I'm fairly new to this site - hello to you - and would like to solicit your expertise. I am not computer savvy - not because I am incapable of understanding - but because while I was a working professional I relied on the talents of the corporate IT department for any computer related issues. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom and screenwriter I have finally - painfully - come to the conclusion that I must dedicate some serious time to understanding the functioning capabilities of my computer. Okay, I know, blah, blah, blah...
Here is the issue.
A while back I downloaded the XP Service Pack II (who knew you couldn't trust Microsoft) and it caused some type of corruption to my computer (not to mention those nasty spyware buggers). After 15 hours on the phone with Dell, Microsoft, and my cable guy, we were able to get my computer in working order. The Dell representative stated that the corruption would invariably raise it's ugly head time and again and that the only answer would be to wipe out the hard drive and install XP all over again.
That was the first incident. And since that download, and several system restores back to previous states later, a disc clean up, a system defrag, and continual scan by Ad-Aware and Norton Internet Security/Virus protection, I still have an extremely sluggish system that locks up constantly. I have "(not responding)" several times a day from any number of applications and every night at shut down a pop up window shows that "ccAPP.exe" is having some sort of problem. The original corruption attacked the "Sytem 32" applications. I don't know what it does, but I suspect it does a lot.
Every single time I open the "Task Manager" my CPU usage jumps to 100%. I've got anywhere from 54 to 72 processes running, and I've no clue what they are and which could possibly be non-essential. I've got "Stuff" that automatically runs at start up and I'm so fearful of causing even more damage that I don't feel confident enough to remove them from the desktop or even if that is what's recommended.
My Norton wouldn't start up today (it did after two reboots), and for the first time - in who knows how long - when I opened my scriptwriting software the computer could actually keep up with my keystrokes. As a writer it's beneficial to put black to white as quickly as the thoughts arrive, and I'm sure you can appreciate the frustration when you've got a 5 sec delay before you even see the words appear on the page.
I realize that this is all of my own doing and that I should have taken better care with something as important as my computer (1 1/2 years old). I am a writer and a mother and all my work is on my hard drive, all my pictures of my daughter's four years is on this computer. I have begun the process of backing everything up. I'm not sure how I will get my Outlook files back into their proper place... perhaps I can e-mail the files to my Gmail account?
Long story short... I want to know how (and what) I should do to save software and files onto cds, how I take my system down to its original state, how to reinstall XP Home, and reload all the software "Stuff" again.
I am working on a Dell Inspirion 1150. I have XP Home edition. Applications that I have downloaded include: Gmail installer, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Toolbar (I also have MSN and Yahoo! toolbars too and do not know how to rid myself of them), Picasa2, Final Draft downloaded update, Norton Internet/Anti-virus downloaded software (I don't have the disc, I purchased it online from Symantec), Itunes(2), Adobe Reader 7.0, Ad-Aware, Internet Explorer, a few other files and photos.
Somehow it doesn't seem that this should all total 12 GB of hard space.
Yes, I know, I'm a wreck!
Oh, is it okay to delete these icons off the desktop, will I still be able to access them through the "Start" button?
Is there a way to stop programs from automatically launching at start up?
I will be printing my "Help" files for XP and my computer tomorrow and will read word-for-word every last page. When this is all said and done, you'll not hear from me again.
Sorry for the lengthy post. I didn't know what you could possibly need. My apologies for the lack of appropriate terminology. I understand that "Stuff" isn't exactly ideal.
Thank you all in advance for you assistance.
Edited by finalact4, 04 March 2006 - 11:44 PM.