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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I'm sure that this has been talked about before, so pointers to existing threads would be appreciated as much as real information. I had a look through this forum but didn't see any obvious threads.

    I am about to take delivery of a new Dell laptop with a 640GB drive, and I also have on order a 2TB NAS. I am planning on doing my usual routine of partitioning the drive into a 20GB system partition with the rest as a single large mixed partition. I usually image the system partition and once or twice a year restore the image, apply any updates and re-image, then (re)installing what I need.

    Is this still a useful strategy for Vista? Or is the maintenance of it easy enough and good enough that this periodical restoration is no longer as needed as it once was?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    Periodic restoration is not necessary, with a little maintenance. I recommend a 50GB partition for programs and the OS, and the rest for data. That way, if you need to reinstall for any reason, backup is easy, and often unnecessary,

    Use a junk cleaner like CCleaner regularly to clean out temporary files, and uninstall unneeded programs. That way, your system will stay clean.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Craig, Is your new laptop actually a Vista machine or is it Win 7? By now this is somewhat unusual, although perhaps not in Australia. I also find that annual or biannual reinstallation is becomming unneccessary with simple steps taken to keep your system clean. CCleaner is one of those steps. I also firmly believe that updates help to protect me. Also a good AV and AM app to help keep nasties away. I believe Win 7 is a step ahead of Vista in security, but this may not be a choice for you.

    Being proactive with your security and cleaning goes a long way to solving the need for reinstallation. Obviously, a good system image on a regular basis will help in case something unexpected happens, but this is just another part of a good protection scheme. Enjoy your new PC.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger
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    a good system image on a regular basis will help in case something unexpected happens
    I think that's the main reason its still a good (useful strategy) idea. I typically don't reinstall for years and years but I still image. I also outgrew a 20 gig system partition many years ago as well since my Steam game account alone is some 24 gigs.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan King View Post
    Use a junk cleaner like CCleaner regularly to clean out temporary files, and uninstall unneeded programs. That way, your system will stay clean.
    I have CCleaner and use it periodically on my XP system. What other maintenance tools do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    Craig, Is your new laptop actually a Vista machine or is it Win 7?
    Yes, you're right, it is Win 7. I'm on XP at the moment, so both are a step up for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    I also find that annual or biannual reinstallation is becomming unneccessary with simple steps taken to keep your system clean. CCleaner is one of those steps.
    Another vote for CCleaner. What other steps do you suggest?

    And what about new programs that you want to try out. Do you sandbox them while trying and then install once you are sure that they are a keeper? Or install away and uninstall if you don't used them?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Read through this article carefully, it's basically all you need:
    The Explorer: Fred's System Setup Secrets, By Fred Langa InformationWeek August 31, 1999 12:00 AM
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I generally only use Sandboxie for internet use. I'm using it right now. I use both FF and IE 8 and both are run in a sandbox. Sandboxie can work with programs as well, but the 64 Bit edition just requests apps to work in the sandbox, it does not force the issue. I only install apps that are suggested from reliable sources including those in the Windows Secrets newsletter and from this Lounge. I never download without a recommendation from a trusted source. I will normally run a downloaded file through my AV/AM app before installation as well.

    As far as cleaning schemes, mine generally are done daily and weekly.

    Daily: I run FF and IE in private browsing sessions that empty my browsing history and cache upon closing. I feel that both browsers load fairly fast for me when I keep them clean so I do not need all the old stuff in history to help load pages faster, so I throw this stuff out. I also quite often run CCleaner once per day to clean most things that it will clean. Some think this is overkill, but I say so what. I feel safer.

    Weekly: I spend a few minutes (that's all it takes) I run CCleaner again to clean all temp files and browser history and cache. I do a manual scan with MSE (my resident AV/AM app) with MalewareBytes AM, then Spybot Search and Destroy. I believe manual scans with multiple scanners catch different things at various times. I do NOT run more than one security program in real time. This is a great way to cause yourself problems. That's why MSE is my real time protection. (I like free apps) I then use Auslogics Disk Defragmentor to defradment my disk. This is very fast.

    Monthly (Approx): I re-image my disk to an external HD using Acronis True Image Home 2010.

    So far this protection scheme has not failed me. I also spend quite a bit of time in the Lounge. Good luch with your new Win 7 PC.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    I warn you about using registry defraggers or cleaners. They are notorious for causing problems. Can't tell you how many time I have had to recommend a system restore or even a clean install on account of them.

    Defragment your hard drive every couple of months or so, but other than that, CCleaner to clean out cookies, temp files, etc, and uninstall unneeded programs.

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    I agree about only installing programs recommended from a trusted source, but sometimes several are recommended as alternatives and I try some out before settling on one. I don't like the idea of anything being left behind from the trialling of the software that I didn't end up keeping - not so much from a malware point of view, just junk being left behind in the registry, dll's etc.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Thomson View Post
    I agree about only installing programs recommended from a trusted source, but sometimes several are recommended as alternatives and I try some out before settling on one. I don't like the idea of anything being left behind from the trialling of the software that I didn't end up keeping - not so much from a malware point of view, just junk being left behind in the registry, dll's etc.
    That's the main reason I use Revo Uninstaller when uninstalling S/W I do not keep after trying it. Revo uses the apps own uninstaller or if no uninstaller is available, it uses Windows uninstaller first. Once that is finished it digs deeper to find leftover and orphaned items to delete them. I always use the advanced mode and have never had a problem. Then I use CCleaner to do a final sweep. I also enjoy trying different things, tampering with my system so to speak. Some things I try, I keep, many others I throw out. If a good uninstaller isn't used, you soon end up with a system (including registry) full of orphaned entries that could eventually cause significant problems.

    As stated earlier though, I definitely image my whole system regularly in case one of these experiments hose something. In fact last evening I had to restore my Linx Mint partition due to some unknow problem. I am a firm believer in images. I do backup data often, but this does not involve any S/W app. I just do a hard copy of this data.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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  11. #11
    Star Lounger
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    I also am happy to recommend Revo Uninstaller and Auslogics free Defrag program.
    Auslogics also offer an excellent free Registry Cleaner, I probably run that once a month.

    On Vista Home Premium I regularly run Ccleaner, jv16 and Auslogics defrag.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    CCleaner's registry cleaner is quite safe, probably more so than many others.
    Making an image immediatly after a clean install and then again after all your basic programs are installed is
    good insurance against problems that crop up later on.
    Creating a partition of that 640 GB drive would also be a good idea. Keep the bulk of any
    large amounts of data stored on it instead of the os drive.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  13. #13
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Plumtree View Post
    <snip>
    On Vista Home Premium I regularly run Ccleaner, jv16 and Auslogics defrag.
    jv16 has a registry cleaner, file cleaner, etc. What does Ccleaner do that jv16 doesn't?

    Tks,
    Betrock

  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    I think it is still a useful strategy.

    I would make that system partition a little larger though just to be safe. Vista (& I'll assume Win7) eat more HD space than you might think & 20GB might be a bit too small. In Vista the Win. System Restore setting allows very large chunks of HD to get used for storing multiple restore points. Also over time all the patches & updates begin to add up as well. Oh, I gave up long ago on trying to keep my installed programs on a separate drive than Windows. Too many installers just wouldn't cooperate with that plan, installing various stuff on the system drive anyway.

    Others have said the re-installation routine isn't necessary any more but I still wouldn't live without it. Well, re-imaging anyway. That way I don't actually have to do much re-installing. I do love knowing I have a clean & updated system ready to go.

  15. #15
    New Lounger
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    Please see my blog entry about how to setup a Vista Laptop at

    http://dnyankosh.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!7691FE170122BB16!123.entry

    Always use disk cleanup program to clean unwanted files and restore points every two weeks to keep your laptop in a superb working condition.

    arvind kelkar

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