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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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by devin.ellis In reply to The Re-Format

Well, I wouldn't say I don't know anything about my system(s). I just stated what works for me on my 9.x systems. I do software and other types of testing and sometimes it's easier to format and start over. I didn't mean to imply that a home computer necessarily "needs" it every so often, but I've also seen users with 35 items in their systray and 95% of resources allocated who could use a fresh HD. Sometimes it is more cost and time effective to re-format. At my job we only re-format (re-image) when absolutely necessary (NT).

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Yet ANOTHER 2 cents

by kermit In reply to Hmmm...

I'm not a computer professional yet. I'm 18 and I work as a computer repairman in my county. It's good business for getting ready to go to college. So my opinion might not matter much. But this is what I've found.

Regular maintance has it's place. I always run scandisk and defrag... But if there are registry problems, HDD problems, or other things like that I always favor backing up and starting over. I have two HDD. A system and data disk. The system disk a small 3G disk and the data disk is a larger 20G disk. This way I can reformat very easily. I used a CD-Burner and created a bootable CD with Windows and all my drivers on it. It's a CD-RW so when ever I get new drivers I can re-write the cd. I find that this, for me, is the best approach. I generaly have reformat about once every 6 to 8 months.

Just my experience.
<Thanks to my grandmother for the use of her account here.>

Bruce Hudgins.

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win xp

by reef2 In reply to The Re-Format

well how will win xp effect this formating with it's activating code? Will have to go to MS every time and get another code or can you do it like I did when I installed this build 2505 with one click. Have not tried to reinstall yet. Hope to hear from you

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I've been completely swamped in work....

by admin In reply to win xp

Sorry it's taken a while to reply.

Basically, my answer is: "I don't know" I haven't installed a final build of XP and reformatted. Probably not a surprise, but I wanted to make it clear that I am speculating here.

You will very likely get another code the same way after every format. I doubt this will be hard, and is actually encouraging to people like me who enjoy building experimental systems that go up and down several times a day sometimes.


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reformatting or not

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

If you're not having any problems, no need to reformat.
I only reformat a PC if there is an indications of hard disk problem or major registry problem.

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Heading off problems...

by lwt In reply to reformatting or not

Regular maintenance would do for lengthening times inbetween the reformats.

Get Norton Utilities and run WinDoctor often; also use Scanreg /fix to keep the registry fit. (this is if you have Win98, and there is a method in Win95 to export and compress the registry, but use Regclean first)

Run Disk Cleanup in Win98, or use a batch file for getting rid of stuff. (Fred Langa has a nice one called Cleanup.bat)at:

Purge your browser caches often, check the download folder for unneedables and delete them. It wouldn't hurt to uninstall programs you barely use. Dump unessentials from the Startup section of msconfig, and if you have items in the taskbar that take up space, right-click them andsee if you can disable them in Options or Properties.

Organize your Start Menu, placing like apps in group folders.

Get rid of desk icons of programs that you can access by the Start Menu or command line.

It may take more time, but become familiar with your computer and discover where things are. Then you could be a better judge of what needs to go.

Don't use reformatting as a catch-all; save it for the true emergency (i.e. viruses and botched OS)

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reformat? Please no.

by wlowe In reply to Heading off problems...

Reformatting a hard disk should be up there with changing the engine on your car when it is not running right.
As a consultant working on a lot of computers the ONLY times I have reformatted a drive were because of mixed operating systems/ versionsand hard disk errors. Reformatting does two things.
1. Blank the hard disk.
2. Lay down the structure for file access use. This part never (or should never) change from when it was formatted the last time.

The first item above is where the problems come in. It has been my experience that every time a system is reformatted something is lost that should not have been lost. It may be as simple as a dialer configuration/with password that was long forgotten or a spreadsheet that took a year tobuild. Now I know you all will say "backup" and everybody does right? Wrong. Either they were not backing up or they were backing up the wrong things.
Back to reformatting, your computer is a name brand it usually has a restore disk that reformats and reinstalls the system like it was when it left the factory. This does not include the dialer I mentioned above but it will be just like when you brought it in the door.
If it is a clone computer you will have much more trouble getting back to the beginning. You will have to find drivers for all of the components in your computer some of which may require removing and tracking down the manufacturer (no easy task).

My suggestion would be that if you are at a point of reformatting your harddrive you are at the same point as when you think you need your engine replaced in your car, seek professional help. I certainly hope the readers of this don't think I am trying to drum up more business. I am not, I have more than I can handle fixing reformatted drives. <GRIN>

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always reformat

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

Yes you must reformat to have a system that works. If you don't then windows will have garbage around to mess things up. It always messes things up by collecting too much junk.
You have to start over often if you expect it to work at all.

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