Right time to format

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by AXIS, May 12, 2005.

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  1. AXIS

    AXIS Registered Member

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    i have just wondered which iz the right time to format my pc...last time i format my pc waz 2 years back...will i format my pc in 6 months or
    once in a u year.....or as long as it dosent give any problem
    regards
    AXIS
     
  2. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    I have not formatted my system in over 3 years now. I would consider a reformat only as a last resort.

    I am going to move your thread to software & services forum so it will receive better attention.
     
  3. Ailric

    Ailric Guest

    If you aren't having any major problems and your system running smooth, probably no need to format... unless you had a major virus problem that may have caused damage.

    The biggest deal with a format is preparation. As long as all of your important programs, text files, pictures, email, bookmarks and other important files are backed up, a format is a breeze. Write a list and make sure all important files and settings are backed up. Also make sure you have all the drivers you need handy. Double check.

    Next I use a program called GWScan to completely wipe out the hard drive.
    http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/search.asp?st=pn&param=7514539

    After a clean install of WindowsXP, install all drivers then Service Pack 2.

    Update your computer with all needed files from Windows Update.

    If you have Nero or another disk imaging program, now may be a good to to use it. I have my own clean and updated version of WindowsXP backed up by Nero ready for my next format. This will save hours of headaches in the future.

    At this point you will be ready to install your programs and adjust the system to your liking.
     
  4. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    I find a couple years to be a good time frame for formatting.. by then there's usually a bunch of minor glitches and performance loss that can't really be fixed all the way, just from general usage. Not having any major issues will also allow you to take your time preparing, which can make the operation a lot more smooth. If you don't already have a disaster recovery plan, this would be a good time to start thinking about it.. part of mine is having a second partition that, among other things, holds my backups and such, so if my system becomes unbootable, or otherwise hosed, I can reformat the system partition without worrying about it.

    Here's a few things that can help make the formatting process a little easier:

    - Windows XP's "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard" - Click "Start" > "All Programs" > "Accessories" > "System Tools", and you will find it in there. This is one thing that is too often overlooked, but can save you quite a bit of time and hassle getting things set back up. This can even do a lot of the backing up for you. Here's a good overview on it (it mentions a direct connection to another computer to transfer to, but you can also select any location, such as your harddrive where you can then burn them to CD)
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/expert/crawford_november12.mspx

    - nLite - Lets you create a customized Windows install CD, integrating service packs, hotfixes, and more, lets you remove unwanted components, apply security and performance tweaks, and lets you easily create an unattended install (so during the format you don't have to enter the license key or any settings, you can start the format and come back later to a completely finished install)
    http://www.nliteos.com/

    - AutoPatcher - A collection of all Windows Updates, useful programs and utilities, tweaks, and a lot more. Burn it to disk and just run the install and it will install everything you choose all at once. So, again, you can just run it, walk away, and come back to a fully updated system. You can also add your own programs for it to install. The full package is initially a big download, but it's worth it, and you can just download smaller updates for next time.
    Info here: http://www.autopatcher.com/
    Latest version here: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showforum=89
     
  5. AXIS

    AXIS Registered Member

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    thank u all
    i just wondered iz their anything like system file recovery...if this type of things present ..i think i will never have 2 format.
    regards
    AXIS
     
  6. clansman77

    clansman77 Registered Member

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    yeah i second nlite
    nlite+sp2(for slipstreaming)+ryan vm's update pack+all your drivers to integrate into the install cd. you will get an ultimate install cd..
     
  7. WonderingStranger

    WonderingStranger Registered Member

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    Hi;)
    Referring to your sig', my 2 cents would be
    "Success comes from good judgement.
    Good judgement comes from experience.
    And experience is often the result of bad judgement."
    (Dunno who the actual author is... I personally heard it on a tape from the Anthony Robbins's PowerTalk! series)
    Cheers
     
  8. WonderingStranger

    WonderingStranger Registered Member

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    Hi
    I really do not like the Stalin's part of your sig'. I hope you put it there as a reminder and warning of the madness of this guy, not as a tribute of some sort.

    As far as your problem is concerned, make sure you read some of the posts at Wilders's regarding imaging software, such as Drive Image (Powerquest/Symantec), or Ghost (Symantec), or True Image (Acronis). There are other products, too, many of which are mentioned in the referred threads.

    These tools allow one to completely restore a clean system in a few minutes, hence including the full benefits of a reformat. They're one of the best kept secrets of computer security and computer sanity, are most suited right after a clean install, and most useful as soon as you think your hd needs some revamp or restore !

    Cheers
     
  9. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    I've not had very good luck using the driver integration. Although I haven't used it since a few releases ago, I'm waiting until the final before recommending it. I haven't had any problems with the rest, though.
     
  10. clansman77

    clansman77 Registered Member

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    well that sounds much better.i got that sig from a site while surfing the web.dont remember where exactly.anyway its time for me change that sig.i have a habit of changing those every1-2 months..

    notok, i believe the 1.0 final will be out soon with 64 bit support.and nlite is constantly improving all the time.each version is coming out with bug fixes and new features.hope that u will get driver support with the final version.with nlite reinstallation is a breeze truly.everything is tweaked and optimized to the core.u dont have to spend extra time and money for tweaking and optimizing..
    i have partition dedicated for nlited xp.i use this for testing purposes and wipe this and reinstall everytime new nlite version comes out in just 20 mins..

    i believe using nlite is way better than using the first image that u create with imaging software in case reinstallation is necessary..
     
  11. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    I've formatted my hard disk at least 15 times since 2003, using the hard way :D
     
  12. AXIS

    AXIS Registered Member

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    bless u firecat..u r just like my classmate.. he format his pc everyday
     
  13. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Indeed, I love nLite, and download every new release. I'm not really sure what happened with the driver integration for me.. my modem driver just wouldn't take, and I would have to delete it and reinstall it to get it working. Everything else works great, though, and I definitely recommend it to anyone that's getting ready to reformat (just not the driver integration.)

    The latest round of tweaks is great, too.. it has the potential to replace even commercial tweaking programs. I have to install too many programs to reformat every release, but I'm working on a strategy to make that just as fast. If I get another drive soon, as (sort of) planned, I might just do what you do w/ a dual boot. I do still use True Image, though, for when something goes wrong, and sometimes (as recently) after something causes a bunch of crashes, just to reverse any possible corruption.
     
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