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Old 09-12-2010, 07:14 PM   #1
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Default Totally Lost Newbee

Hi everyone,
I wondering if someone could give me some direction as to how I can wipe my hdd on an old Dell computer I have, so as I can safely sell it??
I am very computer illiterate when it comes to installing operating systems and the like ,so be gentle.
The Dell is a Dimension 4600 desktop. I tried downloading Dban but could not get it to run. After much frustration I did manage to reinstall XP which seems to have overwritten the previous installation but I'm not even 100% sure of that as on boot up it asks me to select between 2 versions of windows XP??
XP seems to be running in a safe type mode where everything on the screen is large.
The start up disc I have is from 2004,so i assume If I do get it to run properly I should get it online again and update/upgrade XP??
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated,Cheers.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Totally Lost Newbee

Welcome to CF!

Quote:
Originally Posted by connchap View Post
I tried downloading Dban but could not get it to run.
Were you getting any error messages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by connchap View Post
After much frustration I did manage to reinstall XP which seems to have overwritten the previous installation but I'm not even 100% sure of that as on boot up it asks me to select between 2 versions of windows XP??
What two versions? You literally see:
"
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows XP
"
?

Quote:
Originally Posted by connchap View Post
XP seems to be running in a safe type mode where everything on the screen is large.
If you don't see "Safe Mode" in each corner, then the funky display is simply because you haven't installed the video drivers on it yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by connchap View Post
The start up disc I have is from 2004,so i assume If I do get it to run properly I should get it online again and update/upgrade XP??
Yes, run the updates until you're all up to date.


Additional content: While you may have formatted the drive when you reinstalled XP, your information from the previous install is still on the drive. Your average computer user won't be able to recover this data, but it is possible. If you're completely paranoid, then you can download Sdelete and run that. There are directions on that page on how to erase the data on free space. If that page doesn't make sense, post back.

To fix the issue of two options during Startup, I would again install Windows XP, but this time, delete the logical partition, then create another logical partition to completely remove the installations on the Master Boot Record. I'm a little rusty on XP installations, but when you install, it will give you the option as to what harddrive you want to install XP on. You can press...L I think... to delete the partition, it will ask you a few times to make sure that you know what you're doing. Then it'll take you back to the screen with the harddrives listed and instead of Partition C: you'll just see Unallocated space. Select the Unallocated space to make a new partition, use the entire space, and then continue installing Windows once again. This will remove the two options that you see when you boot up.

And finally, for the drivers, see here.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Totally Lost Newbee

Wow, thanks for the speedy reply,yes I get a message on the boot up screen to select Windows XP twice, as you have written it.
I think I may have a disc for the video driver somewhere.
The other problem I have is that the 2004 version doesn,t seem to have a set up for a broadband connection only dial up,so i am not sure how i am going to get it to update???
The partition thing may test me a bit but I'll give it a go.
I will tinker with it again and let you know,Thanks heaps for your tips, Cheers!!
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Totally Lost Newbee

Quote:
Originally Posted by connchap View Post
I think I may have a disc for the video driver somewhere.
The other problem I have is that the 2004 version doesn,t seem to have a set up for a broadband connection only dial up,so i am not sure how i am going to get it to update???
If you have the disc for the video drivers then great, use that. Otherwise, you'll need to know exactly which Video card you have as on the Dell Website I linked, it looks like that model of system has just about every possible video card manufacturer so 'experimenting' with the drivers is not recommended. However, Windows will tell you that the drivers are not meant for that card if you install the wrong ones...usually

For the internet drivers, on that link I provided, download and install the last driver in the list under the Network category.
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