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Reloading Windows (or other OS)

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  • Reloading Windows (or other OS)

    I was just wondering how often everybody reloads their operating system (I'm just finishing up reformatting and reloading XP). for Windows, I try to reload every 5-6 months, which I've heard recommended quite often, since so much junk builds up over that amount of time (let alone longer then that). for Linux, I only reinstall for upgrades, since there's no need to do so otherwise. It's takes a lot of time and effort to reload Windows and its not fun, but I find it really worth it, I notice a pretty big difference in speed and how smoothly everything runs.

    - David
    Every 5 - 6 months
    Once a year
    Other (specify)

  • #2
    The biggest nightmare in Windows is the registry. Software developers hide so much rubbish in these files that it becomes very cumbersome. Doing a clean install gives a nice clean registry.

    I used to do a "deltree \windows /Y" once a year, but I've been very good at not trying out any new stuff, so my both my Windows PCs have been very stable for the last two years (hence I can't respond to the poll!).

    Regview is very useful for taking snaps of your system before installing software. It allows you to return your system to the state it was in before the software was installed. It also shows you which registry keys were changed, and tells you which files were written to your hard disk (and where they were written).
    Last edited by BigAl; 10-29-2002, 03:37 AM.


    • #3
      I only have a small hard drive so find myself soon filling it up with useless junk, I generally clean install every 3months or so.


      • #4
        I use Norton Utilities to keep everything cleaned up. It checks for registry errors and even compacts the registry along with a number of other tasks.

        I'm running Win98 SE and I've never reloaded the OS.


        • #5
          Windows 2000... Have not had occasion to reload it since I got the machine in January 2000 -- coming up on three years.


          • #6
            I use Norton Ghost to replace my system once windows has finished filling it with useless information - probably do this every 6 months


            • #7
              every 3-4 months .. I have win/me ... but thats probably because I like to checkout lot's of software...
              I have my hard drive partitioned so except for a few files that I need to copy from "C" such as addresses and favorites it's not bad.
              I just did it saturday and was happy to see that a program (irfanview) I had installed on "D" was working fine after... which means I will install more software there and format and recovery will be still easier.


              • #8
                Al - thanks for the link, it looks like an interesting program.

                Rondon - I just noticed the same thing, I keep all my programs on a seperate partition, and I found that they still work without reloading them! that's a big releif since I have a *lot* of programs loaded and it would be a heck of a lot of work to reload it all.

                - David


                • #9
                  If you have a painless means of re-install as Clare mentions its an encouragement to have a regular clear out. Luckily I've got a tape drive so its just a case of starting the image reload and wandering off to the pub.
                  Also I think 2K and XP are more efficient at uninstalling programs than 98 thus leaving less junk in the registry.


                  • #10
                    Like Clare I use Norton Ghost and replace my system every 5-6 months.

                    I made several 'images' of my "C" drive, so that I can go back to different stages of installation and restart from there.

                    Before installing new programs I'm not really sure of, I do the following:

                    1) Run scanreg, (available from Win98 onwards...I think), to back up my Registry before experimenting....

                    2) Install and try the new program, and, if I don't like it....

                    3) ...uninstall it and from native DOS, run scanreg /restore to the previous Reg Backup.

                    These steps take me and my Registry back to where we were before experimenting!

                    Like Rondon I partitioned my hard drive and installed in "D" all the programs which work fine without having to go through Windows' Registry.

                    With that, the dreaded "format C:\" stopped being the nightmare it used to be.....

                    P.S. I use Windows98 SE
                    Last edited by Flora; 10-29-2002, 05:39 PM.


                    • #11
                      I reload every 6 months, but that is due to me trying lots of software and hardware configurations. I'm hoping that my system is now fairly stable (as I've run out of money fror new bits and therefore I'll not load as often.

                      I've also found Windows XP seems to clean up after itself better than most. I used to have all my programs on a D drive with only the operating system on C and it worked fine, until the D died. Another trick is to create a single partition (say E) in which to put your Windows swap space AND nothing else. Make it the maximum and then some. In this way the windows swap file can never fragment - which slows things down immensely.


                      • #12
                        I just bit the bullet and installed XP on my computer. I'm not sure how I like it yet but at least I have my internet connection working


                        • #13
                          well at least I'm sure you'll appreciate the stability of it. a couple tips for XP: If you don't like the default XP theme (I don't) you can switch to the classic style by right clicking the desktop selecting the "Appearance" tab then select "Windows Classic style" from the drop down list. to get better performance, you can get rid of the eye candy effects (things like "mouse shadow" etc.) go to Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance> Adjust visual effects then you can get rid of the things you don't want (to try it out select or deselect an item and click Apply, its faster to change back than if you hit OK. also when you're in the "Adjust visual effects "(Performance Options) window, click on the advanced tab. in the Virtual memory area click "Change". then you can adjust your pagefile (virtual memory) settings. it works best if you set initial size and maximum size to the same thing. also, the best setting to have is twice the amount of ram you have (256MB ram = 512MB pagefile). One of the first things I'd suggest you do since you've got your internet connection going ( ) is install and run your firewall, and download WinXP Service Pack 1, so you have all the security updates (note: its about a 100 MB download!! ) you can get that from

                          hope it's still going well for you!

                          - David


                          • #14
                            Never. I've had mine for about a year or so now running XP and as long as everything works ok and I don't crash alot my philosophy is "If it ain't broke don't fix it."


                            • #15
                              XP is winning me over, today I finally got the sound working again so that mekes me happy. and I'm reinstalling only the important stuff but so far no crashes so that has to be a bonus. thanks David for your advice all advice is appreciated.



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