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formatting drives

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My son, who seems to be a whiz with computers & xboxes but only tells me part of what I need to know, installed a 2nd drive (9 GBs) on my computer (18 GBs). He installed my system files & the programs on the small one. He left me totally confused. I hardly ever get to speak to him or see him, consequently I have spent a lot of time in the last year or so trying to clear my local drive out so I can use it properly. I am not fluent in system files but I am trying to learn file extensions, etc. I have just installed ZoneAlarm Security Suite if that makes any difference.

I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me which files to save on CD & then walk through the steps on how to format my computer. Before my son installed the small drive he walked me through formatting my hard drive over the phone, unfortunately I didn't write it down as I was doing it but can remember vaguely bits and pieces.

Thanking you, in advance Emmanuelle.

Edited by Emmanuelle, 27 December 2005 - 01:42 AM.

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to know what to save, we need to know what you have on your PC.

MOST user specific information is stored in a folder called

c:\documents and settings\{profile name}

which will have dozens of subfolders that hold your email, pictures, documents, music, etc. Saving that folder is a good way to start (a few files will not be readable as they will be in use).

Things that may not be stored here include game settings and save, or things you put in the wrong place.

Another thing that will not be saved are your ISP settings, like phone numbers and passwords and usernames. You should write those down separately.

What ultimately is your goal here?
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