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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Very troubled installation (Win XP Home )

    I inherited a computer from my father in law that is a troubled PC indeed.

    There is no folder for Administrator and I cannot create a user Administrator as Windows says there already is one. Can the Administrator be hidden? My FIL's login is administrator level... honestly, I'm not certain what's happened to this poor PC.

    I want to remove his user name (*not* allowed) and make it possible for someone to purchase and use it normally. I'm not sure what all he did and, well, he didn't leave any information behind. I thought I'd at least try to repair windows, but when I try to repair from the CD I get an error and the message that I can't do that as the version on the computer is newer than the version on the PC.

    So I have three questions. 1) Is repair going to do any good? 2) Is slipstreaming the best/only way to go about that? I've never done it before, but found various links throughout this forum. And 3) Can anyone think of any other approach for this dilemma?

    I would reinstall and patch Windows from scratch (it's got to take less time than all this research), but I'm not sure I have all the drivers for the PC. Any thoughts? At this point, any clarity will help. BTW, I am an applications person, not really an O/S person, so talk s-l-o-w-l-y.

    Thanks! <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>
    Kim

  2. #2
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    Re: Very troubled installation (Win XP Home )

    Let

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Re: Very troubled installation (Win XP Home )

    Yes, the machine is running XP Home. Your explanation of Administrator/Safe Mode explains much -- until receiving my late father-in-law's PC, I was only exposed to XP Pro. This greatly expands my view of what's happened to this machine.

    I do not want to create Administrator if one already exists. What I want to do is delete my father-in-law's account. I was cautious about doing this when there seemed to be no "Administrator" account available.

    What I want to do is this: sanitize the PC so it can be sold or given away. I want to remove my father-in-law's account and make the computer ready to accept the next owner's account. I would like to stop short of reformatting and reloading the drive, if possible, as I just don't have the expertise to do it without a lot of work. Also, there are a couple of programs that came with it that I don't have on CD (Roxio, WinDVD).

    Thanks again, Kim

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Very troubled installation (Win XP Home )

    Kim,
    Even removing your FILs account will not really "sanitize" all the information he created. There are many ways to still get at that data even though his account no longer exists.

    The best way is to format the drive. Assuming you still have his copy of XP home on a CD, then boot to the CD and follow the instructions for installing a "new" copy of the OS only. You will lose any other programs that were on the drive and only have a working Windows OS remaining.

    So far as the other programs, If you do not have the CDs they came on, just copying them and installing them on another machine will not do much good without the CD key numbers that activate that particular program anyway.

    If you are selling or giving the machine away, format it and forget the other programs that were there. At least you will be supplying a working machine and OS, WITHOUT any of the things your FIL was using.
    BOB
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  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Re: Very troubled installation (Win XP Home )

    Well, that does seem to be the prevailing wisdom. I do have the original CD.

    Preserving the programs was what I wanted to do -- not move them to another PC. I thought the new owner would benefit from, for example, the Roxio programs. Ah well.

    About reformatting, do I boot to a command prompt then invoke the old "format c:" command?

    What about the drivers for the various parts? The video card, CD drive, DVD drive, etc.? Will those be recognized by Windows plug and play on install? Once I've reformatted the drive and Windows is gone, will the PC "know" the CD drive is there? And will Windows ask for a new user name when I reinstall it?

    As you can tell, I haven't done this since DOS. It's been very helpful. Thanks,
    Kim

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Very troubled installation (Win XP Home )

    Kim,
    If you boot to the CD and choose "new copy of Windows", it will do the reformatting for you and you should end up with an OS with the hardware recognized and installed.
    It's a lot easier than "good ole' DOS". XP is very good at supplying the necessary drivers and giving you a basic setup.

    Life gets easier all the time. ( or so they say )
    BOB
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  7. #7
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    Re: Very troubled installation (Win XP Home )

    Hi Kim,
    Well I can understand how you think about the old programs, even if they only were basic OEM versions of Roxio et al. But best way to clean is to do a format.

    Bob has mentioned everything essential, it is easy to install XP. I will just add some extra info. You have not mentioned anything about the age of the computer, and thus the BIOS, but if it is not too old it should be able to boot from the Windows XP CD. Some older machines, that can run XP, do not have the possibility to boot from a CD.

    If you want to wipe clean, do as Bob said, boot from the CD. Sometimes you have to change the boot sequence in BIOS so the PC will boot from CD drive, i.e. the order of boot devices (CD then hard drive).

    This will start the Windows XP setup program. After some initial license agreement the setup program will find the installed version on the hard drive, and show the partition. If you want to remove everything press D to delete the partition and confirm (two times because it's a system partition). If you now want to install the OS (and use the whole hard drive as one partition, the default and normal case) in next screen press Enter. Next choose file system, NTFS is the most recommended.

    The rest is easy; answer some questions about language settings, type the product key (you must be sure to have this before (either on a sticker on the machine or on the CD cover)). Enter correct time as install goes on, and then you get the opportunity to set up user accounts.

    I do not know why they have left out this in the links below, but on a Home machine you must set up at least one user account, and if I remember correct it is the last thing you do.

    Drivers, well CD and DVD will probably use the drivers installed with OS. Video card will almost certainly work, even if in some basic mode. Before this clean install do check the brand and type for these devices and if needed download new drivers.

    XP Home Clean Install (no OS on the disk before)

    Windows XP Home Old/Used Hard Drive Install (though some screens show Pro)

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Re: Very troubled installation (Win XP Home )

    Thanks so much for the reassurance. I'll now boldly go where I've never gone before.

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Re: Very troubled installation (Win XP Home )

    Thanks so much for your generous help. The PC is a Dell Dimension, not exactly new ('99), but I know how to check to make sure it can boot from the CD drive. I have Windows on CD, complete with S/N.

    As I said to Bob the Viking, I'm ready to move forward.

    You've both been awesome. Thanks! <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    Kim

    You've both assured me I won't leave the PC crippled.

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