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Upgrading OS to WinXP from WinME


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Hey guys,


I'm going over to my Uncle's tonight to have a look at his computer and upgrade it to WinXP (he's using WinME right now). It's a Dell and is running like shit. Trouble is, they (he and my cousin) have so much crap running in the background that I'm surprised it can even function properly. He has just informed me that now IE will not open at all.


They probably have adware/spyware running rampant as well...who knows.


I want to wipe the HDD clean before or after the OS upgrade but I want to make sure I go about it right. Can someone quickly walk me through it. The only HDD wiping I've done is on older systems that weren't much of a worry.


I'm also going to visit the 'Spyware HELL' thread and download some good tools for keeping adware at bay.



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When you put the XP CD into the CD-ROM drive, it will give you some options, you want to format the whole computer and install XP. Then I believe it will boot to the DOS prompt and you need to delete the primary partition and create the new one for the new OS. All you have to do is just follow the directions on the screen.


That's about all I can think of, good luck!


EDIT: Then when you get the new OS on there, be sure the first thing you do is install virus protection and do a Windows Update!

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I've also used the WinXp disk's partition manager the same way. First delete existing partitions, then make a new one.


Oh, don't forget the PST for Outlook and write down email account info (I can't remember if that's already in the PST). Warn him about web site passwords. I like to do an "Export Bookmarks" in FireFox, there might be something similar for IE. Also, hook him up with Spybot, AdAware and a firewall.



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Regarding Microsoft mail settings, if he's using Outlook or Outlook Express.


- Backup the address book. Do this from within the client in the Export settings. Saving to a .CSV is the easiest in my experience.


- Backup email by searching for .DBX file (Outlook Express) and .PST files (Outlook). Usually found in C:\Documents and Settings\User*\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities.


To backup favorites for IE it's as easy as going to, C:\Documents and Settings\User*\Favorites


*= Name of account


You'll need to enable hidden files to be shown to see a lot of this and since I've never used Windows ME, some of the names may be a bit different, but at the least, it should give you a place to start :)

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One word of warning - somewhere on the Microsoft website (sorry, I forget where) there is the procedure for exporting the right registry entries for any mail rules he has set up. Because they're held in the reg, if you don't export them first there is no simple way to get them back again from the flat files.


Says someone who kept the whole partition when he upgraded recently rather than just backing up the odd file, and then found he still couldn't recover the mile-long list of blocked senders he'd built up.

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