hi my step son recently deleted some things on my computer to make it go faster (big mistake on my part) and since then i have had no sound i went and followed instructions to re do them through my computers trouble shooting but it ended up saying no somekind of device found, well, then he supposedly redid the sound but only some things work my daughters games dont work so i figured i would just do a system recovery and start with a new computer again but now it wont let me do that my step son says it wont let me redo it because it cant find the windows xp and i dont have the cd i think the computer came with it but im not sure my biggest mistake was letting him do anything to my computer and now im afraid my whole computer is screwed up can someone please help me sort this huge mess out thank you so much as you can probably tell i have no knowledge of computers at all

I'll say this up front: Given that your step son is obviously a bit out of his element, you'll need to find someone more qualified if it turns out that you need some in-person help with this. If you let your step son continue to "assist" you, he could make things a lot worse (although I'm sure he means well).

Assuming that you can at least get Windows to boot, there are two pretty straightforward things you try which might undo the damage without requiring the Windows disk or other extra software. Please note that, depending on exactly what your step son altered, neither of these methods may work. They should not, however, make things any worse.

Return the computer to its "Last Known Good" configuration:

  • Restart your computer
  • Immediately after the computer starts up (well before the Windows logo/icon appears), start tapping the F8 key continuously.
  • A menu, with white text on a black background, should appear.
  • Use the Up/Down arrow keys on the keyboard to hilight the option labelled "Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)"
  • Hit the Enter key and let the computer continue booting.

If #1 doesn't work:

Perform a System Restore:

* Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click System Restore. On the resulting "Welcome" page, there should be two options:
- Restore my computer to an earlier time
- Create a restore point

* Click Restore my computer to an earlier time and click Next. A calendar appears.

* In the calendar, choose which Restore Point to roll your system back to. The key here is to pick a date which you know to be prior to the date on which your step son worked on your computer; possible dates which you can restore back to will be indicated in bold.

* Click Next. You should be prompted to close all applications before completing the Restore process.

* Click Next again. The computer will then restart automatically.

* When the computer reboots, Windows should load and display a confirmation of the restore operation. Click OK to continue.

If neither of the above procedures works, please give us the full and exact details of any error messages you may have received, or of any other problems you encountered.