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Tutorial for reinstalling Windows XP?

by grande351 / December 15, 2008 4:38 AM PST

I have had a virus or malware attack that has seriously messed up my computer. It's looking like I'm going to have to "blow it up" and start over by clearing everything and re-installing windows. Is there a good online tutorial that would take me through the process step by step? I'm by no means a computer expert, but I think I can do it with some guidance. I'm in the process of saving all of my documents, music and photos to a USB HD.
How do I save the programs that I've installed over time? My computer is a Dell and it's 4 or 5 years old. I believe I have all of the discs that came with it, but do not have discs for some software, (Microsoft Excel, Picture-it...etc) as well as programs I've downloaded (Bulk Image Downloader, Flashget,...etc).

How do I save the internet favorites and e-mail settings for the three users that use this computer? If I save the documents and settings for each, how can I be sure these, or any other files, haven't been contaminated or corrupted in some way?

How do I deal with my music and itunes? I know right now, if I move any music folders out of "My Music" to another location itunes can't find it. I've heard about consolidating my library, but I'm not sure how to do it. I have over 7000 songs On my ipod and I don't want to lose them!

Thanks! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Let's cover "installing Windows XP" first.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 15, 2008 5:33 AM PST

It varies with each machine. But the "RETAIL XP" is very much like we see at http://www.blackviper.com/Articles/OS/InstallXPHome/installxphome1.htm

After that you install all the lovely drivers, antivirus, firewall and then I have a machine I can use.

Let's dissect your next requests:

1. How do I save the programs that I've installed over time?

Microsoft and software companies made this easy or hard depending on your point of view. Easy is that we get our install media, CDKEYs and install each title. Remember that Windows programs are designed to thwart backup or copying of installed softwares.

2. My computer is a Dell and it's 4 or 5 years old. I believe I have all of the discs that came with it, but do not have discs for some software, (Microsoft Excel, Picture-it...etc) as well as programs I've downloaded (Bulk Image Downloader, Flashget,...etc).

The answer here is for you to download and install them the way you did last time.

3. How do I save the internet favorites and e-mail settings for the three users that use this computer?

The answers vary with the web browser and email software in use. For now let's just say we backup the "Favorites" folder and for the email, this common article -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/270670

4. If I save the documents and settings for each, how can I be sure these, or any other files, haven't been contaminated or corrupted in some way?

By backing up on a regular schedule. Let's say we have a 1 week backup schedule and rotate our 3 backup sets in the usual IT way of 1,2,3,1,1,2,1,1,2,3 that means I have about 2 months to discover the corruption. Those that don't backup will lose stuff.

5. How do I deal with my music and itunes? I know right now, if I move any music folders out of "My Music" to another location itunes can't find it. I've heard about consolidating my library, but I'm not sure how to do it. I have over 7000 songs On my ipod and I don't want to lose them!

I just answered that at http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6122_102-0.html?forumID=44&threadID=320555&messageID=2928867&tag=forums06;posts#2928867

Bob

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Grif (serious!)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 15, 2008 5:42 AM PST
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reply: More info may be very helpful.
by caktus / December 15, 2008 5:35 AM PST

What is it that causes you to believe their are viruses etc. on the machine? Have you run anti-virus/spyware scans"? If so, and infections were detected what actions if any were taken to fix the problems?

Is the XP version Home, Pro, or Media and is it a retail or OEM version?

Is there a System Recovery file/folder in All Programs or Control Panel?

Was a System Restore of Repair install attempted? A complete and destructive reinstall should and often is necessary only as an absolute last resort as often there are easy alternatives.

Charlie

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Thanks for the replies.....
by grande351 / December 15, 2008 10:31 PM PST

I was asking because I was looking at a worst case scenario. It seems that, for now at least, I've been able to solve my issues with Malwarebytes. I downloaded it from my "clean" computer at work and saved it on a flashcard. That way I was able to get around what was blocking it. Moderator Marianna was a HUGE help to me in doing this! I really owe her one!

I will save this information incase I ever do have to start from scratch! Thanks again Happy

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Here you go....
by CascaLonginus / December 16, 2008 6:20 AM PST
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Reinstalling Windows
by 1Chris / December 21, 2008 7:33 AM PST

I have the same issue with two machines. I got another internal hd for one and have been trying to figure out how to put Windows XP on that. I emailed Microsoft and they did get back to me a few times. I just couldn't understand what they were saying.
I have another laptop that get a virus. Avast sounded an alarm and after scanning it with Malwarebytes, uploading the report to virustotal, the folks on the malwarebytes forum said in geekese that it's definitely a virus. I have it in the Avast Chest and don't know how else to deal with it. I keep getting advised with proprietary geekese and haven't been able to go anywhere with it.
When Windows XP first came out, the word was spread around that it could only be installed once on one computer. Now I hear different stories and would like to know the truth of it.

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I hear you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 21, 2008 7:43 AM PST
In reply to: Reinstalling Windows

Many need easier to repair machines. I'm not joking when I ask "Have you considered an Apple computer?" Apple has a super operating system reinstall system where they ask you if you want to save your files. Microsoft is lagging on this feature.
Bob

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