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Windows 7: Method to Keep Windows from Deteriorating

31 Oct 2009   #1

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 
Method to Keep Windows from Deteriorating

Over time, Windows begins to slow down, work less efficiently, etc. I have heard that some people actually reformat once a year and reinstall everything. Well, I do not have that much patience. Hopefully, I have come up with a short cut. I would like the input of the much more informed than me, to give suggestions, and ideas.

My Idea. Take a system of image of my OS, now, while it is only 4 days old. Enjoy my computer for the next few months or for the next year. At my discretion, or when the OS begins to lose efficiency. I back up my personal files, and use Window Easy Transfer to record my settings and preferences etc.
Now, I install the OS image that was taken many months ago, then tranfer my documents, etc and then use easy tranfer to reinstall my settings etc.

Did I come up with a good idea or are there limitations and problems that I am not experienced enough to realize?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Your method would work, but I have to say that I have not noticed any deterioration in speed or efficiency due to aging installations since maybe Windows 98 or the early days of XP. Certainly not on Vista. I haven't done the habitual occasional reinstall thing in 5 or 6 years. Some of my installs were 2 years old and I never noticed any issues.

Yeah, registries can have any number of useless entries due to uninstalled programs, failed installs, etc, but I have never seen evidence that a modern processor would even blink at those issues.

If you are in fact slowing down over time, I would suggest there are other things going on that are preventable. How exactly do you notice this slowdown and what is your offhand guess as to the cause?

I assume you use good antivirus and antimalware programs and keep Windows updated for at least critical and important updates?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

I bought my first computer in 2000, using windows 98. I used it until 12/08, when I purchased my present computer with Vista. Only used Vista for a year, before I installed Windows 7. Vista did not give me a problem, but with 98, before I knew how to do anything besides, surf the net, email and basic maintenance, I had problems with 98, slowing down, bsod, programs had to be reinstalled to because they no longer worked properly, hanging, etc. I maintained it with updates, disc clean, defrag, etc. I always used a good Virus protection, but I think it was just age that began to eat away at old 98.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Oct 2009   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

OK.

I would discard your experience with 98. Things are much improved in the last few years with XP, Vista, and now Windows 7.

My suggestion would be to make 2 image of Windows 7:

1: immediately after installation when all you have done is gotten all the available Windows updates and before you have installed applications.

2: a month or so later after you have your applications installed and everything is working well.

With any luck, you will never have to use either image. Store them preferably on an entirely different drive.

If you for whatever reason find that Windows 7 is performing poorly, you could restore one of the two images, but I would suggest that you first investigate the reasons for the deteriorating performance--it isn't natural and doesn't "just happen". I have not noticed anything like that in years.

If I am not mistaken, the built in Windows 7 imaging capabilities limit you to keeping only ONE image? If that is true, you might want to get acquainted with another imaging product like Acronis or Macrium Reflect. The latter is free and the former is often free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #5

win 7 X64 Ultimate SP1
 
 
Win 7 Image

Ignatz
"If I am not mistaken, the built in Windows 7 imaging capabilities limit you to keeping only ONE image? If that is true, you might want to get acquainted with another imaging product like Acronis or Macrium Reflect. The latter is free and the former is often free."

I agree both Acronis and Macrium are good. Although I have not been able to get Acronis fully functional on Windows 7 X64.

As for MS backup, it will keep more than one image if you have the sapce requirements on your target drive set up to allow room. Or at least that is what it claims. Never the less I just wrote the second image to another disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I still see Windows boxes slowing down over time. There is absolutely no doubt that my boot speeds of Vista have move than doubled since I got my work laptop nearly 1 year ago. I don't have the time to reformat and reinstall all of my work stuff...even though it would make a nice difference for awhile.

Imaging is certainly a great way to go. It saves you have to reinstall drivers and reactivate the operating system. And since the "system image" utility is free with all versions of Windows 7...there really isn't a good reason to not at least use it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #7
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The slowdown of your system is a function of what you install. Some programs/functions can take a big hit (e.g. virtual Box running a couple of virtual partitions). But also security programs, sidebar and others will impact especially your boot times. With your proposed system it will be the same. After you reinstalled all the stuff that you aquired between day4 and day400, you will be back at square1. The best is to be very selective of what you install and get a system that has a lot of muscle (CPU, disk - prefer an SSD, and RAM).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
The slowdown of your system is a function of what you install.
True enough. However, lots of people install things to try and end up not really using it. Plus, they do need some apps for certain things and then don't need them again. So, that's why starting from scratch can pay off...because I wouldn't really re-install eveyrthing that I did the last time. In fact, with most things, I don't even bother reinstalling them until there is a need to run that particular application.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #9

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
Over time, Windows begins to slow down, work less efficiently, etc. I have heard that some people actually reformat once a year and reinstall everything. Well, I do not have that much patience. Hopefully, I have come up with a short cut. I would like the input of the much more informed than me, to give suggestions, and ideas.

My Idea. Take a system of image of my OS, now, while it is only 4 days old. Enjoy my computer for the next few months or for the next year. At my discretion, or when the OS begins to lose efficiency. I back up my personal files, and use Window Easy Transfer to record my settings and preferences etc.
Now, I install the OS image that was taken many months ago, then tranfer my documents, etc and then use easy tranfer to reinstall my settings etc.

Did I come up with a good idea or are there limitations and problems that I am not experienced enough to realize?
Deteriorating is due to FRAGMENTATION... DEFRAG often.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snuffy View Post
Deteriorating is due to FRAGMENTATION... DEFRAG often.
It could be, but it might not be. My personal experience with defrag is that in 90% of cases, it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. The reason it slows down has more to do with startup applications and windows components that get installed in my case then defragmentation. For others, there experiences may be different.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Method to Keep Windows from Deteriorating





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