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View Full Version : Looking for a fresh start!


Joetheeskimo
02-03-2007, 09:32 AM
My computer has been acting stupid on an ongoing basis, including some problems for which I have positively tried everything. So, since I've had my computer for at least 3-4 years now, I'm considering a re-format. I run Windows XP SP2, and I've put my important files on CD...so...

Any tips as I go forward with this?

(I'm planning to do it when I get a week off from school a couple weeks from now).

ET Warrior
02-03-2007, 11:32 AM
If you've got everything backed up, have your XP install CD, as well as perhaps some driver CD's, you should be good to go. Just boot up from the XP CD, choose to do a full install and completely format the harddrive, and awaaaaaay you go. *shrug*

TiE23
02-03-2007, 12:38 PM
Dang, 3-4 years? I don't actually try to format my computer (it just happens that it needs to be done sometimes) But in the <2.5 years I've had my computer its been reformatted 3 or 4 times. And hell, the only original parts on my computer are the RAM, HDDs, and DVD drives. It really makes it better, getting a clean start. But make sure you don't put a bunch of crap back on it again.

BongoBob
02-03-2007, 09:35 PM
Well I experiment with different OS's and different OS configurations, so combine that with the fact that my computer was fubaring for absolutely no reason for a while there, I think I've formatted at least 20 times in the past year. Three in the past month :p

Just back everything up, get driver disks ready, and I would suggest downloading security programs (AVG, Zonealarm etc) and putting them on cd so you can install them before getting it online.

Boba Rhett
02-03-2007, 10:59 PM
Holy cow, dudes. I've got a rig running fine and dandy after six years of daily use and zero formats. (yeah, I know a regularly scheduled format is best, leave me alone)

What are you guys doing to your computers? :xp:


Just don't get nervous, it should be smooth sailing for ya. Make sure ya do NTFS. You don't have to partition the drive if you don't want to although many like making a seperate partition just for the OS install. ~(12gig, you specify it in MB so that would be 1024 x 12 = 12,288MB) I find this very handy because if you screw windows over you just format the one partition and reinstall windows. All your other programs remain intact. If you choose this route you will have to specify the install path for all programs to make sure they do not install on the OS partition.

Make sure you do NOT do the quick format. It should only be used on fairly new/unused hdd. The formatting may take a long long time to complete. Don't panic. Have your OS disc ready and it will also help you to have any drivers or programs you need burnt to a disc.

Have something else to do while it formats or you'll most likely drive ourself crazy!

IG-64
02-03-2007, 11:14 PM
I'm hoping mine will last out until I get my new computer and/or Windows Vista, which should be by the end of the summer, unless I decide to get Vista earlier. It's lasted a few years now without having to reformat, so it should last long enough till I have enough money to get a new computer. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I don't think I've ever had to reformat this hard-drive since I got it, which was after my old one died from the "beeps of death" 3 years ago.

•-BLaCKouT-•
02-04-2007, 05:50 PM
The easiest way I've found is to get a new HDD and install your system on that. If, after a week you remember something you didn't back up, you've still got your old HDD there. After a few weeks/months or when you feel comfortable with your newly installed system, you can pop the 'old' HDD in as a slave drive, format it and use it for storage space.

:) B.

manoman81
02-05-2007, 03:39 PM
The easiest way to do a reformat with XP is to slipstream SP2 on to a disc. Follow this (http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sp2_slipstream.asp). Now you won't have to wait a few hours while you try to get SP2 again. You'll just have to get all of the security updates which will take time. You will need your activation code so keep your original disc. I also like the idea of getting a new HDD just in case.

Joetheeskimo
02-07-2007, 07:05 AM
My computer came with a disc that claims to have all the drivers needed for my computer, so I'll just use that.

Also, does any one know what key it is on a Dell computer that you have to press when starting up to boot from CD? Is it F12?

I find this very handy because if you screw windows over you just format the one partition and reinstall windows. All your other programs remain intact. If you choose this route you will have to specify the install path for all programs to make sure they do not install on the OS partition.

I'm not very keen on keeping all my programs anyway -- that's what's causing all my problems in the first place. That's why I'm favoring a complete, drastic, start-all-over format over some kind of repair or restore feature...

BongoBob
02-07-2007, 09:51 AM
Well if you don't have your cd set before your hard drive in your boot order then you'll either have to find the boot key for your system (esc while starting up on my comp), or change the boot order in the BIOS. Not really all that hard.

martmeister
02-07-2007, 04:28 PM
My WinXP probs were the result of RAM gone bad (and might've been the whole time, as it could've been the "new" ones I added about the time it started giving me trouble). I was a little peeved that I lost my email messages, contacts, and browser cookies, but it did let me start fresh, getting rid of crap and keeping contact w/ppl that give a damn.

I'm thinking about Vista, but waiting 'til after they work out the bugs they'll no doubt find. Considering Linux, too

BongoBob
02-07-2007, 06:15 PM
mart, I'd reccomend trying out linux. Ubuntu is great for people new to linux as long as you take the time to do some research when you have problems. If you just have other people fix things for you (and trust me, you'll most likely have some troubleshooting to do), don't just fix it and be done with it. Try and figure out why it didn't work, and why the fix fixed it. I've learned alot about linux this way.

Of course, you can always Dual Boot. Currently I'm Tri-Booting XP Home SP2, Vista, and Ubuntu. But I am more likely than not going to remove Vista until I get a more powerful computer.

If you want any more information about dual booting or about linux feel free to PM me :)

Joetheeskimo
02-17-2007, 09:13 AM
Well, my hard drive isn't that big and I already install programs like a maniac (which is how my computer got to be this way in the first place :p), so I'm just going to stay with Windows alone.

*Dramatic Music Plays*
The time is speedily approaching...I'm starting now...if you never hear from me again, it's because I messed everything up. :p*

[Insert nervous smilie with chattering teeth]


*Exaggeration -- I can still access the 'net from the laptop.

jon_hill987
02-17-2007, 10:26 AM
Considering Linux, too

Kubuntu or Ubuntu are really good and dead easy to install, probably easier to install than windows for that mater. You boot from the CD which loads the operating system in full (useful as you can check if your PC hardware supports it) and click on the install icon on the desktop.

It takes a bit of getting used to though

if you have other operating systems installed it also sets up a boot loader for you.

MrWally
02-17-2007, 12:00 PM
Unbuntu = Truck load of win.

ET Warrior
02-17-2007, 12:19 PM
I'll agree with the Ubuntu praise. I've got both of my machines dual-booted windows and Ubuntu, and it was wicked easy

I even set up my laptop with a 6GB fat32 partition that both Ubuntu and Windows can read and write to, so sharing files between my OS's is easy easy.

MrWally
02-17-2007, 04:18 PM
At first I was overwhelmed with how to share files between my ext3 and nfts drives, but I downloaded ntfs 3g for ubuntu... problem solved.

:D

BongoBob
02-17-2007, 10:24 PM
The thing is, Ubuntu is like the Windows of the Linux distros. It does alot of stuff for you. Which is not why I wanted to try Linux, I wanted to learn stuff, and damn have I learned alot.

So I suggest to anyone that tries out Ubuntu, to do a bit of research yourself. If you have a problem, look for help, but also try to look up and find out why you had that problem in the first place. Don't just let a program do stuff for you. Get comfortable with the terminal too. When I first installed Ubuntu I didn't know about automatix, and I ended up installing everything I needed myself from the command line using a Wiki. Was it long? Yes. Was it painful? At some points. But did I learn from it? I learned quite a bit. And because I did most of it using the Terminal, when I had issues with the nVidia driver, I had no problem booting into the terminal and working out my problem from there.

Jeff
02-17-2007, 11:22 PM
I love using the terminal in Ubuntu, even when there is a simple way to do something. Its so much more interesting, and I just like to know how it actually works. Its definitely worth it to get to know the terminal commands.

BongoBob
02-18-2007, 02:35 AM
I love using the terminal in Ubuntu, even when there is a simple way to do something. Its so much more interesting, and I just like to know how it actually works. Its definitely worth it to get to know the terminal commands.

Indeed. Plus autocomplete by hitting tab just makes some things faster. Like if I know where a song I want to move is or a file I want to delete is, I just type in the first couple letters then hit tab, and bam, done.