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How often do you reformat your personal computer?

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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.