Mac Sale agreed but need PC help to tide over

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by jrober, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. jrober macrumors regular

    jrober

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Heathfield, UK
    #1
    All,

    I just sold the idea of mac mini to my father this evening as his PC life is distinctly crap. However while he gets the order in I need some PC help can you assist?

    His Dell (running XP) is completely knackered with spyware etc {cue ridicule etc} and it needs a complete reformat and reinstall of the OS. Is this easy to do? If so can someone tell me what the basic steps are. His is a standard dell package, box, monitor, mouse etc with std discs and no extras.

    Thanks in advance.

    John
     
  2. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #2
    Usually with computers bought from manufacturers such as dell, tiny, time, you get whats called a restore disc. This comprises of a disc image that was taken when the computer was freshly installed.

    If you have one of these discs then reinstalling is as easy as popping the cd in, and restarting (letting it boot from cd).

    If you dont have one of these cds the process is a bit more challenging but its still easy enough. Usually you can just pop your windows xp cd and let the system restart (again letting it boot from cd). You'll want to let it format your hard drive.

    YOU MUST BACK UP ALL YOUR DATA BEFORE YOU DO THIS!!!!!!! you probably already know this but in case you dont. Places to look are in the My Documents folder, desktop, internet explorer favorites, outlook.. etc. there are a few resources out there that tell you where to find things.

    If neither of the above processes work, come back here and i'll explain how to install it manually. Its a bit of a pain in the arse but its well worth doing.

    Once you've installed XP again, run the windows update a few times to update it, install your antivirus and get adaware to stop getting bogged down with spyware..

    I wish i could convince my dad to get a Mini! I reckon he'd like it once he got past the aesthetic differences!
     
  3. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #3
    Further to what pulsewidth947 said - if possible, download the free version of Zone Alarm (if you have pre-SP2 Windows), and an antivirus installer, before re-installing. Back them up to CDROM before doing anything and install them after reinstalling Windows and before connecting to the internet. That way, you won't have to connect an unprotected machine to the internet.
     
  4. OCOTILLO macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    Spyware

    You should be able to download Spybot from the net free. Run it and it should get rid of all the spyware. It worked well on my old PC. There is also Spyware Blaster (free) which blocks spyware. There should be no need to restore the machine unless there is something else wrong.
     
  5. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #5
    It helps to reinstall occasionally. Windows seems to suffer a lot from bit rot. There's a definite improvement in startup and application loading just after reinstalling, even if AdAware and Spybot doesn't find anything.
     
  6. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #6
    Absolutely. Nowadays its not so bad, but when I was on Windows 98 I had to reinstall every couple of months.

    I've reinstalled XP twice in the past 3 years, but thats more from lazyness :)


    Its definately worth trying what OCOTILLO and Plinden mention, if you can avoid reinstalling, do it. Its not difficult reinstalling, but it is time consuming (takes roughly an hour.. hour and a half maybe depending on your machine). Also, you usually forget to back one thing up which you later remember about :). If he can hold out till he gets his Mini then he might as well.

    When he gets his mini, you should check out this thread so you can network the two together to transfer his files over. Its easy enough once you've done it once, and its a very well written resource.
     
  7. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    BXL
    #7
    I worked at an ISP helpdesk once. There were numerous stories about this one support tech (he left before i started working there). At the time they still did residential customers.

    Customer calls in, problem connecting via PPP (good old POTS)
    The first, or maybe the second question by the support tech would be:
    "Have you formated your hard disk lately?"
    Customer "huh?"
    Tech "If you didn't do a reformat in the last 6 months, i can't help you, reformat please. If you did do one in the last 6 months, try again. Have a nice day!"

    It happened quite a lot (so i was told), maybe the customers switched provider, or it solved their problem. They didn't hear them anymore,
    Residential customers were sold before i started working there. thank god.
     
  8. jrober thread starter macrumors regular

    jrober

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Heathfield, UK
    #8
    Thankyou

    All,

    Thankyou for all your help.

    I have dispatched your excellent instructions and advice to my dad and will help him through this.

    Also excellent story about the helpdesk, reminds me of the reception ladies at Happer Oil & Gas in the book Local Hero. There they tried different versions of Hollow Crapper Soil and As s etc when answering the phone and got away with it!

    John
     

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