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Reformatting or not That's the question?

By redray1 ·
We have a home computer, use by three family member. I regularly run scandisk and defrag. My 15 yr old recon we should cleanup by reformating and start fresh. I say run scandisk and defrag, leave the rest as is... please help.

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Reformatting?

by generalist In reply to Reformatting or not That' ...

I'd stick with the scandisk and defrag unless you are having major problems with the system. Even then, make sure that you have very good backups of the operating system, your application software and your data. And be prepared to spend a long, long time getting things right.

I have heard of instances where organizations reformat drives and restore everything from backup. Of course those organizations are dealing with business systems, not PCs.

You might ask your 15 year old why they think reformatting is 'better' than other approaches. If it is because there are fewer interruptions caused by defrag, you may want to introduce them to the interruptions caused by reinstalling applications software or going through the backup and restore process.

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Reformat ???

by MTBerJim In reply to Reformatting?

I only read one reply from generalist@hotmail.com and he nailed it unless you have problems you have not mentioned scandisk and defrag. If you are board and need something new, Go buy Norton system works. That will give you plenty to tweek. Clean out your start up folder, Win 98 go to run and type msconfig. just don't stop system folders. Jim D.

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Reformating:o)

by ilya In reply to Reformatting or not That' ...

If you don't have too much software installed on your system then it is not a bad Idea to reformat your system once in a while because it helps you to keep track of everything that you have on your system and how to reinstall the software that you have just incase. Also just because you do scandisk and defrag is not going to help you all the time because if your registry gets messy then you will have bigger problems then you would want. Also defrag sometimes gives it's own problems if you are using win95/98.

Good luck.

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I walk down the middle on this one

by bjp56 In reply to Reformatting or not That' ...

I agree with what both of the other two contributors say. But, it's a very personal thing and depends on the individual's computer. If you have a lot of software and files, especially files that are not easily copied and transferred, then Scandisk/Defrag would be better to go with untill you have real uncontrolable problems. If you don't have that much software/files, and the files you need to backup are easily backed up and transfered, then reformatting is better. Remember that if you backup your whole sytem, reformat and restore your old system, you may just reinstall the problems you had. So if your reformating, do everything from new. Probably the safest thing is to scandisk/defrag. Stay non-evasive as long as you can, but don't overly sacrafice for it either.

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I walk down the middle on this one

by bjp56 In reply to Reformatting or not That' ...

I agree with what both of the other two contributors say. But, it's a very personal thing and depends on the individual's computer. If you have a lot of software and files, especially files that are not easily copied and transferred, then Scandisk/Defrag would be better to go with untill you have real uncontrolable problems. If you don't have that much software/files, and the files you need to backup are easily backed up and transfered, then reformatting is better. Remember that if you backup your whole sytem, reformat and restore your old system, you may just reinstall the problems you had. So if your reformating, do everything from new. Probably the safest thing is to scandisk/defrag. Stay non-evasive as long as you can, but don't overly sacrafice for it either.

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Reformat.

by greggen In reply to Reformatting or not That' ...

I like the reformat approach. While it can be a slight pain to reinstall the software, it does seem to improve the operation of the PC. My family and I download lots of software, and the 6 month or 1 yearly reinstall gets rid of all the old crap cluttering up the harddrive and slowing down my PC.
I did get a little smart over the years. I have a 1 gig data partition, which I keep my permanent stuff on (mail files, bookmarks, documents, downloaded software for installs, ect) If I like something enough, I will copy the install file to the data partition. I also keep a text document in there which lists what programs I install, cd keys, ect.
I also have this burned to CD.

Gives me an easy to follow checklist to setup the new os.

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15 year olds no everything

by desk23 In reply to Reformatting or not That' ...

I guess if you want the chores done, you should follow his instructions. On the other hand, this 51 year old with no children left at home scans & defrags his on a monthly maintenance system. (scandisk, defagment, registry, clean inside the case etc..).
Virus scaning is another story, update regularily and always check manufacturer site for updates. There was an article on Tech R about maintenance not to long ago.
You should look for it and let your son read it. Then tell him the grass is to green, go cut it. (humor)

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I prefer to reformat......

by jmbeauford In reply to 15 year olds no everythin ...

I use ScanDisk and Defrag for regular maitenance on newer systems, but when I run into OS problems or program errors, I find it easier to reformat the drive (after backing up critical data of course). After the install, regular (if not daily) defrags are enough to keep the system clean. However, a nice fresh install allows for the newest drivers to be installed without all the extra registry tags which come along with updates. When you reformat, you can be certain that only the information you want on your drive is there. Rather than a OEM install where there may be pre-configured software and settings of which, you may be unaware. Go ahead. Back it up and reformat that sucker. Good Luck!

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Have a data partition

by JustinF In reply to I prefer to reformat..... ...

Reformat definitely, do it twice a year.
On my home pcs I always have a second partition or second hard drive to back up onto. I use the second partition/disk for all the stuff I want to keep and just use the first partition for the os and any applications. This saves so much hassle when it comes to rebuilding.

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Dead on. -nt

by Sirwar In reply to Have a data partition
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