Solved: Reformat an old Compaq Presario

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DKTaber

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A friend recently handed me a Compaq Presario 2100 -- a circa 2005 laptop computer running XP -- and asked if I could "rejuvenate" it. I agreed to try. He didn't even have a transformer for it, so I had to use the one for my Win 7 Toshiba laptop.

After doing a huge cleanup of the HD (removed lots of old programs, installed and ran CCleaner, Avast!, SuperAntiSpyware, Auslogics Defragger, etc.), the computer seems to work OK, but despite all the cleaning and defragging, is very slow. It would, though, be suitable for an underprivileged child who only wanted to use it for e-mail and Web surfing. But before we can give it to anybody, we need to remove all traces of the names of the former owners. I deleted their User Accounts, but they remain named under Documents & Settings. Windows does not allow you to delete or change the name(s) on user folders under D&S, not even in Safe Mode. So my first question is, is there any way to do that without rendering Windows unworkable? If not, am I going to have to reformat the HD and reinstall Win XP? I have a Win XP CD, so can do that, but do NOT have the driver CD. Is it possible to install Win XP so it's operable and thereafter download the drivers from HP's Web site?
 

crjdriver

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Jan 2, 2001
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The specs show that it has a usb port [old 1.1] why not download whatever drivers you want and put them on a flash drive. You can transfer them to the hd and install. At the very least I would put the nic driver on the flash drive. You can then run windows update or download whatever other drivers you need.
 

DKTaber

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Oct 26, 2001
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OK. Since you didn't mention it, I assume there is no way to change the name of the former owner's folder -- not even if I boot to Safe Mode with command prompt and use DOS to rename it(?). So the only way to get rid of the former owner's apps files is to delete the partition (or do a total reformat) and install Windows and the hardware drivers. Correct?
 

DoubleHelix

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Dec 9, 2004
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It sounds like you've already spent considerable time on this old computer. It would have been much faster and far more secure to wipe the drive securely and then reinstall Windows. Assuming there's not a pressing need to donate this computer today or tomorrow, I suggest you take that route.
 
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