XP Reinstall, how often?

I noticed when I did my new build and my son's rebuild, how nice and fast systems ran with a fresh XP Pro install. How often should one do this and.. any tips on not having to save all my files to CD every single time.

Da Worfster

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16 answers Last reply
More about reinstall often
  1. I normally try to reinstall the OS every couple years. But, I've noticed that doing a registry clean-up works pretty well to un-clog an old install. After a couple year old installation, I noticed my computer was running slower than when I first installed XP. I used a registry clean-up program, and it found over 200 invalid registry entries, as well as some other stuff that shouldn't belong there. After it did it's job, it does seem like it is running a bit better.

    I downloaded the program from download.com, although I don't remember what it was called. It will probably be tough to find a free one, but looking won't hurt.

    There isn't much you can do to avoid backups. I have the provelage of having several networked computers at home, so I just backup the My Documents folder to a network computer, as well as any other pertinent files. After the install, I just copy them all back. Very fast that way, but if you need to go CDs there isn't much you can do.

    You could probably try reinstalling without formatting or deleting Windows. I did that when a worthless spyware program completely broke my internet connection. I didn't back anything up, and the installation process automatically updated the registry so all the programs already found would still work. Not as clean or nice as a full re-install though.

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  2. I usually run msconfig about once a month, on my computers. You would be amazed at how quickly kids can jam up the start menu.
  3. I used to reinstall like every 6-8 months, but not anymore unless I fu** up bad. Though it takes me abt 6-7 min to install XP on these raptors.

    Its the tuning and software that takes long.

    I weekly run spybot, adaware, chk strtup via msconfig, use somrthing like system mechanic, keep my HDD lean, remove cookies and temp files from time to time, remove old/compress files, dust my computer, not install junk etc etc.

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  4. 4-6 months
    yep with raptors its not that much of a hasle
    takes about an hour and a half from start to finish

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  5. Norton Ghost is nice. Install XP. Get it the way you like it, and back it up to an image on a DVD or other harddrive. Anytime you want to do a squeaky clean install, just use your backup image and you're good to go in less time than it would take to reinstall everything. I "install" a fresh backup about every 6 months.

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  6. If the issues are slow start-up, there are usually reasons behind this, and unless the cause is found cintinual re-installs will be necessary.

    I look for the root cause and change habits, re-install seems to be 'if all else fails' or 'don't know' answer for a lot of things...

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  7. I used to reinstall winxp at each 2~3 months, but now i'm getting tired of it, so i just use the prog like reg supreme, scan disk, defrag to keep my computer working properly..I have my winxp running for 9 months and with 3 different motherboards :smile:
  8. If you follow these rules, you will never reinstall your OS, unless you do a major hardware change :

    1. Have an Anti-Virus.
    2. Have an Anti-Spyware.
    3. Have a FireWall.
    4. You don't install too much [-peep-].

    I installed Windows XP only 2 time since it's release. And my 2nd install was because I changed my main HDD.

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    <font color=red>Radeon 8500 128Megs</font color=red> @ C:275/M:290<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheRod on 09/10/04 09:26 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  9. Im pretty sure there is an easier way to go back to your default clean instal then reinstalling with WinXP, im checking into it more right now, i will get back to you with the details.


    This will help you restore your clean install state quickly, with less hassle, also there are some other suggestions here that will help you keep your OS running smoothly. Also remember that if at any time you ever screw the pooch there is always rollback, you can press F-8 at startup, and choose to restore the last known good configuration and it will rollback the OS to the previous state before the last driver/program installation.

    <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/expert/northrup_restoreperf.mspx" target="_new"> Hassle free restore </A>

    Oh and one other thing, i dont know if you have ever heard of an external media drive before but you might want to look into getting one, either a hard drive or a DVD Burner, because restoring from an external source is alot safer considering its possible the reason you may be restoring your system in the first place is because a ruthless virus just destroyed your OS and you dont have a choice.
    You can do the external Hard drive option pretty cheaply, just buy an external drive kit, i recommend getting the USB 2.0/Firewire combo drive version, if you already have a drive you can toss into the drive kit then this could be as cheap as $45 USD, if you need to purchase a small drive to slap in there it will add another $55 to the project, but reguardless the amount of time that will be saved is tremendous, and it is well worth the money. On top of that the external hard drive is handy for backing up important files you just dont want to lose, plus its a good place to hide away all that pr0n you have
  10. i wouldn't reinstall at all. most likey you will screw things up. Just defrag HD on schedule. thats it.

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  11. "I installed Windows XP only 2 time since it's release. And my 2nd install was because I changed my main HDD."

    Same here. Much better than the every 2 months for Windows 98 days :)

    I'm just your average habitual smiler =D
  12. I have my system setup so that I can reinstall in a heartbeat but I haven't done so in about a year. This is a far cry from once a month with win98

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  13. I have over 30GB of games alone, so I’m not going to reinstall windows, unless I had to. I would either have to get hit hard with a virus or my hard drive die. I make images of my computer, so if anything did go wrong I could fall back on one of those and be back on my feet in 10 minutes and not worry about reinstalling my programs or games. I have a 120GB hard drive and it is divided up into 6 partitions. My C: drive is 6GB and only has the OS on it and some files I been too lazy to move, delete or track down. I put all my programs and tools on another drive and the same for my games, also my most valuable programs are on another drive. Even if I had to reinstall windows my valuable programs are safe, but my games, tools and programs would have to be reloaded to work properly. Yikes!- I rather just make an image of my C: drive that takes about 10 minutes and store it on another drive, so I can fall back on that and have everything still work. I keep my C: drive as small as I can for it doesn’t take to long to make an image, it would take way to long to image my games, so I just save the game stored files. As mentioned if you do proper maintenance on your computer you shouldn’t notice too much speed lost, at least to where you have to reinstall windows. At least that’s been my case with my PC for a year so far.

    P.S Forgot to mention, even though I keep my programs and files on another partition I still put them on CD, just incase my hard drive died. I want to get another hard drive to store them on there also, just incase and I don’t mind having three copies.

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by jiffy on 09/10/04 05:47 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  14. I remember back when I was running Win98 SE, I formatted every 2 weeks or so, and was necessary to keep the machine running in top shape.

    However with XP, I normally go 2-3 months on my gaming machine. Generally no more than 6 months on my laptop (school/internet stuff).

    Generally I create a partition just for all my files and backups. Right before I format, I backup my save game files and such to this back partition on the harddrive.

    I have a friend who creates partitions for just about everything (I think he has drives from A-O, drives me nuts everytime I see it). He installs games (based on some sort of organization method, known only to him) onto the different partitions. Generally most of his games still work even after he formats the boot partition to re-install Windows.

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  15. How often do I reinstall?

    Well, I haven't yet.

    The first and last installation of WinXP on the system I'm currently using was in November of 2002, and so I'm approaching the 3 year mark.

    I do regular maintenance ... Registry Cleaners, defragmentation of the drives, deletion of temp and .dat files, spyware and anitivirus checks, etc. I also image my partitions frequently.

    I once had to replace the primary partition with a week-old image, due to some particularly nasty trojans that had got past my firewall and antivirus, but I don't consider restoring an image a reinstallation of the entire OS and programs, considering the restoration took about 10 minutes, and completely installing WinXP, tweaking the OS to my satisfaction, and adding programs could take several days (considering how much free time I have available.) Heck, I could tweak the OS every day for a month before I'm fully satisfied with the end results. Picky, picky, picky ... that's me.

    Do I <i>need</i> to reinstall?

    Not yet. Everything runs correctly, quickly, and without errors.

    Even if I <i>did</i> feel the need to reinstall, at some point, I'd just grab an early image, install the newest versions of my programs, and add the latest hotfixes. But I certainly wouldn't format, and/or reinstall with the WinXP CD.

    Personally, I expect some of the hardware to fail before I actually need to give some serious thought to starting over ... unlike the old days with Win9x, when I often reinstalled around once a year, or more ... depending on the reason.

    I won't be installing WinXP again until I build an entirely new computer, which will be in the Summer of 2005. And hey, for a MS operating system, that's pretty darn good.

    I feel much the same way about Win2K ... I've got a system with an installation of the OS that is approaching 4 years old, and still doesn't need a format. It runs quite well.

    The key is maintenance, protecting the system from outside attacks, and not doing anything foolish to compromise the integrity of the system. And backing up. If you aren't backing up, you are simply asking for a problem to occur that you can't fix without a repair install, or a clean installation after a format.

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  16. yes I agree, there is nothing better than an up to date image for my o/s, and as you said all it takes is 10 min's and I am back up and running. :smile: To make the image is no more than 10 min's a week, I normally keep 2 or three previous images and the original of the first install of XP with just the basics installed.
    I think I have re-installed my o/s 6 or so times from images I have made which saves me a day of installing software, updates, and patches.
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