Reformatting? when is the best time to do so?

    I haven't reformatted the PC for like 2 years now and the PC is running a tad on the slow side but not making it where its unusable . Tbh the question i would like to know is what is the given time of a reformat? ive heard its best to reformat every 6months or is that a bit too extreme?

    The main reason ive held back is having to update drivers and back up stuff i have on my hardrive, tbh im a lazy sod lol!

    Another thing is that i have 4 gig of memory in the PC but with me using the 32bit version of XP Pro it isn't utilizing it. I have a copy of Vista Ultimate and was thinking if i do decide to refomat i would switch to the Vista OP, what do you think?

    cheers for any info!


    Personally I don't ever format the hard drive. If you are going to though, I would imagine the best time to do it would depend very much on how you use your computer.

    Vista Ultimate won't use all the memory either unless you use the 64bit version.

    hi, in order to keep your pc in good shape, try degragmenting your pc like every month or so, this normally takes anything up to an hour might be less depending on ur pc specs, as for reformatting your pc, theres no need to keep doing this every 6 months or so, try doing the above every month or so will keep ur pc running smoothly, one thing to stop pc going slow is to make sure you dont download p2p software, like mesh, limewire etc, to download music etc etc, but to reformat ur pc every 6 months or so i think is the wrong way to go about things, as long as u use disk clean up,/ then defragment your pc this should be sufficent for a good few years, only use reformat if you have a virus or things r going bad on ur pc,, as for vista i cant say about that as i,m using defragment ur pc, and use disk clean up, click start, then programs then accessories, then system tools, then click either disk clean up, (put a tick in all boxes then click ok) for disk defragment (click analze, then start ) takes about an hour or so

    I tend to do mine when its needed more than at set times. So if you think your PC will benifet from it (and you can be arsed to do it, go for it. But maybe try things like adaware, spybot and a registry mehanic and maybe a defrag first before going the whole hog and re formatting and see if that helps the speed.

    as for updating drivers, the easy way round this is to copy all your updates to a usb stick then install from there saves alot of time

    All comes down to personal preferences really. I don't really ever format my drives as my PC stays quite clean. I also have it partitioned so can just wipe windows if I have to.

    After two years I would give it a little 'spruce-up' though! Just make sure you back everything up and download all the latest drivers from the relevant manufacturers websites

    I format my laptop about every 3 months, however I always have everything I want to keep on a storage partition so it's simply a case of backing up my firefox data, format then install everyhting again, only takes a couple of hours but keeps the laptop nice and fast


    RE vista if its only a 32bit version then it still wont make full use of 4 gig of ram, as its only 32 bit it will only be able to address 4 gigs of memory same as 32 bit XP, remember this includes the memory on your graphics card too! You may actually find the PC runs faster if you drop the memory down to 3 gig as the pc may only be addressing the ram and missing the graphics out altogether and causing a kind of conflict!

    Original Poster

    Cheers guys, i always defrag the PC every month or so, run WinASO for reg errors, run Spybot and Ad-aware every week so ill just keep on doing this procedure.

    thx again!

    edit* cheers for that harlz!


    black gerbil1;2117026


    Haha. You beat me to it!

    Original Poster

    Excellant comedy moments going on here hehe ;P

    I admit reformatting every 6 months or so . If you have all the discs a and drivers to hand
    AND like me you install all the rubbish you find on those free discs and download more from the web ,
    A spring clean comes twice ( or more) a year:whistling:

    The following works for me.

    I have a desktop PC with two hard drives in it.

    I install Windows to the first drive "C", and then install all the applications etc.

    I then use a disk image product (Ghost) to create an image of the "C" drive on my second drive "D".

    While using my PC I put ALL my personal files on the "D" drive, so my "C" drive only ever contains Windows.

    Whenever I feel like it I can replace Windows on my "C" drive with the image copy I have on my "D" drive. This only takes about 10 minutes.

    So in about 10 minutes I can replace my copy of Windows with a "new" one.

    Every so often (like when MS brought out Service Pack 3) I build a new image and put it on my "D" drive.

    While I use Ghost there are other products that can take an image of your drive, like Acronis True Image.

    With XP I used to reformat every couple of months, It used to degrade and slow down very quickly, I used to keep it clean and defrag regularly.

    I'm now using Vista which I've never needed to reformat, Running almost as fast as it did from day one ( Over a year ago ).

    I've found Vista faster than XP, When you've got a powerful PC, However if you've got a low spec to mid-range PC XP is faster.

    Vista utilises the PC better.

    I just reformat when windows dies on me, but if you want to reformat to keep your PC tidy then it's up to you how you to it.

    I've never noticed any slowdown using windows over time (except for the initial one between a clean install and in use).
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