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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my computer for three years. I added a CD-RW and 128 Mg Ram since then. I seem to have a lot of unnecessary programs anymore. I also seem to be having display problems.

I am running Windows 98 and the boot takes forever. It stays on the Windows 98 screen for almost 3 minutes. I unchecked all unnecessary start-up programs, and still it is slow to boot. Some of the programs are having graphic / display problems.

I was wondering if I could clean up the entire computer, and start from scratch with just the programs I know I want.
My questions would include: Is this possible? Is this dumb?

if it is possible, then what are the best steps to take.

Thanks for the help to come.

OK 9 looks and no replies!! Should I just reinstall Windows 98? Would that help my slow boot and display problems?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK I decided to reply to my own post with another question.

That way maybe someone can help me this time he he

I was running a cable modem for about 6 months this year and then moved states and do not have access anymore. Would the computer be having problems because I am not running a cable modem anymore. Was there something I was supposed to change? etc.
 

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I know it can be frustrating sometimes waiting for an answer. But in the mean time, search for any programs and drivers associated with the cable modem you had. Some good places to look are in the MSCONFIG utility like win.ini, system.ini. I have a feeling there is a reference somewhere to that cable modem somewhere that is delaying the process.

PS . . . . Any info you have to this problem helps. The people here will try to help you if they can and guessing what the problem is won't help you.
 

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There's nothing wrong with doing that. I have done it myself. The only thing is, make SURE you have backed up what you want to save - documents, MP3s, programs, etc. I think a lot of people forget this.

Also. write down any settings like your internet connection settings (server names, etc) so that you can connect quickly when you come back up.

does your computer have a "recovery" disk? that makes things a little easier.

You can reformat your hard drive. In fact, I just did it a couple days ago. I'm back up and running now - but beware that it can take 4 - 6 hours to completely re-install everything you had before.
 

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Well, the modem itself probably isn't the problem. Is yours external? Mine is.

But when you had the cable internet service, and you deleted it, maybe you did not completely delete all the files and maybe that causes a conflict.

If that really was the problem then reformat will definitely clear that up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Would you try reformatting the hard drive or just reinstalling Windows? What would be the way to reinstall Windows correctly? Do you uninstall?

Thanks for the help.

If I find anything dealing witht he cable modem I was using, should I delete it?
 

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you might want to try a registry cleaner to get rid of some of the ghosts of programs past

ZDnet has some, so does c/net

i use regclean from MS - which has pulled it from all their download sites - nasty gnomes!

=======
the problem with just reinstalling windows, is that it may not be that effective - may even overwrite newer .dlls that other software has installed
- there's a KB article about it here

i did reformat / reinstall a few months ago, it had been a while, a lot of software added, removed, etc - a variety of little problems, some apps not working and so on

backed up everything onto cd, then did a clean format and install
did fdisk, partitions etc
installed Windows
installed software

note: i did sequential backups along the way - so i could always go back one step if i had to - and i did once or twice
(there's 3rd party software to do these things, i just used the windows backup, worked fine)
install windows, did a backup to another drive
install major software (office, adobe products, etc), did a backup after each one, and after i ran each one through the paces

the PC hums now

but of course:
make sure you have the data you want - you have a cdrw, for a couple bucks you can back up everything, then put back what you need (you don't need as much as you have is what i found)
- don't forget email folders and address books!

if you have the time and inclination, i'd do the full meal deal - but research and plan your steps first
- a reformat / reinstall can be a major weekend project and you will come to hate the term: restart the computer for the changes to take effect
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cable: if you no longer have it - delete all references, a registry cleaner will do that too
- remove you nic(s), delete all but the basic protocols in network neighborhood - you need a few for the dial up

may not help, but won't hurt either
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK I ran scan disk and defrag to no avail still having troubles all around.

Is there a place on the web that will give me the step by step process to reformatting the hard drive.

Also, besides email folders etc. WHat else should I look for to backup that I may not notice right away?

I do have a recovery cd that came with the computer? should I use it?
 

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Here is one way to do it. There are several.

First, back up all your important stuff.

next, go into DOS. type "fdisk"

use the prompts to select the partitions to delete. You want to delete all partitions including the "primary DOS partition".

Then use the prompt to "create new partition". You'll be creating a Primary DOS partition, FAT32 (for win98), and it'll ask you what size you would like it, up to the max size of your HD. For this example just click "yes" to the question "do you wish to use the maximum size available"

Then it will tell you to reboot, and that it must be formatted when you reboot. Take out any disk from the floppy and now put your recovery CD in. Restart.

Your recovery CD should auto-start when it boots up and it will immediately begin formatting the drive after which it will restore all of its software.

This is how I did mine just this morning in fact.

what program do you use for email? is it Outlook? if you use Outlook it is extremely easy. i can give you a good easy tip.

To find what else to back up, look in the "My documents" folder, and/or "My Music", "My Pictures". Also here is a tip: if you have a lot of URL links that you like to visit and are in "favorites" of Internet Explorer, go to c:\windows\Favorites and simply copy that whole folder. Then when you get back up and running, copy that Favorites folder from your backup CD right into the new c:\windows\favorites folder and when you get back up online you will have all your favorites right where they were.

It's hard to tell you all the places where to look for things to back up. it's really depends how you've organized your hard drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am so nervous.

Thanks for the help thus far.

When I reformat and use the recovery CD, Will the computer recognize the hardware etc that I have added since I bought the computer?

Such as more Ram, CD-RW drive , different dialup modem.
 

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As for RAM, my experience has been that the computer will definitely recognize it. Added 32mb of RAM to my old packard-bell computer and it did not have a problem when I re-formatted.

The only things it might not recognize would be devices that need drivers. But many plug-and-play devices can use standard windows device drivers. If it does not find one during the setup phase when it searches its database, it will prompt you "search for driver" and if you have a CD-ROM for your CD-R Drive you can put it in and tell the computer to look there for the driver.

Bruce
 

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Most recovery CDs take care of everything for you – at least my old Compaq did. It formatted the HD and installed everything fresh. The only thing you will have to install is the driver for your new modem – the CD-RW and RAM will load itself without any intervention on your part. Definitely use the recovery CD as it will load other drivers you need.

The only thing I can think of that hasn’t been mentioned is the Favorites from IE. File>Import and Export. Send it to a file on your HD and copy that with the rest of the stuff you back up to CD.

You will be amazed how well your computer runs after it gets rid of 3 years of accumulated junk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK I have been through my files and have a few that I am not sure if I should back-up. Here is my list. Some I dont even know what they are, so I will place an asterisk by those.
Also, besides favorites, is there anything else in the Windows folder that i should back-up.

Common Files -- Folder
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directx
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Microsoft Hardware -- Folder
--sub folder Mouse
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msmq - folder *****
-- sub folder sdk
--sub folder debug
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Plus! --folder **********
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Quicktime
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Real Player
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serif -- folder **********
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symantec -- folder **********
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Windows Media Player
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Winzip
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Backing up folders for things like WinZip and RealPlayer will not allow you to reinstall the program from the folder. They are both free downloads and you will likely get newer versions when you download them. The other stuff should reinstall when you run the restore disc. Not sure about Plus and Symantec, but saving the folder isn’t going to help. If it is separate from the Compaq restore you should have the CD to reinstall with.

I think your mail has already been mentioned: http://www.cyberwalker.net/columns/apr99/042999.html
 
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