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Wiping hard drive, re-install XP


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#1
incognito167

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After a year of almost non-stop downloading, even more years of surfing around on the internet and installing and un-installing software, my computer is appallingly slow and generally takes ages to do stuff that when i first bought it were almost instantaneous. So, I'm gonna wipe the hard disk and re-install WinXP to give it that "new-just-from-the-shop" speed.

1) Will this work and help my computer be as fast as it was?

2) How do i go about completely wiping the hard drive? (Despite all the anti-spyware and anti-virus software, i'm sure there are still a few malicious programs lurking around, so i want to completely wipe the disk to get rid of them)

3) After wiping the hard disk, to re-install windows do i just put the CD in on start up?

4) I also read that formating the disk doesn't actually wipe it, just hide the data, and that the only way to properly clean the disk is to use a "data shredder." What's the point of formatting the disk if it doesn't free up space or get rid of data and any lurking programs?

5) I use McAfee security centre, and use the firewall it provides (and as recommended by McAfee, disabled the Windows Firewall). If i run both McAfee Firewall and Windows Firewall, will i have double the protection of will they just interfere with each other?

Thank you. When I first bought my computer, it was super rapid - now it's a shadow of it's former self and so i want to restore it to former glory. It's only a couple of years old too!

Mart.
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#2
Retired Tech

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1. It is unlikely to be detrimental to performance

2. Use Boot and Nuke or similar

3. You will install from the XP CD after setting boot priority to CD ROM Drive then hard drive

4. It overwrites the references to all the data so Windows will consider the drive as empty

5. They would interfere with each other

Boot and Nuke

Another option is to get the hard drive manufacturer's hard drive set up utility, which should include a write zeros to drive option, use the full option for this, which may add 8 hours to the process but will do a good job of preparing the drive

When Windows commences set up, use the default NTFS long format option

Make a note of all log in details for your ISP etc
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#3
incognito167

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Thanks for your reply, that has helped clear some things up.

1) You said it wouldn't be detrimental to performance - but would it actually improve performance and make it faster (which is my main aim)?

2) I had a look at Boot and Nuke website and it seems very thorough. Will XP still load after Nuking everything, or will i have to re-install some initial operating system (like MS-DOS or something similar) even before loading XP?

That boot and nuke actually looks quite extreme, and since i'm not a computer whizz by any stretch of the imagination, i'm a little afraid to use it, in case it messes things up and i can't load XP back on to the computer (which is a family computer and so they'd kill me if i mess it up - which i kinda already have by slowing its performance by all of my downloading!).

3) If i don't go down the boot and nuke option, what are the standard ways of formatting the hard drive? If windows considers the space as empty, then are there any problems with it actually not being "properly empty."

Thanks again for your help, and sorry for asking more questions, i just need to know all angles before i proceed :tazz: !

Mart.
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#4
gerryf

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To answer your questions, we need to know what kind of Windows XP disk you have.
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#5
Josh Nansoz

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After a year of almost non-stop downloading, even more years of surfing around on the internet and installing and un-installing software, my computer is appallingly slow and generally takes ages to do stuff that when i first bought it were almost instantaneous.



well considering that you have so much crap on it, yes it will make it faster!

and as some1 said (4got who, sorry!)

if you have the hard drive's manufacture's CD then use that, it will most probs have a format option :tazz:
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#6
incognito167

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The PC was from PC-World (UK) and is Medion Brand.

WinXP was already installed, but there is a Win XP Home Edition disc Version 2002 that came with it, along with another disc called "Apllications and Support CD" that has a bunch of drivers on it.

On the WinXP CD it says "Medion - Product recovery CD-ROM. MS WinXP Home Edition. The software included on this recovery CD-ROM was preinstalled on your hard drive at the factory and may only be used for backup."

I think that's it, but if you need any more info let me know.

Thanks again.
Mart :tazz:
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#7
incognito167

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Ok, i've just been doing some searching on Microsoft website and found a site about formatting and partitioning http://support.micro...om/?kbid=313348.

This has scared me a bit, cos i don't want to create or delete partitions, i just want to keep the setting as they are, but wipe everything and re-install XP, so the computer is setup just as it was when i first bought it.

Also, is there a way that i can install XP service pack 2 without having to go onto the internet. It seems that the only way to get it is via the Windows Update service, but when i re-install i want to install service pack 2 before i go online, because i heard that without SP2 surfing the internet can leave you very vulnerable to attack from malware. So is there a way to download the .exe install file, so that i can save it to CD and then install it from that after the re-install?

The more i look into this, the more i find that i may be more out-of-my-depth than i first thought :tazz: .

Thanks very much for your help (cos i bloody need it!!). Don't what i'd do without you guys and gals.
Mart.

Edited by incognito167, 29 December 2005 - 02:18 PM.

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#8
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You can get it on CD here

http://www.microsoft...us/default.mspx

It is a 266MB download here

http://www.microsoft...&displaylang=en

If you have a firewall and antivirus installed, update each of those before going to Microsoft Update, do not use the PC for anything else while you are updating, then you are as safe downloading SP2 as anything else
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#9
incognito167

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Thanks, for your response.

Another quick question to add to those above, is NTFS better than Fat32?

Mart.
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#10
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Yes

New Technology File System (NTFS) and anything with new and technology in the title has to be better :tazz:



[attachment=5474:attachment]
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#11
incognito167

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Thanks again for all of your help.

Just so i've got this clear then, all i've got to do is start the computer with the XP CD ("Medion - Product recovery CD-ROM. MS WinXP Home Edition. The software included on this recovery CD-ROM was preinstalled on your hard drive at the factory and may only be used for backup."), select the various options to format drives and delete partitions, and then recreate the partitions and install XP to the C drive?

Does that sound right?

Mart.
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#12
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Are you ready to run this now
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#13
incognito167

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No i'm not ready yet. I've still got to back up my data - ordered my external hard drive, which should take a couple of weeks to arrive and then i'll be ready then.

I thought i'd ask my questions early and got all relevant info, so that when i've backed up my stuff, i can just get on with it.

Is this the best way to do this, or do you recommend doing it differently.

Mart. :tazz:
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#14
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I would ask Medion about the capabilities of the recovery CD to check it will install from scratch and not just repair it, unlikely but possible
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#15
kharley

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I have a question about formating my hard drive with my xp disk. I didn't know how to do any of this stuff so I asked somebody else who said they would show me and I want to know if the way they showed me the right way? OK I put the disk in I boot to cd I delete the partition and then format then it sets up the new partition and puts windows back so is this the right way? :whistling:
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