Hard Drive life and OS speed

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220volt

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Rule of thumb.

Reinstall your XP every 6 moths if you want it to run smooth and will prolong the life of your Hard Drive as well.

And remember: always backup , backup , backup

I always stick to this rule and i never , ever had problems ith XP errors or hard drive noise and such. i have been running on the same windows and hard drive for 5 years already and its running much faster then my frineds pc's, and they all have new pc's.
 

Stoner

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Reinstall your XP every 6 moths if you want it to run smooth and will prolong the life of your Hard Drive as well.
This is the very first time I have ever seen advice like that for XP.
I rather doubt it.


My mother's laptop has run for about 2 years or so, and only on the factory install.
No problems, no deteoriation/degredation of performance. When I check it out every 3 or 4 months, it seems the same to me. And it has uptimes lasting up to several months.

Heck, I've gotten 98se to last longer than 2 years without a reinstall.

Mostly, I can't see a reinstall unless there has been corruption by malware or hardware failure. Or tweaking till it's broken :D

And remember: always backup , backup , backup
I agree with that completely. I prefer drive imaging for the os partition and data on a separate partition, backed up to cd.
 

220volt

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That depends how much surfing you do, and what do you use your XP for.
If your mother is doing lot of surfing, 3D aplications, downloading mp3's and videos, i am very suprised that you haven't seen degredation.
I am getting lot out of my XP so i do reinstall every six months.
registry will eventualy get backup and full of junk and you will start seeing poor performance.
It is microsoft.
Tip that i mentioned goes for people that are using PC a lot (gamers, 3D and webdesigner, etc)
I still have pc with win 95 that runs great. You know why? because i haven't used it since 1996.

Leo Laport (ex Screen saver host) does his every three months.
I do every 6 months and I see immediate improvment.

Regards
 
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Stoner, I agree.

Personally, I manually clean my registry using regedit from time to time, then use a utility to compact it. I also clean out all temp files, manage my virtual memory (instead of letting windows do it), defrag nightly, and keep watch over the drive's MFT size.

Reinstalling windows to increase performance is good for average users. I highly recommend using imaging software to image the drive when freshly installed and after drivers have been added, for reinstallation. It saves alot of headaches and frustrations.
 

Stoner

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220volt,
Interesting you brought up 95.
My sister is a research scientist for Wyeth.
Her lab ran a win95 machine on a lab bench, hooked up to record experimental data.
I was junked a year and a half ago when a proprietary pci card failed and a replacment couldnt be found. Had to replace the entire computer along with test equipment.
She said the machine was up 5/6 hours a day and had never needed a reinstall since the factory. It was new in late 95.
Perhaps more problems come from malicious apps and web sites :cool:


BTW, most problems posted at this site seem malware oriented. What's left are hardware problems and software conflicts.

As far as registries becoming 'backed up with junk' , I think that depends more on how many apps are installed and then uninstalled, and how efficiently they uninstall.
I quit on registry cleaners a long time ago. Ususlly broke something :D
As I pretty much have figured out what I need in the way of applications, I probably don't need a registry cleaner to begin with. I don't need to install/uninstall much anymore.

As far as my mom's computer, it's used mostly for surfing, some email, some simple game playing and crossword puzzles.
But again, I think malware is the big killer of most os installs.

The comp I'm posting from is on 12 hours a day, used online maybe 6 hours, I use financial software, voice reconition at times, interests in photo restoration, and am active in the Civ Debate forum here, and much surfing is done in the quest for news and information. I don't want to appear to be a power user, I view my sister as one.
And her installs last longer than mine(intensive computing in her line of work...but less internet usage by far).


Sorry, I've not heard of this 'Leo Laport' before.
On a search, he seems to have a radio show and for some reason thinks software firewall aren't necessary.
Personally, I think they are good as a second line of defense with a NAT router being the primary.......for home owners.


Well, pehaps he is a software tester that winds up with issues and conflicts from all the many apps he installs and uninstalls? Wouldn't exactly be the common user you'd find at our site, but I do know of several programers that post here. Maybe they will comment on their experiences.

But for me, I'll go till my comp actually needs a reinstall.
 

JohnWill

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Re-installing is a pretty drastic step. A much better solution is to install and configure the way you want the system, then use an image utility like Acronis True Image to create an image of the boot partition. Any "reinstall" is a 10 minute operation involving booting the True Image recovery CD and restoring the image. Installing XP, then all the applications you use is normally an all day affair! :eek: (n)

I have True Image scheduled to make an image backup of my boot partition every week, and I keep them 4 deep. I won't be re-installing XP until there's some other version of Windows that I want to use.
 
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How exactly does reinstalling XP prolong the life of a hard drive? It would seem that intense disk activity just wears down the armature and platters.
 

220volt

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Reinstalling windows XP doesn't wear down hard drive more then letting windows XP run every day on registry full of junk and pieces of left over files.Besides you're only going to di it once or twice a year. Once you have fresh copy of windows your hard drive (needle) doesn't need much effort to write and read files thus prolonging its life.
Defragging it every night is very hard drive intensive (much more intensive then actual reinstall)
I heard that tip from Leo Laporte few years ago and it stuck with me. Every IT guy that i work with does the same thing every six month or at least once a year.
I still have to see hard drive crash or windows errors on any of my pc's, after 5 years.
Check out this thread from Experts Exchange forums.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21568600.html

Software firewalls work only on layer 7 of OSI modle (on top of your windows) while hardware firewalls go deep into layer 2-3-4 and sometimes even higher, providing much better flexibility anb protection, but i would always use layered protection. Meaning: hardware firewall with software firewall and possibly proxy firewall, if speed is not the issue.NAT will not offer you much protection these days. Right now if you're running nAT on your home router there are pleanty of websites that will read your private ip even behind NAT.
As of now stateful packet filtering provides pretty good protection but nothing is 100%
 
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Defragging it every night is very hard drive intensive (much more intensive then actual reinstall)
First of all, NTFS defragments itself automatically as data is written to the drive. Not even Leo Laporte would recommend defragmenting an NTFS drive every night. The filesystem doesn't normally get any more fragmented than it is when you first install.

Once you have fresh copy of windows your hard drive (needle) doesn't need much effort to write and read files thus prolonging its life.
Neithor having a fresh XP install nor having defragmented free space affect where the needle moves to create new files. See study by DiskKeeper here: http://files.diskeeper.com/pdf/HowFileFragmentationOccursonWindowsXP.pdf
 

Stoner

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Right now if you're running nAT on your home router there are pleanty of websites that will read your private ip even behind NAT.
What is the risk in that?
If a web site I connect to doesn't know my IP, how can that computer know who to send a reply back to?
 

WhitPhil

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brendandonhu said:
First of all, NTFS defragments itself automatically as data is written to the drive.
Really?
Then, why would I ever want/need to defrag?
 
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