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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    I have a friend who advocates doing a reinstall of the operating software at least once a year.
    I on the other hand believe "If it aint broke dont fix it".

    Anybody care to comment?
    Win 8, Firefox 16.0.2, Thunderbird 15.0.2

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    halek2,
    If you just run the OS with little or no changes, don't do much experimenting with new apps or utilities and run the same old stuff, then a reinstall just for the sake of reinstalling is probably not worth it.

    On the other hand, if you are like me and try new programs or tweaks, then uninstall some of the ones that don't live up to their reputation or aren't worth the disk space and get dumped, then a CLEAN reinstall might be worthwhile. There are definitely two camps and thoughts on this, so expect both opinions on this.
    BOB
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  3. #3
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    I used to reinstall at least once a year when I used Windows 98 and earlier versions. It seems to be less necessary with Windows XP, but I do make weekly image backups, and sometimes I have to recover from one of these after things go horribly wrong.

    Just my opinion.

    StuartR

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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    If he can guarantee having all the installation CDs, licence keys, settings customisations, data files, Service Pack updates and hot fixes for the OpSys and Office, updates for Java and all other installed programs, and so on and so forth, and has a couple of days to waste then tell him to go ahead!

    Unless my hard disk fails, the next time to reformat and reinstall is when a new operating system gets delivered (usually conveniently accompanying a new PC, so you don't actually have to install it yourself!). Life is too short...

    John
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  5. #5
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    I agree with StuartR and JohnGray. I've got machines at work & home that have run more than 4 years on the same XP install. Other XP machines acquired since Jan. 2002 still have the same/original XP install. I've been lucky enough with those to not have had any hardware issues that would have required a re-install or restore from a backup image.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    I agree with the others that (quoting Viking):
    <hr>...a reinstall just for the sake of reinstalling is probably not worth it.... <hr>
    In versions of Windows pre-XP it WAS a good idea to "clean up" with a re-install, maybe yearly, but I don't believe it's appropriate any more. If you keep your machine up to date with patches and/or service packs, run a good AV program and some scumware monitoring and removal software, the need for housecleaning is much less a problem than it used to be. I have a secondary machine here at home that has had XP Pro installed since day one and it still perks along just fine.

    You'll probably need or want a new machine long before the need to re-install the OS, as is the case with me. I now operate from a pretty new machine, but the old one mentioned above is still running just fine. You see a number of people who espouse "getting rid of a bloated registry" but I often think that's hogwash and a complete waste of time and effort. Regular and complete backups are much more important in daily living!

  7. #7
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    I agree that there is normally no need to reinstall Windows XP just to clean out. The OS is well designed, and normal maintenance is easy (not talking patches <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> ); defragmentation, disk cleanup utility etc. Also, without user intervention the OS do routinely optimization; it checks for the best layout of files on the disk, when idle every three days it rearranges the layout on the disk, monitors programs used and ensure via prefetch that they load as fast as possible. Programs not used gets out of prefetch.

    All the tools added to help recover from small or big disasters also make reinstall far less needed; from tools such as restore previous driver in Device Manager via System Restore to Recovery Console.

    I would almost go as far as to saying that people who reinstall just to clean a Windows XP machine know less about the OS than people who don't do this kind of reinstalls.

    That said, some people do beta-testing, develop software, add and remove hardware at high rate, download notoriously malware infected software etc. In such cases a clean install can be needed.

    Around six weeks ago my computer died, the resulting hardware upgrade made a new install of the OS necessary. (My old install was running since 2 years.) Although I had a slipstreamed SP2, all the patches on CD's until Sept, latest AV and firewall programs on CD etc. it wasn't all that fun to have to reinstall everything. It takes time! In my case a disk image would not work, since major hardware upgrade.

    When doing the reinstall I came to think of that my previous install was when Service Pack 2 was released. What a difference; one install and you were finished, could wait a month for next patches. This time, between service pack 2 and an eventually next rollup; around 50 patches to install.

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    The Bobbing Badger (aka John Gray) expressed my sentiments almost exactly in his earlier reply to your post.

    However, based on my reinstall experience last fall (done as the result of a hard drive death on my 3-year-old PC), I'd say his "couple of days" is an underestimate.

    It's the "settings" part of the process that really does you in. (As one example, dealing with Outlook took me several frustrating hours all by itself. Copying the existing .pst files to the new hard drive before I reinstalled Outlook was just my first mistake.)

  9. #9
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    This is why a "Image" will only take about 15 to 60 minutes to rebuild a clean drive even a NEW one. <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  10. #10
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    Right on, Dave. <img src=/S/bingo.gif border=0 alt=bingo width=15 height=22>
    BOB
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  11. #11
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    In the context of this particular thread, however ...

    As I understand it, restoring from an image means you don't get any of the benefits of a clean reinstall, correct?

    My philosophy before my last hard drive crash was: If it ain't broke, don't fix it, but if it's broke, seize the opportunity to do a clean reinstallation (using a non-image backup for the data and other files to be carried over). Admittedly, given what a pain last fall's reinstallation proved to be, I'm reconsidering that philosophy, but it's arguably a reasonable middle ground between "reinstall every year or two" and "never reinstall."

  12. #12
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    An Image is supposed to be made when everything is running as expected and you have all the tweaks and setups just the way you want them to be. Of course, you don't want to make an image when there are problems sneaking around and the image would just duplicate the problems.

    The clean install is just that. A chance to start fresh from the beginning with your OS. There are advantages to both methods.
    BOB
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  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    I think what Dave had in mind is a practice that many of us adhere to with a NEW computer. When I got this new Dell this Spring, I did all the software installation, tweaking of settings, etc. etc. that I wanted to do and THEN made an archival backup image using TrueImage. I've retained that image in case I ever have to restore the machine to its initial state. Since then, I've made backup images weekly which I would use to restore to a more recent vintage, but I continue to hold the initial image, just in case.

    When I was still actively employed, I used to maintain a "master" image of the desktop machines used in our organization and at any time I needed to restore a machine OR build a new one, the master image is what I would use.

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    Re: Reinstall XP? (XP Home SP2)

    BigAl hit the nail on the head.
    I burn Images at different points of my clean build. This allows me to return to a VERY clean point. I also burn images so I can restore to last weeks good running configuration if I mess things up. As I do a lot of Beta testing, I always burn a image BEFORE any Beta SW gets installed.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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