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Formatting and Re-Installing

• Formatting & Re-Installing Windows
Posted: 7 Mar 02 (Edited 27 Jun 03)

The information you are about to read is writen specifically for Windows ME. This method also works on Windows 98 and 95. I wouldn't recommend this method for Windows 3.1 or XP. Although this method should work for Windows XP too.


BEFORE STARTING THIS PROCESS, RESTART YOUR COMPUTER AND PRESS EITHER F2 OR DELETE TO ENTER YOUR BIOS. MAKE SURE YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR BOOT SEQUENCE TO CD. IF NOT GET OUT YOUR STARTUP DISK AND RESTART WITH THAT IN THE DRIVE. THEN SEE IF YOU CAN START YOUR COMPUTER WITH CD-ROM SUPPORT. IF YOU CAN DO EITHER OF THOSE, THEN CONTINUE.

IF NOT <<<STOP>>> and either contact me or post on in the forums that you are unable to accomplish this before you continue to use these instructions.


--------------------------------------------------
Re-installing Windows without formatting C:
--------------------------------------------------

You can do what is called a "Dirty Re-Installation of windows" which just installs a new version of windows over your current one.(YOU WILL """NOT""" LOSE YOUR DATA, ONLY SYSTEM FILES).

To re-install windows without formatting do the following:

- When you start up press either F2 or the DELETE key to enter into setup.
- Choose boot, then choose 1st device type to be cd-rom (might say ATAPI-CD-ROM)
- Save changes
- Put in Windows CD
- Re-Start
- If asked, you will want to start computer from CD using CD-ROM Support

Windows will basically do the rest for you.

If it asks you to format hard drive, say "NO".
If that is your only option (shouldn't) then discontinue re-installing and go back to setup (F2 or DELETE key) and change 1st boot type back to original.

In the case of it wanting to format, then I suggest backing up your files (if you can), then format and do full installation of windows (instructions below)

CAUTION:
Windows has known to become very unstable when you do a dirty-re-installation of windows. The only reason you would want to choose this option is to get back into windows so you can back-up your data and prepare for a full
re-installation including a full hard drive format.

--------------------------------------------------------
Full Installation of Windows & Format Hard Drive
--------------------------------------------------------


First things first. You need your Windows 25-Digit Product Key, here are 3 ways of obtaining it:
1 - A sticker is located on the side or bottom of the computer
2 - If this is the first time you're doing this, and Windows was installed by the company you bought it from  (ie-Dell Canada), there should be a file called OEMINFO.INI located in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM. Open that file with Notepad and it should be somewhere in that file, depending on the company you bought it from.
3 - The foolproof way of getting it, is through the Registry. Goto |START MENU|-|RUN|-type REGEDIT-and go to:
-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
-SOFTWARE
-MICROSOFT
-WINDOWS
-CURRENT VERSION (only click on the folder, don't open it)
-Look for PRODUCT KEY (then write it down)


Second you will need to make a start-up disk (if you don't already have one)

To make a start-up disk do the following:

- START-SETTINGS-CONTROL PANELS-ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS
- Click the Start-Up Disk TAB
- Label and put in a disk you want to designate as your start-up disk
- Click create disk and wait for it to finish

* PS- Have you backed up all your data yet? I hope so!

Now to re-install windows:
- Keep the Start-Up Disk in the drive
- Re-Start Computer
- Windows will run from your start-up disk
- When prompted choose Minimal Boot (option-4)
- It will load into MS-DOS Mode
- At the A:\ prompt type C:- then type CD WINDOWS [ENTER](it will look like this when finished C:\WINDOWS)
- then type CD COMMAND [ENTER] (it will look like this when finished C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND)
- then type FORMAT C: [ENTER]
- press "y" or "Y"
- Computer will completely format your C: Drive
- It will ask you for a label (just press ENTER)don't enter a label yet
- Then when it has finished formatting insert your Windows CD
- Re-Start
- Press either F2 or DELETE to enter setup
- Change the BOOT sequence to 1st type: CD-ROM (may say ATAPI CD-ROM)
- Save changes
- Re-Start Again
- Then Windows will run from the CD
- If asked, you will want to start computer from CD using CD-ROM Support
- Then sit back, relax, and let windows do it's thing
- Make sure you set your country to be U.S. even if you don't live in the U.S. Some programs are known to be finicky if the system isn't configured as U.S. You can change it later
- Because you have formatted your hard-drive, you will need to have the following things ready:
  - Microsoft Windows ME Porduct key (25 digit key, usually located on the side of the computer
    or with your computer lierature)
  - Any CD's that came with your system that indicate that they are for installing drivers,
  - Any and all of your program CD'S
  - Your backup copy of your data
  - Be prepared for the computer to ask you some basic questions about your time zone and other
    similar questions
 
MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE ALL YOUR DRIVER SOFTWARE BEFORE RE-INSTALLING AND FORMATTING YOUR COMPUTER
- you may want to contact the Computer Dealer of which you purcahsed your machine, if you are unsure
- Any one that has a DELL computer, you will not need to worry, because Dell provides you with all
the nessessary software you need to get up and running again.

- This information for this whole process of re-installing (either way) comes from DELL Technical Support

THAT'S IT
*NOTE* when you do either process you will want to choose a selective start-up:

START-RUN-MSCONFIG
Click on the Start-Up tab and check only the following boxes:

- ScanRegistry
- System Tray
- PCHealth
- *StateMgr

And any virus protection programs you have enabled.
You only need these items to be running on start-up for Windows ME to function properly.

This is where we part! As for re-installing your drivers and programs, you're on your own!

If you have found this info very useful or helpful please let me know your outcome!

Good Luck!


NATE


http://www.mainframe-webdesign.com

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