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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger
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    Reconfigure Gateway Laptop (XP Home v2002 Celleron 898 - 248MB RAM)

    I've just had a little project dropped in my lap, so to speak. A friend has inherited a laptop from his late mother and wants to reconfigure it for himself. I've looked it over and tried to add, change and delete a few things with varying degrees of success. The 2 biggest issues appear to be corrupt installations of AOL v7 & v8 and the user accounts listed in Windows Explorer don't jive with the Control Panel.

    Specifically, the AOL installations won't uninstall. From Add / Remove Programs I'm told that there are no versions of AOL installed on the computer and going into Windows Explorer, where both versions are listed under Programs, and using the uninstall.exe file in each folder I get a corrupt file message and am advised to reinstall the software. Should I reinstall or just delete the entries and edit the rest of America Online out of the registry ???

    As to the user accounts, Control Panel lists only one, his mother (I changed the name to his for obvious reasons). In Windows Explorer under Documents and Settings it lists 3 users, Default User, his mother (even after changing the name) and owner (in that order). My own XP pro system lists All Users, Default User and me (in that order). I have accounts setup for my kids on my system, but they have never been opened or used, while the laptop has only the one account in Control Panel. I'm having trouble uninstalling some programs, getting the message that the program or one of it's files is in use by another user or program and can't be removed. Should I be concerned about this ??

    Also am wondering if it might not be a better course of action to simply do a clean reinstall of the OS and let my friend install what he wants on a clean system. The initial concern was preserving any personal data from his mother, but that is a non issue now as there really wasn't any. Will reinstalling create any issues with Microsoft Product Activation ???
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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Reconfigure Gateway Laptop (XP Home v2002 Celleron 898 - 248MB RAM)

    From your description, I would say that a clean install would be your best bet. You'd get rid of AOL, user accounts etc. If you have the original activation code, it should still work; if you don't, call Microsoft on the phone and explain the situation. (I assume that you do have the original Windows CD with the CD product code)

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Reconfigure Gateway Laptop (XP Home v2002 Celleron 898 - 248MB RAM)

    Hi Hans,

    Thanks for getting on this so quickly. I suspected that would be the easiest way to go and would give the best result for my friend. It's only been a couple months since his mother passed and he's having trouble letting go of some things related to her, so I wanted to tread lightly here. I spoke with him last night about reformatting and he seemed amenable to the idea. He says he has all the disks that came with the machine and it even looks like there's an OS installation disk and not a System Restore disk. A pleasant surprise. Thought I'd run the situation through the lounge for any possible ramifications with MS before I went ahead and did the deed. I assumed that even MS made allowance for death and taxes, but as with all things MS it pays to check (with a third party) first !!!

    Thanks again.
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    Re: Reconfigure Gateway Laptop (XP Home v2002 Celleron 898 - 248MB RAM)

    Hello Doc,

    I feel for your friend, and I can understand that it's a difficult time for him. But still, re-installing a laptop is probably less emotional than taking care of personal belongings like clothes or books, in particular since the laptop contained little or no personal data.

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Reconfigure Gateway Laptop (XP Home v2002 Celleron 898 - 248MB RAM)

    Hans,

    Thank you for the sentiment. My friend is in the process of going through the personal belongings now with his father in preparation for selling the family home, so his emotional plate is rather full. That's part of the reason he asked me to take care of the laptop for him. That and the fact that I'm more computer literate than he is. I'll be talking with him tonight and will recommend that we do a new install and start him out fresh. Thanks for you help here.
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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Reconfigure Gateway Laptop (XP Home v2002 Cel

    For what it's worth, Doc, I did clean installs on a couple of Gateways at work and the original WinXP Pro required no drivers in order to get the laptops up and running just fine. These were PIII 600 machines and the installs went perfectly. XP recognized the touchpads, video, sound and so on without problems. You didn't say how old the machine is, but I'd sure have a go at a clean install if I were in your shoes. And, Good Luck! Of course, just for insurance, you could check the Gateway site for drivers.....

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Reconfigure Gateway Laptop (XP Home v2002 Cel

    Hi Al,

    Advice and information are always a valuable commodity as far as I'm concerned and I appreciate your input. The machine is either 2 or 3 years old. I'm guessin' 2 'cause the earliest version of AOL was 7.0 and the OS is XP Home v2002. It sure would be nice if this machine is as easy to reinstall on as the machines you did at work. <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> I'll be talking to my friend later tonight and he is supposed to have gotten all the disks and manuals that came with the computer together. If so, and he can get them to me, I'll have a go at it tomorrow or the next day. Otherwise, I'll go to the Gateway site and grab the necessary drivers and do the deed this weekend.

    Thanks again for the advice, input and good wishes. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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  8. #8
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    Re: Reconfigure Gateway Laptop (XP Home v2002 Cel

    On the re-activation issue, I'm not wholly clear what an OS Installation disk in these circumstances does actually mean.

    You may find it worthwhile to back up a file called wpa.dbl in the System32 folder. This is the file that retains the confirmation that the product was correctly activated. Provided that you'll be reinstalling into the same hardware configuration (which seems likely), you should be able to swap it in and not go through all the formal procedures with Microsoft.

    There's a fuller explanation of the wpa.dbl file here.
    Gre

  9. #9
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    Re: Reconfigure Gateway Laptop (XP Home v2002 Cel

    Hi Unkamunka,

    Thanks for that valuable piece of information !!! []thankyou]

    I had to replace tha HD in my Dell at 3 mos. and questioned their support staff about activation. It seems that they put that info on the motherboard at the factory. Too many upgrades or changes and it sends up a red flag. I assumed that Gateway was similarly configured. I will check for that file next time I get on that machine and back it up if I find it. The less formal I can be with Microsoft, the better I like it.!!!!

    Again, many thanks.
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