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  1. #1
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    Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    On a brand new Dell laptop which came with Windows Vista installed, the system runs incredibly slowly and takes forever to load up. THe PC has 512Mb RAM but is still very slow.

    We want to get rid of all Dell's proprietary software, the OS and system stuff, and format the hard drive completely then install Windows XP and reinstall all our programs.
    How do we run c:format as there seems to be no dos prompt? thank you
    Many thanks for any help, much appreciated.
    Have a great day!
    WebMistress

  2. #2
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    If you boot to the Vista DVD, you can do a clean install which will wipe the drive clean. You will need to have a retail copy of Vista, as the OEM version will be the same that you now have on this machine.

    Tell us more about this machine, as to the CPU, what AV and firewall programs and etc, and disk size. To start with, I did not know that Dell made a Vista machine with only 512 megs of ram. What model number is this machine?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    You can probably just do a clean install of XP from your XP CD (as long as it's not an OEM version or installed on another PC). That should format the drive and install only XP. You will need the propriitary Dell XP drivers and such for that system.

    To start the process, just boot to the XP CD.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    I agree with both Dave and DocWatson. But with these additions:

    1) Do NOT format the drive with the Vista DVD because Vista has a different NTFS than XP. It is a known issue that formatting a drive/partition with Vista installed with a 3rd-party partitioning application will be sure to create problems, again due to the different NTFS format, since there are currently no compatible partitioning applications out that work with Vista. Thus you should format the drive using the XP CD, although since you plan on installing XP after the format, a 3rd-party partitioning application might be okay. You would not be able to reinstall Vista afterward however without doing a reformat from the Vista DVD.

    2) I'm not 100% convinced that an OEM copy of XP wouldn't do the job; i.e., format the drive/partition and install XP successfully. Every version of Windows I've installed has been OEM and I've never had a problem doing either an upgrade or fresh/clean install.

    3) IF you format the entire drive, which will wipe out the "special" partition Dell includes and which contains its proprietary drivers for the included hardware, you should make sure you download all the necessary drivers before formatting the drive. As I understand it, Dell does make those drivers available for download online.

    4) Personally, I would make a full system backup of your current installation just in case things go bad. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  5. #5
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    Thank you all, it worked using the Windows XP disk to boot up. All good now .... NO MORE VISTA !!!
    Cheers,
    Webmistress
    Many thanks for any help, much appreciated.
    Have a great day!
    WebMistress

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    <hr>...Dell made a Vista machine with only 512 megs of ram... <hr>
    Since she didn't answer, it might be this one, Dave: Featured Notebook (Inspiron 1501 with an E-Value Code of 6V620-DNCWHA1) Really "low end" for a Vista machine.

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    And...... and is so typical, this person cast stones at Microsoft, i.e., "All good now .... NO MORE VISTA !!!" for the woes experienced instead of calling Dell and castigating them for offering a horribly under-powered machine to the unsuspecting public. Part of the blame must fall upon the individual as well for there are myriad articles, blogs, support forum threads, etc. which address the "minimum requirements" to run Vista. One would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would recommend anything less than 1 gig of RAM and a decent video card/onboard video regardless of what version of Vista was to be installed. Yes, it is true that Microsoft's minimum requirements have always been underrated. But Dell should and does know better than to sell a PC with Vista installed with only 512 megs of RAM. Perhaps this is just another unfortunate example that you usually only get what you pay for.

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  8. #8
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    I think a big issue is all the versions of Vista. If the average person see a PC advertised as having Vista loaded there is good chance they don't know the difference between Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate. And therefore, have no idea about the hardware requirements for supporting each. I'd bet that Vista Basic can be run reasonably on a system with 512MB. No, it won't be a top performer but for a lot of people it will get the job done. In the end it is the consumer who gets screwed but is also the one who has not done due diligence before buying.

    Joe
    Joe

  9. #9
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    Joe,

    I just recently read an article written by someone who actually installed Vista Basic on a machine that only had 512 megs of RAM. He did it out of curiosity, I guess... but the bottom line was according to his experience, that even the Basic version didn't function well, i.e., it was horribly slow, etc. I do know a few individuals who feel XP runs "just fine" with only 256 megs of RAM and can be run satisfactorily with 128 megs of RAM. Of course, they have virtually no applications, e.g., Office, PSP or the like installed and rarely ever open more than one program or window at any one time. And one of these people I know has no interest in "speed", i.e., they don't mind waiting 15 or 20 seconds for Explorer to open. <img src=/S/RollEyes.gif border=0 alt=RollEyes width=19 height=19> I often wonder if these people who buy a new PC without having done any research purchase other items in a similar way, e.g., buying a new car, TV, etc.??? So, as I already stated, the blame has to be shared by companies who depend and take advantage on an uneducated public and the buyer who either can't be bothered doing a little research or perhaps just doesn't care. <IMG SRC=http://www.the-highway.com/Smileys/sad02.gif>

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  10. #10
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    I had one of the later builds installed on my Sony VAIO 2.8 G machine with 512 megs of RAM. It was the Ultimate version and it ran OK, but it was NO hot dog. I did NOT run it more than a week.

    I think that any OEM that puts out a cheap machine with Vista on it, they should offer a very good price on a upgrade in the ram if not the whole machine.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    Well, in fairness to Dell, if I continue on as if I want to buy that machine I highlighted, this screen eventually comes up - see attachment.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    That looks good, BUT, most people will NOT read the text above your red box and it will be Dell's or Microsoft's fault that Vista will NOT run real fast or not all of the items listed..

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    Dave,

    Exactly.... !! Do you think, perhaps, that one of the reasons that this is true is because of the widespread proliferation of PC's currently? I mean they are so commonplace that you can buy one just about anywhere. And consequently since they are no longer looked upon as some esoteric machine for "geeks", the average person buys one and treats it if it were a BIC pen, i.e., you take the cap off and begin using it without any fore-thought.

    What I find is that most of my clients don't even want to be taught about the fundamentals concerning a PC, Windows etc. It's usually, "Look, just fix the thing and get it back to me!" <IMG SRC=http://www.the-highway.com/Smileys/shootfoot.gif>

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  14. #14
    Bronze Lounger
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    I had an interesting experience with an XP computer that I had upgraded to Vista Business without a clean install. It was not running well, so I created as much free space as I could, including removing (my) programs and following the Vista Advisor's notes on what should be removed before installing. Vista was still there, and I could boot the computer from it, but there was also a ton of useless stuff.

    I then installed Vista again by booting from the CD, and all went well. The odd thing was that I had almost no free space left on the drive. It turned out that all of my previous material had been saved in a file called WINDOWS.OLD. This is remarkably convenient, in that it may have any of those million things you forgot you had and might want, and you can move it to an external drive or back it up.

    I, too, have an underpowered and not conveniently upgradeable computer, but I added a GB and am now using ReadyBoost as well. ReadyBoost works well with underpowered computers, especially if you can't conveniently add more RAM, and you can put the device to other uses and keep it for your next computer. If you want more information about that, try Grant Gibson which will give a link to tested flash drives that are considered compatible. I have an extremely fast 4 GB Kingston Data Traveler II Plus Migo, and Vista recommended that I dedicate the entire thing to ReadyBoost. Today is my first day with it, but it does appear to make a difference.

    In defence of what some dismiss as underpowered computers, I must remind you that computers are to many of us dedicated machines. If you want to play games you may want a super computer, but if you want a glorified typewriter or adding-machine, you can go a long way on a shoestring. For a writer, a word-processor is a wonder, the spell-checkers and grammar-checkers save immeasurable time, the Outline View is a powerful editor, add a few dictionaries and encyclopaedias and he or she is in heaven, the online reference sources can be highly efficient, downloaded hypertext is handy, and with a few respectable fonts you can actually publish, online or in hard copy. You can keep in touch with email and fulminate in the forum online.

    You don

  15. #15
    New Lounger
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    Re: Format new pc (Windows Vista)

    Hey Pilgrim,

    re: ...Vista has a different NTFS than XP. It is a known issue that formatting a drive/partition with Vista installed with a 3rd-party partitioning application will be sure to create problems, again due to the different NTFS format, since there are currently no compatible partitioning applications out that work with Vista.


    Does this mean that I can NOT use Partition Magic V8 to repartition the HDD??
    I know that this program will format the partitions (if I tell it to??).
    If I can prevent PM from actually formatting the partitions, just creating them, will Vista disk management format them correctly?

    I have a Vista Premium Notebook that I want to use Partition Magic ver-8 on to repartition the HDD in to 3 total partitions.
    Are you saying that I shud NOT let PM format the new partitions? If I let it just create 2 new partitions, can Vista's disk management program format the 2 partitions correctly to work with Vista's NTFS??

    Thanks,
    Tom

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