Compaq notebook Vista reformat

By lappal
Feb 28, 2008
  1. Hi there! I'm an absolute newbie. Not just to the forum (great forum, btw), but to PCs as well. I've come from Mac-land and am just getting familiar with Windows. I bought two computers recently. the first is seriously old, and hella cheap, but it does run XP, albeit slowly. It's my back up. never on the internet. the second is the Compaq presario notebook I'm using now. It runs Vista Home Basic.

    I've only had it a short while, but i've managed to pick up a virus (infostealer.gampass is how norton av identifies it), and i want to erase all the trial software that came with the computer - something like 15 or 20 gb worth. I figure formatting would be the best option, considering how difficult this little virus is to remove (i read the other posts from TS regarding format or fix, and removing infostealer), and i don't want NortonAV if it didn't pick up the virus on the first scan. i would like to reformat the hard drive to new, or emptier than...

    here's the question (knew I'd get there eventually). Compaqs don't come with the operating system on disc, like my old mac did. i made a 'recovery disc' but a friend told me that i would only be able to use it once, so i feel i should save it for an emergency. if i try to make a new recovery disc, will the virus, and the bundled software come with it? and how do i actually do this reformatting/ reinstalling thing? Everyone I ask just says "Go back to XP!", but where's the progress in that?

    Geez, lots of questions, no experience. any help is greatly appreciated. thanks!
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Good idea
    No, it's all restore images these days on disc
    I don't understand that - does it self destruct at the end?
    I'd say more than likely
    Your new Compaq should have come with a Restore boot up partition.
    When you first turn it on, do you notice any message like press F10 (or other) to enter Restore (I'm not talking about CMOS)
    If your Compaq can take Vista, then go for it.

    Also if you cannot locate the Restore Partition, or the Restore disc, then you can contact Compaq (or HP) to purchase another (usually $20 or so)
  3. lappal

    lappal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ha. good point. i just imagine the data scrambling itself as it's removed, I suppose, but how silly.

    I also didn't realize that a restore was the same as a reformat. i have done a system restore on a blue screen error once before, but i'll try to boot it from the partition to reformat. I'm assuming I won't need to reinstall the OS afterward, but I won't know 'til I try, right?

    Can't be worse than the four hours of scanning and deleting with every conceivable piece of av software, can it? thanks kimsland
  4. lappal

    lappal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    just wanted to say thanks again, after the fact. i just needed to not be afraid to tweak with the thing... i appreciate your time!

    reformat was problem-less, and now I know that much more about it!
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Thanks for the update (3 months later!, but oh well better late than never)
    By the way, did it have one of those F10 restore partition thingos? Or did you end up purchasing a restore disc?
    Hear from you soon!
  6. lappal

    lappal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    sorry about that! what a procrastinator... yup it did have a partition, and I backed all my goodies up, and it runs heaps faster now! Now I'm learning how to make a new recovery disc after the Vista SP1 update... see how savvy I've gotten?! haha. yeah, I just pushed F11 at the startup, and off it went (after I figured out how to pause the screen so I could read which F button did what!). So easy. :grinthumb
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    F11 ok :)

    By the way did it install Norton Antivirus (usually comes with these images)
    If so, I'd uninstall it, and put on AVG Free instead
  8. lappal

    lappal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah, it reinstalled Norton trial software. I uninstalled it and put on AGV free. Pretty good. Thanks!!
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Thanks for the update :)
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