TECH What to do about reformatting?

MrBlonde

OT Supporter
Jan 12, 2002
32,941
:wisconsin:
I have an old desktop running xp which is continuously blue screening and screwing up. It seems like too many processes are always running and it's just basically f'd. I would like to try and reformat to just wipe it clean.

I know I can move music/videos to a attached hard drive for after the reformat but can I just move program files also? Some stuff like Word, Photoshop, Ect I don't have the install discs for anymore.

I think I have everything else I need.

Opinions here? I know nothing about doing computers :o
 
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MrBlonde

MrBlonde

OT Supporter
Jan 12, 2002
32,941
:wisconsin:
Thanks for the help, I figured it wouldn't just work that way so I wanted to ask to make sure. I'll check into the hardware failure.
 

DAN513

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2003
10,855
Winnipeg
blue screens are just as easily software problems. Disable reboot on system failure so it stays on the blue screen and look at the error. Quite frequently it will list the offending file that caused the problem. From there you can troubleshoot to see if it's software or hardware.
If you've got your windows disc, you can always try and install over top. This will replace all the system files, but leave your programs and data.
 
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MrBlonde

MrBlonde

OT Supporter
Jan 12, 2002
32,941
:wisconsin:
I've tried to run a windows diagnostic disk (off floppy at boot) but it goes fine telling me things are failing and then the program craps out completely towards the end. Any good (easy) thing to run to tell me where my computer is messing up?
 

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
Computers are very complex. It's no easier to fix a computer than it is to fix a car, the only exception being the parts aren't as heavy. You really need to see what the bluescreens say before you can figure out what's going wrong.

Right-click on My Computer, select Properties, go to the Advanced tab, click the Settings button in the Startup and Recovery section, and un-check the checkbox labeled "Automatically restart". Click OK.

Keep track of the bluescreens you're getting and post the error messages here.
 

7960

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2004
60,033
New England
i reformat every 6 months whether it needs it or not (it usually does).

it took 2 or 3 reformats before i finally got it right. now i save ISOs of the programs i install on my external drive, and i back up the data to the same external drive. so the re-install is very quick. reformat, reload OS, reload programs, put the data back, then keep going. it takes 1/2 a day but really most of that is click click click and walk away while it churns for an hour. time that requires my input is probably 45 min.
 
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MrBlonde

MrBlonde

OT Supporter
Jan 12, 2002
32,941
:wisconsin:
Wow. I'm fucked about doing this myself then. Computer works great when it works but when it decides it's time to restart itself it chooses the worst times. Not sure what I'll do then.
 

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
i reformat every 6 months whether it needs it or not (it usually does).

it took 2 or 3 reformats before i finally got it right. now i save ISOs of the programs i install on my external drive, and i back up the data to the same external drive. so the re-install is very quick. reformat, reload OS, reload programs, put the data back, then keep going. it takes 1/2 a day but really most of that is click click click and walk away while it churns for an hour. time that requires my input is probably 45 min.
Your computer does *not* need to be reformatted every six months. You must be doing something wrong. I've had Windows machines run for years with no perceptible drop in speed except that which can be attributed to the disk filling up or more processes running in the background.
 

CodeX

i reformat every 6 months whether it needs it or not (it usually does).

it took 2 or 3 reformats before i finally got it right. now i save ISOs of the programs i install on my external drive, and i back up the data to the same external drive. so the re-install is very quick. reformat, reload OS, reload programs, put the data back, then keep going. it takes 1/2 a day but really most of that is click click click and walk away while it churns for an hour. time that requires my input is probably 45 min.

Why the hell don't you just use a VM if you're going to do all that shit?
 

Supergeek

New Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,847
Colorado
I guess you'd also have to not notice this on your screen....

9cc10673efbf3ed8dd00228cb027290596836a42.gif




:hsugh:

Never noticed this in XP. I *have* (in previous service packs, it's been a while) come back to a login screen or desktop (depending on my auto-login.) So either this isn't XP, or it was introduced in later SPs.
 

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
Orphaned files and registry entries accumulate over time, especially with Windows XP (I have no idea what version he's using). Things like older and unnecessary runtimes and codecs can also slow things down. Occasionally Microsoft will actually release a hotfix that attempts to replace particular files with dummy data because the file has been orphaned by previous updates or whatever.

It's really quite silly to pretend Windows doesn't simply get less efficient as it's used and files are updated. Even an application's uninstaller is only as good as the programmer that authored it, and it's not uncommon for services to be left running even after an application has been uninstalled.
I never said Windows doesn't require a significant amount of maintenance to keep it running well; I said it doesn't need to be reformatted every six months. There is a middle ground between reformatting vs. doing nothing, and therein lies the land of Technical Expertise.
 

kcvet

New Member
Apr 24, 2011
7
I have an old desktop running xp which is continuously blue screening and screwing up. It seems like too many processes are always running and it's just basically f'd. I would like to try and reformat to just wipe it clean.

I know I can move music/videos to a attached hard drive for after the reformat but can I just move program files also? Some stuff like Word, Photoshop, Ect I don't have the install discs for anymore.

I think I have everything else I need.

Opinions here? I know nothing about doing computers :o

mine's an HP and on programs it has PC help and tools. this including system recovery. piece a cake.
I think after recovery you'll need the CD's to reintall the programs. I back up everything i need on CDRW's.
 

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
That you don't recognize reimaging as a valid approach to proper administration speaks volumes to your so-called "expertise." :hsugh:
It's fine if you have the infrastructure set up to do it. But we're not talking about re-imaging, we're talking about reformatting and manually reinstalling all the programs on the machine. THAT is a waste of time.
 

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