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Thread: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

  1. #1
    Member Member Tuuvi's Avatar
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    Default My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    My mom's cousin just gave her one of her old desktops, a Dell running Windows Vista Home Basic. She said she deleted all of her old files, user accounts, etc. before giving it to my mom but Windows says the hard drive only has 9 GB left on it. There are no programs to uninstall under add/remove programs and only a few folders and files that can be deleted.

    I decided to factory reset the computer, but when I try to go into repair mode I get a blue screen of death with stop code 0X0000008E (0XC0000005, 0X82A76367, 0X9CFE091C, 0X00000000).

    I want to get all the old junk off of the computer so it will be like new, but I'm having trouble doing a factory reset and I can't access any of the old files or programs. What should I do?

  2. #2

    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    All I can do is highlight the obvious.
    Do you have Admin access?
    Have you checked the box for show/hide files?

    Sorry I can't offer much else...but I do remember a mechanic who saved my butt with the comment: "Are you sure your car is in park?"
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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    Do you have the System Restore discs?
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    Member Member Tuuvi's Avatar
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    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou View Post
    Do you have the System Restore discs?
    I'm afraid not. She said she would give them to us but that's probably not going to happen.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    Have you considered converting it into a Linux box? It's a good solution for older, difficult-to-support hardware.

    You can even bring quite a few of your Steam titles over ...

    If you gave us the exact model number we could probably give you a decent idea of what would run on it.
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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    Do you at least have the activation key? It might be on a sticker attached to the computer. With that, you should be able to use a standard Vista disc to build it from scratch.

    Depending on what it will be used for, going to Linux might be the way to go here.
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    Member Member Tuuvi's Avatar
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    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    I think I might have to convert it to Linux. I don't have the Windows discs and I'm probably not going to be getting them anytime soon.

    I've never used Linux before, how does it differ from Windows and what do I need to know before I install it?

    Thanks for the help guys.

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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    I still recommend Linux Mint. If you've never used Linux before, there's always going to be a bit of an adjustment period. But Mint is, in my opinion, the most user-friendly for people coming from Windows.

    The only choice you have to make is whether you want to use the Cinnamon or MATE desktops. Cinnamon is "newer" and a little flashier, so you might want to start there. You also have to pick between 32 bit and 64 bit versions. If you don't know which to pick, pick 32bit.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuuvi View Post
    My mom's cousin just gave her one of her old desktops, a Dell running Windows Vista Home Basic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuuvi View Post
    I think I might have to convert it to Linux.
    You might want to post the specs of that old desktop before going any further.

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    The Red-titled Forum Administrator Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    If you got the Windows Serial Code, I believe you can access it via your system, get a copy of Vista home, and just do a reformat of the entire thing.
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    Member Member Tuuvi's Avatar
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    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    Quote Originally Posted by asai View Post
    You might want to post the specs of that old desktop before going any further.
    Intel dual core 2160 @ 1.80 GHz, 3 GB RAM, ATI Radeon x1300/X1550 series graphics card.
    Last edited by Tuuvi; 07-29-2013 at 00:57.

  12. #12

    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    Vista must have been horribly slow on that, even from a clean install and any newer version of windows won't be much better.

    It will be a suitable system for a GNU/Linux system, but before you go down this route you should work out exactly what it is your mum needs to run on it. If it's just for web browsing then that's not a problem, but if there are some specific programs that would be required then you should research this before proceeding.

    I would advise against gnome (and cinnamon which is a fork of gnome-shell) and KDE which are both on the heavy side.

    The graphics should be ok, but don't waste time on the proprietary video driver as that GPU is unsupported. The FOSS driver (included in the Linux kernel) does support it.

    I can't make any specific recommendation as I don't use or know much about the "easy" debian based distros (ubuntu, mint, etc). Just go with what others have said and give mint a try.

    My preference would be for XFCE over Mate, but YMMV.

    http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: My mom was just given a used computer, and I'm having trouble resetting it

    Quote Originally Posted by asai View Post
    Vista must have been horribly slow on that, even from a clean install and any newer version of windows won't be much better.
    FWIW, I run Windows7 on some single core Celeron laptops and it's pretty smooth. The only part that stutters is full-screen video from youtube and whatnot. I would expect a dual core from the same generation to form a little better if anything. The biggest improvement was going from 1GB (which was still usable) to 3GB of RAM in my case.

    I find Windows7 isn't very happy until it has at least 2GB of RAM....

    But for Tuuvi, I'd give Mint a whirl. The only thing it will cost you is the price of a DVD-R, which isn't much in this day and age.
    Last edited by Xiahou; 07-29-2013 at 17:28.
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