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completely formatting a computer.

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by hayden58, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    i have question about something i really should know already, but i am getting a used PC for free that is beaten down and slow due to programs, virus (possibly) missing/corrupted files, and just junk. i am looking to completely reinstall windows XP, and wipe out EVERYTHING. i have installed Windows XP before, but always end up with some/most of the old files still on there. what am i doing wrong? i want everything that is on there gone, and a complete fresh install of windows XP. any help is appreciated. thanks.
     
  2. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    There are a couple of ways, actually. The old fdisk with a bootup disk, but I don't recommend that.

    Now, if you are trying to install XP from the CD, getting rid of what is on the hard drive is easy. When XP gets to the point it asks you where you want it to install, you click on the partition, or drive, if there is only one partition, and select DELETE partition, or something to that affect.

    Delete it. You will have to go through about 3 steps to do it, but eventually it will delete it. Now, you want to install it on that partition or drive, so you select it. It will ask you if you want to create a partition(s), so you click yes.

    It will then ask you how you want to format it. Select NTFS quick. Once it formats, away you go.

    People who have trouble with XP tend to try to repair what they have, or install over what they have already. I NEVER do either of those methods, because it leaves artifacts from the previous install.

    A complete, clean install is the only way to go.
     
  3. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    any more details you can provide to ensure i do a complete wipe out of everything on there, instead of another install? it seems when i have done it in the past i end up with the old files still showing on there. i dont know what im not doing quite right.
     
  4. l2aw

    l2aw Member

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    Formatting would mean you need to setup your lan connection settings again, and God knows what other stuff.

    I desperatly want to format my pc thoroughly. Like.. not right click C drive and format :S

    Plus.. when I format my pc, I'll have to reinstall windows. Right now its genuine.. but what do i do later on?
     
  5. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    i dont care what has to be reset, because its not my computer previously, its being given to me, so teh previous setting will not matter. plus i will only be using dial up once in awhile on it. it wont be doing alot of internet.
     
  6. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    Doing it the way I outlined in my other post, will wipe out everything. No more details needed, except if there is more than one partition, you can wipe out those too, by deleting those partitions at the install window.
     
  7. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    so it sounds like the key here to to be sure to delete the existing partition? ill be sure to do that. anything else i should know? bye teh way thanks alot for your help and quick response.
     
  8. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    You are welcome, and there isn't anything else that you need. Good luck to you, and let us know how it goes.
     
  9. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    well its monday, and i have attempted to do exactly what you said and by all accounts appear to have failed. i was at the installation part where you hit D to delete the existing partion, and it wouldnt let me. is said something about the partion containing files needed to perform the Xp installation, or something along those lines.
     
  10. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    I don't know why that would happen. I don't know what to tell you.
     
  11. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    maybe i didnt have it set correctly to "boot from disk" how exactly do i unsure that i did that correct? could you walk me through it?
     
  12. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    it's my advice not to do the quick ntfs format, but instead the full-time format, as it does a better job. this *could* correct your problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2007
  13. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    i did the full format, not the quick one, and it still did not delete the stuff that was previously on the HD (a few files) etc....and what i was trying to avoid was the constant "this computer has recovered from a serious error" and after installing windows, that was the FIRST thing that came up. how do i set it to boot from CD? to make sure im doing that right? is that part of the reason it wouldnt let me delete the current partition? if i maybe had that wrong? i kep finding stuff with searches on the net, but its all different, and i dont know what to believe.
     
  14. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    i think i figured out why i couldnt delete the current partition:

    looks like i have to figure out how to be sure i boto from cd.....i hear hit F12 from this guy, or change my bios, i just dont know how to do it, everyone says something different.
     
  15. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    Auslander, he can't delete the partition, so he isn't going to be able to format it from the point that he is installing XP.

    I just found out why. He never got to that screen. :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2007
  16. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    Last edited: Feb 12, 2007
  17. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    SUCCESS!!!!!!

    thank all of you guys for your help, i finally got it last nice easy as can be, went into bios, changed CD to boot first, then it would let me delete the partion fine. now i have a virgin computer!!!

    it was a gift, but here is what it is....
    900mhz AMD Athalon
    30gb HDD
    CDrw Drive
    CD-rom Drive
    128 RAM
    floppy
    it a large tower, so it has room for a total of 6 (yeah 6) cd-dvd drives.

    now phase 2 issues......slightly blurry monitor, tried making all adjustments on the monitor, and to no avail. it seems slightly more blurry around the edges. could it be the monitor or the video card maybe or what?
     
  18. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    You are welcome, and high fives to you! Update the drivers for your video card, then play around with the resolutions until you get the monitor to how you like it.
     
  19. hayden58

    hayden58 Regular member

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    so you think its the video card drivers? any chance that the video card itself is bad? any chance the monitor is bad?

    is there any way to tell what kind of RAM i have? without opening up the computer? i'm guessing its like PC100 or PC 133 based on the age of the computer, but i'm not sure.

     
  20. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    You could pull a stick, but I don't know how important that is to you.

    As far as the video drivers go, yes, go to the manufacturer's website, download the latest drivers for that video card, and install them.
     

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