Complete Reset of my PC

Dell / Dimension 4600i...
July 27, 2009 at 04:53:08
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, 2.992 GHz / 510 MB
Hi, my pc has been struggling of late with minor problems that have become a little anoying.
I was thinking of doing a complete reset back factory settings just to start a fresh.
Will this wipeout all files and folders in 'My Documents', all programs installed in 'Programs Files' and everything else thats been put on my pc.
Im baically asking if it will set it back to a condition similar the day i first bought it.
If so whats the best way of going about it.
I still have all my original CDs if that helps.


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July 27, 2009 at 05:39:25
"...minor problems that have become a little anoying..." what exactly are these?

A reset (usually referred to a restore) to factory-gate/delivery state will lose all your data etc.; but some restore CDs may allow a part-way option; and this "may" preserve data etc...

With a Dell I'd be inclined to check on their web-site re' using "their" restore CDs; as each copmany does tend to have its own variations on what may be possible...

Regardless of what you decide anon... wise first to copy all data - and anything else you wouldn't wish to lose - to optical-media; and verify those disks are truly accessible/readable etc. on both the parent system and at least one other... Anything"really critical etc." make a duplicate - to separate disks obviously...

Then decide what to do re' those "minor problems..." with a little help friends here? You "may" not need to go as far as restore/reset...?

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July 27, 2009 at 06:00:58
Thanks for the reply,
The minor problems are things like windows loading times, and the general speed of my pc. Ive used the disk defrag run a full vrus scan and gone through a full diagnostic etc but it hasnt solved anything.
The one problem thats really anoying is my graphics card i think. For example games i could play quite easily on my pc years ago (half life2, mafia) keep freezing for about 5-10sec very often (every 4-5mins) or sometime completely during play. Ive tried changing screen resolutions but that does nothing and i even set up my graphics card for total perfromance rather than quality but still nothing.
I have all the up to date drivers for it so i dont know what else to try.
I have tried a system restore point but this doesnt work either.
The garphics i have is old (nVidia Ge Force FX 5200) do you have any suggestions for a possible fix.


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July 27, 2009 at 06:38:19
mmm - if you've got mis-givings about the graphic card then at least see if there are more recent/current drivers for it - although I note you say you believe you have the latest? Maybe investigate another card too?

Incidentally although you 512 Meg RAM installed... I'd up that to at least 1Gig; maybe add in additional 512, or even better install 1Gig and keep the current 512 as well? RAM is the simplest way to improve a given physical system's performance etc...; and these days it's a relatively cheap option? And games really do make demands on RAM - both system and "wot's on the grafik kard..."

Slow load etc. can be due to a lot being opened/run behind the scenes - that you may not know is going on; msconfig allows you to see what etc.?

Also some virus utils can tend clog up a system...; being resource hogs etc... Which one do you have installed?

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Related Solutions

July 27, 2009 at 06:53:56
i have bit defender installed at the moment.

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July 27, 2009 at 07:17:07
Don't know that one so can't comment on its behaviour... I do know that Norton gets a regular hammering from the pundits/gurus re' its resource use...

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July 27, 2009 at 14:20:38
The main problem with Norton is that as mentioned it is a resource hog, meaning that you need 1gb or more to have reasonable performance with all the background programs running. A few possibilities come to mind regarding the speed, first check the hard drive, download a drive test program and run it on the drive. I use one that does a good job no matter what the brand is, it is the Hitachi Drive Fitness test. Dell Dimensions usually come with a customized XP install CD. When run you have install to a fresh partition or you can try install to an intact unformatted one. This one removes the existing XP folder and reinstalls over it. Normally the old user profiles are still intact through Windows Explorer but you will not be able to boot with that user account. You might have to go into SAFE mode and take ownership if the old account had password protection.

As per my earlier comment get a HDD diagnostic utility and run it on the drive.


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