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PC Hardware - Hard drive issue

What major items should I cover when reformatting my hard drive and reloading my Operating System? by ajr3
Posted: 13 May 02

Major steps to consider when reformatting your hard drive:

1) It's the right way. Reformatting and reloading from scratch tends to produce a much more stable system than upgrading or repairing. Even though it takes longer
2) If you are upgrading, check upgrade compatibility BEFORE you start! Use Device Manager to identify your current hardware, then check your hardware manufacturer's support sites to verify that the hardware will function on the new OS. Use Add/Remove Programs to see all your programs, then check them for compatibility with the new OS.
3) Find your CD's. If you've had the PC for a while you probably don't remember everything you've loaded. Use Add/Remove Programs to determine what's loaded and locate the install CD's for your software. Also, you will need the old OS CD if you're installing off of a Microsoft upgrade OS CD
4) Back up your files. Also back up: local Email files, Internet bookmarks, etc. I've found the best backup medium to be a CD-R.
5) Check your codebook! Remember when you reload you'll have to enter passwords for EVERYTHING that you did "Remember Me" or or the like with, so this is also a good time to check up on your passwords.
6) Get a friend or a laptop. A functioning computer with an Internet connection is invaluable once you've started.
7) Win 2K and XP are pretty good at autodetecting most devices. Leave firewire and USB devices (except keyboards and mice) disconnected until you've got the basic OS running. Your first aim will be to get the revived system on the Internet so you can download any new drivers, etc. That's where your buddy or laptop come in handy if the driver you need is one that is necessary to GET on the Internet
8) Get your hardware (sound, cameras, video drivers, printers, etc) going before you reinstall your application programs. Check Event Viewer or equivalent for "background bugs" before you start loading your software.


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