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- Rebuilding Your PC -

Although the phrase "rebuild PC" might sound like we are going to replace parts with newer ones, the "rebuilding" process seldom involves replacing any hardware at all. Instead, the term refers to the process of totally reinstalling your operating system, drivers, etc. to eliminate problems causing your pc to perform poorly (including malware).

Most experts in the computer support industry recommend that your have this process done at least once every 18 months or so, even if you have not seen any signs of viruses or other types of malware. If you've had your computer for more than a couple of years, you probably don't remember how fast it was when you first set it up, but I can assure you the rebuild process will have a significant effect on the computer's speed. If you have seen signs of virus or malware contamination, the only way to actually clean these contaminates is a total system rebuild. You might see or hear ads on radio and TV claiming to be able to clean up your pc and make it lightning fast again, but they are simply trying to take your money. Even if you take your PC to a major retail store to have the contaminates removed, they cannot guarantee you the computer is totally cleaned. You might take your PC to the store and leave it a week or more, then pick it up after paying the $80 or more, only to find out a few days later the same malware is still on your machine! And the retailer will not fix it again for free since they cannot guarantee their work....

The ONLY way anyone could guarantee you they have actually cleaned all malware from your computer is if they know how each and every malware program that has ever been released was written and what files on every computer have been compromised. And this is not possible since there are now almost 500 new malware programs appearing every month, which means there will be over 6,000 NEW ones in the next 12 months! Even if there had never been a malware program produced before today (which of course, is not true), it would still be impossible to manage the 6,000 that will appear over the next year.

If you want to be absolutely certain all malware is removed from your computer, it simply must be totally rebuilt. After all the steps in this process are completed, your computer will perform at least as well as it did when it was brand new, and probably better!

Here are the BASIC steps involved in this process:

  • Backup your data

  • Erase and reformat your hard drive

  • Copy and reinstall your Windows operating system

  • Reinstall your hardware drivers

  • Download and install all Microsoft critical updates

  • Reinstall your programs

  • Restore your data

  • Install common utilities such as Acrobat, Flash, etc.

  • Defragment your hard drive

Although this process sounds relatively simple and straight forward, it can take over 3 hours to complete and involves many more detailed steps not included in the above list. Click here to see a complete list of the entire process.


Data files are files that contain information or content created by you or another user of that computer. These types of files include documents, letters, spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations, adobe acrobat documents, Quickbooks or Quicken data, pictures, emails, contact lists, music, etc. These files can be backed up and restored after the PC is rebuilt. (Note: the only way you can be GUARANTEED none of your data will be lost is to back it up yourself!)

Conversely, program files are files that your computer uses to actually run an application, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Quickbooks, Quicken, etc. All of these types of programs must be reinstalled using the original disks! If you do not have these disks, the program simply cannot be reinstalled. It is not possible to copy these types of program from your computer before it is erased since the install process writes lots of technical information to your system registry and deposits dozens or even hundreds of special program files in various folders throughout your computer.

Once the rebuild process is complete and the computer is returned to your office, it will take approximately one hour to rejoin your network, install all printers, etc. This process will be much quicker if you have the printer disks handy...

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