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The Laptop of Many Issues

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Retired Tech

Retired Tech

    Retired Staff

  • Retired Staff
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This is an option, but only when you are up for it because it won't be quick

Let me know if you prefer to hold on so I can look / ask for sensible ways to repair ME


These Windows versions keep some important data inside your soon-to-be-erased Windows folder, so you need to copy several of its subfolders to another location. Right-click My Computer and select Explore. Double-click the C: drive icon (in Me, you may then have to click View the entire contents of this drive). Right-click in the right pane and select New, Folder. Name the new folder oldstuff.

Go to the Windows folder (you might have to click View the entire contents of this folder), hold down Ctrl, and select the following subfolders: All Users, Application Data, Desktop, Favorites, Local Settings, Profiles, SendTo, and Start Menu. If you don't see them all, select View, Folder Options (Tools, Folder Options in Me), click the View tab, select Show all files, and click OK. (If you still don't see them all, don't worry about it.) Press Ctrl and drag the folders to C:\oldstuff (see FIGURE 1).

Restart Windows with a start-up disk in your floppy drive. (To make a start-up floppy, insert a disk, select Start, Settings, Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs, click Startup Disk, Create Disk, and follow the prompts.) At the Startup Menu, select Start computer with CD-ROM support. While the drivers load, insert your Windows CD-ROM.

Unless you're doing a repair reinstall, type the command c:\windows\command\deltree /y c:\windows and press Enter. Deleting your old files could take time, but the /y switch suppresses confirmation prompts, so take a break.

When you're back at the A: prompt, type x:setup, where x is your CD drive letter (it's likely one letter past what it usually is in Windows, so if it's D: in Windows, it's probably E: here). Press Enter and follow the prompts.

Once you're back in Windows, reinstall your graphics card driver. If you have Windows set up for more than one user, you'll also have to re-create each account. Select Start, Settings, Control Panel, Users to do so. It's important that the user names match those in the old installation. If you're not sure, open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\oldstuff\profiles. There you'll find a folder for each registered user name (see FIGURE 2). Don't worry about passwords. Log off and log back on as each user. When you're done, log off and back on one more time, but instead of choosing a user name and a password, press Esc to enter Windows without being a specific user.

Select Start, Programs, MS-DOS Prompt (in Windows 98) or Start, Programs, Accessories, MS-DOS Prompt (in Windows Me). Type xcopy c:\oldstuff\*.* c:\windows /s /h /r /c and press Enter (if you want to know what the xcopy switches do, enter the command xcopy /?). When xcopy asks if it should overwrite a file, press a for All.

When xcopy is through, reboot and log on (as a particular user, if necessary). Open My Documents to make sure all your personal files are where they belong, including your Internet Explorer favorites and your custom Start menu shortcuts.

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One major problem...I don't have the Windows CD...>_<
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