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Wiping and Reinstalling - No Recovery Disk


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#1 jersey441

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 09:54 AM

I would like to wipe and redo my mother's computer as the result of some nasty viruses that she's acquired. I think it's the best way.

I'm not sure if the information is needed, but I posted in the "Am I Infected? What do I do?" forum and have moved here as advised by the moderator. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/281783/constantly-getting-new-viruses-trojan/

If someone could advise, I'd really appreciate it.

-The computer is very old. We do not have any of the OS, driver, or re-installation disks. How should we handle this? After using a wiping program such as Active Kill Disk, will I still need a recovery CD?
-If I make a backup, will the backed up files be infected?
-My mother is not technically inclined at all - She is very scared to "mess something up" if she attempts this herself, but I think she should go ahead and take care of this. Are there any instructions geared toward a non-technical person?

Thank you in advance, and please let me know if you need any further information.

DELL DESKTOP COMPUTER
WINDOWS XP HOME EDITION
V 5.1
SERVICE PACK 3

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 10:04 AM

If it's a Dell and you don't have recovery/restore disks...the best suggestion I can offer is to contact Dell about possible replacements.

Louis

#3 jersey441

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 05:10 PM

Hello,

Thanks for your response. Regretfully, the computer is no longer under warranty, so I cannot seek assistance from Dell without a fee. However, I was able to find a recovery disk download here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...55-BD5AFEE126D8

Would this work?

If yes, could someone walk us through the re-installation process so that nothing gets messed up in the process. Do we need to wipe the computer first? Also, should we create a backup since it's infected?

#4 ReviverSoft

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 05:40 PM

-The computer is very old. We do not have any of the OS, driver, or re-installation disks. How should we handle this? After using a wiping program such as Active Kill Disk, will I still need a recovery CD?

Well, can you specify the desktop's model number? You will have to get a copy of Windows XP for a fresh install. A recovery CD may or may not help in such cases, hence the previous suggestion. Getting the drivers shouldn't be a problem.


-If I make a backup, will the backed up files be infected?

If the files are infected, backing them up will probably affect the new location.
So I suggest you scan the files before transferring them to the desired location.

-My mother is not technically inclined at all - She is very scared to "mess something up" if she attempts this herself, but I think she should go ahead and take care of this. Are there any instructions geared toward a non-technical person?

Please provide us with the above information and we'll help you install Windows on the PC and get it up and running in no time.
It isn't that difficult, if you follow the steps carefully.

Edited by ReviverSoft, 28 December 2009 - 05:44 PM.

ReviverSoft - Happy to help!

#5 jersey441

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:15 PM

Hello,

I apologize for the delay.

Dell Dimension 4300S

Is this all you need?

#6 Queen-Evie

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:31 PM

Thanks for your response. Regretfully, the computer is no longer under warranty, so I cannot seek assistance from Dell without a fee. However, I was able to find a recovery disk download here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...55-BD5AFEE126D8

Would this work?


NO, it will NOT work. What you found is not a recovery disk. It does NOT have the operating system on it.
It prepares your computer for Windows installation IF your computer does not support a bootable cd-rom.
It also has to be installed on a set of 6 floppy disks.

If you use the set up disks, you'll still need to have either a Dell disk for your computer or a Windows XP disk.

And if your machine does support booting from cd-rom, you won't need the set up disks.
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can't use them.

Since your system is not under warranty and you don't want to pay for support, use the form HERE:Request Backup Disks if you'd rather use the disks instead of a Windows XP disk.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 11 January 2010 - 06:50 PM.


#7 Budapest

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:51 PM

The Dell Dimension 4300S should have a recovery partition. See the following link for information on how to restore the computer to it's original state:

http://support.ap.dell.com/support/topics/...;l=en&s=dhs
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#8 Queen-Evie

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:10 PM

Thank you Budapest for the info. I usually do mention that there could be a recovery partition but it slipped my mind this time, thanks to a 2 year old screaming for Rice Krispies.

Check to see if there is a recovery partition on your computer.
Open up My Computer from the desktop.
What do you see listed under Hard Disk Drives?
Recovery partitions are usually listed as D. If you see that, you won't need to order the disks, you won't need to find an XP home disk, all you have to do is restore using what's already on the computer.

Be sure to read the link Budapest posted before you do anything. It offers valuable information concerning the recovery process.

#9 jersey441

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:14 PM

Thanks for the advice, guys! We tried that advice listed at the website.

(BTW - new popup also appearing saying "This copy of Windows must be activated..." and she can only get on the internet through direct website shortcuts or in safe mode.)

Anyway, after pressing Control + F11, we get something to the effect of "Keyboard Failure" - pressing F1 to continue or F2 to go to setup doesn't work. It does nothing.

We are getting desperate here! Thanks for any additional advice.

Edited by jersey441, 30 January 2010 - 10:16 PM.


#10 jersey441

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 03:29 PM

We found the reinstallation disks! Thank you very much for all the assistance you've provided here. We did it! ...Finally.

I do have one more question. There are random characters that appear at the top of the Dell startup screen upon restart/boot up. It doesn't seem to be causing any trouble, but I wanted to know why this is. Can anybody offer any insight? Not sure how to screenshot the startup screen if you can.

Is this related to the original problems.

Edited by jersey441, 31 January 2010 - 03:30 PM.


#11 rosiesdad

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 03:40 PM

I havent seen any Dells that would have the Characters on the screen.
Glad you found the recovery disks, dont forget to do all the microsoft updates, unless you have HS internet it may take a good long time.




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