Reimaging is the process of replacing your current Hard Drive with an identical one which contains the latest drivers and programs.  It will solve all software problems.  Your personal documents naturally will not be on the new drive. Before reimaging, you should copy all of your documents to CD's, a USB jump drive, a Flash Card or external Hard Drive so you have a permanent copy.  

The reimaging process takes Mr. Hotz less than a minute. You must then follow directions (available in room 121) to assign your name to the laptop which will take you about 10 minutes and must be done in IHA.  The laptop should work fine without doing these steps, HOWEVER name conflicts will arise on the network you will eventually be banned.


Your laptop should be firmly velcroed in your case at all times.  Even the process of putting a "naked" laptop on a desk or table can corrupt files on the hard drive by scratching the disk platter. Laptops without cases will be banned from the IHA network.

If you wish to avoid getting reimaged, the following steps will help get rid of pop-up ads, smut, and speed up your computer. Most problems are a result of unintentionally downloading applications and spyware. These applications usually start every time your computer starts, using up computer resources or sending information back to the sites they came from. Never run an .exe file unless you're sure it will install something that you want.

You can reduce the number of programs which start when your computer starts up.  Click Start - Run - type msconfig - OK.  Choose the startup TAB.  Any program that is checked will run by default when the computer starts.  In general, the laptop needs the first 15 or 20 programs, do not uncheck them. On the bottom half of the list, you may uncheck programs that you do not need.  This will not delete the programs.  You can run them when you need them using Start - All Programs. Thus you can uncheck AOL, AOL Companion, BearShare, KaZaa, ShowBehind, msmsgs (MS Messenger), and other names which infer ads or downloading.

Windows Update
You should periodically check to see if Microsoft has updated any Windows components.  This is easily done in Internet Explorer by clicking Tools - Windows Update.  The website will scan your computer to see what can be updated. All critical updates should be installed.  You may need to repeat this process several times to get all critical updates. You will be protected from most known worms.  Non-critical updates are optional.

System Restore
You can go back in time!  The System Restore feature allows you to undo changes that were made to your computer after a certain date.  Thus if your computer started misbehaving last week, you may be able to restore it to the condition it was in 2 weeks ago.  Your laptop should have created "restore points" whenever a new program was added.  This will not remove docs, pics, music files, etc. - just programs (registry changes, desktop, etc.).
Click Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Restore
Restore my computer to an earlier time - Next.  All bold Calendar dates have a possible restore point.