View Full Version : How Often Do You Do A Wipe and A Clean Reinstall of XP?

Gas Pipe Jimmy
03-23-2007, 01:22 PM
Has anyone ever looked into how soon and exactly why XP degrades after several application installs and un-installs?
I have noticed that over the last couple of years I find myself wiping C: and blasting a new copy of XP on about every 120 days.
With a slipstreamed unattended XP disk with the updates already installed, the process is fairly painless, but why is this necessary?
I have tried registry cleaners and they never seem to have made much of a difference.
Defragging doesn't seem to make a difference either.

Usually, I notice an immediate increase in performance, I was just curious as to exactly why that is?

03-23-2007, 02:31 PM
Well since I know about computer operating system and ISV development, I don't usually ever have to wipe a HDD clean. Even if something terrible goes wrong then I just hack it and get all my info but replace most of the OS components that are affected with newer ones. Usually a hassle though..

At current I have 70GB (no personal picture, video, game, audio files) on the main OS partition. Tons and tons of software installed as I beta test (etc) for many apps. Nothing ever goes wrong, even though I run for instance, 6 different versions of just Firefox alone.

I've had this XP install running since 3 1/4 years now, never had to clean it etc. I believe if you know what you're doing and look after the OS, how what you do with standard maintenance of software and hardware, there shouldn't be anything gone wrong for 80% of the cases at least. People who often visit and download from hack/porn/gaming/music sites in particular end up getting destroyed systems pretty quick.

Reg cleaners are a known marketing myth! Don't use them, they end up destroying quite a bit that may mean many of your system apps become unusable.

The only one I recommend you use is RegSeeker- its pretty class and accurate. Don't run the Services (beta) function though ;)

Performance usually deteriorates when your root directory, system directory, system startup, services or registry hives become clogged up with obsolete, useless, malicious entries/files.

03-23-2007, 02:32 PM
It's probably just a whole bunch of tiny little background programs running. Every time I've reformatted a drive and put a clean install of XP, I notice that I have an extra five gigs of HDD space that I didn't know I had before... :p

03-23-2007, 02:50 PM
Kab nailed it. :) Hacks, p0rn, gaming and music. My last GF used to do alot of research on line at Universities, after about a week the OS would be crippled/infected. It would take me a full morning to clean up after her.
Yes I am a software dolt. :(

XP Pro has been on this machine for 3+years.

Neat little program http://secunia.com/software_inspector/

03-23-2007, 02:53 PM
With a slipstreamed unattended XP disk with the updates already installed, the process is fairly painless, but why is this necessary?

With imaging tools it can be even more painless.

Gas Pipe Jimmy
03-23-2007, 03:58 PM
With imaging tools it can be even more painless.

What disk imaging tools do you use or have good luck with?

03-23-2007, 05:23 PM
I have all my software on a seperate drive, and the windows drive only contains windows and some finicky programs that fuck with the registry. Minimizes the damage.

And, I wipe about once a month.

03-23-2007, 06:22 PM
I hardly ever have to wipe and reload due to things like apps. My troubles tend to stem from getting a bit overly enthusiastic with overclocks or ram timings and the like.

My ex-wife was the world's worst for getting my PC infected with spyware and malware. She'd get it loaded down on a daily basis but fortunately I'm fairly adept at removing those pests, me, on the other hand, I don't have issue with that sort of thing at all. I've run spyware detecting and removal tools a year after a fresh install and found nothing aside from a few cookies.

03-23-2007, 06:26 PM
Not very often since i stopped working techsupport. A new image was the fastest way to fix a lot of things then...but admittedly the lazy way. That is however part of the job though when maintaining large networks...get it done fast.

03-23-2007, 07:30 PM
What disk imaging tools do you use or have good luck with?


I use Acronis True Image with great success. With an image on a ESata drive, I can restore at 5-8 gigs/min., depending where on the drive I'm restoring to. I've used Ghost with success, but prefer Acronis

Also, I can open an image and restore one file if needs be.


03-23-2007, 08:41 PM
What disk imaging tools do you use or have good luck with?

I'm a big fan of BING. It has a multitude of features.

03-23-2007, 10:19 PM
What disk imaging tools do you use or have good luck with?

Zenworks but it is pricy.

03-24-2007, 03:00 AM
Free tools?

Ones XXClone and another is DriveImageXML.

First is to clone your hard drive.
Second is an image maker.

01-22-2008, 08:03 PM
Once per year.

01-23-2008, 05:31 PM
I think its a known phenomenon, my brother calls it operating system degradation, I am not sure if that's the 'official' term for it.

yes it happens far too often, I have done it countless times, its a pain in the arse...

you would think now that they would find some way to make a separate location for the critical running parts, and separate ones for other bits that install, bloat and cock the thing up,

its probably endemic, and dodgy companies know full well how to cock up your computer, put bits in invisible locations that you can't delete, it really irks me, as I want full control over what goes where, why, and it should be visible, and the whole 'guts' of your pc logically ordered and visible, instead of this microsoft mess

imagine having some work done on your home or car, and the people put bits in hidden places to deliberately affect the running of it, without you knowing where, and you can't get at it, and messes the whole thing up.

would you tolerate that? then why should you with your pc?

its totally utterly immoral and shows why the world shouldn't be converted to computers and yield control to these types, they have shown they can't be trusted

certainly, porn, some games, crappy free downloads of the web, shareware, free discs and all that, all do this sort of thing, its bad enough with decent software from decent makers, which still put unwanted bits where the average user has no idea how to access them really.

I tried vista, didn't like it, too different, yes its pretty, but its even more irrittaing with all the messages popping up, which is bad enuff with xp

...your pc isn't protected....
....register in 30 days...
...turn on updates...
...unwanted items on your desktop....
....do you really want to proceed...." yes I effin well do"

if I wanted to do it I would bloody well do it myself...I left it that way for a reason...

reminds me of jose carreras saying to leonard bernstein....."shall I sing it this way instead?" ( west side story I think it was)

...bernstein replies " if I wanted it singing that way, I'd have effn written it that effin way!!!!!!!!!!"

lets hope vistas replacement gets it considerably better....

you would even hope they would have somthing to scan the average rate of file transfer, and then say, windows will finish installing in approx 30 mins, but vista doesn't, and xp is wildly wrong, some of the bits I want are basic basic usablitiy and information

yes you can tell I am pissed, I have only done the latest one less than a week ago and already its iffy, and I have only added...

acrobat reader 8
graphics card driver and stuff
power dvd
1 game with physx driver, it was iffy b4 that
and firefox, ditto

someone please tell me the answer on how to avoid this, i have done it twice in the past month

how do you configure one drive just for windows and the other for the rest of the files? do you have to have windows on the other drive too?

help, please

01-24-2008, 06:52 AM
my current install is about 6 months old, before that it had been 18 months on a clean install.

02-03-2008, 03:52 PM
I reinstalled xp about 6 times in 6 months at one point, I was having a ton of trouble and I couldn't figure out exactely what was wrong (turned out to be a bad video card and bad ram... but the ram was just good enough to never give an error in memtest. Don't really trust memtest any more because of that.) After that though, well, my xp key stopped working, since it had been used so much. (it would no longer activate, lol.). So then I upgraded to vista32 buisiness edition, which stayed put for about 2 months ( i got it for free as an upgrade when I purchased xp), and then i upgraded to vista64 since I could get it free from my school. Been going strong since then.

02-13-2008, 04:43 PM
I've had my current XP install for 3ish years now. There's no reason to do regular OS wipes if you know what you're doing and maintain your computer well.

Run anti-virus and spyware scanners regularly if you visit shady websites. Go through your add/remove screen every few months and get rid of stuff that you don't use or don't recognize. Go through the folders in Program Files occasionally to delete the crap uninstallers leave behind. Check out your startup tab in msconfig and uncheck things that you don't need at startup. Get a registry cleaner. Defrag every once in a while.

There's plenty of things you can do to keep your OS lean and mean if you're willing to put in the effort.

03-17-2008, 03:11 AM
too bloody often, just done it again....

yes I do know what I am doing;) but it keeps going unstable, and its not hardware.

I have an idea what to do now tho' to keep it better...

but I will b going to linux....sick of MS.