Format Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by hac32, Jun 23, 2007.

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  1. hac32

    hac32 Registered Member

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    Windows XP Home SP2. My PC is running very slowly & I have been advised to format the hard drive & reinstall Windows. The only CD I have is SP1. The XP2on my PC is uptodate. I've also been told that if I remove unwanted programs, save my data files using Acronis True Image Home 9.0 to an external USB hard drive, then defragment the PC's hard drive with only the system, antivirus, firewall & programs I want remaining on it, that that would not make the PC much faster. The only way is to format & reinstall - a real hassle. Is there a quicker way to use TI to help? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    One of the reasons I installed TI was so that I would never have to reinstall XP and everyhing else that goes with it.
    So I run regular housekeeping routines to ensure that the PC stays fit and heathy and up to speed.
    Do you limit the size of temp internet files and do you clear them out regularly? Empty the trash bin?
    Remove unwanted cookies? Clear other temp files. RUN %temp% select all and delete, best done after a re-boot. Run an anti-virus scan in safe mode. Run an anti-spyware program ditto. Uninstall unwanted programs. Ckeck that your installed RAM is all working and is sufficient for the system. Stop any resource hungry Windows services such as Indexing if you do not need them. Run a defrag.
    There are lots more that can be done periodically but I have just realised that I am wandering away from the purpose of this Board so I better stop there.

    Xpilot
     
  3. hac32

    hac32 Registered Member

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    Thankyou for your reply. I do all of the things that you recommend but the professional advice I got was to reformat.
     
  4. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    It depends on what software you use to do those things. And usually one program will not clean out everything that should be removed. A format and reinstall will definitely eliminate the cause of the slowdown, which is most likely that the Registry is choc full of unnecessary items. What Registry cleaner do you use?

    If you do go the format and reinstal route, be sure to use True Image to keep a backup of your "virgin" state system.

    Another reason for the slowdown that I'm convinced is a big part, are all those Windows updates. The only updates I have are those that are included in the SP2 cd, - which came out when, three years ago? - and my systems (desktop and laptop) run as slick as they did on "day one". I just make sure and keep my antivirus uptodate and my firewall active. I do also run various "housekeeping" software to clean out the stuff that XPilot mentioned.
     
  5. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Before doing a format and re-install, I would
    1. Run the disk utility from the drive manufacturer and check its health.
    2. Run Chkdsk c: /R inside XP (preferably from the Recovery Console)
    3. Turn off disk indexing.
    4.. Turn off System Restore and turn it back on. This will remove all previous check points. Reduce the size allocated to system restore.
    5. After the above, Stop everything in your startup (temporarily) and see your speed returns. If improved, then you check the programs one at a time.
    6. Clean up temp files as previously mentioned.
    7. If speed improved, do another backup using TrueImage.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
  6. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    If this is a dramatic decrease in speed that has happened over a short period of time, the cause is most likely software. Have you installed anything recently? If not, spyware or other malware that installed itself is a good possibility.

    Have you used a good antivirus and a good spyware checker (Spyware Catcher, Spyware Doctor) to scan your system?

    Have you tried a Registry Cleaner?

    If nothing helps, then the only solution I know is a clean reinstall. You could spend more time trying to find a solution than it will take to reinstall everything.

    Well, if you have a fast Internet connection, you can install SP2 fairly quickly. At least, it won't require you to sit and watch it.

    In my experience, this is correct.


    What I would do in your case is to make an image of your system now before doing anything else. That way you can always get back to what you have in the event you discover a solution that doesn't involve reinstalling everything.

    Be sure to create a TrueImage Recovery CD and boot from it to be sure you can see all your drives. Verify the image you made from the boot CD.

    After creating the image and copying any data you want to another drive, I'd delete the current boot partition and then recreate it and format it as part of the Windows XP installation. As soon as the installation is complete, and you have installed any necessary drivers not provided by the XP installation, check to see that the computer is running fast again.

    If it is, proceed with the installation of Service Pack 2. Then do the updates that are still required to bring the system up-to-date.

    Make another image with TrueImage. Now you won't have to reinstall everything up to this point ever again.

    Proceed to install the software you want and the peripheral hardware. I make images as I go along just to be on the safe side. When you have everything installed and updated, make a final image split for saving to DVD disks. This will always be available in case you have a future problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
  7. hac32

    hac32 Registered Member

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    Thank you for your reply.
    I regularly use Ashampoo WinOptimizer Platinum 3 to clean the Registry. Also CCleaner & Norton System Works but less frequently.
    I have used TI to make system backups but unfortunately not one of the "virgin" state. [I remember I intended to do so after the last reinstall but left it too late!!!]
    I was not aware that Windows Updates could adversely affect performance. I run Automatic Updates.
    My Avast! virus scanner is automatically updated, as are Spyware Doctor, Spyware Blaster, Windows Defender & Windows Firewall. I also regularly update & use AdAware & Spybot S&D. I also defrag C: regularly.
     
  8. hac32

    hac32 Registered Member

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    Thankyou for your reply. Will try what you suggest.
     
  9. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    As you have most potential risk areas covered you might consider uninstalling NSW as it would seem to be surplus to requirements. Norton issue a special removal tool if add/remove does not work but also search for any bits left over. I can remember finding in excess of a dozen. After this was done my computer was rejuvinated!

    Xpilot
     
  10. hac32

    hac32 Registered Member

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    Thankyou for your reply.
    The slowdown has been happening over a fairly long period of time.
    See my earlier reply to DwnNdrty re virus checker, etc.
    I made a CD of SP2 previously but obviously it is not uptodate.
    Have noted your other advice & will act upon it.
    Thankyou once again.
     
  11. hac32

    hac32 Registered Member

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    Thankyou for your advice. Will remove NSW but I only reinstalled fairly recently so it may not have the same affect as on your machine.
     
  12. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Is one of the backups old enough that it is before the slow down? If so restore that. It's better than having to start from scratch.
     
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