[Resolved] Re-Setting Windows XP?! How Do I Do this?!

Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2005 08:34 pm
Hi, my girlfriend just got a new computer, and I'm in the process of transferring all the files from the old computer to the old computer.... and I thought of using the old computer to play movies on our tv, but there's too much crap on it... is there a way to be able to like erase everything on the hard-drive by resetting it so it's like a brand new computer with nothing on it? if that even makes sense... I just want it to be clutter free, with only a media player on it... anyone know how to reset windows Xp? thanks
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Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2005 08:46 pm
There is no magic reset. The easiest way to get where you want to go to is to format the drive and re-install WinXP as a clean setup.

Depending on what came with your PC originally, there may be a System disc that would restore the system to it's original factory default settings but that would also be likely to have more than you want installed.
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Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 12:35 pm
So is there a way to format the hard drive to go back to its original factory default without the Windows Xp installation disc? Cause she does not have it... like it's fine to reset it to have like programs already on it, but I want to get rid of like all unessecary files that slow the comp down, like all spyware, and files that run in the background that you can't see... but I don't want to delete everything manually cause I might delete something by accident that u need to run the comp itself... any ideas?
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Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2005 08:53 am
There is no way to restore to a bare operating system at the touch of a button, a re install of the operating system is required which requires the xp cd or the computers restore cd. It may be an idea to contact the manufacturer for the restore cd whcih is an easy to follow wizard that restores your pc to the bare minimum with a drive format along the way.
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Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2005 09:52 am
You can delete any unwanted profiles, programs, and data. I'd suggest a thorough scan-and-clean w/ at least a couple different spyware scanners, such as Ad-Aware SE Personal, Microsoft Antispyware Beta, the evaluation version of Ewido Security Suite, and/or Spybot S&D, an online spyware scan-and-clean w/ Trend Micro's Housecall spyware scanner, a thorough system scan-and-clean w/ your own resident antivirus, and an online virus scan from at least one of the major AV vendors, along with mebbe a vist to and runthrough with Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool and/or McAfee/AVERT's Stinger, just to make absolutely sure no nasties are lurking in the system somewhere, then get busy and start deleting. When you've deleted all the applications, files and folders you want rid of, use a disk cleanup utility such as Cleanup4 or CCleaner, then defrag your machine (best done in safe mode), and you should have a pretty lean, clean machine.

If you wish, you can pretty much strip away everything that isn't native to Windows and even do without a number of Windows components, though I'd suggest you retain at least an active, real-time antivirus. A firewall is a pretty near a gotta-have, too, if the machine will be used on the 'net at all. If you're not going to be doing any email checking or messaging, you don't even need an email client or a messaging client.

You can also boost system responsivenss by riding herd on your startup items; a lotta stuff will wanna start with Windows, but really does nothing while not actually in use other than eat system resources. Email and messaging clients, media players, mastering utilities, imaging utilities, spreadsheet and/or document reader utilities, and other stuff of that nature don't need to be running in the background waiting to be called up; any can be accessed via Programs or through desktop or Quicklaunch shortcuts. All you really need running with Windows is whatever app you're using at the moment plus Explorer, Systray, and your resident security/privacy software - though if your operating system features it, its a generally good idea to not disable System Restore.

Links to the mentioned software (all web-accessible and free or fully-functional free-to-try) may be found in This Topic
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