Should I re-install XP Home?


C

casey.o

I was given three free computers, which were going to be thrown away.
One had nothing inside the case, except the MB, so that one is only for
parts. Another one I'll be working on, after I get a hard drive for it.
The third one booted right up, and except for a bad CD drive, all the
hardware works fine. I replaced the CD drive.

The OS is XP Home Sp2. It was password protected, but I turned out the
password was the person's name, so I got past that, and immediately
removed the password, since I dont need or want a password.

Upon opening XP, I found it loaded with toolbars, and some idiot program
called Bear Share that kept popping up. It also contained a PCTools
program to scan for malware. I ran that, and found 1041 malware issues,
mostly from those toolbars and that Bear Share program. I let the
(outdated) program remove all malware, and then removed all the
toolbars, and that annoying Bear Share program.

Little by little, I've been going thru and removing all sorts of crappy
programs. An old version of Turbo tax, several large games, numerous
folders that contained programs that had missing .exe files, tons of
temp files, and so on......

When I got it, the 20G hard drive, had 2 partitions, with only 800 megs
available. I now have 15G available.

Anyhow, it's working just fine now, but because of all that malware, I
wonder if I should re-install the OS. I plan to upgrade to Sp3, but
wonder if it's worth it, considering the former condition of the malware
that was on it.

I do have a XP Home SP2 CD.

But that brings up another question. If I do re-install, is there any
way to save some file (which one), so I dont have to re-activate with
MS? I have the registration number and all of that, but I'm on dialup
internet and would prefer to avoid the hassle. Or, would it be better
to just reinstall over the top of what I have now?

XP is pretty new to me, so I'm not sure what to do. I mostly still use
Win98se.

One final question. I downloaded the SP3 upgrade from MS, at a WIFI
spot, the .exe version. But they did not specify if it's for XP Home,
or XP Pro. How do I know which one I got?

Thanks for all help!

- BTW, that Bear Share program was a real bitch to remove, but I finally
killed it, and then ran regedit, and removed every instance of it from
the registry. I assume that program was something used to pirate
illegal software. I'm just glad it's gone.....
 
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B

BillW50

I was given three free computers, which were going to be thrown away.
One had nothing inside the case, except the MB, so that one is only for
parts. Another one I'll be working on, after I get a hard drive for it.
The third one booted right up, and except for a bad CD drive, all the
hardware works fine. I replaced the CD drive.

The OS is XP Home Sp2. It was password protected, but I turned out the
password was the person's name, so I got past that, and immediately
removed the password, since I dont need or want a password.

Upon opening XP, I found it loaded with toolbars, and some idiot program
called Bear Share that kept popping up. It also contained a PCTools
program to scan for malware. I ran that, and found 1041 malware issues,
mostly from those toolbars and that Bear Share program. I let the
(outdated) program remove all malware, and then removed all the
toolbars, and that annoying Bear Share program.

Little by little, I've been going thru and removing all sorts of crappy
programs. An old version of Turbo tax, several large games, numerous
folders that contained programs that had missing .exe files, tons of
temp files, and so on......

When I got it, the 20G hard drive, had 2 partitions, with only 800 megs
available. I now have 15G available.

Anyhow, it's working just fine now, but because of all that malware, I
wonder if I should re-install the OS. I plan to upgrade to Sp3, but
wonder if it's worth it, considering the former condition of the malware
that was on it.

I do have a XP Home SP2 CD.

But that brings up another question. If I do re-install, is there any
way to save some file (which one), so I dont have to re-activate with
MS? I have the registration number and all of that, but I'm on dialup
internet and would prefer to avoid the hassle. Or, would it be better
to just reinstall over the top of what I have now?

XP is pretty new to me, so I'm not sure what to do. I mostly still use
Win98se.

One final question. I downloaded the SP3 upgrade from MS, at a WIFI
spot, the .exe version. But they did not specify if it's for XP Home,
or XP Pro. How do I know which one I got?

Thanks for all help!

- BTW, that Bear Share program was a real bitch to remove, but I finally
killed it, and then ran regedit, and removed every instance of it from
the registry. I assume that program was something used to pirate
illegal software. I'm just glad it's gone.....

Wow! You sound like you did a terrific job cleaning it up. Kudos!
Normally it isn't worth all of that trouble, with all of that mess it is
usually less trouble to install Windows fresh (grab the drivers first
though). And that is what I would do now. But don't get too excited
about XP SP3 yet. As some think that XP SP2 is the most stable. I have
both XP SP2 and SP3 machines and I tend to like SP2 better. But for
most, SP3 isn't too bad.
 
P

Paul

I was given three free computers, which were going to be thrown away.
One had nothing inside the case, except the MB, so that one is only for
parts. Another one I'll be working on, after I get a hard drive for it.
The third one booted right up, and except for a bad CD drive, all the
hardware works fine. I replaced the CD drive.

The OS is XP Home Sp2. It was password protected, but I turned out the
password was the person's name, so I got past that, and immediately
removed the password, since I dont need or want a password.

Upon opening XP, I found it loaded with toolbars, and some idiot program
called Bear Share that kept popping up. It also contained a PCTools
program to scan for malware. I ran that, and found 1041 malware issues,
mostly from those toolbars and that Bear Share program. I let the
(outdated) program remove all malware, and then removed all the
toolbars, and that annoying Bear Share program.

Little by little, I've been going thru and removing all sorts of crappy
programs. An old version of Turbo tax, several large games, numerous
folders that contained programs that had missing .exe files, tons of
temp files, and so on......

When I got it, the 20G hard drive, had 2 partitions, with only 800 megs
available. I now have 15G available.

Anyhow, it's working just fine now, but because of all that malware, I
wonder if I should re-install the OS. I plan to upgrade to Sp3, but
wonder if it's worth it, considering the former condition of the malware
that was on it.

I do have a XP Home SP2 CD.

But that brings up another question. If I do re-install, is there any
way to save some file (which one), so I dont have to re-activate with
MS? I have the registration number and all of that, but I'm on dialup
internet and would prefer to avoid the hassle. Or, would it be better
to just reinstall over the top of what I have now?

XP is pretty new to me, so I'm not sure what to do. I mostly still use
Win98se.

One final question. I downloaded the SP3 upgrade from MS, at a WIFI
spot, the .exe version. But they did not specify if it's for XP Home,
or XP Pro. How do I know which one I got?

Thanks for all help!

- BTW, that Bear Share program was a real bitch to remove, but I finally
killed it, and then ran regedit, and removed every instance of it from
the registry. I assume that program was something used to pirate
illegal software. I'm just glad it's gone.....

The network redistributable for WinXP SP3 is here. In the
System requirement section...

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24

"Supported Operating System

Windows XP Home Edition ,
Windows XP Professional Edition,
Windows XP Service Pack 1, Windows XP Service Pack 2
"

OEM computers (Dell/HP/Gateway/Acer) come with a recovery partition
on the hard drive. That can be used to return the computer to
factory conditions. In addition, early in ownership of the computer,
the owner would be prompted to burn DVD copies of the same (image of
an OS) information. If the hard drive is damaged, the DVDs made can be
used to put a copy of the recovery partition back on the new hard drive.

For computers within warranty period, recovery DVDs with the image on
them, can be obtained from the manufacturer. After that period (roughly
three years), the DVDs can be located on Ebay (perhaps still in an
original bag they were shipped in).

You can install an OS, using the COA on the outside of the machine.
But the activation in that case, is a more normal kind, requiring
the same steps as installing a retail version. I don't have a table
handy, of which type of COA works with which edition. I would guess
for the System Builder OEM I installed on this computer, that's about
the closest thing to a Royalty based OEM version that Dell might use.
I don't know if the COA license key, would work if you installed
a retail version. Maybe it does, but I haven't tested it.

You can certainly back up the existing computer. Or, remove the current
hard drive, and pop in an "expendable" hard drive, and attempt
a test install, to test your theories.

Some info on the various versions. All I can tell you, is you'd match a Home
install with a machine that originally had Home. And a Pro disc with
a machine that had WinXP Pro. I'm not really sure how much the COA
on the machine, cares about whether the install CD was retail, branded (royalty)
OEM, or unbranded (system builder) OEM. You may want to look up info on
what OS the computer had installed originally, in case the WinXP
already on there, wasn't what was on there originally. Maybe the COA
is for Win98 for example, just to make up an absurd case. You'd want
to verify what the COA is for.

http://www.infocellar.com/winxp/oem-recover-retail.htm

I'd just pop in another hard drive, and do a test install and see
what happens.

Also, if you click to activate, and some kind of Internet Explorer
error comes up, you may need to download and install IE8 within
a couple of days, and try again. The last time I reinstalled WinXP
here, I needed to temporarily install IE8, in order to complete
the "click to activate" thing provided. I could then remove IE8
immediately after (and return to IE6). I don't use IE, and don't plan
to promote it either. The only thing I use IE6 for on WinXP, is
for the Windows Update screen. I don't browse with IE6.

Paul
 
P

philo 

I was given three free computers, which were going to be thrown away.
One had nothing inside the case, except the MB, so that one is only for
parts. Another one I'll be working on, after I get a hard drive for it.
The third one booted right up, and except for a bad CD drive, all the
hardware works fine. I replaced the CD drive.

The OS is XP Home Sp2. It was password protected, but I turned out the
password was the person's name, so I got past that, and immediately
removed the password, since I dont need or want a password.



<snip>


If you are sure there is no malware or virus on the machine you may want
to create a new administrative profile, log on to it,. then delete the
old profile and you will have as close to a clean system as you can get
that machine without doing a whole new install.
 
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K

Ken Blake, MVP

I was given three free computers, which were going to be thrown away.
....

Upon opening XP, I found it loaded with toolbars, and some idiot program
called Bear Share that kept popping up. It also contained a PCTools
program to scan for malware. I ran that, and found 1041 malware issues,
mostly from those toolbars and that Bear Share program. I let the
(outdated) program remove all malware, and then removed all the
toolbars, and that annoying Bear Share program.

Little by little, I've been going thru and removing all sorts of crappy
programs.

....


but that brings up another question. If I do re-install, is there any
way to save some file (which one), so I dont have to re-activate with
MS? I have the registration number and all of that, but I'm on dialup
internet and would prefer to avoid the hassle. Or, would it be better
to just reinstall over the top of what I have now?

XP is pretty new to me, so I'm not sure what to do. I mostly still use
Win98se.


If I acquired a used computer, no matter who previously owned it, the
first thing I would do with it would be to reinstall the operating
system cleanly. You have no idea how the computer has been maintained,
what has been installed incorrectly, what is missing, what viruses and
spyware there may be, etc. I wouldn't want to live with somebody
else's mistakes and problems, possibility of kiddy p0rn, etc., and I
wouldn't recommend that anyone else do so either.

Your choice of course, but in my view, you're playing with fire if you
don't reinstall Windows cleanly.
 

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