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Better Alternative than Reformatting my PC

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by webarchitect, May 14, 2008.

  1. webarchitect New Member

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    I've been reading online that once a computer reaches a particular time (around 3-5 months), it needs to be reformatted.

    I haven't reformatted my PC in over a year now. It's starting to run a bit slow. I was thinking if there was an alternative to cleaning up the PC without reformatting it. Could anyone give me some tips on how to go about it...

    Thanks
     
  2. tkpenalty New Member

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    Err... I havent formatted in a year. Just clean the crap out of your system.
     
  3. oli_ramsay

    oli_ramsay

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    I remember reading something like that ages ago, saying that an OS has a "half life" as after a certain period becomes sluggish. I say that's BS, just use a registry scanner to remove un-needed crap, scan for spyware daily, and defragmant once a week or so and it's performance shouldn't deteriorate.
     
  4. Grasshopper New Member

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    Nonsense. You could even install OS without formating. Most likely your PC need defragmentation. You could use some tools (I use O&O Defrag) or just run Windows defrag tool (right click on the partition -> properties -> tools). This should help. Best of luck ;)
     
  5. webarchitect New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm also going to try removing some of the programs that run during start-up. I'm not really sure but maybe some background application is eating away my available resources at certain times. Plus the memory leaks caused by my browser (Firefox) might be adding to this slow-down.

    Anyways, I appreciate all your advice. Thanks again.
     
  6. oli_ramsay

    oli_ramsay

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  7. echo75 New Member

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    whoaa, where did you read such funny stuff, :shadedshu true to point frequent use, repeated program installating , uninstalling, file transfering and all other stuff can create fragments on your hard drive, unused registry crap, broken entries and a bunch of other crap too. Hoever proper system maintainace will keep your system running fine without any need whatsoever to format your PC.

    If your PC is suddenly getting slow it may be spyware thats slowing it down. I personally have a barricade of defences to keep em at bay , then i use crapcleaner often , defragment occasionally, disk error check/fix when needed and manual registry spring-cleaning if the need arises. One of my systems has been running now for 2years (TWO) with no problems.

    If you must , you can just do a windows re-install instead of a format from scratch. here is a guide- http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
     
  8. DarkMatter New Member

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    That's what everybody should do. :)

    But for some people (or scenarios) is just easier to re-install or even format. It depends on the use you give to your PC, how many programs you have, etc. For example, I don't bother to do all the maintenance on my second and third PCs and in the laptop and HTPC. It's just easier and less time consuming to re-install and eventually format. As long as you have your data system well stablised and have all the drivers at hand, a reinstall from scratch only takes an hour or so of your time.
     
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    yup. i have all my essential programs installers in the one folder and no data on the C: drives except pics/downloaded crap, so i can format and reinstall any rig (games aside on the gaming rig) in under an hour.
     
  10. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Yeah like others have said try cleaning the stuff of it you do not use any longer.

    JV Tools is a pretty sweet program. There's a version 4 which is freeware if you can find it.

    However i do reinstall every 5 month max as it does give a speed boost whot ever you try and is good idea anyways due to not all malware \ spyware is found by programs anyways. people like to think they do.

    Try removing startup programs though MSConfig which you run from the run start menu or a dos box.

    If you do that check for what each startup program does ask here or \ and do yahoo\google searches on them.

    All so check services as well as a lot of program add crap to there too.

    You could add another hard drive if you do not have a partition setup for daul boot of the same HDD.
     
  11. mlee49

    mlee49

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    I would pull off some auto start up programs. If windows(please fill in sys specs :)) run msconfig and see what is starting up automatically. You can disable a lot of crap, especially if you bought a bloated windows(ie Dell, Gateway, ect) version.
    I havnt played with Opera yet, but sounds like a good tool.

    And btw welcome to TPU!
     
  12. Stearic New Member

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    Maintenance.

    I just reinstalled XP last week because of major hardware upgrades and felt that a clean start would be better. Otherwise, I could have continued - it was running fine even after more than one year continuous usage and heavy gaming. Despite having about 20-30 games, a ton of programs and a few hundred gigs of files on it, it was running as good as new.

    Just used to do some basic maintenance. Most important was avoiding malware and junk (as opposed to useful programs) from accumulating on it.
    And:

    -AV scans with AVG every weekend or two.Same with Spybot.

    -Automatic disk defrag. Very convenient. Didn't waste time defragging manually or scheduling for nearly 1 Terabyte of drives. The auto defragger used to take care of defrags automatically as necessary and keep the drives fit, in great performance for quick file access.

    -Cleaned out temp files and browser cache with Ccleaner every 2-3 days. Actually, didn't have much to clean out because I was doing it regularly.

    -Restricted unnecessary programs from booting up with Windows during startup. Helped to keep bootup times short.

    -Used Opera for browsing. Say NO to IE.:laugh:

    -No registry tweaks or optimizations. Don't trust them.

    That's all.

    Remember, with Windows, prevention is far better than cure. Avoid malware, avoid fragmentation, avoid resource hogging programs, avoid installing unnecessary stuff.:toast:
     
  13. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    some other thoughts:


    get a good file cleaner - and start removing stuff in temporary folders, especially temporary internet files. Thankfully, you're not using IE in this regard, as IE will hoard stoopifying amounts of temporary internet crap, and then hide it from you like a child who's stolen the cookie jar.

    a good file cleaner will also look for duplicate files, but make sure to go over the list before just removing stuff; some "duplicates" aren't really duplicates at all, and just appear that way.

    also, you can manually go through stuff as well, and remove files media files and the like you no longer need; also clean up a lot of the left over folders from removing applications. Although WIN will unistall them, folders and files are many times left behind.

    turn off your HDD indexing service, unless you really, really need it . . . WIN will keep an on running list of where everything is located, in an attempt to find files quicker; but sadly, unless you do a lot of file searches, it really just slows the system down as time goes on.

    Clean up your shortcuts within Start>Programs and clean up the number of icons and shortucts you have laying on the desktop, as well as the number of running applications that hang out in the taskbar; when WIN boots up, it checks the targets for all those shortcuts to verify that the application is still there, it can turn into a lengthy process when there's a ton of shortcuts laying around.

    and these two alone will probably have the biggest impact on how your OS runs:

    A good defrag application is a must; download the trial version of PerfectDisk - it can optimize your HDD while defragging, and can also be set up to defragment the HDD pagefiles on your next reboot - which is an area most defrag applications can't touch

    also, pick up a good registry scanner, and remove a lot of the erratum that collects in the registry as well (just installing and removing other applications will leave broken registry values) . . . also find an application that can defragment and compact the registry as well



    and one last thing, turn off WIN XP's disk defragmentation service!!! here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms932871.aspx This service chills in the background and will start to defragment your HDDs when the system is at idle or under low disk usage . . . problem being, is that 3rd party software does the job better, and WIN service will muck that up, and when your stored space starts growing, WIN service takes longer and longer to run, and in some instances doesn't like to relinquish control of the disk (it can't stop if it's in the middle of writing and copying files).
     
  14. webarchitect New Member

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    thanks for the tips ..I'll be trying them all out. I'm also looking in the possibility of probably installing deep freeze to keep my drive c: from accumulating too many files which are really unnecessary...so that I'll get a fresh system everytime I log in..I'll just move all my other files to d: or some other drive where I can modify or tweak them...I hope this works...
     

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