Taking out the "bad", replacing with the good

I've had my computer for give-or-take 4 years now and behaved properly until the past 6-months. I got a root virus about a year ago. I'm sure you're familiar with the "your computer has a virus and you must pay for this particular software to rid it," yeah....that annoying thing. Anyway, i paid a repair person about $100 to delete it and get my computer back going and it did fine for a couple months then began to slow. Now when i boot it from off it seems to take 7-10 min. for it to load all of the operating system and programs then when i attempt to load World of Warcraft (yep, I'm a gamer) it takes a few more minutes to give me a load screen.

So, being on a limited budget at the moment, I just can't up and buy/attempt to build a new system even though i do have to play the game on the lowest graphics setting. Still I can play it adequately.

What I think i should do is wipe the drive clean, reformat (if that's something that still needs to be done to drives), whatever i would need to do after that to have a like new surface to reload the machine to a factory new condition.

These are my thoughts. I haven't really delved into computers other than turning them on and playing a game in 15 years or so. Hence my need to a bit of guidance in the process and what software you would recommend to "recondition" my drive to like new status without paying a "professional" hundreds of dollars to do so for me.

Like i said World of Warcraft and the internet are my computer's primary reasons for existing...with all of the downloads and patches I've spent hours and hours extracting from the net for the game is there any way for me to pull the game and patches off of my drive first to an external drive (i have one new in box waiting for a use i haven't found for it yet).

And do I need to make any type of start-up disc before erasing the drive to give my computer something to boot up with initially. Like i said I'm certainly not an educated computer person but do remember one or two important things when i did think i knew a little about operating systems in the DOS days.

Hopefully a few of you well educated folks would be willing to spend 10 minutes and give me the old one-two on what i should do to make this old machine sing with the speed it once had.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you could offer.

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More about taking replacing good
  1. Turn of sytem restore, create a new user log in as the new user then run http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx
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