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  1. 2 Star Lounger
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    Formating my hard disk

    I need to wipe my computer clean. I guess it's got years of infections and spyware clogging it up and 3 years of assistance from Dell didn't help. Now I find out that spyware is so pervasive Dell only provides this advice for a fee. All I need is a brief step by step on reformating. I've unplugged all extra accessories, I've got my XP reinstallation CD and the Drivers & Utilities resource CD, and the office suite. I'm ready for the next part.
    Thanks,
    Naomi
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  3. 2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    >>I've never done this before so please indulge me. It may be a simple thing but I don't want to make any mistakes. Thanks---

  4. Bronze Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Hi,

    You want to be very certain that you have your drivers, etc. that you need before you would begin your project. I searched the XP Forum for some posts about reformatting. You didn't say what flavor of XP you had but maybe this will give you some reading material to start with!

    <!post=Post one, 484408>Post one<!/post> Also this interesting website that has been referenced quite often in our Lounge
    <!post=Post two,385197>Post two<!/post>
    <!post=This concerns a Dell computer reformat,378319>This concerns a Dell computer reformat<!/post>
    <!post=Another post regarding format of XP,325782>Another post regarding format of XP<!/post>

    Before you would actually start this process, maybe someone else with a bit more savvy will have posted a comprehensive answer for you. But I hope this helps a bit. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> I know what it is like once I make up my mind to do something, I usually want to do it as quickly as I can. But when it comes to reformatting, sometimes slower and surer is better! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> So see what you think about the above links and post back with questions!! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  5. Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    You can check out this guide for reformatting a hard drive at: Format

    Or you should be able to go to Dell's Product Support site to get any Dell information for your particular system
    .
    BOB
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    Today it is called golf!

  6. 2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Thanks, Skitterbug. This is a wealth of information. I'm very new (or very resistant) to learning about hard drives. What are partitions for? And what's the best way to backup? Should I backup even if the computer is all screwed up (glitches, spyware and all) - wouldn't I be backing all that stuff up as well?
    Thanks ----

  7. 5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Hi Naomi

    I gather someone has told you that your best solution is to reformat your hard drive, but have you tried to remove the spyware/adware first?

    If not, then there are some good removal programs and instructions in the Spyware - Anti virus - Safe Computing forum.
    You could then run a "cleaner" program such as CCleaner to tidy things up.

    A few searches in the lounge for Spybot S&D, Adaware, Hijack This and CCleaner should bring up lots of info for you to start with.

    Reformatting your drive should be a last resort.

    Have a Great day!!!
    Ken
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  8. Bronze Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Hi Naomi!

    Partitioning is strictly a personal preference in my view. Some people like to have their operating systems separate from their programs, data and page files. Others like having everything on one partition. If you search the Lounge, you will bring up lots of threads about it! I also found two links through Google which are here and here. There is a "whole bunch" of information "out there" that would probably suit your needs! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Backing up your "stuff" is also a matter of personal preference. For instance, some people use CDs, others use second hard drives and still others have external hard drives. Actually, I use all three of these methods depending on what I want to back up! And there are lots of back up programs that can be used. This has been discussed lots in the Lounge over the years.

    Yes, if you back up your computer with spyware, glitches, etc., these problems will be there if you restore from your backup. I totally agree with Ken! Try getting rid of the spyware! Here is Ken's <!post=Star Post,296439>Star Post<!/post> which has a lot of very good information about this subject. And searching the "Spyware - AntiVirus - Safe Computing" Forum will produce more.

    I know this only scratches the surface but maybe it helps a bit. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> What you are thinking about doing can be quite a task and again, I agree with Ken, it should be "the last resort" if all else fails! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  9. 2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Skitterbug/Ken - at this point, I am at my last resort. I've run spyware a number of times but the computer's been running like an old unclean car for a few years now. I'm wondering if spyware gets into individual documents. The OS is coming straight off of my reinstall disks, spanking brand new clean. Only the documents are backed up from the computer.

  10. Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Hi Naomi,

    I have to agree with Skitterbug & Ken that reformatting should be your last resort. From what you are saying, you have reached the end of your patience with this system and don't want to deal with the tedious removal process to clean it up. It also appears that your primary use is Office and your data consists mostly of documents from Office and that you have them backed up to external media. If my assumptions are correct and there is nothing we can do or say to disuade you from your course, then I'd have to say that The ElderGeek's instructions that Skitter pointed you to in her first post are some of the best step-by-step instructions (with screenshots) that you can find. I'd make a copy of them, including the screenshots, and save it as a Word document and then print it out and keep it next to me when I did the format and reinstall. I did the same thing several years back with the instructions from another site that is no longer active and it was very straight forward and easy to do.

    That's my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>. If you want to go after the malware and junk, we will be happy to assist you or point you to sites that can help where we can't. If you choose to reformat, we wish you good fortune and will look for you when you're back up and running again. HTH <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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  11. 2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Thank you Doc, and congratulations on your promotion! Your advice is well taken and indeed very friendly to read for a nervous nellie. Yup, here's comes the reformat - I will print out the instructions as you say. Besides, I do computer training for a living and should know how to do this. Okey Dokey!! Here Goes!
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  12. Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Thanks for the kind words Naomi. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> As you've chosen to do the reformat, and print the instructions, my only caveat is that the printout will be several pages if you include the screenshots. But on the upside, if you do a nice Word document and lay it out neatly it will take fewer pages and might be a useful tool in your training sessions. <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> Good Luck !!! <img src=/S/thumbup.gif border=0 alt=thumbup width=15 height=15>
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  13. 2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by DaveA on 08-Jul-05 07:03. Added URL code)</P>Okay, now that I've promised myself to doing this reformat, I'm reading all the links that have been kindly provided on this forum and am feeling rather more terrified than before. Maybe I shouldn't do a wipeout. One of the problems I've had for years is windows not shutting down properly: endless "Outlook.exe is not shutting down"..... and I "end now" over and over again. I followed a link (trail now lost) to info about this problem, but my computer is set up properly according to the link. I was hoping I could solve that problem. And http://diveintomark.org/archives/2003/08/04/xp is really scaring me. And finally, I have no idea where the product keys are. I have the box the disks came in, I have the reinstallation CD for MS Win XP home edition, but no number. If I'm using the CDs that came with my Dell, will I need a product key? <img src=/S/headthrob.gif border=0 alt=headthrob width=15 height=15>
    Thanks.....

  14. Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    You will need your product key - but since the days of W2K Dell, have been putting it on a sticker on the case.

  15. 2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Hmmm. Called Dell a short while ago, they said I don't need the product key. wonder if their sometimes odd support has it wrong.

  16. Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Formating my hard disk

    Did you tell them you were formatting before the re-install? It could be they thought you meant re-installing over your present system, in which case you probably wouldn't need the key.
    Unless they were talking about registration?

    It would seem to defeat the object of having the product key otherwise!

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