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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    How to get a clean OS plus apps, etc?

    Age old problem that must have been solved previously. Can you install or reinstall Windows 7 in a manner so that you do not have to reload all the patches and your apps so the registry shows a "clean/new" setup? I realize Fred has a no-reformat article but that is only part of the issue with an aging OS. By the time you completely patch the OS and reinstall apps and update them it requires almost a day of my time (not all at the computer of course).

    Could you make an OS image once you've done it all and recover to that at some point later? You might then have to further update that image and save another image. Isn't there a better way?
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  3. #2
    3 Star Lounger KritzX's Avatar
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    Sadly, at this point, there's no sure-fire way to start out with a clean state, without sacrificing all updates, programs and user data.

    Yes, I did read your last paragraph, yet this is the best suggestion I can give you:

    What you CAN do, is to reformat the hard drive, reinstall Windows and all your necessary applications. Then, you can update Windows. After all that's done, you can create a Master image using Macrium or Acronis or even the built-in Windows imaging software (although, many Loungers here, including me, say that creating an image using the built-in Windows software is not as nearly efficient as MS would lead you to believe).

    Then, whenever you add any new applications or update Windows, you can make a new image. I advise you to have that Master image at hand and NOT modify or delete it, as it is a very easy and time-saving way to go back to a fresh install, should you ever encounter problems or performance issues.

    Once again, I read your last paragraph, but sadly, there seems to be no other efficient or practical method than the one I suggested.
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  4. #3
    3 Star Lounger KritzX's Avatar
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    Oh, almost forgot:

    I definitely DON'T recommend registry cleaners, or other such "system optimizer suites", that claim to give you a fresh, out-of-box registry. In my experience, these registry cleaners DID give me an out-of box Windows registry. That's because I had to reinstall Windows all over again, thanks to my beautifully corrupted Registry.

    However, you can install a tool like CCleaner and use it to delete unwanted stuff from your PC. However, CCleaner does have a Registry clean option. Use it at your own peril, though.
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  5. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeppow View Post
    .... with an aging OS. By the time you completely patch the OS and reinstall apps and update them it requires almost a day of my time (not all at the computer of course).

    Could you make an OS image once you've done it all and recover to that at some point later? ....
    Yup. Getting back that performance you used to have sucks. Setting aside a day to do it is pretty much par for course. A clean install allows you to clean out the drive of apps you no longer use (good security too) and check for updates on ones you intend on reinstalling. But you still pretty much need to back up the drive just in case, inventory the system and apps, uninstall any apps that use a registered license so you can reinstall the app or tune later without having to pay for a new license, download the latest drivers, update the BIOS and any firmware, clean out the dust bunnies (optional), slipstream everything including post-SP1 updates. And then get to it.

    Of course this is also a time to consider adding RAM, a SSD boot drive and any other thing that might breathe more life into a PC. And counter weigh the costs/benefits and whether you waited too long to upgrade.

    As for making a disk image...absolutely you should do this as it is a quick way of reinstalling the clean OS with apps. But down the road that install will be aging as will the apps re-installed. And nothing added since including data will be present (if that is in My Documents on another drive not a problem).
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2014-08-06 at 10:35.

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    I think you are being optimistic in that you'll do it in a day - after a recent factory reset on this laptop, it took ~9hrs just for the Windows and MS updates.

    Your Download speed may be better than mine for the ~1GB of updates, but they still have to install.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Could you make an OS image once you've done it all and recover to that at some point later? You might then have to further update that image and save another image. Isn't there a better way?
    That IS the better way.
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