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First Timer Reformatting


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#1 Joker4302

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 08:55 PM

Hello everyone this is my first time doing something like a reformatting and i am going to follow the simple instructions found here http://www.resnet.uni.edu/docs/reformatxp.html

Is there anything i should know or do before i dive into this? What can go wrong? Will this start me out with a new slate like the first day i got the computer? Any of your help and info is greatly appreciated.

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#2 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 10:45 PM

The answer depends upon why you are reformatting. Is it because of malicious software causing problems on your computer? If so, then reformatting may not be enough. Many viruses (virii?) can survive a reformatting.

You can run Killdisk to delete everything including any infections. This is a free progam and can be downloaded HERE. Put the program on a floppy disk or a CD.

Then run a DOS disk, such as a Windows 98 start up disk, when the computer boots to DOS, type "C:" (without the quotes), push ENTER. Then type "fdisk" (without the quotes), push ENTER, then just push ENTER at each selection that you are prompted to make (in other words, just accept all defaults). You can download what you need HERE.

Then reboot with your XP CD in the cd drive and reinstall Windows.

Be careful about reinstalling your data as it may contain a virus or other malware.

The trick to this procedure is to get all of your ducks in a row BEFORE PROCEEDING.
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#3 Joker4302

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:47 AM

It is infact to get rid of viruses ect. I will take a look at your meathod but why would i use win 98, instead of the Xp disk that i have?

Also on another note how can i save my music file? it is a little more then 2GB in size and i was wondering if there is a way to save it and reinstall it after the reformat?

#4 Joker4302

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:49 AM

The trick to this procedure is to get all of your ducks in a row BEFORE PROCEEDING.



Also i dont understand what you mean by getting all my ducks in a row before proceeding? is this just a figure of speech? :thumbsup:

Thanks again by the way

#5 Herk

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 01:17 PM

Also i dont understand what you mean by getting all my ducks in a row before proceeding? is this just a figure of speech?


Yes, it's a figure of speech meaning that you need to have everything you need ready before you start. For more on this, go here.

One thing that many people overlook when reformatting is favorites. You need to export your browser(s) favorites to a file or you'll have to start over. If some virus has added tons of nasty things to your favorites that you don't want, this is optional, but if they're intact, you can export the files and back them up with your preferred method.

You can also export your cookies so that you won't lose passwords to sites you regularly visit, etc, but sometimes it's better not to if you have a large buildup of cookies.

Saving a two gig music file could be tricky. Do you have a CD burner? A DVD burner? For CD's you'd have to break the file into sections to get it to fit - only 700mb per disk. A DVD would hold all of it. What you wouldn't want to do is save viruses along with the music - file-sharing programs may be where you got the viruses in the first place.

You should have protective programs ready to install: antivirus, Spybot, Ad-Aware, a firewall like Zone Alarm and so on, can be burned to a CD so you don't have to go online to get them.

Make sure you have your CD Key if necessary. Some computers have bypassed the key by including something in the BIOS and/or the installed software so that you don't have to input the key, but it would be good to make sure you have it - usually the 25-digit key is on a sticker on the computer.

#6 Enthusiast

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 01:48 PM

The tutorial looks ok, but here is one from Microsoft:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/s...installnew.mspx

Once you format your drive you are actually performing a new installation.
(If you had virus problems the use of Killdisk insures the virus problems will indeed be gone).

One thing I saw was that they told you to create only one partition.
If you have a large drive you may want to create more than one -
I have three (on a 200 gig main drive)

The first for Windows
The second for all non-Windows programs,
and the third for data.

You will be able to choose what you want to do.

#7 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 06:01 PM

It is infact to get rid of viruses ect. I will take a look at your meathod but why would i use win 98, instead of the Xp disk that i have?

You do not install Windows 98. You simply make what is called a Windows 98 start up disk from the web site address that I gave you. Then when you have everything ready (or - got your ducks in a row) then run killdisk, run windows 98 disk like I instructed and then install XP.

The reason for running the Windows 98 disk is to run the 'fdisk' tool. This will partition your hard drive so it will be ready to accept Windows XP.
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#8 Enthusiast

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 07:17 PM

It gives you a command prompt from which to run fdisk.

#9 Joker4302

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 12:50 PM

Aaa ic ok thank you all for making it easier for me to understand lol i am an idiot when it comes to this stuff but eger to learn.

Also yes i do have a CD/DVD burner so i will try and get the music all on one DVD disk.

Aside from Favorites, documents, music, and a few other things i wanted to save is there anything i may be forgetting that people often for get or something that i will have wished i saved? Also since this is a store bought computer i have been looking at my driver CD's and am not sure i have all of them one being the sound card should i just let windows find drivers for it itself? or go to the company website?

#10 Enthusiast

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 12:59 PM

Get updated drivers from the manufacturers' sites and put them on floppies or on a cd so you can reinstall them.

Windows update may or may not have all the drivers you need for your specific needs.

Export your mail settings, mail files and folders so you do not loose your address book or mail archives as well.
Same with your browser's files.

Edited by Enthusiast, 19 March 2006 - 01:00 PM.





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