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hey there, my friend from work who knows nothing about computers gave me his computer (I know a few things) to clean up because it was performing extremely slow. I did basic things such as defragmenting and disk clean up. still runs slow so I recommended a reformatting of vista. He has a Sony Vaio lap top. Is reformatting the hard drive and reformatting vista the same thing? Also he doesnt have a copy of the vista install cd so how can i do it?
 

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Take your time and try not to do anything drastic e.g. reformatting will remove OS + applications + data and you will have to reload OS, reinstall applications and recover data from backup!
Couple of things to consider:
(a) you need to provide some detail about the laptop e.g. RAM, HDD size, space on HDD.
(b) check Task Manager to see what is taking up resources - ? Don't forget to hit the box at the bottom of the Processes tab that says "Show processes from all users".
(c) check what security programs are running and make sure there are just the minimum needed.
(d) when you ran Disc Cleanup did you delete all but the last System Restore point?
(e) does he have any Sony Restore discs OR a recovery partition?
(f) does laptop have all windows service packs for Vista and updates installed?
 
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