Reinstall XP due to sluggish - should I choose "upgrade?

Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

jelleym

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Messages
636
I'm about to try reinstalling XP because it's been sluggish for months already, so I want to see if this will help, since I suspect a Trojan or whatever.

Anyway, the reinstall disc offers 2 options:

(1) Upgrade
(2) new reinstall

If I choose upgrade, would I risk that my system would remain with its present problems? Or should I rather choose new reinstall?

(for that matter, I wonder whether my backup zip-disk might not also have a bug, despite having run AVG on it.
 

Byteman

Gone but Never Forgotten
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
17,742
Hi, Upgrade will probably leave you with a malware, if that is the problem, as it does not usually touch files or programs installed. It does repair Windows, if it can.
A clean install, where the hard drive is formatted, is always the best way...but, if you have documents or data that you need to save, be sure you do that first, and learn something about the whole process before you jump in, there are some things you need to record, save, and know about doing a reinstall.

Ask and we will post some help for you....to start out, is this a branded type of system, like a Dell, IBM, Sony, Compaq, Gateway, or HP, eMachines, etc?
 

crjdriver

Moderator
Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
43,581
If you do not want to save anything on your hd, then boot with the xp cd and do a clean install. This should take care of any spyware.

Before doing this you might want to run a scan with avast. I used to use and recommend avg, however after running numerous scans with avg I uninstalled it and installed avast home. Well it found a virus right off. I scanned my wife's system over the network and it found another trojan.

Needless to say avast is now installed on all systems. I even upgraded to the pro version since I believe in rewarding good companies.
 

jelleym

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Messages
636
Thank you both! & thanks for the info re: Avast.

I have a Dell system, but in future I may consider Apple since it has a good reputation.

Byteman, what do I need to record, save & know? I've already made backups of Favorites, MyDocuments, Program Files & MyDownload files.

Not looking forward to dealing with Windows patches downloads.
For me the prospect competes with a trip to the dentist.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
220
Screw the upgrade. I don't trust not wiping a HDD when reinstalling. Just be sure to back everything you want up and that you have copies of all your software still, etc.

I reinstall my windows OS about every six months. I haven't had any flavor of Windows stay stable for very long.

Macs are good, the OS is very nice but they are VERY different. I have many Macs and a few PCs. I use both. I have to use windows or I probably wouldn't, if I could port all my old games seamlessly to Linux or OSX... babbling, sorry.
 

jelleym

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Messages
636
slarti, don't worry, yours isn't considered babble, more likely my "perpetual-newb" lingo is considered babble to TSG geeks...

Curious: Is Linux usable on Macs? I never used eitherApple or Linux so no experience whatsoever with either.

BTW, Byteman, I browsed some of the Security forum stickies as well as sitepoint & tech.msn, but there's SO much info, and frankly, computer fluorescense & PBDE chemicals make me ill upon prolonged exposure, so it's hard for me personally to sift thru so much. People such as myself and these people: http://cloanto.com/users/mcb/19960719lcd.html are operating on a hot tin roof, so we can't afford for 1/2 our time to be spent researching and downloading security software. We would much more appreciate a trouble-free system. I never even use space-guzzling software such as games; rather all I need is a simple, trouble-free system - yet despite my simple usage, I still run into problems, so I can only imagine what problems higher-end users run into.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2004
Messages
4,719
You might consider this as an option depending on how big you hard drive is, when you go for a clean install create a partition of say 30g for c drive and install XP and all your applications. This will leave the remainder of the hard drive for 'D' and you can save all you data to 'D' if you wish to reformat again all you have to do is reformat 'C' and 'D' remains intact. This way works fine for me as I reinstall windows at least once a year.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 1999
Messages
26
Unless you KNOW you have some type of virus that you can't remove, seriously consider cleaning the system. There are four or five things you can do that will dramatically improve any XP installation. XP isn't like Win98, where the install naturally degrades over time. If you clean it, it can work as well or better than new.

http://www.epinions.com/content_2061934724

I wrote this awhile back. To date, it's saved more people reinstallation hassles than I can count.

KRT
 

Byteman

Gone but Never Forgotten
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
17,742
Hi-.

If you want some help finding out if there actually is some malware on the computer, do the following...if you do not want to try, skip the Ewido and Hijackthis parts and go down to the end about the Dell support site!

There is no way we can tell what your problem actually is- whether anything is missing, damaged, so forth, or whether there is a trojan on the computer. If you want to first try scanning for them, just let us know. If the computer is running well enough to download a program or three, start with this:

First, we'd like to see a Hijackthis log, it shows us much about the computer, and most of the software you have starting up, and shows GOOD as WELL AS BAD items, so do NOT attempt to remove anything with Hijackthis without help, OK? Because it does not show every kind of malware, we need to do some further scans, the first is Ewido run in SAFE MODE (directions are below) and the second is an online antivirus/antispyware scan. Between these, something may show up and we can help get rid of it.


* Click here to download HJTsetup.exe
  • Save HJTsetup.exe to your desktop.
  • Doubleclick on the HJTsetup.exe icon on your desktop.
  • By default it will install to C:\Program Files\Hijack This.
  • Continue to click Next in the setup dialogue boxes until you get to the Select Addition Tasks dialogue.
  • Put a check by Create a desktop icon then click Next again.
  • Continue to follow the rest of the prompts from there.
  • At the final dialogue box click Finish and it will launch Hijack This.
  • Click on the Do a system scan and save a logfile button. It will scan and the log should open in notepad.
  • Click on "Edit > Select All" then click on "Edit > Copy" to copy the entire contents of the log.
  • Come back here to this thread and Paste the log in your next reply.
  • DO NOT have Hijack This fix anything yet. Most of what it finds will be harmless or even required.

I strongly advise you to post the hijackthis log, and wait a bit for help, before you run a scan with Ewido- however, you should download, install, and then get Ewido updated as per directions so you are ready. Stop here and post the Hijackthis log. Then come back and download this:

Ewido Security Suite:

* Download the trial version of Ewido Security Suite here.
  • Install ewido.
  • During the installation, under "Additional Options" uncheck "Install background guard" and "Install scan via context menu".
  • Launch ewido
  • It will prompt you to update click the OK button and it will go to the main screen
  • On the left side of the main screen click update
  • Click on Start and let it update.
  • DO NOT run a scan yet. You will do that later in safe mode.

* Now copy these instructions to notepad and save them to your desktop. You will need them to refer to in safe mode.


* Restart your computer into safe mode now. Perform the following steps in safe mode:

* Run Ewido:
  • Click on scanner
  • Click Complete System Scan and the scan will begin.
  • During the scan it will prompt you to clean files, click OK
  • When the scan is finished, look at the bottom of the screen and click the Save report button.
  • Save the report to your desktop

* Run ActiveScan online virus scan here

When the scan is finished, anything that it cannot clean have it delete it. Make a note of the file location of anything that cannot be deleted so you can delete it yourself.
- Save the results from the scan!

Post a new HiJackThis log along with the results from ActiveScan

This below stuff is for if you do want to reinstall, whichever way you want to try....but, I need to know if that is what you want to do, so simply post back what you want, to try and look for malware or reinstall.

You have a Dell computer- I advise you to go read through the documentation for your system...if you are going to reinstall brand new. I can lead you directly to the specific instructions for your computer if you wish, have done it many times....or, you can follow the links to the support info yourself, copy them or save them on disk, and go on and reinstall. I will give you links when you answer back what you want to do.

You need to find the Service Tag number on the rear of the computer or on the bottom if it's a notebook. You go to the Dell support site, type in the Service Tag, and you can find all the information you need.
Your machine should have come with several CDs, one of which holds the Operating system (XP Home) and some that have Applications/Drivers/Software etc....
i need to know if you do have those type of CDs, and any for programs that you paid for and that you will want to have back- or if you downloaded any and paid for them, and have no way to reinstall them...concentrate of those questions, answer them best you can OK?
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
220
New Mac OS X is running on top of Darwin Unix, which is a form of BSD. Linux is based from Unix. I have tried a few Linux flavors but i don't really use them now.
 

jelleym

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Messages
636
OK, I read all the responses, thanks to y'all!

KnightRT, I had had the following checkmarked among Startup files:
avgcc, avgemc, msmsgs, zonealarm, spywareguard
Actually, the simplest of all would be if Microsoft or Dell would have had the decency to provide a barebones installation CD for newb types who prefer basic essentials instead of having unwanted frills shoved down our throats.

Now I'll go w/Byteman's reinstallation followup:

Yes, the service tag (starting with "FN") is on left side of my box
and
Yes, I have the following Dell CDs:

Operating System (Reinstallation CD

Drivers & Utilities (Dell Dimension ResourceCD

Drivers & Utilities (for reinstalling V.92/56K telephony etc.
I DON'T THINK I EVER USED TELEPHONY ETC.

Application (for Reinstalling Roxio
I NEVER USED ROXIO!!

I ALSO NEVER USED OUTLOOK EXPRESS

For the record, here's my list of Unused Desktop Shortcuts:

Burn CDs with Roxio
Dell Support
Get High Speed Internet
Dell Solution Center
Spywareguard Live Update
Spywareguard
Adobe Photoshop Album
Dell Pic Studio
Earthlink
RealOne Player shortcut
MSN Explorer shortcut
(I may have deleted the Outlook Express shortcut sometime back. Who remembers...

BTW, bigbear's partitioning sounds a bit complicated; I don't quite know how to go about it, and also how programs could run if they're located on D: and system exec files are on C:

I mean, human brains have a corpus collosum to connect brain hemispheres. Is there something similar with Windows?
 

Byteman

Gone but Never Forgotten
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
17,742
Hi, Well, most programs run fine when they are installed to another partition, but some will want to be on the main drive C:, I dont know of a specific list of them to guide you...

Just a matter of trying with that issue, if they won't run usually you get some error message about it when installing or starting up.

The Dell site has very good reinstall directions, I think this is how you want to try first.

If you want to look at the Dell support site for your pc, go here, just type in the Service Tag ID

You can make an account, free, which saves information for you, very handy to do but you don't have to.

I'm assuming yours is a Home/Home Office computer, ordinary warranty which may be expired, if not, just ask them to help you....if expired, you can still go here:

http://support.dell.com/support/index.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

That's where you use the Tag ID, it points you to specific info for your exact model.
_ _ _ _
You should have the neccesary drivers for hardware and the programs that originally came with the pc on the set of discs you have. After everything is installed, you can go into Add/Remove Programs and uninstall the things you do not need. They set up what is installed along with Windows at Dell, so when you buy one of their computers, you are kind of at their mercy, but things can be removed.
When you run the Recovery discs, you may get an option for a Customized install, however you have to know what you use/need...and it is time consuming to go through that. Just pick Typical install, and you can remove what is not needed afterward.
Things like Outlook Express come along with Internet Explorer and there is not much you can about that, except just ignore it if you don't need to use it, many people dont like it.
I think it can be uninstalled, but that may have negative results for you, as some other programs might depend on it!
_______________
You didn't specify if you wanted to have a go at looking for malware.

So, will wait and look for a reply from you.

Looked back in this thread, you had some questions about what security programs needed-
I guess the absolute bare minimum is fine, it really depends on what you do online.

Generally, the first requirement is a firewall, even though you have XP with Service Pack 2- the built in firewall is not enough, it can be disabled and you can use a free or pay-for personal firewall. Next, you of course need a good antivirus program and need to keep it updated.

We reccommend these free antispyware (removers and preventors are two separate things, so you need more than just one or two!)

These are fairly straightforward non-complicated programs, nothing like Office or DVD work...you install them, update them often, and they either run in the background or only when you start them, depending on what their usage is.
1. Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition- free but has pay-for versions as well.

2. SpyBot Search and Destroy- yes, this little gem finds and cleans some of the worst. Free.

3. Microsoft Antispyware- free for valid XP users. It runs protection, so it does need to be shut off sometimes, but very good to have.

4. Spywareblaster- Updates regularly, provides protection for IE plus Firefox/Mozilla.
It just blocks spyware from installing, very nice small free program.

5. If you want to buy something, there are some really good programs around, one is Webroot's SpySweeper.

6. IE_SpyAd- This freebie prevents a lot of stuff from installing and/or places sites in the Restricted Zone for you, very neat tool.

I'm sure folks here will suggest some others...but the ones mentioned are those we use most often and use ourselves.
 

jelleym

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Messages
636
Byteman, re: malware, if I reinstall (vs. upgrade) I guess I don't need to worry about malware. Shall see how it goes.

I checked out that Dell link, and entered the Tag number.
Select Category: ALL
Select OS: WinXP Home Edition
Then got a screen which I don't know how to proceed with; in any case, shouldn't I be enabled to view the guide before printing it? Furthermore, any of those options which I chose did not result in any install guide being displayed.
(SEE ATTACHED SCREENSHOT)

I don't understand - can't the CD's just walk me thru the process??
:confused:
 

Attachments

Byteman

Gone but Never Forgotten
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
17,742
Hi, I think you are headed in the right direction. Dell has a fairly thorough support setup which all owners should take advantage of. Note what it says about Service Pack 2 and updating certain programs and drivers before you install SP2. Your PC may or may not be preinstalled with SP2, if it came with SP2 it should be put back by reinstalling, if not you will have to get it> SP2 is again available on CD, but that will not last long, only a limited supply. You can borrow an XP SP2 CD to use.
There are updates even after installing SP2.

Remeber what I posted about protecting the computer before using it on the Internet> you can download things like antispyware, antivirus, firewall and burn the downloads to a CD to install from after Windows is reinstalled. A friend can do that for you if you don't have a CD burner.
You will also have to reinstall anything newer than the computer that you bought such as a scanner, printer, or other peripheral. These items always come with an install CD- some are more automated than others, but each has a support website that will/should have directions to reinstall the specific item. You need to follow directions for USB printers or scanners especially well when installing---some require you to install software before connecting the for example..printer, while some want the device connected and on while running the install CD. It does matter-

Be sure you have saved what you will need after the reinstall----Internet Explorer's Favorites items for instance, can be easily exported to a little floppy diskette and then imported back from within Ie itself, using the File>Import and Export wizard.
Email address book, or contacts lists, can also be backed up. Instant Messaging buddies are sometimes kept online and come back automatically, sometimes you have to readd them manually.
Looking back at your first question Post#1, I think you can run online antivirus/antispyware scans on Zip drives, have you tried? You of course have to have the drive on, and your backup disk in when you start the online scan, just make sure you select to scan ALL Hard and other drives. Most of them let you also scan CDs or floppies so I dont see why they would not do Zip disks.
Wishing you good luck with it, and have a great New Year's.
 

Byteman

Gone but Never Forgotten
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
17,742
Hi,

There may be info you need to know about before you reinstall. I am not referring to the actual reinstall. More along the lines of what to do afterward- there are things you have to do, such as update any preinstalled programs and possibly some drivers that are installed from your CDs, before installing Service Pack 2. Dell has that info which I'd reccomend you look at or save or print. If you want, send the Tag to me through an email or PM; or post it here.
Your Recovery CDs yes, will "walk you through" the reinstall itself, its fairly easy.

As I posted, there are things you should install afterward, and before you connect the pc to the Internet. There is also the issue of XP Product Activation, different brands of computers handle this two ways- either you do have to or it's done automatically.
Next the issue with Service Pack 2, if it came preinstalled with your computer, that will be reinstalled, if not, you have to install it again! It's a rather large download, so Microsoft made a free CD available which you can order now once again but they run out quickly....
the support info should tell us whether you had SP2 pre-installed or just SP1 or in some case, NONE at all. You need SP2 and you should install it before you connect to the Internet, or, if you are experienced with a firewall you could use that, but I dont think you are, correct? You need a working antivirus program installed....Dell includes limited time programs usually, and we will be able to see what they use for your PC, so I can tell if it will be worthwhile for you to use it or you should uninstall it and get another, newer and free antivirus program....
It might say at the support site- I have a better idea, post the exact model of the PC or the Tag ID and I will post links again for you that may work better and show you exactly what you need to save, print etc. Just the model number alone only lets you see a general FAMILY specs that include some models that do not pertain to yours...using the Service Tag, gets you to the specific information for the PC you are using.

I will Private Message or email you and you can send the Service Tag number back. Nothing wrong with posting it here though.

Just running the Recovery from the CD set alone will get you back up and running, unless you have for instance, changed the modem if you use dialup> you will have to also install that or any other devices which you added to the system, like printers, scanners, digital camera software, etc. If you use broadband (DSL or cable) Internet service that connects to a network adapter you should be all set to connect to the Internet basically but there may be some software to install your ISP uses...or some settings you have to do. Do you recall just what you had to do to get online when you first got the Internet service you are now using? Most dialup type service uses an install CD> which you must install after XP is all installed.

There are things you should disconnect such as printers, scanners or cameras during the reinstall....odd things like this are covered in the support information I am trying to get you to.
 
Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 807,865 other people just like you!

Latest posts

Staff online

Members online

Top