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My Computer Won't Work

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#1 dan9119


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Posted 28 January 2006 - 09:54 AM

I have a Dell that runs Windows XP. I let my family use it over the last couple of years and when I got it back it is virtually useless. I am guessing it is infected with spyware, malware, viruses, and any other ware that there might be because I don't believe they knew how to keep it secure. I have tried to run some of the free spyware and virus programs to correct some problems. Most of them will not even run completely before freezing up.
What I would like to do if possible is just basically start over. I don't need to save anything that is on the hard drive. I have tried system restore with no luck. Is there anyway I can delete the current operating system and load a new one so the computer will basically be like it was when I bought it from dell? I believe this is called reformatting. Please help.

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#2 franktiii


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Posted 28 January 2006 - 02:33 PM

Dell should have provided a system restore disk, or instructions on booting to a hidden partition with a system restore utility. Running this should restore your system to the condition it was when it left Dell.

Check your manual for instructions or go to the Dell website and search for information on your computer.

If you have a Windows XP disk, you can boot from this disk, skip the restore console and choose reinstall os and then choose to reformat your hard drive.

After restoring your system, and before connecting to the Internet go and purchase install a good antivirus software. You should only run one antivirus program.

Then, before letting anyone go out on the Internet download an antispyware program or two, you need two or three antispyware programs since no one program seems to find everything. Finally install a firewall program, just one program.

Some good, free for personal use, anti-spyware programs include adaware, spyware blaster, microsoft antispyware and spybot. I have all four installed on my computers.

ZoneAlarm's has a free for personal use firewall program and they seem to have cleaned up the issues in their most recent version.

I feel sure that others will add their favorites, but anything is better than nothing

#3 -David-


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Posted 28 January 2006 - 02:35 PM

Hi Dan

There is most certainly a way of starting over and that is by reformatting. You can delete the current operating system from your hard-drive and start again with a new one :thumbsup:

I've used this tutorial for the times i had reformatted in the past:

It's very easy to follow. Take a read through first and make sure you have everything you need, like the XP CD's.

Let me know how all goes.

David :flowers:

Edited by D-Trojanator, 28 January 2006 - 02:35 PM.

#4 ThorXP


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Posted 29 January 2006 - 11:25 AM

Hello, I know there are ways of redoing the system but in this case since the computer is infected with multiple Viri, Trogans, etc, and you cannot runthe anti - virus etc proggrams I believe the only way and the fastest way to solve this problem is to re-format.

I am sorry Dave if it seems that I am not going along with what you say and mean nothing nasty in any way, but re-format away to DAN.

cya l8r


#5 acklan


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Posted 29 January 2006 - 11:52 AM

Hi dan. Since you decided to reinstall on your own I would like to recommend you wipe your drive first. The "format only" option has the possibiblity of a malware re-infecting your system. By using a drive wipe program you eliminate this possiblity. There are several good programs out there to do this with. The simplest would be Active@killdisk. It has a basic freeware version of the professional version. The freeware will do quite nicely in your case. Another program which I find more useful is Digital Dolly 1.0. It has most of the features of Partition Magic, including drive image, format, partition manager, S.M.A.R.T. drive, Drive wipes (including Quick, DoD, and Gutman), and a few more. The difference is KillDisk will run from a floppy, but it is not as versital as Digital Dolly.
Whatever you go with I would at least Quick wipe the drive if you have malware on it.
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#6 usasma


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Posted 30 January 2006 - 09:55 AM

Hi Dan9119!

This is all good advice. I don't know exactly how to start over fresh with a Dell (you'll need to log onto their website with your system info in order to access their support database).

But, this is an ideal situation for a format and reinstall of XP. In general, a format will rid your disk of viruses and spyware. BUT, sometimes a virus will install itself to the boot sector of your hard drive - which will not be removed by a standard "format" command. I believe that the utilities suggested by acklan will cover this problem.

Also, you can get low-level formatting utilities (which completely wipes the disks also) from the maker of your hard drive for free. Just visit their website and see what they have for downloadable tools. Let us know the make of the hard drive and we can point you at the specific tool.
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