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Reformatting the PC

By yule_log
Jan 24, 2008
  1. hey guys, i actually came across your site by accident but have become rather addicted to 'endulging' in it. I havn't reformatted my PC since i first bought it which was around 3-4 years ago. I would like to reformat it as i only use the same 2 programmes at the moment and the rest of the space is redundant and probably will be for a very long time, ontop of that its performance has drastically withered. The problems i face is that:

    A) i do not have a windows disc, so i am concerned that i will not be able to install windows again,
    B) I'm not sure of any major consequences of reformatting and
    C) I dont actually know how to reformat it ;)

    I am hoping that someone out there can give me some insight so that i can enjoy my PC once again, much love -x-

    hehe just realised that i typed "reboot" i actually meant 're-format' (its been a long few days)
     
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    If you format it you will not have an OS.
    Without an OS disc you will not be able to reinstall your current OS.
    Read how to speed up windows in the guides section.
     
  3. subcan

    subcan TS Rookie Posts: 51

    I am used to reformatting my PC and feel that it is important to do so at least once a year, but I usually do it twice. I am always trying out new software: installing and uninstalling, and installing again... This in time really messes up the whole internal working of your registry and hard drive leaving a lot of stuff there that did not uninstall and also takes stuff out (sometimes) that is needed by other programs. It can be quite frustrating at times. Once it gets to bad I just reformat.
    1) I use a program called Wipedrive 3.0. This program runs from CD at reboot. With it you can completely wipe your drive, even to DOD standards (3 times rewrite). The technical is not important, but what is important is that you completely rewrite the drive. This prevents "ghost images" remaining that can possibly interfere later after a normal "windows reformat" which really just tells the computer that the drive is empty when it is not. (sorry- non important technical info)
    2) After you have done this you will need to repartition your hard drive. I use a program called "Partition Commander" which also works by CD from reboot. I usually partition my drive with at least two partitions. one for the operating system and another for all my stuff. This way if I have to reformat, all I do is back-up MS Office, my EI7 Favorites and the 'my stuff' partition. Much easier and can also save you if you get a virus that causes you not to be able to boot the C: drive. You can then hook the hard drive to an external USB and just access the 'my stuff' partition. (once again to much info, but stuff I feel passionately about) Also make sure that the new partitions are in NTFS format.
    3) Reinstall operating system, using the existing partitions that you created with Partitioning software rather then letting Microsoft create it. Then reinstall all your software’s.

    Regarding not having operating system disk. I had this problem way back and just went to the website and requested a new operating system disk. They will usually only charge shipping for this. You can also find a friend (or enemy) with the exact same computer as you and their disk should work just fine. You just need to use the Microsoft Key from the sticker attached to your computer. If it is a non Vista OS then (if your computer can handle it) I recommend upgrading to Vista Home Premium. I use Home Premium on my desk top and the Ultimate version on my laptop. Ultimate has a lot of extras that the average user does not need though. Home Premium is an excellent OS.
    The best way to buy Vista is a OEM copy that you can find online for the same price as the equivalent Vista Upgrade. This way you can install a fresh version from scratch rather than upgrading. If you cannot find an OEM version for a good price then you can install the Vista Upgrade as a trial. Then from the desktop run the Vista Upgrade again, this time putting in your KEY, and it will reinstall it over the trial. This takes a little longer but works fine. It will save the trial install in a folder called 'windows.old'. Delete this once you have finished the upgrade.

    I hope that this is not to long winded. It is a lot of info, but I think most would apply to your situation.

    sub
     
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    subcan: You reformat your PC twice a year? wow.

    yule_log: Will just pass along this utility: ProduKey to recover the product key for several Windows products (should you have them installed). You;ll need the product key as part of the install process (to activate the product)
     
  5. subcan

    subcan TS Rookie Posts: 51

    LookinAround: I have a toshiba A105-S4014 laptop. It is not a super computer, but does the job. I am always in the search for new software applications in an effort to learn and keep up to the latest. Many times I install programs that don't meet the standard (just sound like they should). After trying them I realize this and have to remove them. Usually an 'inadeqaute' program is just that right down to the coding, which in turn makes for sloppy removal. After around six months of this I find that my computer just isn't running to par and reformat. Makes life a lot easier, and I always end up with a much better running system.
    regarding the 'ProduKey': great advice. slipped my mind. I have used similar software before in that same situation. I guess that is why many minds make this site so great.
    SUB
     
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