hmmm
well truth be told its what I do when I have no idea how  to fix something.
I had it lucky though for a while was easy to do and I have backups of 
everything.
Since I have not heard an issue where sertain files are not accepted on other 
drives, of a user's system, etc then there are 2 avenues the user error which 
could be probably the case where they don't have the right tools for the job 
then actual computer error.
If such an error it could be a virus, or a program or something.
In some cases where for example its a long process to reformat I try to solve 
the issue issues like this have happened to sapi which with another system I 
resolved though it did take a while.
In the other case with a recorder the  system did something weird during 
install and it didn't work unless I fiddled with it some got it working semi ok 
but then after updating it realising I didn't need the update or lost some 
function I uninstalled it again.
and the same issue.
The recorder in question has never worked properly so I have a replacement.
However if I ever want to get another recorder like that again I will probably 
have to reformat.
however for now as long as I don't lose both recorders the latter of which does 
not need software at all I should be ok.
In most cases when I do maintain a system in particular those which little kids 
and those that go all over the net the first thing I do is reformat.
this gets rid of any viruses and wastes less time in the fact I know that It 
can take me a couple days to a week to reinstall rather than take an unknown 
ammount of time to fix another issue.
this was the case in my uncle's system.
a good reformat fixed that.
But being a del and the fact loads of visual work had to take place before I 
could use it the second time round I had to take the long road.
The basic issues were fixed, that of the updating, cleaning and spyware and 
virus removal.
in fact this was all done in 2 hours.
it took me 3 days to trouplechute and fix issues that the system did not run 
right with some drive display issues.
On that note I have been spoilt with the fact that on my previous system if 
something went wrong all I did on my old system was put in a disk, and push 3 
keys at startup.
the system was reformatted and nothing was really wrong until it crashed again 
naturally I have been spoilt.
If I find any unknown issue that I can't find the solution about I generally 
solve first and research later depending on when the system is needed by.
So a reformat is always what happens, and if I can find a way to prevent other 
issues I put it into practice.
though, I have had instances, one where myself I did not have the right app 
loaded, and took it for granted that i had the right settings and never checked 
I did or not.
I put up with the issue, and when it went I reformatted.
that was until by chance I manually envoked the settings  to fix the issue 
found that the program was on my drive and I had not loaded it or set it up.
the other issue was when I tested some scripts and found bugs.
However it took a long time searching for them, and reporting the issue was a 
snap.
I have also got my share of worms in the past.
Thankfully with this newish system although I have had my share of klango and 
system lockups, screen reader crashes mostly on the net, etc I havn't had any 
real issue.
 7/01/2010, you wrote:
>Sean, out of interest why do you suggest reformatting as the answer to any 
>computer related tech support question?
>
>Appologies for seeming abrupt, but it just seems someone mentions some slight 
>problem, ---- which might be as much a case of a user not yet knowing the ins 
>and outs of how to work things, and you instantly suggest reformatting, ---- 
>even before we know what the problem is.
>
>This seems a little to me like suggesting someone bulldose their house down 
>when they say their front door is stuck.
>
>Of course, there are circumstances were reformmatting is necessary, --- but as 
>a last response, not a first.
>
>appologies for the comment, it just seems that whenever someone brings up a 
>technical question of any type your answer is "reformat" and we always have 
>this discussion.
>
>Beware the grue!
>
>Dark. 
>
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