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Thread: Can someone please give me some PC advice?




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    8

    Default Can someone please give me some PC advice?

    Ok, i'm new to these forums, so hello everyone!
    Firstly I just wanted to say I am abit of a nOOb when its comes to PC's (not sure if thats the right term or not!) so I apologise if I dont understand your replies etc, but I could really do with some advice for my PC.
    Heres what I have:-
    Shuttle SK41G with Windows XP Proffessional Service Pack 2
    1,024MB or RAM (2 x 512MB sticks)
    Nvidia Geforce 5200
    Realtek on board sound.
    80GB hard drive
    DVD-R drive
    USB Multi Card Reader (installed internally)
    I am not sure if you need to know anymore info, but if you do please ask and i'll try and find out!
    Recently I have been getting the 'blue screen of death' with the words "BAD_POOL_HEADER" - it only happens very intermitently though. Also, Windows seems to be unable to download the Office Service Pack 1 & 2 updates either :( Plus I have only just managed to get rid of an annoying worm virus (at least I hope I have) from my PC
    Anyway, all this has made me decide to try and reformat my PC - but I have NEVER reformatted a PC - the PC that I have was built for me by a family member so I abit abit clueless.

    Firstly I would like to run a good memory test to check if my RAM is ok before I reformat, and I heard about MEMTEST86. I have dowloaded the Winzip file from there website and inside it is a Winrar file - but I have absolutely no idea what to do with it! So any advice on that front would be great (how to use it/burn it etc)

    Next if anyone has a link to a step-by-step guide to reformatting that goes into detail how its done I would really appreciate it (I googled for one but couldnt find any good ones that I completely understood)

    Lastly - and heres the big problem with me reformatting - my Hard Drive is allocated as the "F" drive with my DVD Drive as the "C" drive and the others used for the USB card reader drive. This was not by choice though - the person who made the PC did not realise that if he installed the card reader before the OS that the hard drive would allocated itself as "F" if that makes sense, here is a link to the shuttle webiste which kind of explains it better:-
    http://www.shuttle.com/share/fae/hq/...0C%20drive.htm
    but as you can see this can only be done before the OS is installed - another reason that I want to reformat. Thing is, I have this feeling that because the hard drive is assigned to "F" it is going to make thing complicated - especially for someone like me who has never performed a reformat before. I would like to make the hard drive the "C" drive after reformatting, so what I guess I have to do is diconnect the USB card reader internally, then reformat, then reconnect the USB card reader. But will Windows know to delete the "F" partition of the hard drive, and then create a new "C" partition by itself? and will the DVD drive affect which drive it chooses, as that is currently allocated as the "C" drive! What steps do I need to take to make sure it all goes well?
    Any help you guys and gals can give me will be much appreciated.
    Cheers in advance
    raptor83
    Last edited by raptor83; 11-03-2005 at 12:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
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    4,543

    Default Re: Can someone please give me some PC advice?

    You mean you don't know what to do with the Winrar file? Open it with Winrar... Inside, there should be a program that will let you make a floppy boot disk.
    Quote Originally Posted by raptor83
    Next if anyone has a link to a step-by-step guide to reformatting that goes into detail how its done I would really appreciate it (I googled for one but couldnt find any good ones that I completely understood)
    Did you try the front page of TweakTown? This is almost too ironic, that I just wrote that guide for the very purpose of helping people like yourself that come here. Hopefully, you'll be able to understand it.

    All that nonsense with your drive assignments won't matter because when you reformat they will all get reassigned, with the Windows hard drive as C.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    8

    Default Re: Can someone please give me some PC advice?

    Hi thanks for your speedy reply!
    That guide looks fantastic, i'm sorry I didnt see it as I didnt come by the front door. I have had a quick glance and it looks to be exactly what I was looking for I will have a deeper read ain a minute... many thanks :)
    About the drives being re-assigned - am I correct in assuming that all I have to do is diconnect the USB card reader before reformatting? and that should make windows install to "C" and reassign the DVD drive as "D"?
    Lastly, I opened the MemTest86 WinRar folder and it just appears to be a folder that links to all the items on my desktop?!? I dont have a floppy drive unfortunately, so is there anyway to make a bootable CD for it? (If so please tell me how or point me in the right direction) and also, is Memtest86 safe to use (wont corrupt windows etc)? So all I would have to do is just run the CD and it would check for problems? Sorry if I sound daft...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Minnesota, United States
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    Default Re: Can someone please give me some PC advice?

    Yeah, just take the reader out and it should be fine.

    http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
    Choose the zipped ISO and burn it with practically any CD burning software.

    The worst memtest will do is cause the computer to crash (only if the RAM is really bad), and even then it won't hurt anything because your hard drives won't be running.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Can someone please give me some PC advice?

    Hi again many thanks or all your help - its good to know there are people out there like you willing to spend there time helping others :)
    I managed to Run Memtest thanks to your help, and apparently my RAM is just fine.
    I just have one more query if you could help me at all. I have recently purchased an 80GB external HDD to backup all those un-replacable files to in case the worst ever happens. The only thing is though, I could do with an easy method of backing up the files other than indiviually dragging and copying each one - i'm sure there must be an easier way. Is there any program that would allow me select and save all the directories I want copied, and then with one click copy them all whenever I want? I tried using the Windows Backup utility but it only allows you to save the files as a "backup" file as far as I can tell - whereas I just want the complete files saved as they are. Also, it doesnt seem to store the directories, so I would have to select each one everytime which is not very convenient, so is there an easier way? Many thanks once again :)

  6. #6
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    Nov 2003
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    Default Re: Can someone please give me some PC advice?

    Not that I know of. You should be able to just highlight and drag them all the the removable drive, if they're in the same subdirectories. Otherwise, you'll have to manually click all of the directories you want to copy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    brooklyn, NY
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    Post Re: Can someone please give me some PC advice?

    if you do that make sure you include the hidden files
    Last edited by rorland; 11-12-2005 at 06:24 AM.

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