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Reformating troubles, help

By tyman502 ยท 10 replies
Aug 9, 2009
  1. Hello everyone,
    Iv'e turned to this website before for previous trouble with my older desktop at home. This is a Dell Dimension desktop with Windows XP installed. The problem with dell back in the day (we bought this computer in 05), they never give you the XP disks, nor a backup disk. I just want to reinstall windows from the start up menu and restore it to factory settings. I have already contacted Dell and they told me i had to spend some money on a backup disk, so im not going to go down that route. Im seeking information on how to reformat without a disk. I know this isnt recommended as you lose everything, but i have everythign i need on my flash drive (pictures and important documents) So i guess im asking what is the process i need to go through to re-install XP to its original form on this ancient Dell Dimension desktop.
  2. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    It's a good thing that you have a backup of your personal files, before you start anything, (to make things easier) take note of all the devices you have (in the device manager) so that when you reinstall the o/s, you'll know which drivers you'll need. There are other ways, but this will be easier.
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    1. wrt Drivers

    Check out this handy freeware tool DriverMax. Among other things, you can use it to Export all your current drivers to your removable media. Then you can have a copy of all current drivers when you need them later when you reinstall

    2. wrt Reformatting/Reinstalling

    As to tyman502's original question: Your problem is that to reinstall Windows you need installation CD's! (There's no such option to reinstall from the Start Menu). You'd need to check and decide what's most cost efficient but likely the cost of buying the replacement install CD's from Dell is much cheaper then buying a new full license from a store (that will also give you CD's).
  4. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Good call! I missed that part. tyman502, Maybe before you do anything, tell us why you think you need to do this. :suspiciou There may be a slight chance that you can create your own disks.

    LookinAround what is wrt? (yeah, I'm not up to date on that texting thing...) :haha:
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    OOps. Sorry for the acronym. wrt = With Respect To

    as a side note... Hmmm.. now that you point it out, i don't remember just where or when i picked up using the acronym for "with respect to" but like me, it definitely pre-dates texting ;)
  6. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    hmm, maybe that explains where texting originated, I just recently picked up the definition of "IMHO"
    It's probably against the forum policy, but it's so much easier and faster to type out...
  7. tyman502

    tyman502 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Forgot to mention why i am re-formatting, my dad clicked on an adaware file that promted you to clean your computer, and so on. I have McCafe on my computer but whenever i try to run it, it shuts down. Im afraid this is a damn hard virus to remove. This is the reason why i want to reformat.
  8. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Well then, why didn't you say that from the beginning?
    Try this first, it will save you time and aggravation.
    Don't use Mcaffee or any other programs you may have, use the ones in the list, then we'll take it from there ;)
  9. tyman502

    tyman502 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, i have been doing some research about this problem. I can't even start the computer anymore, i get this promt with a blue screen.
    A problem has been detected and windoes has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

    if this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

    Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly listed installd hard drives or hard drive controllers. check your hard drive to make sure it i properly configured and terminate. Run CHKSDK /F to check for hard dirve corruption, and then restart your computer.

    Technical information:
  10. tyman502

    tyman502 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sending some updates, just got the system to start up and run. I am typing this and doin research on my laptop. Here is one of the Error warnings i get when starting the computer.
    Also another one saying
    ATTENTION! System detected a potential hazard (TrojanSPM/LX) on your computer that may infect executable files. Your private information and PC safety is at risk.
    Also my deksktop wallpaper changed to a blue background and in the middle a black saying in red letters YOUR SYSTEM IS INFECTED!
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Sounds like you may be best to do that reformat after all! BUT beware of all those files on your flash drive before you connect it elsewhere so you don't transfer any viruses!
    > Before connecting it on any other computer turn off Autron
    > And be sure to scan all those files on the drive before you transfer them

    You may need bite the bullet and get those CDs from Dell
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