A question for anyone who may be able to help me: I'm running Windows ME on one of my computers which is infected with spyware and among other things is terribly slow. [Windows ME's fault....grr] I need to reformat the hard drive, I know, but what should I do besides the usual copying of data/programs? How can I be sure that once it's reformatted it will accept the disc to reinstall the OS? How do I go about ensuring that it will be able to read the disc once everything is wiped clean? I would like to have XP but don't want to spend the near $200 or else I would. XP is fabulous...but I need a quick fix solution in the meantime. Thank you very much!!!
I have found it necessary to reinstall from scratch on several occassions. The most common reason was a sudden conflict with a program I'd been using for some time which was generally the result of installing another new program.
After days of checking and rechecking settings in every program on my computer, I'd give up and reformat the hard drive and reinstall the OS.
That's the advantage to Windows XP. I've already used the restore system settings on three occassions in the last six months.
When you install a program which affects screen settings, modem settings, internet settings and preferences, or the settings which allows established programs to interact, it can cause no end of problems. And often, uninstalling does no good because it doesn't change system settings that were changed by the install in question.
Before Windows XP, I would generally back up all data files and reformat the hard drive. I could only do this because I know enough techies they could talk me through the few simple DOS commands that are required for the reformatting.
And after those few DOS commands, all I had to do was insert my OS install disk and reinstall all the programs I had before.
My advice is backup backup backup. Even if you get stuck, you can take your hard drive to a service person who can easily fix it and you can add all your data back later.
I've also reformatted to get rid of years of registry buildup. Since the computer examines the registry every time you hit and .exe file, and registry files are left from every useful and useless program you ever tried, this constant examination of the registry can slow your processing speed down considerably.
I have erased the registry by accident and had to take it to a service person for the reformatting. So when I planned on the reformatting, it was easier.
Also, keep all passwords, install codes, purchase codes and key codes on hard copy for all the programs you've ever purchased.
Although most programs purchased online will send you your registry codes if you remember date of purchase, etc, it still takes time and you can't use your old programs until you have the codes.
If you have your data backed up, you can always get an expert to get your computer back up to speed with programs and bells and whistles.
I hope this helps.