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Formatting computer

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Righto. I've decided that after 4 years my computer is far too slow. It takes about a minute to open word, excel, anything and it's getting ridiculous. So, I want to format it, tweak it and get it up and running all nice and smooth again. But I don't know anything about doing this. I have a load of stuff (docs, pics, programs, music, movies etc) that I want to keep, but if I do a format won't they all get deleted? Like I said I have no idea about this, so if anyone can shed any light on it I'd be ever so appreciative :)

Comments

  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    First of all, backup anything you want. Burn them on a DVD or something, or put them on a separate hard drive, or anywhere else than the partition you're going to format.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yes, they will be lost. formatting is basically wiping the hard drive clean for a fresh start.
    Before starting it, make sure to save anything you want to keep to a removable media of some sort (cd, floppy, dvd, zip disk, pen drive etc).
    Completing a full format is difficult if you dont know what you're doing. when the screen is just black with the ability to type dos commands youre pretty fucked unless you know what to type.
    The best commands to remember are:
    Run (whatever you want to run - normally to run files from a disk or cd)
    autorun (for an auto-running cd)
    Dir (shows a list of files in the current directory)
    c: (will set the input to run commands on the C drive (normally the main hard disk partition)
    It would definately be worth printing off some kind of tutorials on how to complete a format from the web if you have no prior experience of this.
    Just make sure you have everything you will need saved to some kind of device away from the computer and make sure everything left you have no problems with losing.

    If things are so slow it might be worth investing in a memory upgrade or maybe even a bigger or additional hard drive...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Okay, what you need to consider is -

    Backup up all documents, save files, configuration files, music, etc. to a CD / DVD

    Make sure you haven't missed anything out. You don't need to copy programs (that you have the install cds for) but you do need to back up all your data.

    Make sure that you have drivers for the basics (sound card, video card, modem), or at least an internet connection that you can use easily.

    If you have a SATA hard drive that is the boot drive, make sure you have the SATA driver on a floppy disk.

    Now get your windows CD, and make the computer boot from it. The install process for windows allows you to partition and re-format your drive. You don't really need to bother with that dos rubbish any more these days.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    It would be a good idea to backup your "Application Data" folder (C:\Documents and settings\Username\Application Data). It holds much of the configuration for programs you use.
    Mist wrote:
    If you have a SATA hard drive that is the boot drive, make sure you have the SATA driver on a floppy disk.
    XP doesn't need drivers for SATA.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It would be a good idea to backup your "Application Data" folder (C:\Documents and settings\Username\Application Data). It holds much of the configuration for programs you use.

    You Learn something new everyday.... :chin:

    Yeah what other people have said,

    Make sure the 1st boot device is your CD Drive, im sure you know how to do that if not its probley F2 or the DEL button.

    Once your done your computer will restart and then you pop your Windows OS disc in really fast and close it :hyper:

    It will hopefuly then say "Press any key to boot from disc..."

    Press the "any key" :naughty:

    From there it will load into the windows setup and you press the option to install windows go through it until you see a partition, delete it and once your done press c to create a partiton and install windows and its plain sailing from there my friend:thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    check your backup copying properly first too...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Man, it sounds like an absolute nightmare tbh. I think I need to do it though, the speed of it is so slow... Anyway, I'll have a think about it and let you know how it goes. Thanks for all your help!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you google how to format my pc or something like that you could get a guide and print it off and follow it?

    Then you *shouldnt* have a problem
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    XP doesn't need drivers for SATA.

    The install process wouldn't recognise mine without the extra driver. :no:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote:
    The install process wouldn't recognise mine without the extra driver. :no:

    My mobo is like that =(. But I built 2 newer computers recently and neither needed a boot disk for sata. heh
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Righto. I've decided that after 4 years my computer is far too slow. It takes about a minute to open word, excel, anything and it's getting ridiculous. So, I want to format it, tweak it and get it up and running all nice and smooth again. But I don't know anything about doing this. I have a load of stuff (docs, pics, programs, music, movies etc) that I want to keep, but if I do a format won't they all get deleted? Like I said I have no idea about this, so if anyone can shed any light on it I'd be ever so appreciative :)


    Mine was getting slow as well - so I did the same thing last night and just reinstalled windows from fresh, then used speedXP, tune up utilities, O&O Defrag to get things tweaked.

    But I did have two hard drives

    But for myself I now just partition my drive into 4 seperate sections

    20gb for Windows
    5gb for Temp Files & Downloads
    5gb for My Documents
    and what ever is left for extra stuff

    By keeping your Documents on a seperate partition you can erase and reinstall windows as many times as you want without losing any important documents (although I do have an external USB drive I backup to)

    I also use portable versions of FireFox and Thunderbord so all my favourites, settings, etc are all there after the reinstall or even if I copy the Documents partition to a totally different PC (Like my Laptop)

    http://portableapps.com/

    I probabaly reinstall windows every 6 months - usually me testing big software packages seems to slow it down. On my previous installation I'd downloaded a lot of software development packages and they seem to installa load of crap to the PC which you can't get rid of.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Mist wrote:
    The install process wouldn't recognise mine without the extra driver. :no:
    Strange, it works perfectly for me. There weren't even any drivers for the sata controllers in the motherboard's box.
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