You'd asked some questions, I did my best to answer, if you have any others, please ask
The Acer instructions talk about restoring original settings without CD's by activating the BIOS setup utility, enabling the D2D Recovery seting, exiting the BIOS and restarting the system. Is that different than the process given for Acer in the "Reformat and Install of Windows" link of your last post, one which says "This will download the E-Recovery Zip file. Unzip then run"? Will/can either of these work if the last SFC scan we tried didn't?
No. They are more repair and the errors you experience may follow if you do that. We are going for a clean new replacement. A clean install. The install will fix what checkdisk and the SFC scan were unable to and fix checkdisk and SFC too. Hopefully the harddrive itself is not too damaged to take the install and chkdsk, sfc, system restore, restore points, icons and everything will work as intended.
I'll also dig out/take a look at the discs when I get a chance.
I did start studying that "Reformat and Install of Windows" post a bit and although I have the Windows Key on the label/in my paperwork, I thought it might be interesting to confirm the system had the same original number, so I opened the Keyfinder.zip link which led to a "sourceforge" webpage whereupon I clicked the MJB Keyfinder link near the top, and rather than anything opening, it closed the whole IE window. I tried twice, with the same result. I found another link elsewhere to the Magical Jelly Bean, namely http://www.magicalje...com/keyfinder/. Is that sourceforge link bad, or just my system acting up? Any reason I shouldn't try the second link to double check the key?
Nope. Magic jellybean is good, and the link provided was fine when I checked it. Alternatively, there's also BelarcAdvisor
Which will list all your keys for all of your installed programs and a whole lot more cool info about your computer.
In Posts 19 & 20, I asked about a hard drive I aquired last spring which is actually 400 Gb, four times larger than my Acer drive. Could you explain the FAT32 vs NTFS questions I had earlier?
NTFS is recommended. It is more secure. Easier with Todays programs, folder sizes and storage. There's information on both at this link
and also here
there's a section that talks about both.
Besides, if you switch to FAT32, you'll lose that good music
My advice here would be to leave it as it is, remove what you do not want that is on the external drive. Open it up and start making folders of your own to add to it. TwoNew2's photos, TwoNew2's Documents, right click copy from Drive C, right click paste to an open External Drive window in whichever folder you choose. Any way you wish.
Any Do's or Dont's about using it? Any reason I can't just copy all of my C and D drives onto it?
You could but why copy a corrupt C drive? Best to copy over your personal items ~ your user files, favorites, etc., then clean off your Acer drive, and reinstall XP, put back your user files so it's nice and neat and clean.
Then reimage that whole clean OS
onto the external drive, if you'd like. Then it's a copied clean
image of your drive. If the computer hard drive fails, you can replace it and reinstall Windows again. Just make sure you backup..copy your documents and pictures to USB stick drives, or the external if you wish.
Do keep in mind that external drive is a hard drive too. They do fail. That's why I use USB sticks. No moving parts to break and they hold a ton of pictures and files. I've had two external drives die on me. I do not trust them much, but that's my preference. Others may have differing opinions.
If that would work, how would I keep from copying and later reinstalling system errors? All comments or questions about this are welcome.
Which is why you just save your personal items, and also why you're advised to do a clean install. System errors are not in your documents and photos or in your music. If the hard drive is not too toasted it'll be like a brand new computer. Fresh and fast
All that needs to be copied are your personal files. Documents, pictures, program key copies you wish to install back on to the computer afterward. It's a bit like moving house, gather your personal affects and move on. Belarc will give all your keys for any programs installed.
I will probably have some more questions about backing-up my system, but will wait for answers about the hard drive and hopefully, will do more reading and thinking before I'll be ready to ask them. Same with questions about reinstalling backed-up data. Any other links to point me in the correct direction(s) would be appreciated.
I myself like to read about what I'm to do a few times in different places to make sure I get the gist of what I'm going to do. I have main instructions I follow such as the link
you already know of, that's the easiest most straight forward instructions, then I find other places to read about it like here here
Reading more gives me more pictures to have seen and more explanations so what is being done seems more familiar.
Then using one main instruction to follow: this one
I'm now a little more familiar and more sure after reading through the other information as well. Now. Read on. Learn more so you're more comfortable, ask questions, check out your CD's and please let me know when you are ready.
You're more than welcome
Just one more question; is that symbol to the right and just below your name ... is it some kind of new, super efficient articulated sailboat with five full sails being tested by you and other Geeks in the Hawaiian Islands?
nah...it's the mail icon you can click on if you want to PM me