computer question

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Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
computer question

Hi everyone,

I hope someone knows the answer to this as I could really use the help. It's been a really, really long time since I've worked with the computer. I really want to wipe my computer clean and start clean. It seems like everything is going wrong with it these days. Sometimes my keyboard half works, the USB ports aren't working all the time, I constantly have to restart to get the USB ports working, constantly not responding, just a list. I have taken my personal documents off of the computer and have them on an external hard drive.

If I do a clean reinstall of Vista will I have to have a saved file for all of my drivers? I'm terribly worried about this part. I don't have any driver CDs because apparently they stopped giving out these CDs. The most I can do is create a backup of all of my drivers manually on an external hard drive as my CD player doesn't work to make a CD/DVD back up of anything. So I worry that what if the computer can't read the USB flash because it needs a driver installed first and the driver would be located on the external hard drive.

I have a separate partitition "D" and it says Recovery. What exactly would be on it? Would all my drivers like audio, monitor, USB, and everything I'd need to get connected to the internet be already saved in D? Or would Vista save my drivers as it reinstalled?

Someone please help me Smile I'm very confused. It's been about 15 years since I have messed around. 15 years ago, I had discs and would reformat C and start fresh that way when my computer was freaking out on me.

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

Huh, you've got a lot going on here!

If you have drivers for things like cameras, flash drives, printers, external devices, etc., most of those can be found on the internet meaning you wouldn't need to back them up - you would just need internet access. I would recommend checking to see what drivers you need and what's available on the web.

Without looking to see how your machine is set up Im' not sure I could hazard a guess about what's on the "D" drive. Your best and safest bet is to back everything up to an external hard drive. They are relatively inexpensive if you don't have one.

If you completely reformat your machine it will likely wipe out your partition too.

You might actually want to consider taking your box to a computer store and having them do this for you. I assume you have the Windows Vista media? If so it should be very quick for them to format and reinstall your OS. They can also make backups for you.

If this isn't an option then I would definitely recommend backing up any drivers you can't obtain from the internet on an external hard drive for later install.

GL - I hope you're able to get your box back up and running!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Well I totally messed up something. There is a function where you can restore the computer back to the original state when I received it from where I got it. Well I did that. And when it went to load the first time it gave me an error that there is a configuration problem and to contact customer support. I got this computer a while ago and the warranty expired a long time back. So now it's totally stuck. It gets to the blue screen and to the next screen where it says 'Microsoft Windows' and then the message comes.

I don't have a cdrom because my kids broke it. I was thinking to get a new cdrom anyway and then get new windows software and install it all again. I imagine it can't get worse than it is right now!

raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347

Of course I typed out a whole message on my iPhone and lost it as I hit post! Grr!!

I work wint windows based servers all day long as my job and I (unfortunately) know more about windows than I care to, as I'm a mac person at home.

So, first of all - the recovery partition is only to be used with the disks you got from your manufacturer. If you don't have those, you won't be able to format or restore anything back to it's original state. Sorry.

How old is this computer? Is it new enough that it had Vista or Win7 on it? Or was it XP? You have a few options here:

1) If it is relatively new you can buy a new version of windows (if you had Vista, they don't sell that anymore but if it ran Vista then Win7 should work). A version of basic Win7 is about $200 when I got mine a year ago. They don't sell XP so unless it is a high end machine, if it had XP on it it might not be powerful enough to run Win7.

2) Do you have another computer in the house with internet access and a CD burner? Are you at all familiar with Unix commands or Linux? Is this computer only going to be used for internet browsing and word editing? If so, there is a free OS out there called Ubuntu. It's INSANE easy to install, but it's not a windows based system, it's linux (unix) which is what Mac OS is written on. It doesn't have C: drives and whatnot. You basically go to the Ubuntu website, burn an ISO of the install disk, run it, and it installs a basic OS. It does take some time to get used to, but it is visual and sort of a combo between the looks of windows and OSX (mac). If you are or were familiar with formatting the C: drive 15 years ago (i.e. using DOS commands) then I think you should be find trying to install Ubuntu. Better than $200 for a new OS right? I installed it on a very old laptop I had as my recovery disks were also missing and winXP was crapping out on me. Ubuntu saved me from trashing the whole laptop. I ended up installing some DVD software and gave it to my mother so she could watch DVDs on her break at her work. Their online forums are great for asking questions about any problems you might have. Ubuntu will run Firefox (browser), Open Office (free word editing software), Thunderbird (e-mail) and all kinds of other programs easily.

I hope this helps a little. Let me know if you need more info.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I know nothing about computers, so I would say take it to one of those computer repair shops and see how much it would be to have them do all that you want done?