run at peak performance. Can someone give me step by step instructions on how to do this?

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#2 Farbar

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:41 AM

Hi and welcome,

I am not sure what do you mean. Erasing all data and making a fresh start would be reformatting your HD and reinstalling Windows again. But then you loose all the data you have on your system inclusive the one you want to keep.

If you explain your question and give some system information and the problem you are facing with you may get a better result.

#3 Animal

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:59 AM

Windows XP Clean Install (Interactive Setup)

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#4 dczesak

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 10:33 AM

I have an inspiron 6000 which is about 3 years old. It came w/ a lot of stuff on it I don't want. I have run add/ delete for most things but every now and then I still see parts of things I have deleted still on my computer, ie. mcafee. I only use my computer for internet and my photos and ipod so I would like to wipe it clean and only have the programs I use on the computer. Does that make sense?

#5 dczesak

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 10:50 AM

Will wiping my computer clean increase my computers performance? I have switched from internet explorer to firefox. Shoul dI get rid of IE and if so whats the best way?

#6 Farbar

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 10:58 AM

Sure it does make sense, for the sake of cleanness.

1. As for McAfee you can use McAfee Consumer Product Removal tool (MCPR.exe) when you have still some leftovers from an incomplete uninstalled McAfee AntiVirus on your computer. For download and instruction to use click on majorgeeks.com

2. You can check the list of services, if you see any service leftover from applications you have uninstalled they can be easily removed.

3. If you have Spybot S & D you can remove the startup leftovers, if there are any.

4. Perform a disk deframentation (this you should do any way from time to time).

5. The rest of left overs are negligible. If still not happy and wanted to go for the big step the link is given by Animal helps to go through it.

#7 dc3

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 11:14 AM

Wiping the hdd or reformatting it and making a clean XP installation always makes it run better if it has been in use for a year or more. I know people that will do this once a year as a general practice to keep it running like it should.

The only real difference of importance between reformatting and wiping the drive is that the formatting will only remove the address to these files which can leave some infections in the system...if you are infected. By wiping the drive you completely overwrite all of the information on the hdd providing you with a clean hdd to start the fresh OS installation with.

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#8 dczesak

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 11:19 AM

If I wipe the drive to erase all files do I follow the animals instructions? Will any of this mess up my wireless set up? I defrag and disk check constantly.

#9 mme

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 11:42 AM

if you got software for your wireless your ok
if its a dell you locate your drivers here

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/index.aspx

heres your laptop drivers

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/...tid=&impid=

and a fresh install is better
windows is faster if you do a clean install

Good Luck

Edited by mme, 25 April 2008 - 11:50 AM.


#10 Farbar

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 12:26 PM

If you decide to reformat or wipe out HD make sure you have at least your Network adopter driver ready to install in order to get Internet connection.

And about the wireless setup/settings. Reformatting means you loose all the settings, configurations and updates of all the applications and programs you have.

#11 garmanma

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 12:37 PM

If I wipe the drive to erase all files do I follow the animals instructions?

Yes, but you need an XP CD, and if you erase all files you will also destroy the recovery partition. Why don't you use the recovery partition? Yes it reloads all of the bloatware, but you can use http://pcdecrapifier.com/ to get rid of most of it, plus Add/Rove Programs and the Norton Removal Tool
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#12 dczesak

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 12:59 PM

Thanks for the mcafee link. I ran it now whats the best way to remove it from my computer (it doesn't show up in add/remove programs)? Where do I find network adaptor drivers? My restore point only goes back one month.

#13 Farbar

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:09 PM

1. You are welcome. Just remove the removal tool. It is not installed and thus doesn't show up on the add/removal list.

2. The network adopter driver along with other drivers should be on the CD you have got with your PC. The latest version you can download from the site's manufacturer: http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/...;l=en&s=gen

Edited by farbar, 25 April 2008 - 01:11 PM.


#14 dczesak

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:12 PM

How do I check for the list of services?

I don't want anything extra on my computer. I have the following CD's. Do I need them all?

Time Warner High speed installer
dell application for reinstalling dell tools system software
dell wireless 2350 broadband router
driver and ulilities dell dimension resourceCD
microsoft windows xp home edition reinstallation cd including service pack 1a
drivers and utliities for v.9/56k data fgax modem software
hp photosmartc411 series printer
sony cyber shot camera software
ipod itune software


I view my photo's with picasa
I use firefox not internet explorer
i use gmail for email

#15 Farbar

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:31 PM

1. To see the services: go to start-right click My computer and select mange
Expand Services and Applications and highlight services

2. You don't need a some of the CD's you named. What are you actually heading for ? Cleaning everything? :thumbsup:

These two you don't need: Sony cyber shot camera software and ipod itune software.
This one depends on the printer you have: hp photosmartc411 series printer
This one I don't recognize and is a luxury I don't need: Time Warner High speed installer

The rest you should keep.




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