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Old 03-09-2005, 04:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Reformat

My little binary buddy has been suffering for a few years, and I have kept him going with chewing gum and duct tape, but, alas, the time has come for major surgery. After having tried almost everything, I am now convinced that the only way that I can ever get this cyber workhorse back to functioning on a level whereby I don't have to constantly fight stoppages is to reformat.

Is anybody out there in this forum able to apply his/her knowledge to my individual case?

I am somewhat computer knowledgeable, but my experience is limited by the few years of my computer literacy. For what it's worth, here is where my situation lies: This a Compaq Presario desktop (5WV260). It came with Windows Me installed. I later (after much trouble with Me) installed XP Pro and all went well for a year or so, which leads me to where we are now.

The only internal stuff that I installed is one PCI Adapter. Also, I removed the 64 MB memory card (chip?) and installed two 128 MB memory cards (chips?).

Question: if I ever get to the point where I reformat, do I have to remove these items and reinstall the 64 MB thingy? I gleaned enough from my reading to know to unplug all external hardwares. I have been in the process of backing up all of my data as well as getting rid of extraneous data. A Reformat would take care of all the housecleaning.

My cyber companion came with a Compaq Recovery CD. However the label on this CD reads: "FOR USE WITH QuickRestore if Windows will not start or to make an Emergency Diskette 191441-001." There are two files on this CD. They are BIN files. One is BOOTCAT.BIN (2.0 KB) and the other is BOOTSECT.BIN (1.40 MB). I am somewhat skeptical whether this CD has the necessary files for the operation of my little buddy since there is many MB of Compaq stuff residing within, at least according to the files that I have found in Windows Explorer.

To keep the questions to a minimum: might this Recovery CD have the necessary drivers for my baby? If not, I can get the necessary drivers from the Compaq/HP website, as long as I can identify which stuff to download -- then there's the inevitable logical question of: but how and when do I install them?

I suppose that the last question is: what next or where do I go from here? Post or mail me, puhlease!

On behalf of my electronically impulsive 'putin pet, Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2005, 05:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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first, nice story...
now the rest... The recovery CD you have mentions will not help you now. It's for ME and will only lead back down that path.
First question, what is the problem that you are trying to fix? is XP dying all the time, BSOD?, or are you just fighting problems here and there? I'm going to assume the first.
Have you run Checkdisk? it's amazing what the tool alone can do if it's an internal problem.
As it is, if you continue down the reformat path, do you have the XP cd you installed from? if yes, then we can move forward with that. if not, can you get it? if that isn't possible, restoring might be the only option, but ME is not a very good one. As to the drivers, most are found in XP, but for the ones not, you might consider taking down the information for all the devces you have installed from within the OS, as that is the best way to identify what is there so you can put it back.
that is enough from me for the moment... let us know...
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Old 03-09-2005, 07:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Inaris:

Checkdisk? I searched for it and came up empty. However, I frequently have to shut down via the console button, and upon startup, my little friend has to undergo some kind of check, but no problems are ever reported. In addition, there is some kind of check that goes on prior to defragging.

My poor litle cyber chum has been poked and prodded by a variety of "strangers" with their electronic gloves brandished in a most embarrassing fashion. I have subjected him to many virus scans and spyware scans. No wonder he hiccups! There is residual damage from ousted viruses, but his system remains clean; he just limps and licks his sores.

The details of symptoms are many. Simply put, Windows system programs are unsteady and fleeting. The desktop keeps hiding, and programs have to be accessed in unusual manners. Right now, he is feeling better, but I know from experience that it's just a matter of time until he cracks from the constant pressure of his CPU running at 100%.

I still have the XP disk, and I understand that I can reformat by booting from it and choosing a clean install instead of an upgrade, which I have done many times and have used sfc /scannow many times. All have been helpful. I'm just a little unsure of how to proceed even though it sounds simple.

I'm also a little unsure of what you mean by "devices you have installed from the OS."

Gee, I have to get this sent. My browser is getting twitchy.
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Old 03-09-2005, 07:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Klumpse,

Rightclick "My computer" and click "Manage"
Write down the complete names of your graphics card, soundcard, ethernet card, chipset and any other PCI cards.

The process is really simple. You don't have to disconnect any external devices or change the RAM memory (sticks )

You are right, a format is the best and most thorough way to get a clean and fast system.

I case you have the XP disc, use this guide to format/re-install XP. http://www.blackviper.com/Articles/O...tallxppro1.htm Make sure to format the drive where XP is installed using the XP-Setup before continueing to install.


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Old 03-09-2005, 09:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have never had to rebuild a system in my time as a tech. There is never anything that can't be fixed. Atleast that is the way I deal with it...
If only I was in Pitttsburgh
you can run Checkdisk by doing the following. Run a command window and then type "chkdsk /f /r /x" no quotes and then press Y at the prompt. reboot.
this should do it for running checkdisk.
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks to Inaris and TheMajor from Pittsburgh. You have been very helpful. If I have any further questions, I know where to go.
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