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Old 01-23-2020, 02:49 PM   #19
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,729

So, in the end, I decided to do a Win8.1 "Refresh" (via winkey+I (gives you PC settings) > Change Settings > Update&Recovery > Recovery > Refresh) which leaves any WinUserIds you created and (at least some) of your settings but deletes (oddly actually) any user installed software.

The process has you insert your Win8.1 CD (fortunately, I'd also ebay'd 2 of those--the laptop did not come with one) and away it goes. The initial process takes 3-4 minutes, then the system reboots (let the CD prompt go by) and a number of different message display ("preparing to refesh", refresh status display, etc.), reboots again and eventually you are back in the desktop for the userid where you started the process (I have 3 users defined). The entire process took maybe 15-20minutes and I left the ethernet cable plugged in until the desktop appeared and then pulled the plug because I wasn't sure if my Windows Update settings (never update) had been preserved--they had--but I don't want to allow the laptop online access until I get this further sorted.

After installing Classic Shell and importing my settings for both CS Start Menu and CS Explorer, with fingers crossed I tried to install Reader 10....

It worked!!!!!

I need to tidy things up a bit because while any user software was supposed to be uninstalled, the software files were in my user software folder and I'm not sure what might be left scattered here and there. Once I get that checked out and tidied, I'll install Firefox and proceed with reestablishing stuff. The Refresh process does make a list of uninstalled software--it's an HTML file on the desktop. I also need to go through all the settings to see what got reset and, of course, fiddle with the fonts before I go blind...

According to Device Manager, there are a few missing drivers (and some Microsoft default ones that might have an HP version) which I think I've found and need to get back into the system but I think I may try and install Macrium Reflect Free and do a drive image before I muck with any drivers...

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