Time to Low-Level format?

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

I have a nearly three year old Dimension 8200, 2.2Mhz, 512m RAM, running XP
home. Over the last few months it's been getting progressively slower and
slower, especially when loading programs and web pages.

I run Norton AntiVirus, Adaware and Spybot regularly.

After three years, I'm guessing that it's time to start fresh and lose all
the registry code-gunk that's accumulated over time from software upgrades,
etc. My question is: what's the best approach to a really clean install?
Should I be looking to perform a low-level format, should I boot from a
floppy and format C:\ , or will a simple reinstall of XP automatically wipe
everything else from the drive and let me start fresh? If there's some
malware lurking in the registry or elsewhere that hasn't been previously
detected, will it survive anything other than the low-level format?

Yes, I know I'll lose my preferences and I need to back-up all my driver
downloads, email addresses, outlook favorites, etc., before I begin.
However, how do I "save" the XP Service Pack 1, all the critical XP secuity
updates, and Norton antivirus definition updates so the computer is
protected once I've started clean?

Thanks
10 answers Last reply
More about time level format
  1. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    halnjoy wrote:
    > After three years, I'm guessing that it's time to start fresh and
    > lose all the registry code-gunk that's accumulated over time from
    > software upgrades, etc. My question is: what's the best approach to
    > a really clean install? Should I be looking to perform a low-level
    > format, should I boot from a floppy and format C:\ , or will a simple
    > reinstall of XP automatically wipe everything else from the drive and
    > let me start fresh? If there's some malware lurking in the registry
    > or elsewhere that hasn't been previously detected, will it survive
    > anything other than the low-level format?

    Make sure you have the boot CD from Dell (and it works) and other CD's with
    drivers.

    The most important thing, IMO, is to have what you need to get online
    quickly. This usually means the ethernet drivers, ISP settings.

    I'm not sure if the Dell CD will allow this, but I would look into
    purchasing a new drive, and installing there. This would preserve everything
    on the original drive, and you could add that as a secondary drive, and
    clean it up as time permits. Make sure the drive is scanned thoroughly,
    first.

    Ed
  2. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Ed Wurster" <ea_wurster@comcast.net> wrote in message news:<moydnQT_q5-DsujdRVn-jw@comcast.com>...
    > halnjoy wrote:
    > > After three years, I'm guessing that it's time to start fresh and
    > > lose all the registry code-gunk that's accumulated over time from
    > > software upgrades, etc. My question is: what's the best approach to
    > > a really clean install? Should I be looking to perform a low-level
    > > format, should I boot from a floppy and format C:\ , or will a simple
    > > reinstall of XP automatically wipe everything else from the drive and
    > > let me start fresh? If there's some malware lurking in the registry
    > > or elsewhere that hasn't been previously detected, will it survive
    > > anything other than the low-level format?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>Better , invest in a good utility that will clean out
    dead entries and invalid entries from your registry, and will clean up
    the hard drive of junk and invalid data, and defag the drive AS WELL
    AS the registry...you can dump an awful lot of MB's that way. My last
    clean up netted me over 24MB's of junk! There are several utilities
    available...do some research before buying!

    >
    > Make sure you have the boot CD from Dell (and it works) and other CD's with
    > drivers.
    >
    > The most important thing, IMO, is to have what you need to get online
    > quickly. This usually means the ethernet drivers, ISP settings.
    >
    > I'm not sure if the Dell CD will allow this, but I would look into
    > purchasing a new drive, and installing there. This would preserve everything
    > on the original drive, and you could add that as a secondary drive, and
    > clean it up as time permits. Make sure the drive is scanned thoroughly,
    > first.
    >
    > Ed
  3. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    In article <-MKcnfNm7JkpYOndUSdV9g@ptd.net>, halnjoy@ptdprolog.net
    says...
    > I have a nearly three year old Dimension 8200, 2.2Mhz, 512m RAM, running XP
    > home. Over the last few months it's been getting progressively slower and
    > slower, especially when loading programs and web pages.
    >
    > I run Norton AntiVirus, Adaware and Spybot regularly.
    >
    > After three years, I'm guessing that it's time to start fresh and lose all
    > the registry code-gunk that's accumulated over time from software upgrades,
    > etc. My question is: what's the best approach to a really clean install?
    > Should I be looking to perform a low-level format, should I boot from a
    > floppy and format C:\ , or will a simple reinstall of XP automatically wipe
    > everything else from the drive and let me start fresh? If there's some
    > malware lurking in the registry or elsewhere that hasn't been previously
    > detected, will it survive anything other than the low-level format?

    best approach is as follows:

    1 Uninstall any unused software
    2 Defragment the drive
    3 Run a registry cleaner
    4 Set IE to only use 20MB of cache for Temp Internet files
    5 Move the TEMP location to something like C:\TEMP instead of your
    documents and settings folder or the \windows\temp area

    If that doesn't restore your performance then do the following:

    Backup your internet favorites, cookies, email, contacts, etc... Burn to
    CD.

    Insert the Quick-Restore CD, or the Dell XP CD, reboot, delete the
    partition, create the partition, install XP.

    Low level formatting is not something you want to do to a drive any
    more. It went out with MFM / RLL drives in the old days. Only the
    earliest of the IDE drives benefited from it, and most were trashed by
    it.

    Make sure that you download XP Service Pack 1 and any other security
    updates and burn them to CD. Also, if connected by a cable/dsl
    connection, make sure that you are behind a router or have the personal
    firewall software on CD before you connect to the internet.

    --
    --
    spamfree999@rrohio.com
    (Remove 999 to reply to me)
  4. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Another suggestion....purchase SpaceAce IV from RBLevin.net.

    http://www.rblevin.net/SAN_Index.htm

    I've used this app for the past five years on Win 95, Win 2000 and XP
    machines. It will safely get rid of much of the junk and temp detritus on
    your computer. In fact, when you first use it, you may recover 80-100 mb of
    drive space. Another option is to consider upgrading to a Macintosh, where
    you'll never need Spybot or Adaware or a Registry cleaner, and your system
    will not slow down just because you are using it over time. Just a matter of
    looking at all of your options :-)

    On 4/8/04 7:15 AM, in article
    MPG.1adefe6ae1bfe3dc98a37e@news-server.columbus.rr.com, "Leythos"
    <void@nowhere.com> wrote:

    > In article <-MKcnfNm7JkpYOndUSdV9g@ptd.net>, halnjoy@ptdprolog.net
    > says...
    >> I have a nearly three year old Dimension 8200, 2.2Mhz, 512m RAM, running XP
    >> home. Over the last few months it's been getting progressively slower and
    >> slower, especially when loading programs and web pages.
    >>
    >> I run Norton AntiVirus, Adaware and Spybot regularly.
    >>
    >> After three years, I'm guessing that it's time to start fresh and lose all
    >> the registry code-gunk that's accumulated over time from software upgrades,
    >> etc. My question is: what's the best approach to a really clean install?
    >> Should I be looking to perform a low-level format, should I boot from a
    >> floppy and format C:\ , or will a simple reinstall of XP automatically wipe
    >> everything else from the drive and let me start fresh? If there's some
    >> malware lurking in the registry or elsewhere that hasn't been previously
    >> detected, will it survive anything other than the low-level format?
    >
    > best approach is as follows:
    >
    > 1 Uninstall any unused software
    > 2 Defragment the drive
    > 3 Run a registry cleaner
    > 4 Set IE to only use 20MB of cache for Temp Internet files
    > 5 Move the TEMP location to something like C:\TEMP instead of your
    > documents and settings folder or the \windows\temp area
    >
    > If that doesn't restore your performance then do the following:
    >
    > Backup your internet favorites, cookies, email, contacts, etc... Burn to
    > CD.
    >
    > Insert the Quick-Restore CD, or the Dell XP CD, reboot, delete the
    > partition, create the partition, install XP.
    >
    > Low level formatting is not something you want to do to a drive any
    > more. It went out with MFM / RLL drives in the old days. Only the
    > earliest of the IDE drives benefited from it, and most were trashed by
    > it.
    >
    > Make sure that you download XP Service Pack 1 and any other security
    > updates and burn them to CD. Also, if connected by a cable/dsl
    > connection, make sure that you are behind a router or have the personal
    > firewall software on CD before you connect to the internet.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Richardson wrote:
    > Another suggestion....purchase SpaceAce IV from RBLevin.net.
    >
    > http://www.rblevin.net/SAN_Index.htm
    >
    > I've used this app for the past five years on Win 95, Win 2000 and XP
    > machines. It will safely get rid of much of the junk and temp detritus on
    > your computer. In fact, when you first use it, you may recover 80-100 mb of
    > drive space. Another option is to consider upgrading to a Macintosh, where
    > you'll never need Spybot or Adaware or a Registry cleaner, and your system
    > will not slow down just because you are using it over time. Just a matter of
    > looking at all of your options :-)
    >snip


    Read the reviews on that software before using!
  6. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    On 4/8/04 12:44 PM, in article 107b0baja8ojj5e@corp.supernews.com, "mhagen"
    <replyto@group.only> wrote:

    > Richardson wrote:
    >> Another suggestion....purchase SpaceAce IV from RBLevin.net.
    >>
    >> http://www.rblevin.net/SAN_Index.htm
    >>
    >> I've used this app for the past five years on Win 95, Win 2000 and XP
    >> machines. It will safely get rid of much of the junk and temp detritus on
    >> your computer. In fact, when you first use it, you may recover 80-100 mb of
    >> drive space. Another option is to consider upgrading to a Macintosh, where
    >> you'll never need Spybot or Adaware or a Registry cleaner, and your system
    >> will not slow down just because you are using it over time. Just a matter of
    >> looking at all of your options :-)
    >> snip
    >
    >
    > Read the reviews on that software before using!

    I certainly read them before I started using the app in 1998. I've run it
    dozens of times on Win versions from 95 through XP Pro. Rich Levin, the
    programmer, is a very credible tech presence here in the Philadelphia area.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Richardson" <debsguy@comcast.net> wrote in message
    news:BC9AE808.1C96D%debsguy@comcast.net...
    > Another suggestion....purchase SpaceAce IV from RBLevin.net.
    >
    > http://www.rblevin.net/SAN_Index.htm
    >
    > I've used this app for the past five years on Win 95, Win 2000 and XP
    > machines. It will safely get rid of much of the junk and temp detritus on
    > your computer. In fact, when you first use it, you may recover 80-100 mb
    of
    > drive space. Another option is to consider upgrading to a Macintosh, where
    > you'll never need Spybot or Adaware or a Registry cleaner, and your system
    > will not slow down just because you are using it over time. Just a matter
    of
    > looking at all of your options :-)

    Wish the Macs I use were like that. Wish I lost as little work and time
    on the Macs as I do the Dell.


    --
    Thomas M. Goethe


    >
    > On 4/8/04 7:15 AM, in article
    > MPG.1adefe6ae1bfe3dc98a37e@news-server.columbus.rr.com, "Leythos"
    > <void@nowhere.com> wrote:
    >
    > > In article <-MKcnfNm7JkpYOndUSdV9g@ptd.net>, halnjoy@ptdprolog.net
    > > says...
    > >> I have a nearly three year old Dimension 8200, 2.2Mhz, 512m RAM,
    running XP
    > >> home. Over the last few months it's been getting progressively slower
    and
    > >> slower, especially when loading programs and web pages.
    > >>
    > >> I run Norton AntiVirus, Adaware and Spybot regularly.
    > >>
    > >> After three years, I'm guessing that it's time to start fresh and lose
    all
    > >> the registry code-gunk that's accumulated over time from software
    upgrades,
    > >> etc. My question is: what's the best approach to a really clean
    install?
    > >> Should I be looking to perform a low-level format, should I boot from a
    > >> floppy and format C:\ , or will a simple reinstall of XP automatically
    wipe
    > >> everything else from the drive and let me start fresh? If there's some
    > >> malware lurking in the registry or elsewhere that hasn't been
    previously
    > >> detected, will it survive anything other than the low-level format?
    > >
    > > best approach is as follows:
    > >
    > > 1 Uninstall any unused software
    > > 2 Defragment the drive
    > > 3 Run a registry cleaner
    > > 4 Set IE to only use 20MB of cache for Temp Internet files
    > > 5 Move the TEMP location to something like C:\TEMP instead of your
    > > documents and settings folder or the \windows\temp area
    > >
    > > If that doesn't restore your performance then do the following:
    > >
    > > Backup your internet favorites, cookies, email, contacts, etc... Burn to
    > > CD.
    > >
    > > Insert the Quick-Restore CD, or the Dell XP CD, reboot, delete the
    > > partition, create the partition, install XP.
    > >
    > > Low level formatting is not something you want to do to a drive any
    > > more. It went out with MFM / RLL drives in the old days. Only the
    > > earliest of the IDE drives benefited from it, and most were trashed by
    > > it.
    > >
    > > Make sure that you download XP Service Pack 1 and any other security
    > > updates and burn them to CD. Also, if connected by a cable/dsl
    > > connection, make sure that you are behind a router or have the personal
    > > firewall software on CD before you connect to the internet.
    >
  8. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    On 4/8/04 9:54 PM, in article c54vmi$2pr50f$1@ID-192964.news.uni-berlin.de,
    "Thomas M. Goethe" <goethe11@lycos.com> wrote:

    > "Richardson" <debsguy@comcast.net> wrote in message
    > news:BC9AE808.1C96D%debsguy@comcast.net...
    >> Another suggestion....purchase SpaceAce IV from RBLevin.net.
    >>
    >> http://www.rblevin.net/SAN_Index.htm
    >>
    >> I've used this app for the past five years on Win 95, Win 2000 and XP
    >> machines. It will safely get rid of much of the junk and temp detritus on
    >> your computer. In fact, when you first use it, you may recover 80-100 mb
    > of
    >> drive space. Another option is to consider upgrading to a Macintosh, where
    >> you'll never need Spybot or Adaware or a Registry cleaner, and your system
    >> will not slow down just because you are using it over time. Just a matter
    > of
    >> looking at all of your options :-)
    >
    > Wish the Macs I use were like that. Wish I lost as little work and time
    > on the Macs as I do the Dell.
    >
    Wish you knew how to use a Mac....
  9. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Well,

    You've got a lot of help on this one, all of it good IMHO.

    One thing I would add, though, is that a 3-year old hard disk WILL
    slow down, and will get even slower and slower when it is nearing its
    end of life (anywhere between 2 to 4 years for a hard disk). In my
    opinion, these are warning signs and, if I had your problem and money,
    I would buy a new hard disk and ghost the old to the new, even if I
    intended to re-install from fresh eventually. That's my 2 cents.

    Check also this app, it may identify a lot of things that Ad-Aware and
    Spybot have not. I used to use this site's pages a lot before I
    bought the program, the ultimate troubleshooter, and it is a godsend :

    http://www.answersthatwork.com/TUT_pages/TUT_information.htm

    http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist.htm

    I still think, though, that the age of your hard disk may be the major
    problem.


    Mik

    "halnjoy" <halnjoy@ptdprolog.net> wrote in message
    news:-MKcnfNm7JkpYOndUSdV9g@ptd.net...
    > I have a nearly three year old Dimension 8200, 2.2Mhz, 512m RAM,
    running XP
    > home. Over the last few months it's been getting progressively
    slower and
    > slower, especially when loading programs and web pages.
    >
    > I run Norton AntiVirus, Adaware and Spybot regularly.
    >
    > After three years, I'm guessing that it's time to start fresh and
    lose all
    > the registry code-gunk that's accumulated over time from software
    upgrades,
    > etc. My question is: what's the best approach to a really clean
    install?
    > Should I be looking to perform a low-level format, should I boot
    from a
    > floppy and format C:\ , or will a simple reinstall of XP
    automatically wipe
    > everything else from the drive and let me start fresh? If there's
    some
    > malware lurking in the registry or elsewhere that hasn't been
    previously
    > detected, will it survive anything other than the low-level format?
    >
    > Yes, I know I'll lose my preferences and I need to back-up all my
    driver
    > downloads, email addresses, outlook favorites, etc., before I begin.
    > However, how do I "save" the XP Service Pack 1, all the critical XP
    secuity
    > updates, and Norton antivirus definition updates so the computer is
    > protected once I've started clean?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
  10. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Thank you all for your combined advice.

    I think my solution will be to buy a Western Digital 80Gb HD. I'm going to
    install it as the new master, do a fresh install of all the software, and
    keep the original drive unchanged in case we run into bugs with the new
    drive. That way I could reconnect it if we need to and run the machine in
    its current condition. Then, once everything seems to be working properly
    off the Western Digital, we'll make the original drive a slave or shred its
    data and toss.

    Again...thank you.
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