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Anyone know how to reset windows?


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mig.gentry

 
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I know this is a mac dedicated forum but i've seen that alot of people who alot about windows as well so i'll ask my windows based question and cross my fingers.

My girlfriends XP computer is pretty slow, loads of unwanted stuff starting up etc... A guy came round from pc world to fit a new dvd drive (a warranty paid off for once!). Whilst working he said it was probably worth saving all her data and reseting the windows defaults.

I've got no clue what he's talking about and now my lovely girlfrind has her heart set on giving her beloved PC a new breath of life.
I can do a system restore but only back a few months, when ideally i wanna go back a couple years. Also I don't have access to her XP disks so can't just format and reinstall.

Let the genius flow from our most learned brethren.

M
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iWhat

 
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The best thing to do is to format and reinstall as you put it. I really don't think restoring Windows back a couple of months is really going to help you any, but it's worth a try. You really need a fresh installation with that computer and get your hands on those installation cds. I haven't really heard of any other options than reinstalling windows.
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Kokopelli
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The answer depends on how dedicated she is to her current install. The path of least resistance is to back up her data, wipe the drive, and reinstall. This is the fastest way of getting your system up to snuff, but not exactly painless since she will need to reinstall all her apps. (EDIT: did not catch that you did not have an XP CD so this is not an option anyway. The steps below would seem your best bet.)

Alternatively we can try and clean up her current install by following the following steps. Step one, back up your data. Hopefully you will not need it but caution is one of the things only regretted by its absence. Does she have adaware? If not get it and run it. It might not hurt to run cwshredder as well. If she is an advanced Windows user she might get regcleaner and clean up the registry a bit. Regcleaner is not a necessity though and can be confusing if you are not comfortable in Windows. Next, go into add/remove programs and have her get rid of the stuff she no longer needs. Finally, after she has done the steps above, defrag the drive.

So now we have gone through the prudent steps on straightening out the system. Is there anything loading on start/login that she does not want? If so can you tell us what it is? There are some annoying startups that are a bit trickier to get rid of. If not, how is performance now?
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iWhat

 
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This might not fix the hardware problem, but she could make new account on the computer and delete the old account.
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mig.gentry

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iWhat
This might not fix the hardware problem, but she could make new account on the computer and delete the old account.
That could do the job until i can get the install disks. Simple yet effective.

Is that regedit programme easy to use, there are a couple trojans that i need to get into the registry to get rid of properly. Never been that deep before so kinda worried i'm gonna kill something.
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Kokopelli
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Well regcleaner is a lot easier to use than regedit. As long as you don't delete things willy nilly you should be fine using regcleaner. You can kill the entire box messing with the registry though, so show caution.

Does she have anti-virus software?
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Desolate One
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As with the first reply, format C:

When Windows starts to load unwanted software on startup, there's no easy way to stop it sans reloading the OS. I wish for the life of me my GF would permit me to re load Xp for her. Her PC is dreadfully slow and cumbersome.
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mraya

 
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If you are not able to get the disks, this is what i would do (and actually have done several times):
Start by cleanning up the hard drive, then run "msconfig" and look for the starup items, de-select everything that may looks suspicious. Reset.
Scan for virus or trojans and gather info to get rid of them from the web. Try to clean all you can, this may include playing with the reg. Restart.
Disable the virtual memory and defrag the disk. Restart.
Enable the virtual memory again and try to get a trial of Norton Works and use its Windows Doctor.
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mraya

 
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BTW by reseting Windows he probably mean reinstalling it. Once you restart from the CD you can choose to repair or make a clean reinstall (formating the drive). Some people recommend to do this at least every 6 months.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mraya
If you are not able to get the disks, this is what i would do (and actually have done several times):
Start by cleanning up the hard drive, then run "msconfig" and look for the starup items, de-select everything that may looks suspicious. Reset.
Scan for virus or trojans and gather info to get rid of them from the web. Try to clean all you can, this may include playing with the reg. Restart.
Disable the virtual memory and defrag the disk. Restart.
Enable the virtual memory again and try to get a trial of Norton Works and use its Windows Doctor.
Ah, the good old days of Winderz. I remember doing all that stuff on a regular basis. I have to shudder just reading that, it reminds me of the nightmares that I want to forget.
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There is nothing that requires a complete re-install of windows to get rid of, just start uninstalling the crap that you don't want.
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mraya

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mynameis
There is nothing that requires a complete re-install of windows to get rid of, just start uninstalling the crap that you don't want.
The problem just uninstalling the crap will leave a crappy registry anyway, reinstalling windows is the best way to repair all that damage.
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Kokopelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mraya
The problem just uninstalling the crap will leave a crappy registry anyway, reinstalling windows is the best way to repair all that damage.

Thus regcleaner. XP does "age" eventually, no matter what you do, you will lose performance over time. I don't know if it is the layering of patches, fragmentation, or issues with dead weight in the registry but it does slow down. Most of it is avoidable or correctable though. Given that they do not have the install disk choices are somewhat limited.

Creating a new user might help a little but unfortunately will not be quite as useful as it is in OS X or Linux. There is not sufficient separation between users and admin for it to be more than a stopgap in my opinion. If the system has a trojan creating a new account will not make a difference to the trojan, it will already be at admin level. Same for the nastier strains of spyware and malware.
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stillimation

 
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check the pic it my help for the time being but it is good to just reinstall windows and start over


o and it is going to tell you something about the start up when you turn the computer back on, just click dont show this again and press ok
Attached Images
File Type: jpg help.jpg (188.5 KB, 14 views)
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Ex_PC_Puke
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There is no - reset for XP --- what he may have ment is to back up your data (thats the most important part ) -- which needs to include the folder that that is a couple of levels up from "my documents" --- this is called "documents and settings" -- back this up

Then - assuming she has a dell or hp ---- they typically have a hidden partition on the HD that contains the original XP image that shipped with the PC --- this is a destructive restore - but will put the PC in the exact same shape as when it arrived


It has been documented (by Intel - Dell - Hp - Gateway) that as XP is used and SW is loaded unloaded -- programs and games run -- more loaded and unloaded --- XP becomes slower and frail ---- I saw the notes from an exectuive meeting including dell - hp - intel covering this with MSFT and MSFT agreed (reluctantly) that this was an issue .... wait for Long Horn ... trust us they said ....................
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