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  1. #1
    Not Bad, eh? Justin Sampson's Avatar
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    Formating my Computer...

    Hey,

    I need to format my computer but don't have a clue on how. It's starting to get loaded up with junk that I don't know what is so i don't want to delete it.

    I'm running Windows 98 SE.

    What's the best way to do it? What about my drivers? How will my CD-Rom work without them? What do I have to back up except for my web sites and documents?

    As you can see I really need some help.

    Thanks,
    Justin Sampson

  2. #2
    You talkin to me? Anarchos's Avatar
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    Make a boot disk so that you can reboot to disk mode and still use your cdrom. Make sure that you backup your favorites also, and you might want to make a list of the programs you need to redownload/reinstall, and any driver updates that you need to get. Reboot to dos with cd-rom support, format all your drives, the run setup on your win98 cd to reinstall it.

  3. #3
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    Justin,

    Before I went through the process of reformatting, no easy task, I would look at ways to clean it up. You are going to have to virtually install everything, the operating system, bios, all programs, and all updates, and drivers. It can be a real pill.

    What kind of computer do you have? How much disk space? How much disk space is free? How much memory? I may be able to point you to a site that can help.

  4. #4
    Not Bad, eh? Justin Sampson's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    It's a PIII 450 10gig hardrive with 2 megs left (I have lots of games I can uninstall for space if I have too)

    Oh, and how do I install "bios"? What is it exactly?

  5. #5
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Justin.

    You can get your BIOS at bootup. Look at the initial display when you fisrt logon and you will see something along the lines of "Phoenix so and so" or "American Megatrends yada yada" If you don't see that, then look for instructions to get into setup (a.k.a. CMOS) It will be Del or F2 or something to this effect. When you get in, you can find out the version of your BIOS there. the BIOS is built in to the motherboard and is not something you "download"...although there are methods of updating it in this matter.

    As for your hard drive...dude, with 10 gigs, delete some games. Especially if you are just going to end up putting them back on then what's the point? Secondly, unless you know how to tweak your system, games can really mess it up. They are all so picky about memory and settings are very easily changed without you even knowing it. Games will screw you up and although I'm not opposed to games themself, I'd rather have a dedicated PC for them and not mix them with your other files.

    Methods of backup....hmmm. Organization and forethought is key in this area. All the folders where your data is, back it up. Backup your address book for your email. Backup any Quicken or MS Money files you may use. FYI, if you do go through with a fresh install, you should get into the habit of putting all your data in the built in "My Documents" folder. I have everything organized in My Documents. Word files are organized into files based on what they are, as are the rest of my MS Office files. My webs are saved under separate folders under My Documents. Plus, on top of all that, I have all the donwloads I ever make saved in a "Downloads" folder. I back that sucker up once a week...every other week at most. It takes 2 CD's but I never have to download CuteFTP and my Office updates again (among others.) It's a good habit to get into.

    Lastly, 10 Gigs is very small. You can get a 40 GB hard drive for about $100 USD. You might consider investing in one.

    HTH.
    Sketch
    Aaron Brazell
    Technosailor



  6. #6
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    Justin,

    What problems are you experiencing to make you think you need to reformat? Reformatting will be a real headache and may not be the solution to your problems, especially if you put everything you now have on your PC back.

    What brand of computer do you have? Is it Dell, IBM, Compac, a home built system, etc.?

    What programs (other than games) do you have on your computer?

    Also how much memory is on it? I assume you are doing a lot of graphics work etc. These kinds of programs are very memory intensive. You may just need more memory.

    And yes, 10g drive is not much. I have a 850 40 gig drive and run no games on my computer. The games are going to take up a lot of drive space and they are going to eat up your memory also. Definitely would get rid of all games except what you can't live without.

  7. #7
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    And yes, 10g drive is not much. I have a 850 40 gig drive and run no games on my computer. The games are going to take up a lot of drive space and they are going to eat up your memory also. Definitely would get rid of all games except what you can't live without.

    Agree with the drivespace (although many games can also run mostly from the CDROM)
    The memory issue i don't agree on. Some games uses a lot of memory, but that is: the moment you play them! If you exit your game, the memory will be given back to the OS.
    So, there is not really a need to get rid of them. If I play a game I make sure that all my other programs are shutdown, something that most game manufacturers recommend anyway :-)

    If you have a lot of garbage a reformat seems to me the right option, although it can be time consuming, it will for sure give your puter a boost! As someone else allready suggested, burn your downloaded installers on a CDrom, or if you don't have a burner different partitions can come in handy :-)
    I have 5 partitions
    C: is only for the OS and related tools (like MSIE and Outlook)
    D: is for all my programs
    E: I use for all my data
    F: I use for downloads etc.
    G: Is my special windows Virtual memory partition, here I let windows put it's virtual memory, instead of the by Microsoft recommended C partition. Because there is nothing else on that partition the head of the HDD can read in one flow.

    If you install trials etc a lot and delete a lot use Disc Defragmenter regurarly! This will make the drive performance much better! If you hate doing formatting and clean installs I recommend a good uninstaller program (like Norton Uninstaller) This programs make sure if you delete a program all the DLL's and Registry settings etc are uninstalled too! :-)

    As last I recommend at least 128 Megs of RAM in your PC and 256 is even better ;-) You NEVER can have enough memory in your PC :-)

    HTH
    EMB
    So never mind the darknes, we still can find the way. Cause nothin' last forever, even cold November rain.(Rose)

  8. #8
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    You are right. I did assume (best never to do that) that since Justin said he had a lot of games installed on his computer that he did actually have at least some them installed. You are right, most games run from the CD and the memory they consume is only consumed during operation of the game. I have one shortcut for a game for my granddaughter to play at my house. The actual game isn't installed.

    On the other hand, we don't really know what problems he is experiencing. My thoughts were that before resorting to a total reformat which he admits that he doesn't really know how to do, he might want to look at other options such as additional memory, or some cleaning up of his hard drive as you recommended.

  9. #9
    Not Bad, eh? Justin Sampson's Avatar
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    Since my computer knownledge after I leave the web is about 0%, I'm not going to reformate right now.

    I'm just going to uninstall everything (except for important windows realted things) and delete the junk that's left. And I ordered 128 megs of ram which will be here soon.

    Soon as I have more more money I'm probably going to get a nice big hard drive and a couple of other things.

    Thanks for all the suggestons guys!

  10. #10
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    If you are like me and have tons of shortcuts on your desktop then back up your user profile too!

    I suggest reformatting and using foresight as has been mentioned before. Then install everything that you think makes up your perfect machine and then use Norton Ghost. I format my hard disk every 6-12 months and then I just put everything back on using Ghost, it is great!

  11. #11
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Justin,

    Follow mjames it's links and be not to affraid of reformatting!
    It is really not that hard. And someday you have to do it anyway Make sure you have a bootable floppy (Although windows do a setup with cdrom support as your PC have this feature) but it can come handy
    Make also sure that you got all your drivers for modem, mouse graphics card, etc. ready!
    Backup the data you want to save like saved games, docs etc.
    Also make sure you know your ISP settings like Password, username, dialupnumber, DNS settings etc. (LOL, I forgot that once!!!)

    Follow these steps:
    1 Boot your puter in dos prompt
    2 Make partitions with Fdisk (not neccasary but can come in handy)
    3 Format the partition(s)
    4 Install Windows and the drivers
    5 Install your programs and games

    Fine tune your settings and it all should be allright!

    EMB
    Last edited by EMB; Jul 20, 2001 at 21:22.
    So never mind the darknes, we still can find the way. Cause nothin' last forever, even cold November rain.(Rose)


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