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About reformatting my XP computer...


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#1 Kalookakoo

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 04:43 PM

I no doubt have viruses/malware and due to a failed reformat a long time ago, their is more than one operating system on my comp, and I just want to kill 2 birds with one stone and just reformat it and get it done with.

However, I have a few questions.

1) I don't have any of the CD's that came with the computer. If I go buy an XP cd, for all the other software (Microsoft Word, etc), how do I transfer it back to the comp without having to go buy it again to install it?

2) Is it possible that I transfer the viruses/malware when I put back the file I save after it reformats?

3) Any simplistic reformatting guides out there? I'm hardly computer illiterate, but I'm no technician...

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#2 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 06:03 PM

Is your computer a brand name? There can be specific steps to take and you can often buy replacement recovery or reinstall disks for less than 20.00

List the brand model and service tag/ part number if any or describe the mainboard model and revision which is often a splash screen early in the boot process and is also written on the motherboard.

#3 Eyesee

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 06:20 PM

Remember also that an XP cd simply contains the operating system.
It does not include any additional software such as Word, Excel etc.
All of which will need to be reinstalled.

As Ken said make & model could really be helpful

Also, before you do this make sure to back up all of your personal data as you will lose it!
Typically that is the My Documents folder
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#4 cryptodan

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:23 PM

Back up existing documents and important files first.

#5 Kalookakoo

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:28 PM

Sorry guys, here it is.

Dell Dimension 3000
Service Tag: 6M0R581
XP Home Edition Service pack 3

Tell me if you need more, because I'm not quite sure what you guys need =)

#6 hamluis

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:33 PM

If it's a Dell, it should have a recovery partition that allows restoring it to factory defaults.

Dell PC Restore Partition - http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/index.htm

Restore, Reinstall Windows On Dell Computer - http://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...lang=en&cs=

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#7 rosiesdad

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:00 AM

I doubt that older Dell came with a partition to restore.
Go here http://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...&redirect=1 and see if you can get a restore CD from Dell. Its the XP operating system specifically for Dells. You may be charged a nominal fee.
OR borrow a Dell cd from a friend, that should work also. But make sure its a Dell cd with the correct XP system.

#8 chrispyslice

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:08 AM

Also, if you can get hold of a "generic" XP disk, you can usually find the drivers on Dell's website. However - this is a "worst case" scenario; it takes forever to get all the drivers working on a clean XP install, then all your apps, then all your data... Just try and get one of their CDs and you'll be golden :thumbsup:
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#9 cryptodan

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:48 AM

Also, if you can get hold of a "generic" XP disk, you can usually find the drivers on Dell's website. However - this is a "worst case" scenario; it takes forever to get all the drivers working on a clean XP install, then all your apps, then all your data... Just try and get one of their CDs and you'll be golden :thumbsup:



Its rather quite easy to get all the drivers to work on any Dell using a non-dell XP install CD. Its just like using any other computer.

#10 hamluis

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 08:48 AM

From user posts at the Dell forum...it has a recovery partition.

Dell Forum, Dimension 3000 Recovery Partition

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#11 chrispyslice

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:55 AM

Also, if you can get hold of a "generic" XP disk, you can usually find the drivers on Dell's website. However - this is a "worst case" scenario; it takes forever to get all the drivers working on a clean XP install, then all your apps, then all your data... Just try and get one of their CDs and you'll be golden :thumbsup:

Its rather quite easy to get all the drivers to work on any Dell using a non-dell XP install CD. Its just like using any other computer.

This is true, the end result is (hopefully) a fully-functional computer. However, in my experience at least with various Dell systems, it takes from about 30 minutes to >2 hours to get everything working as it should.
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#12 cryptodan

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 03:16 PM

Also, if you can get hold of a "generic" XP disk, you can usually find the drivers on Dell's website. However - this is a "worst case" scenario; it takes forever to get all the drivers working on a clean XP install, then all your apps, then all your data... Just try and get one of their CDs and you'll be golden :thumbsup:

Its rather quite easy to get all the drivers to work on any Dell using a non-dell XP install CD. Its just like using any other computer.

This is true, the end result is (hopefully) a fully-functional computer. However, in my experience at least with various Dell systems, it takes from about 30 minutes to >2 hours to get everything working as it should.



Thats with any system. It takes me 5 hours to get my system up and running.

#13 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 08:13 AM

Since the OP mentions a "failed reformat" there is a chance the recovery partition and the diagnostic partition are gone or no longer usable. The goodells link above will tell you how to check this.

The Dell cd, either home or pro should work for the OS but the service tag indicates this was probably bought through a retailer and since the configuration was not matched to the registration, there is no detailed list of which exact parts or OS shipped with the PC. (Click the system configuration link on the left side of this page.)

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/...-1&impid=-1

The only advantage to using a Dell disk is that it is tied to the bios and will not ask for a COA and will activate automatically.

In theory it is possible on some Dells to recreate the diagnostic and recovery partitions. I have not used this method since I have saved partition images from several years and models on my backup server.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/8254-2-c...bare-hard-drive

#14 Kalookakoo

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 04:50 PM

I doubt that older Dell came with a partition to restore.
Go here http://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...&redirect=1 and see if you can get a restore CD from Dell. Its the XP operating system specifically for Dells. You may be charged a nominal fee.
OR borrow a Dell cd from a friend, that should work also. But make sure its a Dell cd with the correct XP system.


If I get a hold of that CD, it's all I'll need?

How about Microsoft Word and such?? I'm sorry, but I'm not following a lot of these posts...

I'm not even quite sure how to go about it. I just finished backing up all the documents i'll need.

#15 Stang777

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 05:02 PM

If you reformat the computer, you will have to reinstall all those programs, Word and every other program you use, using the disks for them. If you do not have the disk or install program for them, you will have to buy them.

As to buying an XP CD, you can only buy them online now. They are no longer sold in stores. It might be possible to find some store that did not send all theirs back to Microsoft when they were suppose to but it is not very likely.

The only way to use an XP CD on that system would be if you also have a valid license key for it which means you cannot just borrow an XP CD that a friend has used to put XP on their system that they are currently using. If you buy new XP CD then you will have a valid license key for it.

I am just referring to the XP disk from Microsoft, not an install disk from Dell that has been mentioned in previous posts.

Edited by Stang777, 27 March 2010 - 05:12 PM.





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