Rebuilding a PC after a crash...

My computer done died on me and I’m now in the process of rebuilding it.

The whole thing… gone, crapped out, friggin’ freeked and freelied on me.

Not much I can do but think about the days it had everything I wanted on it at the ready. Oh well. Onward and upward.

My questions to those in the know, or have an opinion- Is there a ‘best’ way to go about rebuilding the PC? I.e., I already learned that putting downloaded compressed folders into a seperate folder is a good idea (You can save the originals, patches, etc. for easy back-up on disk or floppy) and frequent defrags are good after junking out the crap (AOL, Prodigy, etc.) that comes with the original system, but am I missing something that others recommend doing?

I’d like this process to be less painfull in the future by taking precautions now, and not later.


Try to get to know somebody who sells computer hardware, and/or one who can assemble systems. I happen to have a brother whose business is wholesale and retail computer hardware, it’s come in handy when I needed to rebuild or add on to my system. I’m on about my fifth now, nearly all of the parts have come from him at one time or another. My computer partially died about a year ago. I think it overheated or something, wiped out the motherboard, CPU and keyboard. I recently had the on-board modem on my current motherboard die too.

As for taking precautions, I’d recommend investing in some sort of removable hard drive (e.g. Iomega’s ZIP drive). A few of these things are much easier to store than a bunch of floppies.

My best tip is to copy the OS from the CD to a folder on your hard drive, after reformatting, but before installing, then installing from there.

It’s the Win98 (or Win95) folder on the CD.

That way, you don’t have to go find the CD every time you install something or change a setting. The install will go much faster too.

Full details of the procedure, if needed, on request. Have fun!

Ohh, it’s been fun, let me tell ya!

I’m without sound but working on it.


I can’t even tell what type of computer it is.

But it never happens like what you say, one part maybe but not the whole thing. If its the whole thing then maybe its just the power supply.

I’m almost there. Still tweaking and adjusting. The problem? It’s taken about twelve hours off and on getting it back to where I had it- minus about three gigs of music, resumes, long lost patches and fixes, etc. etc…

Anyrate, I should have been more specific in the OP-
NEC Intel 450 running Win 98 w/256 ram.

This was more of an open question about what I should do now as opposed to later. That is, should I partition all the downloaded stuff onto a secondary partition? The OS on one and the data on another? Is there a good program that will work better than the restore CD? All that and more…

It really ticks me off because I knew what the problem was but couldn’t get to it. I’m an idiot when it comes to DOS commands and functions. Had I known, all this probably could have been avoided. I guess that leads to another question- How and where can you learn the basic and even extended DOS functions and commands? Are they even needed with the newer DOS inabled OS’s?

I don’t know, it’s all kinda moot now the closer I get to having it back to normal. What I was getting at was a way to make this whole process somewhat less traumatic. Well there’s another question that just came up- Would having a second hard drive have possibly avoided all this by keeping an updated copy on both drives?

I’m leaving before I can think of more questions.

Before someone asks, the problem was a conflict in the auto exec.bat or win.ini file. It froze long before I could access windows, even in safe mode. No amount of tinkering could get any part of windows to fire.

As a last resort I took it in to get checked out and restored with the data intact, they could do it, but it at a cost of $200.00 out of the gate, without a guarantee.

I didn’t feel like gambling with that kinda cash.

Well, next time, Boot to DOS (seems thats all you can do anyway) type at the prompt: scandisk /restore

Load a older registry & youre all set. It all takes about 30 seconds & this always works to restore a system for me.

I make it a policy of partitioning the boot disk into two partitions; use the first partition ONLY for the OS, and make it small enough so that you can back it up to a CD using Ghost or some other imaging program (although I understand that some have the ability to use images scattered across several disks). This way if your OS get corrupted (which is what usually happens) you just need to restore that one partition rather than the entire machine.