Usually, the best way to fix a corrupted desktop/notebook is to format it and do a clean re-install. But there’s another way you can try to revive your machine – by creating a new user account and deleting the old one/s.
Over the weekend, my friend came to me with her HP Mini 110-1006 TU – it was running XP. It took ages to load, the internet was slow and her Office 2007 icons were missing. My guess was it was infected with spywares.
To repair it, I tried creating a new user account instead of reformatting.
1. I logged into Safe Mode via the Administrator account and created a new user account.
Steps: Press F8 before the Windows XP screen to get into Safe Mode; select ‘Administrator’; then go to ‘Control Panel’ > ‘User Accounts’ > ‘Create a new account’ > give the account a name > for account type, choose ‘Computer Administrator’ > then click ‘Create Account’.
2. Deleted the other user accounts available – my friend had already backup’d her files.
3. Logged into the new user account and removed all the unnecessary programs using Revo Uninstaller.
4. Ran Spybot Search & Destroy (used the older version – v.1.6) to remove and spyware – found Babylon Search toolbar installed – it was removed.
5. Installed Microsoft Security Essentials and checked for viruses.
6. Ran Windows Update to make sure all the necessary updates are installed.
6. Ran the Free Windows Registry Repair to remove unwanted registries.
7. Cleaned unwanted files using Wise Disk Cleaner.
8. Ran Smart Defrag 2 to defrag the hard drive.
After all that, it was running like new :).
This method could be useful to those who don’t have the installation CD/product key available and don’t want to go through the trouble looking for it.
All this said, as you know, Microsoft will be ending the support for XP on 8th April 2014; you can read details here. I believe some of you might continue to use it for a while more after the expiry. You’ll be doing so at your own risk but at the least, make sure you have all the necessary updates installed and avoid risky internet behaviour like downloading illegal contents, etc.