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The Computer Buzz April 8th, 2010

Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Fact


Re-installing a Fresh Windows

If your Windows operating system (OS) becomes corrupt it may be necessary to re-install it from scratch.

A PC that is infected with malware (viruses and spyware) may appear to function almost normally until after the “malware” is removed. The “malware” replaces and emulates some Windows functions in order to carry out its evil purpose. When the “malware” is removed it can “corrupt” Windows by leaving holes in the Windows file structures. If the Windows “corruption” is minor, Windows may continue to function normally after the “malware” has been removed. If the corruption is extensive, Windows will not run properly and may not even boot.

When the Windows OS is installed from scratch, all applications must also be reinstalled. While the ravages of malware are the biggest single cause of serious Windows corruption, there are many other problems that can create the need for a fresh Windows installation.

When a fresh installation of Windows is indicated, there are several ways to preserve the user’s important files. One way is to move all the files to some external device (external hard drive, DVD/CD, flash drive or Internet storage service like Carbonite) and then to copy the files back to the hard drive after the Windows OS and applications have been reinstalled.

Another method, and one that we often use is to leave the entire contents of the hard drive on the drive itself in an “Old Files” folder. We then do a fresh installation of Windows in the Windows directory. Then we load the internal device drivers (sound, video, Ethernet etc), download the latest updates, install an anti-virus program and we’re finished. All the data files will be accessible when the appropriate applications are re-installed.

Our customers usually opt to reinstall their own peripheral device drivers (printers) and applications programs. If they want us to do it they must bring in the external device drivers, the external devices and all applications software.

While program installation and data retrieval is a piece of cake on most applications, there are some programs that are a royal pain. OE (Outlook Express) is probably the worst.

OE is a dinosaur that was created in the days before Internet based E-mail was reliable and free. E-mail services like G-Mail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail store your address book and saved E-mails on the WWW. That means you can access your stored information from any PC any where in the universe. With OE all this data is stored on your PC and when your PC has a problem you cannot access these files. Even Microsoft has recognized that storing E-mail on your PC is a bad idea. Vista and Win 7 have dropped OE.

On average it requires 15 to 30 minutes more of our time to transfer and set up E-Mail files for OE users whenever a new Windows is loaded or when files are transferred from an old PC to a new one. We strongly advise moving from OE to any Web based E-mail service.





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