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Reformatting the hard drive...

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by daverose808, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. daverose808

    daverose808 Thread Starter

    Nov 12, 2003
    Hi, if everyone agrees that you should backup all your data, the following hypothetical will fairly assume that you currently have all your data backed up. "You" will be used to describe an average user. And, it will also be assumed that you have an XP installation CD.

    Suppose you have had your XP running for 2 years, and its noticeably slower than it used to be. Sure, spyware and remnants from old, deleted software could be the main culprits, but no matter how much "cleaning" you do, it doesnt have that fresh, new-XP feeling anymore.

    What is the reason you come to tech boards, looking for a little help that might make your startup speed increase by a few seconds, for example, but you wont just reinstall XP. You have the installation CD, all your personal files and program installation files are stored on CDs as well. If you were to wipe the drive clean, reinstall everything, redo your settings, it will still probably end up taking you as long as it did for you to read all the help columns in PC magazines and message boards, and all the tweaking. And, after all that tweaking and repairing, its still never perfect.

    So, what is the reason for the hesitation? Why is that always the last choice? Is it really the time?

    I reinstall XP every so often, and am just wondering if there is a reason this is such an unpopular solution.
  2. StumpedTechy


    Jul 7, 2004
    Usually its the "Little thing" factor or the "unrecoverable" factor.

    I have had some people that love a software that they no longer have media for. I have had some people that have specific settings and "looks" that they are used to and don't want to lose. I have had others who have a specific version of a software and a reinstall would result in a newer version going onto the OS. I have had yet others who think their current functionality will be lost by doing a rebuild and they don't want to "chance it".

    I think the main reason its so last choice is familiarity, comfort and the fact people don't cope with change well. See how many people stay with Windows 98 instead of upgrading to XP? Its not because 98 is better its because they are not familiar with it and will have to learn something their not used to.

    Personally I wipe it as soon as I judge its "needed"
  3. thepcjanitor


    Aug 28, 2005
    How 'bout THIS? I'm not sure I HAVE my XP software. Did I get that when I bought the computer? I don't recall it. (There's so many CD's around here now I'll never find it if I did!)

    And how do I know I have ALL the software media I need? Is there some reasonable way for the non-geek to inventory things before trying a wipe-and-reinstall?
  4. win2kpro


    Jul 19, 2005
    Reloading the OS and applications is unpopular because it takes a little while to do it.

    I keep everything important backed up to a USB external HDD. I zero fill my HDD about every 18 months and reload everything "fresh". I have all my downloaded programs and keys in a folder with my latest service pack and installation is very easy. After I zero fill the drive it takes me about 6 hours to reinstall the OS and all the applications and I'm good for another 18 months or so with virtually no problems. (y)
  5. jhmalone


    Dec 27, 2004
    For me, it is about the time involved. Like others have said, its also a comfort level. I like the way I have my system "tweaked" and a reformat would reset everything.

    In some cases, folks that visit here don't have the experience that we have and may not be comfortable with a reformat as, quite frankly, it can be an intimidating process for the un-initiated. I remember my first reformat - would not want to experience that again!

    Plus the fact that the really experienced folks here are pretty quick to respond with help, and its not like you are waiting days for answers or suggestions...
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