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bad windwows my disks(and unsupported)

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my girlfriend has a 4 you old HP that came with windows ME. A year ago it started running very slow. She has avg, and runs spybot and Adaware consistently. I upgraded her computer to windows XP. Her computer was still painfully slow. I tried to restore her computer using the option to erase the hard drive and the disks failed. (I tried before to restore the computer before without erasing , but it didn't help). Now her computer won't work at all. It keeps comin up with the windows starting screen and switches to the "what mode do you want screen". Any selection causes the computer to just keep recycling thru the same thing

I didn't explain that when I put in the restore disks, I get a can't read error

My questions are;

Can I get an HP disk that works (called HP and they said no)
can I get another operating system (unix?)
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Is the XP cd a upgrade only disk or an OEM disk.
I assume the restore disks are ME disks.

Have you tried booting from the XP cd? That will give you a reformat/ partition/ install.

As for slow, that can be age of the comp and the minimum requirements of XP.

Oh and welcome to geeks to go.
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