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  1. #1
    VICTORY IS MINE! luchazard's Avatar
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    How do I re-format my hard drive??

    Hello,

    I have so many programs on my computer that I don't need so much extra junk... I want to re-format my hard drive and then re-install just the stuff I want... like Outlook Express, Dreamweaver, IE, and ICQ how do Im do this?? By saving the program on a disk does that mean I'll save all my emails for Outlook and all my sites fro DW???

    Thanks in advance... I've never done this before so you can see how I may need someone to walk me through the steps

  2. #2
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    You have to backup all of your data files that you have created, for instance every document, email, image, website, stylesheet, sound, video and everything.

    In order to back up your emails in Outlook you would use Outlook's export function.

    You should also back up your contact list - I believe Outlook can also export contact lists.

    You should accept that after a complete reinstall of all your software, it might take a few weeks to get everything working the way you like it once more.

    What I do, is I have old 4 Gig hard drive from my old computer. I copy everything I need (and more) to that drive, then clear my main hard drive. Then after I have installed all the software, I can recover data files and settings from the other hard drive as I like.

    To reformat a hard drive, you really do just use "format c:" from the command line.

    Before formatting, you can use fdisk to reorganise the partitions or convert to 32bitFAT or whatever.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  3. #3
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    Unless you have a serious need for reformatting, I do not recommend it. It takes a lot of work and effort to get everything back how you want it. If you do not need programs, simply uninstall them.
    As far as backing up your information goes, most programs, including Outlook and Outlook express have a feature that enables you to backup your files (emails). I am not to sure about Dream Weaver. All you need to do it copy the HTML files onto a disk. You cannot copy the entire program onto a disk, than install it after you reformat your system because every time you install a program, it makes changes in the system registry and if it is not properly installed by the installation software, you will have problems and the software will not work.
    If you are using Windows (which I am guessing you are), you may use the system recovery disk that most likely came with your computer when you bought it. Be sure that you have the license key handy when you decide to do this. You will not be able to get back to Windows without it! The recovery program will guide you with the process from there.
    Again, I do not recommend doing this unless it is entirely necessary. If you are only doing this to free up space, then I would recommend uninstalling the programs, and running the Windows utilities to speed up your system. If you need anything else, please post or email me at jacroft130@yahoo.com.
    Good luck.
    Joel Croft
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by everyone
    Unless you have a serious need for reformatting, I do not recommend it. It takes a lot of work and effort to get everything back how you want it. If you do not need programs, simply uninstall them.
    That would work, but keep in mind that you gain stability, speed, and a fresh start when you format. I like to have planned formats every half year or so, to flush out my system. Two planned formats a year is better than one forced format every year, IMO.
    Originally posted by everyone
    You cannot copy the entire program onto a disk, than install it after you reformat your system because every time you install a program, it makes changes in the system registry and if it is not properly installed by the installation software, you will have problems and the software will not work.
    This isn't always the case, especially in small programs. There is no way you can copy Word to another hard drive and expect to open it, but small programs (Winamp, TextPad, WinZip) often work fine. It is probably a better idea to install them freshly again, however.
    Originally posted by everyone
    Be sure that you have the license key handy when you decide to do this. You will not be able to get back to Windows without it! The recovery program will guide you with the process from there.
    I can't emphisize that enough. I formatted this computer about a week ago, and I couldn't find the number for Windows Me anywhere. I installed Windows 98 instead (of course alongside Windows 2000). I totally forgot that the number was on the side of my computer!

  5. #5
    VICTORY IS MINE! luchazard's Avatar
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    Hello,

    Thanks everyone for replying! The reason I want to re-format instead of go and un-install programs i this.. when I goto add/remove programs with about all the program I want to remove I can't because it says missing file wont un-install etc. Do you understand this problem like one part of the program got deleted and now I can't un-install the whole program that is the main reason. I wouldn't like to have to re-format but I think it i my only choice to get rid of all these unwanted programs.

    Like I try to go through manually and move the program icon to recycle bin but it ends up that other folders and tons of other stuff to that program i scattered everywhere...

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict Seer's Avatar
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    It's a cold, scary and lonely place once the formatting complete message shows up, and you know it's going to be a long journey home.
    Everything has been figured out, except how to live. - Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict Seer's Avatar
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    That type of problem usually occurs when you uninstall a program from outside the control panel. I know you can remove these using tweakui I believe, though there's other programs that work well in this case too. Though, I think it's true that nothing will clean up as well as a format and fresh install. I find it interesting how my windows directory usually ends up being 1gb less in size.
    Everything has been figured out, except how to live. - Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

  8. #8
    VICTORY IS MINE! luchazard's Avatar
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    thanks I'll go and get tweakui and try that before I try to re-format

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast RobbieB's Avatar
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    I re-format every couple of weeks or so, and heres my checklist.

    1: Make sure I have all my daily backups, make one *big* backup containing all those files from the last two weeks. (I use an old 15gig hard drive for this).

    2: Make sure I have all my other backups.

    3: Make sure I have all the latest drivers for all my hardware on floppy if possible, if not I burn them to cd.

    4: Make sure I have all my email/isp/web hosting account info, and all my license keys for programs.

    5: Restart into dos ..

    6: *drum roll* format c:

    7: Re-start with Windows 2000 Professional(or other operating system) cd in the cd drive.

    8: Follow on screen instructions.

    9: Install the bare bones software I need to survive. (Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Photoshop).

    Then, as I go along I install software as and when needed, always rebooting after I install, then, if I don't feel I will use it much, un-install it immeadiately.

    [10: Install other OS'es (Win9x, Linux etc etc)]

    Disclaimer: if you follow my checklist and phuck up your computer, don't blame me, blame your incompetence.

    No, honestly though, as long as you follow all those steps you should get along fine. The main thing is backups, everything else can easily be recovered except important websites, perl/php scripts etc etc that you didn't backup.
    bob.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by RobbieB
    I re-format every couple of weeks or so
    Really? I ended up formatting my old computer every other week for a period of months while beta testing Office 2000 a few years ago. I didn't mind it though, and kept all of my documents on the backup drive anyway.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict Seer's Avatar
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    Doing that so often seems a bit of overkill. How long does it take you to complete that process? I know whenever i've done it, i'm usually looking at around a five or six hour project.
    Reinstalling all the programs, reorganizing and customizing. It isn't something I would ever want to do that often. Also, I haven't been able to maintain all those long file names so every archive of images, mp3's, zip files, etc. are truncated.
    How about on a Linux machine, would this be necessary on that type of system?
    Everything has been figured out, except how to live. - Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard
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    MaximumPC had a tutorial that went through the process of burning your customizations to a couple of CDs. That way you could just pop in a custom restore CD and copy the files to your HD and presto! Everything the way you like it.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast RobbieB's Avatar
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    Aidan Bahta : Yups, I end up having so much clutter it makes it worthwhile. Do you know if that Maximum PC article is available oline? It sounds quite interesting.


    Seer : Normally, if I just do straightforward backup > reformat > reinstall windows > reinstall essential applications it takes me ~1hr 30 mins. And the trunctuations are easy to handle because I don't use CD's for the backups, And customizing isn't that much, its normally just a case of

    'Show File Extensions for Known File Types? - Yes'
    Replace Desktop Background
    bob.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    MaximumPC is an awesome magazine. It is the only one that I am subscribed to. The articles are well written, interesting, and very honest.

    Their site is at http://www.maximumpc.com/ - I am getting their issues $1 each (maybe a long-time subscriber or something like that)

    They don't have their entire magazine online, but they do have a nice Re:Print section up that can give you a nice taste of what they have to offer.

    Oh yeah: MaximumPC has a nice tutorial on formatting luchazard. It is at http://www.maximumpc.com/reprint/clean_start/index.html

    Towards the end of that tutorial is the thing I mentioned about making CDs to recover yourself. It's at http://www.maximumpc.com/reprint/cle...eanstart7.html

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast RobbieB's Avatar
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    They look like a good magazine, no very good overseas subscriber rates though

    I wil stick with good ol' PC Plus (www.pcplus.co.uk) for now.
    bob.

  16. #16
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RobbieB
    And customizing isn't that much, its normally just a case of

    'Show File Extensions for Known File Types? - Yes'
    Replace Desktop Background
    I find that after I've reinstalled windows, I always need to:
    reinstall the intellimouse mouse driver
    recreate the permanent swap file (ie fix virtual memory at 256Mb then reboot).
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast RobbieB's Avatar
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    'Show File Extensions for Known File Types? - Yes'
    Replace Desktop Background
    ReInstall IntelliMouse Driver
    Recreate Permanent Swap File
    Installl the latest Service Packs when using a WinNT/2K OS.

    Thats it .. I think .. I will have to check next time I reinstall.
    bob.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I also increase the resolution, make the taskbar two lines high, and install a few programs that I couldn't live without.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast RobbieB's Avatar
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    Dang!!

    'Show File Extensions for Known File Types? - Yes'
    Replace Desktop Background
    ReInstall IntelliMouse Driver
    Recreate Permanent Swap File
    Installl the latest Service Packs when using a WinNT/2K OS.
    Increase Resolution
    Change Taskbar Size
    Edit QuickLanch Bar
    bob.

  20. #20
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RobbieB
    I re-format every couple of weeks or so, and heres my checklist.

    LOL...why the hell do you format every few weeks. Are you a beta tester or are you do you just have a neurosis?
    Sketch
    Aaron Brazell
    Technosailor



  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    There is a program called Norton Ghost. It takes a full and complete picture of your system drive and allows you to save it as an image.
    Adobe Certified Coldfusion MX 7 Developer
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard Aes's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Seer
    How about on a Linux machine, would this be necessary on that type of system?
    On Linux-Mandrake (or any distrobution that uses Red Hat .rpm packages [Red Hat included]), the programs come in ... well ... packages. You can install them and uninstall them, and your drive never gets cluttered up with old system files like on these crappy Windoze systems. It's great. It also makes reformatting in order to clean your harddrive unnecessary. Go with Mandrake! =)
    Colin Anderson
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    sense enough to be lazy.


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