1. Please help us cover the costs of Terra-Arcanum's migration to Xenforo, Guest! More information is available here.
    Dismiss Notice

Yours truly needs computer related help

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Solaris, Aug 21, 2004.

Remove all ads!
Support Terra-Arcanum:

GOG.com

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!
  1. Solaris

    Solaris New Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Could anyone please write me a step-by-step instruction of how to reformat and reinstall Windows? I want to completely erase everything from my computer and start anew, but I am 100% computer illiterate and don't know how. So please, help me out. Imagine, however, that you are talking to a totally technophobic person who knows NOTHING about computers. Nothing at all.

    So, what should I do?
     
  2. Jarinor

    Jarinor New Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Okay, it's simple.

    1. Make sure you have a Windows XP cd and a valid product key for it.

    2. Back up everything you want to keep.

    3. Go to Start->Run and type in "cmd" and press enter

    4. In the DOS window that pops up, type "format c:" and just keep on pressing "y" until it starts to format.

    5. When the format is done, restart your computer, and put the Windows XP cd in the drive as soon as possible.

    6. When you get into the Windows installation screen, create a new partition on your hard drive (big enough to install Windows and sundry files on, so go for about 5 gigs or so), format it as an NTFS drive, and when that is done, follow the on screen instructions to install Windows.

    It's really that easy - just format the hard drive in DOS, boot off the CD, create and format a new partition, and then install Windows on it. Shouldn't take too long either.
     
  3. Solaris

    Solaris New Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Umm but how do I make it boot off the CD? :-?

    (I warned you I was computer illiterate in the extreme).
     
  4. Jinxed

    Jinxed New Member

    Messages:
    3,648
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2001
    Good tips from Jar there, but I would make the partition a little bigger, say 10gb, depending on the space you have. It would also be kinda weird if we told you to make a new partition if you already have one set for your system...

    Solaris, you're doing this because of the SP2 right? You can uninstall that or just use a restore point.

    Am I the only one in the world who doesn't have any problems with SP2? I even had a beta of that first. Damn, I'm lucky with my computer these days, it hasn't had a single error for a year or so.

    Edit:
    It boots up by itself just by being in the drive while the computer starts.
     
  5. Jarinor

    Jarinor New Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    I've been testing SP2 at work, and I haven't had a problem with it either. When I was looking into it though I was reading all these horror stories about corrupt registries and BSODs, but I haven't had any problems with it yet.

    Edit - I hope Solaris has the CD drive higher in the boot order than the hard drive. Unless the person who built it was really incompetent, that should be the case, but you never know...
     
  6. Solaris

    Solaris New Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    I tried. Repeatedly. Not only it didn't help matters much, but I began getting old defeated viruses like Sasser and Blaster. I think I am developing a general phobia of Windows updating.
     
  7. Jarinor

    Jarinor New Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    From a security point of view, SP2 is definitely worth it, so I'd make it the first thing you install after reinstalling Windows. Not only will it not have a chance to fuck up existing programs then, but you should also be able to ensure that anything you do install after that will work with it properly.
     
  8. Jinxed

    Jinxed New Member

    Messages:
    3,648
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2001
    The mentioned viruses don't work with the other stand alone win updates. I'm not sure, but probably thanks so SP1 as well. Uninstalling SP2 shouldn't have any effect on your security, unless you didn't have patches installed earlier.
     
  9. Solaris

    Solaris New Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    OK I tried following these instrictions. Now, when I am in the DOS screen and I type y to all, I eventually get the following message:

    Format cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Format may run if this volume is dismounted first. ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N)?
    When I say y, it tells me: cannot lock the drive. The volume is still in use.

    And then it gives me the following like: C:\documents and settings\@@@

    (the @@@ stands for "computer name", I guess).

    What should I do :-?
     
  10. Jinxed

    Jinxed New Member

    Messages:
    3,648
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2001
    I would help you if I ever used the method jar posted. What I do is use my old win98 boot floppy disk. And work the stuff using it. No one seems to have one these days, I don't think you can create one using XP.
     
  11. MatahChuah

    MatahChuah New Member

    Messages:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Is your computer custom built or a dell, compaq, hp..?

    If so, I know compaq has a recovery partition that you can use to reformat your computer without any disks. You can call compaq and ask them for recovery disks, and if you're system is still in warranty, they'll send them overnight.


    I'm sure dell or emachines would do the same.

    With those disks, you just insert Disk 1 and reboot and follow instrctions.
     
  12. Calis

    Calis Member

    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Doesn't the WinXP installer (you know, when you boot from CD) come with some sort of "repartition, wipe everything clean, then install" option? I thought it did. What you may want to try is enable booting from CD-Rom. You should be able to change the boot devices in your BIOS setup, which is usually accessed by pressing "del" when the POST screen shows (you know, that memory counting dealie when you switch on the computer). It may then take a bit of looking around, but there should be an option that says something to the effect of: "Boot devices: C, Floppy, CD-Rom". You'll need to change that so that CD-Rom comes first. See if you can boot from your WinXP CD and proceed from there.

    Also: if you don't know much about computers, *write down* what you change in the BIOS setup. You could potentially change it so your computer won't boot anymore, but you should be able to fix that by changing the stuff back.

    If I remember incorrectly and the WinXP install CD doesn't have a "wipe this shit clean" option, you'll want to grab a bootdisk from www.bootdisk.com and use that to format your harddrive, and then install Win XP.

    At any rate... good luck. First time reinstall of your PC should be fun. :D
     
  13. Solaris

    Solaris New Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Its the kind of fun I certainly don't need in the middle of exams...

    Thanks for advices though.
     
  14. Aries Shion

    Aries Shion New Member

    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2003
    Its easy Solaris. Follow Jar's instruction but instead of reformatting from Windows, just restart the computer. Depending on your computer you might have to hit the F2, Del or F12 keys repeatedly as soons as the computer goes over the POST (the first screen you see where it says something along the lines of XXXXXX K and slave and master drives and so on). If you make it you'll be on a different screen called the BIOS. Check for the Chipset settings and change the option that says the boot sequence. Change it so that the first boot device is the CD-ROM. Insert the Windows XP cd and exit and save all changes in the BIOS. Now let the computer restart as if it was going into Windows. It should detect the CD and start booting into a blue screen. When it gives you the option, choose Install Windows XP. I think you have to press F8 at one point during the install, don't remember where exactly. Choose to Reformat the hardrive with NTFS with Quick Format. Follow the instructions.
     
Our Host!