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Questions Before I Format My Hard Drive


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#1 Zane B

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 07:05 PM

(this is a bit of a long post. Thanks in advance is anyone reads this.)
It doesn't seem like any of these things are working. Thanks to the help from all you guys, I was able to get the actual virus removed, but it's the removal of the virus that caused the damage. Since I can't seem to get the backup process to work properly, I came up with this plan.
What if I just take all the files that I want to save, pack them in new folders, and move them over to my external hard drive, then just format my internal hard drive (right click on C drive, and click "format").
It seems like a good enough plan, but these are the questions I have.

1. Will I need to reinstall my OS? (if so I'll have to explain my situation with my OS)
2. Will I be able to keep my program files like Photoshop, etc. (I also have to explain this situation)

With my operating system, I upgraded from Windows XP home to Pro, because of a virus attack to my computer a few years ago. My Dad has some friends who are IT guys where he works, and they offered to help us out. We took our CPU to them, and after the virus was removed, they also installed Windows XP pro for us. So we don't have an actual Windows XP CD.

With Photoshop, and Flash, I tried moving them, but after I read up on it, I found out I have to uninstall the programs from the C drive, and then reinstall them onto the external hard drive. The only problem is, in the folders located in the "programs and files" folder, I can't seem to find the install/uninstall items in these programs folders. (like Photoshop CS.exe that runs the install process) Does anybpdy have any suggestions?

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#2 Jesse Bassett

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 08:09 PM

Hello,
As someone who has formatted the hard-drive on my PC before, I can answer both questions for you. First off, do NOT format your C drive while using it. You'll need a MS-DOS floppy disk to boot from. Then when you boot from it, there will be 2 options. Choose option two and wait for the floppy to load. Then type this:

Format C: /S

This will format your C drive without causing damage to your hard-drive.

1.) You will need to reinstall Windows XP. Reformatting erases all data on your hard-drive, including the Operating System.

2.) If you have the license keys or a backup installation CD for your programs you can keep them. Otherwise you will have to contact the customer support for each individual product.

Reformatting and reinstalling XP is a pain in the butt, believe me. If your PC is recent (2005-2006), it may have an option built in to restore it to factory settings. Check with your manufactuer about that. By the way, how do you know you have a Virus on your PC? Have you done an antivirus scan at all?

Edited by Jesse Bassett, 31 December 2006 - 08:11 PM.

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 l McAfee Total Protection l Super AntiSpyware Free Edition l AdAware SE Personal l Spyware Blaster l Spyware Guard l Safe Eyes 2007

#3 Zane B

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 10:34 PM

Aww man, I'm screwed in terms of the OS. I can't reinstall anything because I don't have anything to reinstall Windows XP with. I can't use a recovery CD either because mine is busted. I tried to order a new one from my PC manufacturer's website, but every time I tried getting to the order page, I kept getting taken back to other pages. I got frustrated and didn't bother with it anymore, but I'll give it another shot.

I <b>had</i> a virus on my PC, but I came here a couple of weeks ago to get things taken care of. The actual virus is gone now, but I think I had messed something up while removing it, and now Windows doesn't work in Normal mode. That's why I came back for more help on formatting. I guess I'm just gonna have to get another copy of Windows now.

#4 Jesse Bassett

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 11:08 PM

What PC brand do you have? If you have a Dell and are still under warranty, go to support.dell.com and talk to technical support. They'll send you a FREE Windows XP installation CD next day.
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 l McAfee Total Protection l Super AntiSpyware Free Edition l AdAware SE Personal l Spyware Blaster l Spyware Guard l Safe Eyes 2007

#5 Zane B

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 01:15 AM

I have a Compaq Presario 5000 series. Mine is a 5420US. I seriously doubt I'm under warranty. lol This thing is oooold.

#6 usasma

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 09:28 AM

1) Try calling Compaq and ordering the disks (if available). I've ordered them for a Compaq with a Celeron 1.1 gHz processor - and that's pretty old.

2) There may not be a need for a format and reinstall - but you'll still need the disks to repair it.

3) If you get a new copy of XP, you'll still need all the drivers for your devices. Check to see if they're all available from the Compaq site.
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#7 TheTerrorist_75

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 10:51 AM

Zane, see if your dad's friends can help you again. They could do a repair install.
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#8 Zane B

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 08:50 PM

Sorry for the long wait to reply. I didn't have access to a computer for a bit. I've gotten a disc that has Windows XP Pro on it, and I've moved my data to the external hard drive. Now all I have to do is perform the repair install! How do I go about doing it?

#9 Jesse Bassett

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:02 PM

:thumbsup:-->
QUOTE(Zane B @ Jan 10 2007, 07:50 PM) View Post

Sorry for the long wait to reply. I didn't have access to a computer for a bit. I've gotten a disc that has Windows XP Pro on it, and I've moved my data to the external hard drive. Now all I have to do is perform the repair install! How do I go about doing it?
[/quote]

Go here:

http://tweakhound.com/xp/installxp/installXP1.htm
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 l McAfee Total Protection l Super AntiSpyware Free Edition l AdAware SE Personal l Spyware Blaster l Spyware Guard l Safe Eyes 2007

#10 ToDrag

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 08:50 AM

I hope you don't mind my 'horning' in. I wanted to know what is the difference in formatting a drive and reinstalling the OS?

I loaded XP on my desktop about 18 months ago and it erased the drive, so isn't that the same thing? What is the advantage one over the other?

Aslo, Jesse's link to tweak hound said when you format, you have to load all your hardware drivers. I did not have to do that when I installed XP. I think I just had to install printer drivers.

I am just trying to understand the difference. Thanks.
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#11 Budapest

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 08:54 AM

It's not necessary to reload all your hardware drivers because a lot of drivers come with the XP install. However, the drivers that come with XP may not be the best ones for your hardware. Updating to the latest drivers may increase the performance of your system.

Check out the section on Driver Installation in the Tweaking Companion.

Edited by Budapest, 11 January 2007 - 09:00 AM.

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#12 usasma

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 09:01 AM

A repair install replaces many of the Windows operating system files with the original version. This leaves your drivers, programs and data intact.

Formatting your hard drive and reinstalling Windows starts over from scratch - so you'll have to reinstall your drivers and programs - and import your data from wherever you backed it up.

The repair install is a "quick" fix, where the format and reinstall is a complete fix.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#13 ToDrag

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 01:15 PM

Thanks for the reply.

So in Zone B's case, the "quick fix" OS install is likely all that is needed versus the format?

What type of things constitute a "complete fix" as in the formatting of a drive?
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#14 TheTerrorist_75

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 01:42 PM

Thanks for the reply.

So in Zone B's case, the "quick fix" OS install is likely all that is needed versus the format?

What type of things constitute a "complete fix" as in the formatting of a drive?


When you format and do a fresh install you are starting all over again. You would need to reinstall your motherboard and other hardware drivers, updates and programs. Formatting completely wipes the drive to an extent. Information is still on the drive but is overwritten yet inaccessable unless you use certain recovery programs. To actually wipe the drive clean you would need to use a program such as KillDisk or Dban.

If you are having minor issues that do not involve some serious malware or physical hard drive problems a repair install can usually get you back up and running. With a repair install your drivers will still be present along with data and some programs. You would still need to reinstall updates.
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#15 ToDrag

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:18 PM

Thanks for the info TT75.
It will be ok with me if I never format a hard drive. I had never heard of KillDisk or DBan.
I do have a repair install upcoming on my tower due to a corruption caused by a Zone Alarm update. Others have helped me with all the possible fixes, so the new info on the process will come in handy.
Waiting to hear how Zane B's job turns out.

Edited by ToDrag, 12 January 2007 - 03:15 PM.

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