Reformat - Clean install

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Peter2150, Jan 3, 2008.

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  1. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Question about the benefit of a clean install. One of my desktops is having it's motherboard replaced. In the process of troubleshooting, the drives were formatted and a clean windows install was done. I also have images of the drive as I last used it. When I get the machine back it will have the clean install on it.

    To a large extent I am discounting drivers updates, as the machine ran beautifully when new, it's debatable if driver upgrades would result in improved performance. This machine has been kept very clean, junk files removed frequently with CCleaner, Most software that was trialed was uninstalled with FDISR. If not after uninstall, all leftover files, were deleted and RegsuprumePro was used to clean the registry. Another words machine has been kept pretty clean.

    To do the clean install rebuild, first I'd have to restore the image, uninstall several programs, to free activations, then restore the clean install, and start installation. One thing that makes the install process time consuming is the need to exactly match the config of the other machine so the data sync process works. Based on setting up machines when new, this all will take about a week. This down time costs me in real dollars.

    I know generically people say a clean install is good, but what I am curious to know is specifically what benefit I could possibly see. It would have to be measurable to be worth the cost.

    Thoughts,

    Pete
     
  2. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    One of the benefits of imaging is that you can do both. You can restore your old system and then on an as and when basis start a completely new fresh clean wonderful reformat and install. Just keep the 2 images separate and work on the new one in your spare time. My conclusion has always been that there is nothing like a fresh system ( data on a different drive of course :) ) Kinda like the smell of a new car. Is it worth it ? possibly not - but let's be honest here - how much of anything , that anyone , on wilders does is entirely driven by the bottom line ?

    Just about half way thru reconstruction a 4 year old Acer. Apart from windows Tablet ( SP1 FAT32, now SP2 NTFS) edition almost everything else has changed.
    It now runs quite a bit better than it did this morning.
     
  3. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    there are a few things i could say my friend-

    firstly, dont you have a fdisr snap of a clean install? i keep one, and truly recommend it....

    secondly and maybe lastly, i have learned to excercise patience.

    so many times have i ran in a loop, re-setting up my computer after various screw ups - you just have to learn to tell yourself that youre gonna use the opportunity to come back even stronger

    you and i both know the power that a well set up computer affords one- other people maybe dont know, they arent aware- but thats for them and this is for us....
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    1. I have an image of a clean install, but thats not the point

    2. Patience yes, but wasting time in this cost me real dollars

    3. Computer was running perfectly before hardware failure. I have that image. So the question still remains. What do I gain.
     
  5. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    pete its obvious you're irritated- i have been myself so many times. i still need two months to set up this snapshot appropriately- then i need to work with other snapshots as auxilliary builds- i know your pain, trust me. i dont even push myself anymore- i wait for myself to know the right times to edge forwards in the effort to get things straight- i have web browsing and a security core in place on this snapshot- and for now thats just gotta be enough. trust me, i understand where youre coming from

    edit- it seems that each thing you work with on a system is its own ocean- its own microcosm that you can spend days with in itself- follow me?
     
  6. beetlejuice69

    beetlejuice69 Registered Member

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    Well Pete, if the image is 100% then go that route. Money being the key then you loose less. Me, I`d go for the complete install because I don`t have any money to loose in down time. If like you, and the $ was involved then the snapshot...as long as I was sure it was clean. As you said you do. JMO
     
  7. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I would use my image to avoid a phone activation of Windows and to win time of course.
    Restoring an image takes only 1 minut and installing Windows + all driver-CD's takes about 60 minuts at least.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2008
  8. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Let me say what you already know -in fact i read it from you :) :
    That's what SP is there for, and what it's good at, with HIR and all that.

    I just wished they supported other file systems, like ext3 :'(
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    You know the worst part isn't even all the software, but since I sync data between all the machines, the setups have to be exactly the same. Sometimes that is the worst of the challenge.
     
  10. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Hello Peter,

    One point that I didn't catch yet: would you get the computer back with the exact same make and model motherboard and CPU?

    I understand that you worry about the setup and customizations of the applications for synchronization reasons. For me MyUninstaller was always helpful because it lets me generate a list of installed software, including release information.

    Concerning driver updates, they not only offer 'improvements', but also bug fixes. Usually well documented in the release notes.

    If you take the restore-from-image route, I hope that you won't spill the gained time when you are dealing with unexpected after-restore issues.
    I do mention this because you probably won't restore to the exact same hardware.

    Since application settings are very important to you, Peter, I suggest Altiris. I'm sure you have heard of it. The advantage of this solution is that you are able to copy 'application and all it's settings' from one computer to another (freshly installed) computer.
    Although it won't take away the stress of coming week, it could be helpful in the (near) future!
     
  11. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    FWIW, I just reinstalled XP for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I bought new hardware so I could finally image my setup. That's why I went with a clean install and I had a few issues I thought could be related to my original OEM 2 1/2 year old XP install. I only used ccleaner during that time and have installed/uninstalled many programs, so I figured everything was a mess. Long story short, the 3 issues I thought would be fixed, are still issues in my new install. I still have double icons in the start menu (this should be fixed very soon), my wireless mouse had problems when using usb, and I still can't install AVG AS without the computer hanging (guard.exe is using 100%). My boot times and shutdown times are still similar so the main thing I gained was a lot of experience.

    innerpeace
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    From what I understand, they are going to just pull everything off and replace the motherboard, with the same board. So hardware will be the same. It's also the reason I am taking it back to the velocity micro folks to do it. I know it will be done right.

    There actually was a bug in the video driver that I confirmed as being fixed. If I can install it fine, but the problem it caused hasn't been a real issue, and alone wouldn't be worth the work.

    Assuming there is no hardware change, the image restore would be a five minute affair.

    Altris isn't a viable solution for me for several reasons. First I played with it a while back and basically got blue screens for my efforts. Also it means I have to put it on the desktop that now carries all the workload, and mess around trying to get it set up. That's a new variable that I don't see being worth the time.

    The key question is, what causes the degradation, that would make a clean install better then the restored image, and what is the performance gain. Could I even see it.

    Pete
     
  13. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Pete,

    I am sure you always maintained your machine and the resulting images in better than new condition,so in my estimation,a clean install would be a costly,frustrating,uneccessary and expensive exercise.

    In my experience, with a clean install some mistakes creep in almost immediately in any case!

    You arent the paranoid type,just restore the image:D
     
  14. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Thanks everyone. I appreciate the input. I really do.

    Pete
     
  15. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    The Altiris developers advice to prepare the Altiris snapshots in a clean installed system, a virtual system would work fine for that.

    If your system returns with the exact same specifications, then I don't see a technical gain in a reinstallation. But you practice an installation again, which is not a bad idea. My experience is that when I reinstall, I always find driver updates that I forgot to keep up with.
    But then again, I have time to waste. ;)
     
  16. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    there is one driver update, I do know about and I can try updating later. The time issue is a biggie.

    Thanks for your input. Appreciate it.

    Pete
     
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