Windows reinstall often the only way


June 19, 2008|By Bill Husted | Bill Husted,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

You recently said that, at times, a person needs to reinstall Windows. It seemed like a very drastic step, but it now seems it must be done. All suggested critical updates from Microsoft were installed on my computer hoping to correct the operating system. The computer runs slowly; I'm unable to clear AOL cache; defrag is unable to increase capacity.

- Ellen Hare

It is drastic. But at times it's the only sensible way to go. If you decide to give it a shot, make sure you understand all steps in advance. You can find them in many computer books or by using Google on the Web. But, in brief:

*Make sure you've saved all data that you've created.

*Make sure you have all the installation discs (and any codes needed to install them). You'll be reinstalling the programs from the discs, not from the backup.

*Make sure you have a copy of Windows, obviously.

*When you're sure you know what to do, format the disk.

*Install Windows.

*Install your programs from discs.

*Copy the data you saved - documents, pictures, taxes, etc. - back to the disk.

I have a large antenna on a rotator in my attic. The HD picture is usually terrific. The exception is due to multipath distortion caused by reflection of the signal from aircraft, rain squalls and sometimes autos. When multipath is present, the TV cannot process the digital signal because of the time delay between the different paths, so the picture and sound drop out, sometimes for 10 to 20 seconds. If I'm careful aiming the antenna, the multipath effect can be reduced but not eliminated. Directions to aim the antenna for different stations can be found at If your readers try HDTV with an antenna, they should buy a model that has good multipath rejection. A rotator may be necessary in the metro area to point the antenna toward the transmitter, maximizing the strength of the direct signal and making it easier for the TV to deal with the weaker multipath signals.

- Art Bowling

You're absolutely right, but you're a physics professor so I'm not surprised. Here's a Web site that goes into further detail about multipath rejection toward the bottom of the page: 1373792.html.

Bill Husted writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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