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  • #2211008

    How often do you reformat your personal computer?

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    by paper_boy558 ·

    Personally in the past i often formatted my laptop every two months or so because i often experimented with the operating system and broke something or just trying out a new setup. Currently i haven’t formatted for almost year because 1: I don’t see the need right now. 2: I don’t have enough backup space to backup everything that is on my machine. What is your reason for reformatting (or not) your personal machine?

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    • #2901431

      Clarifications

      by paper_boy558 ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      Clarifications

    • #2901428

      As Needed

      by thechas ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      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

      • #2843499

        Reponse To Answer

        by paper_boy558 ·

        In reply to As Needed

        Well i understand what you are saying about the cost of external drives. I currently live in Jamaica & the cost of hard drives are expensive here. I am planning to get a 1.5tb soon though 🙂

    • #2901413

      I avoid re-install like the plague . . .

      by who am i really ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      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.

    • #2901408

      Twice an Hour by the feel of things on Windows Systems

      by oh smeg ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      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

      • #2843493

        Reponse To Answer

        by markp24 ·

        In reply to Twice an Hour by the feel of things on Windows Systems

        Hey, I would post the smae as you on this one, My main windows system i actually have kept for 2 year without formatting, (bui this one is only used for my personal files, etc and ralrly connects to the internet.) the windows sytems that do connect to the internet and are used heavily, i usually end up formatting and reloading 6-8 months because they start to bog down. The linux boxes i loaded for brosing the internet and email still have yet to reformat/reload them since i installed them.

    • #2901406

      Waste of time

      by trentski ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      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

      • #2843500

        Reponse To Answer

        by paper_boy558 ·

        In reply to Waste of time

        i understand where u are coming from, but i have to admit personally system restore has never fixed any of my problems when things get messed up. But funny enough when I’m repairing someone’s computer it has helped. ha ha ha 🙂

    • #2901402

      cam to u

      by daniel quaye ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      about 1s in a mont

    • #2901401

      Every few months

      by frenz9 ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      It usually lasts a few months, then i reformat.

    • #2843491

      Every 6 months or so

      by npsage ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      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.

    • #2843489

      It varies…

      by dldorrance ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      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.

    • #2843488

      Almost never

      by wdmilner ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      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.

    • #2843484

      I’ve never reformatted a computer.

      by seanferd ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      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.

    • #2843479

      Never

      by dogknees ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      I’ve never needed to re-install Windows on my home PC. Even after 6 years my last one ran well and was stable.

      • #2843408

        Reponse To Answer

        by paper_boy558 ·

        In reply to Never

        WOW u should get a medal! lol

    • #2843478

      Format is not required

      by umzy ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      Format is not required if you really understand OS very well
      Please follow following few tips
      Keeping system upto date.
      Defrag File System every week or once in fortnight.
      At least run scandisk once in 6 month
      Frequently clear temporary files by running System cleanup utility
      Before install any driver ensure you are 100% what you are installing
      Same hold true for any non standard software
      Try to use default application As far as possible
      Always log on to system using standard user account rather than Admin account
      Make single partition rather than multiple unless reason to do so

    • #2843471

      As Little as Possible

      by stephen wheeler ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      Reformatting the OS disc is a huge job, so I avoid it like the plague! Re-installing the OS means:
      – Cleaning up (e.g. deleting outdated and duplicate files), then backing up user(s) data (>1 hr. per user)
      – Backing up application data (e.g. browser settings and bookmarks – 1/2 hr. per user, not including the time taken to persuade other users to get on with it. Thankfully this activity is becoming obsolete as the price and capacity of laptops has improved so much and application writers have made backing up simpler)
      – Cataloging all frequently used applications and extensions – then making sure you have the latest versions on removable media (6 to 8 hrs.) – or licence information and download locations if you want to download
      – Cataloging all drivers and making sure you have the latest versions on removable media. The last time I did a OS re-install I assumed that a printer driver would be available on-line. Wrong! The manufacturer had withdrawn support for the printer and I could not find a replacement – cost: 1 new printer! (5 to 6 hrs)
      – Re-format disc and partition if wanted (highly variable depending on size and speed of disc(s), but lets say 2 hrs)
      – Install operating system (>2 hrs last time I tried)
      – Configure OS (>2 hrs last time).
      – Instal security apps. (Firewall, Anti-V, Anti-S,) and configure (1 to 2 hrs).
      – Instal major apps. (Browser, Office Automation, Media Player, programming tools, mail extension, softphone, Adobe readers / players, etc. (again highly variable but the last time I had to do this it took at least 3 hrs)
      – Launch each major application and re-install extensions and settings (last time this took me, on a single user system, about 4 1/2 hrs).
      – Instal frequently used minor applications and drivers such as printers, external drives, Scanner, MP3 player, Dig. Camera, etc. and test all hardware (about another 5 hours).
      – Put back data (about an hour per user).
      – Optional: Scan & Defrag – another 6 to 8 hours.

      I therefore, conservatively, estimate that it will take me 40 hours to re-instal my OS. Some people will say that this can be reduced by good housekeeping – which is true, but not by much in the overall scheme of things.

      As my last re-instal demonstrates, it must be done properly or you can find yourself shelling out for some serious costs (lost printer driver = new printer and ink).

      Some of my times may seem a little long to some people – I think my HD may be underpowered for the number of apps I ask it to run, but otherwise I stand by them.

      Also, like most people, I don’t always fully document and re-instal every setting and application. Usually this is because time is too short. I (therefore) always end up losing productivity (or leisure) time in addition to the above. This lost time later – when you have to try and remember how you did it before – sometimes means finding and re-installing some obscure minor app.. These are particularly bothersome because they take so long and you always find out when you have a deadline!

      If you keep your security software up-to-date, and scan and defrag your media on a regular basis re-installing the OS should really only be necessary for tech guys who need to experiment with OSs, and people recovering from virusi or cack-handed users.

      • #2439716

        Reponse To Answer

        by spcecil ·

        In reply to As Little as Possible

        Really? 40 hours? I can completly reformat and install my system in maybe 3. its easy, buy an external HDD, and automatically backup as you go. then when you feel its time to reformat, do it; and when your done you have a clean OS and all your docs/data are still where you left them.

        If you dont want to buy and external, just partition off however much space you need in your current HDD, when you reformat your OS it will not effect this space; only your primary partiton (or whatever partition you select actually)

    • #2843455

      If its not broken

      by sarah ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      My windows 7 pc has been as good as gold, so…but I do regular maintenance and keep it up to date. I spend so much time rebuilding the families pc’s because they manage to get them infected, fill up the hard drive or install so much rubbish software on them they become so slow they are almost unusable.

    • #2843450

      Every 6 to 12 months

      by oldbaritone ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      When intermittent bugs start slowing the system down noticeably, it’s time for a reinstall. Don’t need to fully format, but a periodic “full reinstall” without format makes Windows easier to tolerate. Nuke the C:\WINDOWS directory, boot from CD/DVD and install. Then just move the data like (My Documents, etc.) to the newly-created user directory.

    • #2843425

      Good one

      by corporategeek ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      With modern operating systems & hardware – the need to re-format appears so rarely. Maybe maximum once per year – in case I managed to screw up the whole system. Windows 7 is very solid and can take almost anything. Same with the other operating systems.

      Anyone remembers the days of Windows 98? 🙂

    • #2843421

      hardly ever

      by josesche ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      I take pride in keeping my PCs sweet running with just some TLC. Even malware can be removed without needing to reformat… just google the symptoms… has never let me down.

    • #2843413

      Why would you need to?

      by judy-sainsbury ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      It’s close to 15 years since I’ve reformatted any of our home computers, probably because they’ve always had regular maintenance. These days the family all run Norton 360 automatically configured which cuts out most of the work.

    • #2843409

      It was every six months but now It’s more like 18 months

      by timk63 ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      In the past I would normally format my windows computer every six months or so. Now that my wife uses the computer more then I do, and I use my Linux box I have not needed to format the windows or the Linux computer. For a windows computer it a good rule to format it every year at least.

    • #2843402

      Format

      by dayen ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      I format only new drives when I re-install windows I put in a new drive that way I DON’T LOSE ANYTHING THE CLIENT HAS. If they say it missing I put in the old drive and say were is the file, want to bet it was never on the local machine (if the old drive bad I recover what I can and keep drive safe all recover data goes on different drive) lost data = lost client
      Forgot to add I do this for my personal computers as well I have 5

    • #2843390

      Hi

      by jacy757 ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      I prefer to format it less only when it requires. Only What I do is regular maintenance and updating Anti-virus and it never lead me to formatting situation.

    • #2843387

      Maybe once during the lifetime of an OS…..

      by jack.klaber ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      Mostly by following standard housekeeping rules like UMzY already mentioned. Even replacing disks by larger capacity is done by copying the image of the old disk and then using partitioning utility to adjust the new partition sizes.

    • #2843380

      Every 6 months

      by steveaaa2 ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      Lets see 9.10 10.04 10.10 11.04 …
      Maybe less often now that I have moved from Ubuntu to Mint Linux, but by having my System files separated from my data files, it is not too traumatic and I get to run the latest OS available, and quite happily on my 7 or so year old Laptop.

    • #2843349

      I haven’t done a reformat since Windows 95, because I had to change HDD’s

      by slayer_ ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      So I split it into partitions, then formatted them to FAT32.
      Even on my XP machine, which has had an install since 2005, when I changed my mobo, I just installed over-top of my old install, keeping my files intact. I still got the performance boost from having a clean install.

    • #2843346

      With WXP once per year

      by threv ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      Wheter I needed it or not. I keep my Data on seprate drives and my apps and Serials copied up to a File Server. Now with Win7 I’ve only had to to restore from the Windows home server image backup (which totally rocks) once and only because I got a zero day virus/Malware that was not indentifiable/cleanable by anything. If you can’t identify it and know exactly what it touched then you are NEVER secure. Nuke that shizzle from Orbit it’s the only way to be sure.

    • #2843316

      Wibdows – every 18 months…

      by rmycroft2000 ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      Linux, never. It just works.

    • #2888901

      Windows 7

      by altanore ·

      In reply to How often do you reformat your personal computer?

      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.

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