Clear HDD and re-install original o/s

  Antique Mariner 14:29 28 Sep 2007

Good afternoon computer Gurus. This is my first posting ever on a Forum although I read postings on a number of forums and manage to glean sufficient information for what I want.
I am recently retired and my wife is about to retire which means that our one laptop would no longer suffice. I therefore purchased a midi tower and using the Microsoft Wizard set up a network, also transferring files from the laptop to the tower via a USB external hard drive.

When setting-up the tower I took Skidzy’s advice (25/03/07) and ditched Norton in favour of AVG Free, AdAware, Ccleaner and Windows Defender, plus of course Windows Firewall.

Unfortunately during all this upheaval the laptop succumbed to a Trojan:Win32/Win Tools which, fortunately, Defender took care of and it was successfully removed.
At this time I discovered that Internet Explorer, Outlook Express and my Windows XP operating System all presented with “glitches” and are not working correctly.

What I should like to do is empty the hard drive, format it and re-install the original Hewlett Packard supplied o/s (Windows XP Professional SP1) then download SP2 and all the last 4 years updates to start again with a clean slate, so to speak.

Thus, my question is: What would be the best way to approach this.

Many thanks in anticipation of your help.

  robbiepaul79 15:45 28 Sep 2007

OK you would want to backup any drivers you use currently, i have a great little program at home for this but the name escapes me, ill get back in touch when i get home.

Not much help atm i know but least you know some1 cares :)

  Probabilitydrive 16:31 28 Sep 2007

Before you do anything make sure you have:

your motherboard drivers
your graphic card drivers (if you have a card)
your sound card drivers
( robbiepaul79s driver back-up should do the trick in locating and creating a back-up of your drivers - otherwise download the latest versions from the makers web-sites.

You will loose everything on your Harddrive should you go for a clean Windows re-install. So, make sure everything is backed-up before you go ahead.

Have a look click here
This site gives you a step by step guide on how to install XP pro/SP2.

  C3 18:55 28 Sep 2007

Download everything you will need for the re-install: Driver disc or updated drivers, latest version of programs you've installed (such as AVG etc.), XP Service Pack 2. Also, if you are using a version of Office, it may be worth looking for the service packs for whichever version you have as well.

Most importantly, make sure you back up any personal files that you've got such as pictures, music, documents etc etc. If you use Outlook or another email program (such as Thunderbird) remember to back up the address books and emails.

Windows Firewall isn't that secure, as although it will stop things coming in, it won't necessarily stop things from going out. Might be worth using a 3rd party free firewall such as Comodo or Zone Alarm. For setting up a network, Comodo might be best as it has a simple wizard for allowing a Local Area Network to be set up.

I know I've repeated some of the stuff the posters above have written but I've re-installed PCs enough times that if you don't have a list of what you need before you start, you tend to forget something important!

  rdave13 19:49 28 Sep 2007

If your laptop is a HP or HP Compaq then you should be able to restore to factory settings using the F11 key at start-up.(Tap F11 continuously as windows tries to load). Otherwise you should have created a restore disk as instructed in your laptop manual and can restore from this. The restore facility will have the operating system (windows) and all your drivers needed for the laptop. You'll also restore all the "bumff" originally came with the laptop.
Only do this after you have backed up all programs you need to save. Remember to save your browsers favourites/bookmarks and your email address book if need be.

  Strawballs 21:37 29 Sep 2007

If you have the original HP restore discs then you should have all the motherboard drivers that you need and as said earlier restore factory settings.

If you feel up to it you could combine XP and SP2 (slipstream) click here

  griffon56 17:26 30 Sep 2007

Hi AM,

When you say the original HP supplied OS, do you mean a Win XP Pro Genuine CD or just what was loaded on the laptop when you bought it or what was in a partition on the laptop and called a 'Recovery Partition'. If you format the laptop hard drive without independent means of loading a fresh copy of the OS you will have to buy one, and you will lose the Recovery Partition and all the programs which HP supplied in the first place.

However, accepting that, if you have a Windows CD and are going to reformat and reload you will need the original Product Key from the laptop in order to re-activate the OS once it's loaded. There's a neat little free program called 'Keyfinder' which can be downloaded and which will find the original Product Key on the laptop's hard drive. Google for it. If the laptop isn't working there might be a Key printed on a label stuck on it somewhere.

There are valuable links at click here,
click here, click here, click here. There's also Microsoft Knowledgebase at click here with explicit instructions on what you are planning to do. But nevertheless, the best of British luck.

  griffon56 17:45 30 Sep 2007

Hi again AM,

I recently reloaded Win XP Home on a two year old Acer desktop after receiving advice from Stuartli among others and this was the method I adopted from the advice.

Before starting the procedure the BIOS was set to boot from CD, the Win XP CD was placed in the drawer and the machine restarted. It booted OK from the CD and produced a screen offering a choice of doing a repair from the 'Recovery Console'.

The Microsoft Knowledge Base article accessed through click here advised to ignore this and go to the next screen where there was an offer to do either a format and fresh OS reload, or a repair. I chose to do a format and fresh reload because the HDD was corrupted anyway. The reload proceeded automatically with occasional keyboard inputs required.

When it came to re-activating the Product Key found on the sticker on the side of the case, it was plain sailing. There was a freephone number to call Microsoft and an automated process took me through entering a 36 digit number in sets of 6, generated by entering the Product Key on the telephone handset guided by a recorded voice.

Once the activation number had been entered the process completed OK and I was then able to load SP2 from a separate CD, or it was available from Microsoft Updates on-line.

If you haven't got a Key printed on a case label it is possible to find the key used to activate your machine using 'keyfinder.exe', a free download.

Hope this helps.

  skidzy 21:48 30 Sep 2007

" When setting-up the tower I took Skidzy’s advice (25/03/07) and ditched Norton in favour of AVG Free, AdAware, Ccleaner and Windows Defender, plus of course Windows Firewall. "

Correct me if im wrong,i cannot remember advising Windows Firewall !

I would normally advise a third party firewall such as Zonealarm/Comodo etc.

You have been advised to backup first,however please take into consideration that this trojan may well have left remanants within your registry and files.

Therefore any backup could and possibly will corrupt the backups you make,resulting in a reinfection of the new installation of your operating system if you install the backups.

Always install an Antivirus and Firewall before going online.

Some advice click here
maybe this is the thread you where refering to ?

  Antique Mariner 13:53 01 Oct 2007

Dear robbiepaul79/Probabilitydrive/C3/rdave13/Strawballs/griffon56/skidzy

Many thanks to you all for your posts, I took a little advice from you all and now have a pristine laptop.

Before clearing the hard drive I copied the files I wanted to keep onto a USB Mobile Drive which I then scanned for anything nasty before transferring to the new PC using my daughter’s PC. I also downloaded/saved the various anti virus and anti spy software to the mobile drive.

I then used the Operating System CD supplied by Hewlett-Packard to format the HDD and re-install Windows XP Professional SP1 - I had noted the original Product Key four years ago fortunately. I also used the Hewlett-Packard supplied Driver Recovery CD to install the software and drivers for system restore.

Next came the installation of the security software followed by downloading SP2 and 4 years of updates!!!! Job done.

I can now re-install the Microsoft Office Suite etc.

Again, thank you for your help.
Antique Mariner

  Antique Mariner 13:59 01 Oct 2007

Dear Editor

Apologies for not ticking the "Resolved" box, I have done so now. AM

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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