How often do you guys format your HDD?

I’m just wondering how often you PC lovers out there format (completely wipe) your C:\ drive and do a fresh install of your OS… Not to mention installing all of the programs, games, settings, passwords etc. again!

I like a fresh (sounds silly LOL!) install of everything usually every 2-3 months. I made a brief comment about this in another thread and thought that it might be more appropriate to put it here.

Please share your experiences! :smiley:

I have images of my partitions in a pristine fresh-install state. So I can just restore an image instead of formatting, takes about 10 min. Barring that, I would do a fresh install yearly, you would be amazed what a difference it can make in performance.

back when i used my old p1 laptop with windows 95, it would need formatted 95 times a year. lol

Actually now, with my decent system, i only use formatting as a last result. Defragging and such are my solutions. I recently did have to format though and lost my dual boot linux mandrake andwin me system. Now im on windows xp and hate it.

My brother when he still had a VIA chipset: 3-5 times a year.
Me, without VIA chipset: about once a year

its probably best to keep your drive with everything you know will be constant from format to format stored as an image. that way, you can do just as rdgrimes does ;). this also saves you trouble in case of a virus or something, the only problem then is recovering the other lost data. i believe i read an article in MaximumPC about this a few months ago, in case you wanted a follow up

last actual format i did on my disks in my primary system was about 2 years ago. i have cloned images of the os configurations of the other pc’s.

I don’t format on a regular base… just when I feel like formatting or my system is getting too slow (too much crap on it). Since last summer I formatted three times (1st because I wanted to switch to Win2k, second because I started to hate the Dutch 2k and wanted to switch to English, third because I bought a new harddrive as I sold mine).

If I had the time, I’d format my system once every month…

Some ppl may ask why? Speed baby… a fresh install is always faster… especially when you install loads of software slowing your system down (development kits as the Borland series -Delphi, C++ builder, J Builder- and MS crap -Visual Studio 6, VS .NET-) formatting every now and then is really nice. It also gives me more HD space… I have the habit to stack up all kinds of junk I’ll never use again.

Images? Did that once, but that was a long time ago. Since I like to have new drivers and software revisions in order to keep my system up to date, I figured that images aren’t the fastest way to do so…

The only computer I hardly ever format are the ones running on Linux, as they run really really fine and stable and configuring them may take ages…

I format my first partition with windows about every 2-3 months, or faster if i change configuration. I have all the games and apps that dont need registry entries in the second partition. I also use the office xp settings backup app (very useful).:slight_smile:

hmmm lets say aprox one and a half years.

Not very interested in speed, just to clean up left over files.
Defrag my hard drive quite often enough to keep it going.

Last format was 6 months ago when I installed my new HD. I didn’t really need to. Previous one was from a few years back.

Usually with good utilities you can keep the house tidy for a long time. In any case like Mr. Belvedere, I have a couple of images of the computer in different stages of a fresh install on another partition as well as on CD just in case. I can simply reload the image, ad the few proggies I’ve added since and of course, my data and settings from my backups. Saves a lot of grief if you’re doing a lot of experimentation.

I do the same as panos. C:\ always gets formatted, and D:\ holds all my programs, drivers, updates, configs etc.
I have never made or used an image of my HDD. What program do you guys use to make the images and to restore from created ones? It sounds a lot easier.

Symantec Ghost and Drive Image Pro

WOW !! LOL!! That would have to be the fastest reply in the world in any forum!! :bigsmile:

Thanks Mr. Belvedere !! I will check those proggies out.

Drive Image Pro

Is that what they’re now calling “Deploy Center”? Or is it something different?

Symantec Ghost gets my vote. Been using it for years, (part of them as its CD-ResQ incarnation), a great program.

As for Mr. belevdere’s response time, WOW! You got to be on broadband, aren’t you? I’m jealous (can’t have it where I am, it was hard enough to get a private phone line instead of a party line!!!)

I do a wipe, format, and reinstall every 2-4 months.

I can’t be bothered defragging, registry cleaning, deleting old outdated files in crazy directories, etc. Takes less time to dump my essentials onto my other comp over the LAN, wipe, reinstall, and then re-download all the latest updates and such.

I should ghost, but I don’t, cuz im lazy.

Overall I tend to think my method is quicker (and less frustrating) than the registry cleaning, defragging, etc. It also seems to result in a cleaner, faster, system… who knows, maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks on me

I last formatted June 16, 2001. I meticulously keep non-necessary programs off my computer to keep up performance. Works well for me. If I had a bad install I would have nothing but problems. I don’t have time for that, so I keep my current, working copy. I seldom defrag or scandisc, and seldom (almost never) see any crashes. Most people think my computer is faster then theirs even when they have a 1.4GHZ, (I only have a 400MHz Celeron). Ad-Aware helps, and I only have 6 icons in the running tray. (which is the lowest number practical for me, I have the volume, display settings, virus scanner, firewall, clone cd, and messenger.) I could cut out clone cd and messenger but they do come in handy once in a while.

Well I just reloaded my system from my Ghost basic file and reloaded my latest backup after having suffered major bugs after a damn IE6 update which took control of my computer and was causing all kinds of crashes.

The backup using Veritas backup Exec took about 1 hour including verification (full backup of my documents and my settings) and reloading using an image file from last summer, 30 minutes.

A “waste” of time of an afternoon.

Moral of the story: Stay away from Internet Explorer like the plague is you like to keep control of your custom setup, and do make a good image of your system when it operates well for reinstallation, and of course, make backups of your docuyments and settings!!!

i have a partition just for backup stuff. Saved my data on several occasion, it contains any program ive downloaded and any other valuable data. Very handy

That sounds like good advice 83bj60. However, I’m running WinXP Pro without SP1, (dial-up + 135Mb file to download = Headache) and I never use LiveUpdate. Internet Explorer seems to work fine, just like every other part of my system. Maybe I’m lucky that WinXP likes my system the way it is!