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question for the PC wizards

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jivetkr, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    Why is it that when I reload the operating system on my dell, the computer runs faster than when I have it on for approx a year?

    What is it that is building up during the time the OS is loaded that slows it down. And can this be configured?
  2. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    No, it cannot be configured. That's why windows is pretty dumb as an operating system. It is built for an audience and it works well for the most part, with that audience.

    It runs better because there are far less applications installed on the operating system, the system registry isn't that large, the disk isn't that fragmented and spyware/malware hasn't infested your system.

    Reloading isn't always the answer to a problem, and for anyone that says it is would be avoiding the problem.
  3. Reloading the operating system resets the "slow down so this sucker thinks he needs a newer faster computer" bit.

    Its really a matter of maintenance that nobody performs. Cleaning up cache files, defragmenting, spyware/malware/virus issues, that sort of thing.

    Every time my neice and nephew visits my sister in law and use her computer, its so slow you can watch a web page start to load, get a ham sandwich, and come back to see the last bit of web page loading.

    A quick (?) application of ad-aware to clean that crap up and its running quick again. Spyware is probably the biggest culprit now, followed by disk fragmentation and registry bloat from too many programs installed.

  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Thanks for the input, Randy....
    How many times are you allowed to reload XP on a proprietary system (the XP disk came with the laptop - HP)? I have already done it once on my laptop, but wouldn't mind doing it in the next few months...

  5. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    You aren't limited to the # of times you will be able to install it. However, it will only install on HP machines since it is an OEM version which looks for HP code in the BIOS. Same goes for Dell and other OEMs.
  6. It's recommended that you do it every few months.
  7. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Recommended by who? Never heard such a thing and I've been in the business for far too long.

    If someone recommends that you reinstall every few months, then what is the use of the operating system at all? That would mean I'd have to take out a minimum of a full day to reinstall all the apps, configure all the settings, etc. So, in a year's time, you are suggesting from what you've heard, I should spend anywhere between 6 and 10 days a year reinstalling my operating system and applications? For each person that would be a severe loss of productivity.

    Reinstallation is a _LAST_RESORT_, not an answer to the problems. If you are reinstalling to fix an issue that you don't understand, then you aren't solving the problem.
  8. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Sorry, but MS and other companies are not into solving problems. They just want to make a buck. Period.

    It is so much easier to wipe and re-install. It only takes 2 nights after work to the most. I know I don't have the time to sit there and examine XP's lame structure and the problems that other app's have with it (and even most other app are built just as sloppy).

    I have always been happy with Ad-Aware, Spybot, Firewalls and Anti-Virus apps to help keep my system clean, but even with those safety measures, a wipe and re-install is fine. I back up my files on a regular basis, so this is not a problem.
  9. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Do not listen to this, with proper maintence you should never have to format. RegCleaner, Defrag,keeping it clean from spyware. Use firefox for web browsing and that's all I have done for the past 2 years and haven't had to format unless I have added new hardware.
  10. BSR6P-Bob


    Apr 5, 2005
    But if you do reformat I highly recommend Norton Ghost.
    (Partition Magic is pretty useful to set things up before ghosting.)

    You're up and running in 15 minutes, not 8 hours.

    Have fun.
  11. Every few months? That's crazy talk Jimbo.

    How about giving yourself a user account to use everyday, and only use the admin account when you surely need to install something?

    Take that same computer, and leave it off-line for 6 months, but use it everyday. Tell me then if it's slowed down or needs to be reformated.
  12. When you say "slow down" do you mean the time it takes to boot up? If so, it might be all the stuff that gets loaded during boot time (the stuff that ends up in what's called "systray"; all those icons at the bottom righ corner of your screen). This stuff builds up the more stuff you install. You can see if this is the case by running an unpublished utility called "msconfig". Strangely, this utility was in win98, taken out of win2k, then put back in win xp. When you've got a million icons down there, it takes FOREVER to boot up!

    WARNING! you might screw up some applications starting up if you take out too many of the startup stuff. Take out only the ones you don't want (it should be pretty obvious which ones).

    Goto the "start" then "run" and type "msconfig" in the run window. Select "selective startup" and click on the "startup" tab to see the stuff that's loaded in. You can unclick the undesired ones.

    If you screw up an application starting, you can always go back and re-click the stuff you unclicked or click on "normal startup" again.

    The only way to remove some of these startup things is through the registry editor, which is VERY dangerous! Do it only if you know what you're doing. Otherwise (like me) you can always start on "selective startup" until you re-load the OS (I really don't like doing so).

    Anyway, just a thought.
  13. You can reload it as many times as you want, AFAIK. When you go to register it the hardware is checked against what you had last time. If you add one or two components at a time, you're fine. If you change a bunch at once, MS thinks its a different computer and complains. But if you call them and explain the changes (mobo and network card, for instance) they'll give you the codes over the phone.

  14. I think they meant reinstall XP... not reformat. You should be able to just defrag the disk to get the same benefit as a reformat followed by a restore of your hard drive.

    I think the reinstall of XP and your programs was what they were talking about, it'll definitely clear out the registry and spyware doing that, although a reformat will make sure the disk is nice and unfragmented.

    And actually the new Norton Ghost may do sector by sector recovery, so it may restore the fragmentation that you eliminated by reformatting. Not sure on that, I could be wrong.
  15. Clean reformats are no biggy when you have your files organized such a way that you know exactly what you need to back up, but iirc Linux and MacOS do not have this problem.
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I wouldn't call it avoiding the problem. When I am faced with several hours of cleaning up a PC after viruses and spyware, I will often re-install the OS after reformatting. I usually explain to the customer that I can spend several hours at $135 an hour cleaning up their PC, or a flat fee of $150 and I will give them a fresh install of XP.

    At home, I do not have virus/spyware problems. I only reformat and reinstall my OS for something to do. Sitting down to a fresh install of XP is like putting on a pair of clean socks right out of the dryer.....feels so good. :D

  17. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
  18. BSR6P-Bob


    Apr 5, 2005

    The point of ghosting is to ghost when you've freshly formatted, got EVERYTHING installed, registry cleaned,spyware removed, defragged and have everything running "perfect".

    THEN you make a ghost image to CD Back-ups AND to another partion on the hard drive. *Partition Magic*(I call that partition "Storage".)

    I can be back up and running, ready to go in 15 minutes with a fully installed and freshly defragged OS/Program partition.

    No you don't want to Ghost a fragmented partition with issues. :cool:
  19. Now THAT I agree with.... except I use Acronis instead of Ghost.... and I call that partition BACKUP....