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Can you reset your computer back to the day you bought it?

B das WaT 55 November 23, 2008 at 06:27 AM
My computer is like 2 years old, and I've had a lot of programs installed on my computer through the years, and I just want to start all over. Is it possible to reset everything to go back to how it was when I had nothing on the computer? I burned CD's of all my photos and documents, so I don't care if anything is lost. Thanks!
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Joined Oct 2007
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#2
Do you have the CD's that came with the computer? They usually provide some sort of system restore disc(s) that allow you to reformat your hard drive and reload everything.
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Joined Feb 2005
Peeing in his pants
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#3
Original Restore CD's, a clean windows XP install would work also.
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Joined Jun 2005
Godsend
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#4
I found a couple discs.. and one is the XP prfessional with service pack 2 system disc. So just pop that in while I'm running windows? Or should I put it in during start up?
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Joined Jul 2006
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#5
Quote from B das WaT View Post :
I found a couple discs.. and one is the XP prfessional with service pack 2 system disc. So just pop that in while I'm running windows? Or should I put it in during start up?
either way, if you put it in while the OS is running it'll bring up a menu and eventually restart, so restarting would save time (boot from the CD)

make sure you have a product key. should be on the disc or on the Windows sticker.

always buy restore discs or create them. basically you're making 100$ discs because without them you don't have the operating system that was included with the price of your system. though sometimes you can find the bootleg version of the OS on filesharing sites and use the product key on the sticker.
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Joined Jun 2004
Here to help
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#6
Quote from B das WaT View Post :
I found a couple discs.. and one is the XP prfessional with service pack 2 system disc. So just pop that in while I'm running windows? Or should I put it in during start up?
You can go into the bios and set the system to boot from CD first. Put in your XP cd and it should boot from there and start loading files. It will find the current installation of XP. You would delete that partition and then format it. I would use the long format option, not the quick one.

After it formats, it will load windows and you will have to input time zone, your name, etc. Once it's loaded up, I hope that other disk has drivers for your system: Chipset, audio, video, network card. You will need to load these drivers from disk.

It would be a great idea to go to the manufacture site for the pc and get the newest drivers for all the things you just installed. If you have changed to different hardware -- say you upgraded your video card -- you would need to go to the manufacturer site for that card and get newer drivers for it and install them.

You will need go to Windows Update and get all the updates for your system there. You may have to go back several times and reboot several times to get them all.

You will have to reload from cd or file you have downloaded all the programs you want to use on this computer -- ESPECIALLY YOUR ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE. If you have to load software for your internet connection, you will need to load it and set it back up with the serial numbers, or passwords, or keys -- whatever it took to get you there before.
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#7
What type of computer is it?
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Joined Jun 2005
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#8
You are going to want to make sure that before you do any of this, that you verify the CD/DVD that you made with all of your documents/music/videos/etc. Put it into another computer and make sure you can access all of your files.

Booting up with the Windows XP disc and proceeding to re-install the OS will wipe out all of your files as I'm sure you are well aware, and it would make for a really crappy day if the CD's that you made failed to work.
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Joined Jun 2005
Godsend
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#9
Thank you very much everyone.
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Joined Dec 2004
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#10
oh and as a recommendation, I would download and burn the following:
  • Service Pack 3 for Windows [microsoft.com]: With this disc, you don't have to go through the windows updates, then reboot, then windows updates, then reboot, then.....
  • Latest and greatest Drivers for your hardware - Makes installation of the system much faster, plus you have the latest version, not the 2 yr old version on the disc.
  • Antivirus - I recommend AVG [avg.com] or Avast [avast.com]- this can be the first thing you install before connecting to the internet.
  • I also use CCleaner and Defraggler [from pirform [piriform.com]] and Registry Defrag [from Auslogics [auslogics.com]] so you have a clean and organized system before you begin loading your programs.

The above has cut my rebuilt times almost in half as I'm not waiting for individual updates and reboots to happen between drivers and/or win updates.

My $.02

~SB
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