+ 1 Votes As Needed TheChas 2 years ago I perform a clean install of Windows "as needed". If I update hardware, I am more apt to perform a clean install rather than deal with the driver issues. Also, if Windows slows down past the point of running acceptably, I will do a clean install. With the size of external drives, there truly is no excuse to not have enough storage space to back up your drive. I have started to make Acronis images of drives to make it much quicker to restore. Chas + 0 Votes Windows 7 Altanore 2 years ago Once a year or two... however it is quick for me since all I really have to backup is bookmarks and a few minor things because all my personal data is stored on a separate hard drive. I don't keep anything like that on the C drive. + 2 Votes I avoid re-install like the plague . . . Who Am I Really Updated - 2 years ago because it's a > 60 hour job and i only do it when absolutely necessary, which is usually - when something breaks badly and can't be repaired simply by restoring the image or - new machines to get rid of the bloat- crap- sponsor-ware also I use a locked up & screwed down configuration that disables as much of the unnecessary crap I don't use eg. - all user files separated from C which is for OS / Programs only - recycle bin = disabled / off via config. and group policy - system restore = disabled / off ^ - user tracking = disabled / off etc. which in turn means that a 7 year old install of XP is still performing nearly as good as it did new and most of the slowdown comes from the AV updates requiring more hardware and not general usage bloat eg. McAfee VSE 8.5 doesn't use as much resources as VSE 8.7 does VSE 8.7 brings a P4 down to a crawl on certain tasks because VSE 8.7 has more components running @ "Process Priority High" than the previous versions my 2007 XP install on a Core2Duo is just as fast as it was out of the box with the only slowdown occurring at boot time (approx. 2+ minutes for boot) whereas a fresh install would boot in less than 30 seconds however, app performance including opening is the same as day one eg. Firefox opens in about 3 seconds mind you, Firefox is configured to store nothing: - no browsing history - no DL history - no cookies etc. + 3 Votes Twice an Hour by the feel of things on Windows Systems OH Smeg Updated - 2 years ago But the workhorse systems are set and forget. Now days whenever I change an OS under some form of Linux is the only time I reformat and that's just to try something different not because it's necessary. Windows Systems though are painful if you get 18 months out of one you are doing well but even then they get painfully slow and are costing the companies who use them money in wasted time. I slipstream the Service Packs, Drivers and Hot Fixes to a Install Disc and then install, that way till the Hot Fix load gets up again the system works well and slows down over several months to the point where the users start to complain that it's now unusable. Col + 0 Votes Waste of time Trentski 2 years ago I have never rebuilt my home computer, it runs a lot better than my work computer. If I ever mess anything up like you did, I just do a system restore, won't waste time rebuilding + 0 Votes cam to u daniel quaye 2 years ago about 1s in a mont + 0 Votes Every few months Frenz9 2 years ago It usually lasts a few months, then i reformat. + 0 Votes Every 6 months or so NPSage 2 years ago I have my HDD partitioned so that I can nuke and pave the Windows install without having to worry about having doing a backup directly beforehand, (Not that I don;t perform them, it's just that I don;t have to worry about running a back up and verifying it right before I decide the system needs a clean install) and I keep all application installers and driver installers in their own folder in the same place I keep my documents, so It's a simple matter of install, boot to desktop, and install programs while I amuse myself with a book or movie. + 0 Votes It varies... dldorrance 2 years ago I surf the web on Linux and run programs not available in Linux in XP in a virtual machine. Ditto on for trying out other Linux distributions in the virtual machine. I periodically back up the data (Linux plus virtual machine data) with a backup tool in Linux. If the HDD goes, I can restore Linux from an image, restore the virtual machine and then restore Linux and all XP program data from the Linux backup. Then reinstall programs as needed. + 0 Votes Almost never WDMilner 2 years ago Why should I need to reformat my system? About the only time that happen is if I want to upgrade the size of drive I use for a particular partition. Then the new drive gets formatted, the contents of the old drive migrated to the new drive, the old drive removed and the system rebooted. + 0 Votes I've never reformatted a computer. seanferd 2 years ago I have reformatted disks. I've wiped disks, and I have to say I don't even bother reformatting if I'm not going to wipe the drive. I've re-installed operating systems. So, going with a format and reinstall, I haven't done my main XP system ever. Windows 95, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Win 98SE, it is only slight hyperbole to say "all the time". Machines I fix for OS issues get nuked and paved about half the time. Testing and "play-around" machines get wiped before every new installation. So, if you broke something in the OS, had you tried an in-place repair install first? And if you had problems serious enough to reformat and reinstall, had you wiped the drive with something like DBAN or Killdisk prior to partitioning, formatting, and reinstalling? And if you broke something just by changing settings, my advice would be to document what you do so that you can undo it. This saves time, and you are more likely to learn something, as well as have a reference for the future.