Thinking of formatting PC- could use some help!

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Maybe someone can advise me here- I have a desktop about 3 yrs old which has just become slow and probably bogged down with old files- I am moving programs to a new laptop and will start using it. The desktop was built for me, but I still have my copy of windowsXP- Would it be possible to format the HD, and do a new install of XP? Right now the HD is partitioned- will that be lost if I format? And also, will I need to keep anything such as drivers- ie for the network card?

Thumbnail by JoParrott
Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

The partitions won't be lost if you format but have you got everything you want backed up first? Formatting and installing isn't difficult but time consuming. Tthe biggest task is installing all the programs, updates, and SPs.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I am gradually moving everything to the new one- I have disks for most of them,and what little utility programs, etc that I have downloaded I am doing new dl's on those. Really about the biggest concern is having the internet access after formatting. Can you help me there? I have cable internet, and use a cable modem & router. Will it just be plug & use after the format? Did the profile I attached to my first post include info on that?

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

I didn't see anything on your network connection but it should connect with no problems. Are you wireless? If so then you might want to view your configurations before formatting. You can always reset your router to default if you run into problems.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

No- not wireless-

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

You shouldn't have any problems then. You are planning on doing this after you get your new computer up and running?

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Yes= I will make sure I have everything up and running before I do it.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Jo... in my 12 or so years with PC's, I've probably done 3-4 reformatting, and yes - the most time consuming part is reinstalling all the software.

before i reformat, I always made a list of programs... also, back up your bookmarks [something that is easily over looked] I always email myself a copy, just in case.

But i will list all the programs that were downloaded and all the ones that were installed by CD.
I'll also have the high priority ones and the ones that are on teh back burner - so to speak... but with this probably being back up, since you have a new one ... i guess getting it all back together again wont be urgent.

I think the last time i did this, it took me 3 days [thankfully NOT working 24hrs a day... but still a lot... 6-8 or so] to get it exactly where it was before the reformat - but without the obvious flaws.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Well, I got all ready-watched 10 videos from butterscotch.com about reinstalling windows- stuck the CD in, rebooted, told it to install windowsxp- it did it's thing and then gave me this error message-(see photo)- so now what to do? I tried 3 times with the same result.

Thumbnail by JoParrott
Salem, IL(Zone 5b)

You did not say what you did to 'format' the hd. Usually you would be
prompted to either accept or delete and resize the partitions. After you
'delete' a partition and resize it, you must format each partition. A drive
is not a drive until it is partitioned, either into just one or many, and
formatted. I have not worked with scuzzy drives but I always thought
you needed special drivers to set them up so the OS would recognize
them. XP or Vista may do that automatically but I cannot say.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

All I did was follow the video instructions- 1- Reboot the PC with the WindowsXP CD in the drive- when it asks to boot from CD- enter- then it asks if you want to repair or reinstall- chose install- at that point it is supposed to go on with file allocation options, but it did not- it spit out the error in the photo- I guess I will give up and get another one-

Salem, IL(Zone 5b)

All need not be lost. Suggestion: Remove the scsi hd and what is
listed as a virtual cd drive. There should be a scsi card inside the
pc. Remove the usb thumb drive. Beg, borrow or buy an ide hd
and cable it to hd cable socket '0' and reconnect the nec cdrom
drive to cable socket '1'. Check both drives to make sure they
are not jumpered to any config except 'single drive'. They will
automatically become '0 master' and '1 master' when the pc is
booted. You can check in the setup menu to be certain but they
should be registered. Note--while you have the pc opened to
connect the two drives, pull out the scsi card and save some
resources. Save the scsi drives, cables and cards for later use
if you need them.

Place the XP cd in the nec drive and turn the pc on. It will prompt
you essentially to create a new partition (s), which file system you
want to use (NTFS) for each partition and which partition you want
to make active (C:/). Format the partition (s) and you will be good
to go. I have done this at least a hundred times and never had a
problem.

One step I took for granted but will mention it. The nec cd drive
is a good ide/atapi drive and should be bootable as you said before.
Select it as the boot drive.

When you finish you will have a decent pc, especially if you add a
couple more 1 gig memory cards to bring it up to 4 gig which is a
good amount for XP or Vista. Make sure they are all 4 the same
type as far as buss speed and refresh speed. Brands do not mean
much.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

WOW! I'm afraid this is beyond my capabilities! I am right now uninstalling all my personal programs,etc, and will just dispose of it- I emailed the geek who wrote the video and he said it was probably a SATA drive on an older PC-(it's nearly 4 years old) and told me some stuff about needing to get the drivers, etc- so- it's history! Thanks all of you who offered help-

Salem, IL(Zone 5b)

I just came back from trying to verify the motherboard and
there was some chatter about the MS-7142 1.00 being a
SATA board which means you would need a SATA HD instead
of an IDE or EIDE HD. You are probably right in cutting your
losses. Unless you are routinely familiar with pc's and have a
lot of idle time on your hands, it is not worth a lot of effort.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I can't recall ever having a scsi HDD.... so that's really going back.

IDE on my first two, and that is going back to the late 90's
my current tower has SATA, and it's nearly 5 yrs old.

JO -- who is the manufacturer of your PC? have you thought about calling them and telling them the problem?
Or even googling how to format your computer.

and if you do ditch it... donate it, or recycle it.

Salem, IL(Zone 5b)

I think they are still used on high-end mini computers and servers
for their RAID capabilities. Usually more expensive than the ide
and sata drives. Unusual in a home computer. They usually need
an add-on controller card much like the old serial IO/printer cards
used in pc's until those functions were integrated into the mother
boards.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Yes... I had installed a scsi card on my first computers for my flatbed scanner... so i am familiar with them. not sure what happened to it though.... lost in a move i think.

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