Time for a format

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by bmorrissey51, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. bmorrissey51

    bmorrissey51 Guest

    Sorry, I am not sure where else to put this topic.

    My laptop has stopped running at its potential, so I want to totally re-format my HD. I have a Quick Restore disc that came with my Compaq laptop, so I will probably use that, however, I have some questions.

    1. Norton Anti-virus. I had to update it, by purchasing another year's worth of new protection and whatnot, now when I quick restore, is this new year going to still be there?

    2. If anyone has had a Compaq laptop, they might be able to help here. I sent it away because of an overheating problem, and I am wondering if what they would have fixed was a hardware change. If so, formating won't be a problem, but if it was software, then formatting will erase that, and I will be right back at the overheating problem.

    3. Is re-formating a good viable option? I have all the CDs to reinstal everything, so no problem there. Its just I am getting some errors, and the laptop is freezing more often now than it ever has before.

    Thanks for the help, I hope to do this today, as I need my laptop fully operational for Monday.
  2. zyfos

    zyfos Resurrected

    Here's a little trick I found out about Norton Antivirus. I've noticed that one possible way of getting around an outdated subscription is to completely uninstall it then reinstall it. Of course, I think you can still manually download virus definition updates from symantec's website.

    As for your laptop, I can't really think of any major problems. When it comes to computers with restore cd's, I usually prefer to format on my own rather than load all the junk that usually comes on those things. If it were me, I'd reformat, install XP Pro (or whatever OS you want, I just say XP mainly for driver support). There is one suggestion that I would like to make however. If you are going to be reformatting (NOT using the restore cd), I suggest that you find and download all the latest drivers you need for your computer BEFORE reformatting and back them up somewhere, like on a CD-R/RW. This way, you can see what devices you have through System Properties on an install that knows what components you have. It's annoying doing it afterwards when you are trying to figure out what "unknown device" is. It's also useful to have your NIC / modem drivers readily available incase you need to access the internet for updates right off the bat. If all else fails, use the restore cd.

    I would think that the overheating problem would be a hardware fix, like not enough thermal putty on the cpu or somethin. If not, you could probably call Compaq and ask what they probably did in Windows to fix the problem.
  3. bmorrissey51

    bmorrissey51 Guest

    Ok, so instead of using the restore CD, what process do you suggest? I agree, I dont want the crap that is on that CD. A total clean format would be nice, so I can put only what I want on the laptop. Thanks BTW.
  4. zyfos

    zyfos Resurrected

    Step 1: Look through System Properties and see what devices you have. Check the internet and try to find the latest drivers for the devices you have. Check for devices such as the following: video, sound, mouse, network card, modem, anything else you think you might need. Save these files to CD or some other place that you can access after the computer has been reformatted.

    Step 2: Backup any data that you want to keep. Remember, once you reformat, everything on the harddrive will be lost.

    Step 3: This is assuming that you have a bootable Windows XP install CD (preferably Pro :p ). Once everything is backed up as needed, place the WinXP CD in your CD drive and reboot. Your computer needs to be set to boot from the CD drive (check BIOS for these settings). Once it is set to boot from CD, the WinXP CD will display a message at the bottom of the screen saying something like "Press any key to boot from cd...". Hit a key to begin the Windows setup.

    Step 4: During the initial text based portion of the install, it will ask you what drive you want to install to. You can select the current partition and delete it by pressing D and then L to confirm, then select the and use the entire unused space for the Windows install. I prefer to do a regular format in NTFS. After that point, it should walk you through the rest. It's usually ok to accept the defaults on just about everything.

    Step 5: Once you get into Windows, you can start installing the drivers. You should also install SP1 and then any other updates after that. You should probably go into System Properties and go to the Advanced tab, click on Error Reporting and change that option to "Disable error reporting, check "But notify me when critical errors occur". Do any other tweaks you might want to do.

    Step 6: Reinstall all your software (you will need the install disks/files to do this). Put all your backed up data back on and you should pretty much be set to go.

    If this doesn't work, just stick that Recovery CD in and reboot. It should take over and reset your entire system back to factory default settings.
  5. bmorrissey51

    bmorrissey51 Guest

    Hey thanks a lot man. I will print that off for future reference. I might tackle that at a later date now, as I need my laptop for school on Monday, and I don't want to risk f-ing something up. Thanks again though!