Starting From Scratch

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jchstocker
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Starting From Scratch

Post by jchstocker » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:19 am

Putting the end of the story first, I have been using computers since the early '70's. I am reasonably proficient in using them but never had the time to go "deeper" than "Pressing the start button", doing what I had to do, and calling the IT guy to sort out any problems. In passing, I have always used HP machines for no other reason except that I am a creature of habit. Finally I am a Marine Engineer by training and profession and so an technically minded, and have decided to retire (at last says my wife and kids!).

Why am I telling you this? Because I have just spent about US$150 to have an IT professional sort out a problem on my machine and it still is not right. With nothing else to do with my life - except enjoy it! - I have decided that it is high time I understood the workings of my computer.

I have a "HP Touchsmart PC" which is about 2 years old and has given me good service until now. It has a 313 Gig Seagate Hard Drive (SATA) and 3 Gig RAM. The OS is Windows Vista Home Premium SP2. I have decided that I would like to format the hard drive, get rid of everything, and re-load it with Windows 7 and the minimum peripherals (if that is the correct terminology!) required to ensure correct functioning of the machine. (With all due respect to HP, they load their machines with a whole lot of c**p that is never used, surplus to requirements and occupies space!)

Can anyone give me a step-by-step procedure of how I go about doing this and/or recommend a book I could buy /website I could visit were I could get this information?

Thanks in advance and all the best

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Apoptosis
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Re: Starting From Scratch

Post by Apoptosis » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:01 am

If you purchase a copy of Windows 7 64-bit (don't bother with any 32-bit stuff) you'll be able to do a clean install without any bloatware, which is the software that companies like HP get paid to put on your system. We've done a few guides for that here over the years and it's a simple process that takes less than half an hour. You basically just follow the install prompts (making sure you format the drive along the way) and install the new operating system. After the operating system is installed you need to make sure that all your drivers are updated. HP should have a web page that has support drivers for the HP Touchsmart PC model that you currently own. You might want to go there now and make sure they have Windows 7 drivers for your model. At the end of the day you'll be spending less that you spent with an IT guy and have a newer and better OS with a clean install.

Here are some guides here on LR that might help that show you the install process.

How to install Windows 7 on a HTPC: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1300/1/
How to install Windows Vista: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/454/1/
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jchstocker
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Re: Starting From Scratch

Post by jchstocker » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:56 am

Apoptosis,

Thanks for your swift response! I wish my IT guys in the past could have been so quick!
I haven't yet bought Windows 7 but thanks for the tip - not that I know the operational difference between 32 or 64 bit, but I'll find out!

Thanks Again and all the best

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KnightRid
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Re: Starting From Scratch

Post by KnightRid » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:02 am

One more thing to consider is Windows 8 will be releasing this year (supposedly anyway but all markers point to it).

Next thing to consider are the drivers. A lot of the premade computers come with the drivers already installed and a lot of them do not install from Windows Update so you have to get them manually from the manufacturer's website. This can be a little intimidating for a person doing this for the first time but people here should be able to help if you run into any problems.

I will disagree a little with Apoptosis and tell you to check your Vista to see if it is 32 or 64 bit. If it is 64 bit, then get 64 bit windows 7 but if it is 32 bit, do some research to make sure all the touch functions on your screen will work in 64 bit.

Installing Windows is the very simple as it guides you through the whole process so do not fear that part :)

If by weird chance you are around South Central PA, I will be more than glad to help you out in person.
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