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Windows 7: Question about reformatting

30 May 2011   #1
Durhamster

Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)
 
 
Question about reformatting

When should one reformat their computer and how would one know when it's time to do so?


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30 May 2011   #2
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

You don't ever need to unless you want to change the cluster size or file system. If you are reinstalling the OS or installing a new OS from scratch you might want reformat, but you don't need to.

It is not something that you need to "freshen"
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30 May 2011   #3
BriceH

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

As GeneO said, you never need to reformat. Sometimes, if you find that Windows is slowing down, it can be useful to reformat and only reinstall the programs that you use.
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31 May 2011   #4
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Although there are some people that carry out a reinstall of their operating system on a regular basis in an effort to stop their system slowing down or becoming infected with a virus, there are others that think a far better solution is to create an image backup of your hard drive and restore from that should the need arise.

The benefits are a quicker system, no activation worries and freedom from any viruses that may be lurking on your system.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

System Image Recovery
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31 May 2011   #5
rbeldua

MS Windows 8
 
 

its the easiest way to delete all data and erase the hard disk completely. and it depends entirely up to you if you wanted to and the situation your on.
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31 May 2011   #6
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Reformatting isn't a mormal maintenance task. If you are having an issue there are other ways to attack it. If your system has current updates and your regularly clean-up temps files and defrag, you should be fine.
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31 May 2011   #7
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

One situation you can try a reformat in is a nasty virus infection. Even after you've got rid of it you observe/imagine some wierd behaviour, particularly if you do financial transactions on this computer. A reformat will take care of any lurking trojans and also give you peace of mind. I wouldnt be completely comfortable just restoring from an image here.
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31 May 2011   #8
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Never say never. There are times (bad malware infection, mucked up services or "tweaking" etc) when a reformat is the best, quickest solution. For me, it's when I feel nothing else I'm trying to resolve an issue is working. When I'm working on someone else's system, I will spend a few hours on the issue....if it seems to be taking longer than that, I'll reformat, as that can be done in 2 hours or so, to get them back to a fully running, restored system.
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31 May 2011   #9
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Never say never. There are times (bad malware infection, mucked up services or "tweaking" etc) when a reformat is the best, quickest solution. For me, it's when I feel nothing else I'm trying to resolve an issue is working. When I'm working on someone else's system, I will spend a few hours on the issue....if it seems to be taking longer than that, I'll reformat, as that can be done in 2 hours or so, to get them back to a fully running, restored system.
Sure, but it was pretty clear the OP was thinking of regular maintenance and you really don't EVER need to reformat I expect unless you have a boot sector virus or something like that. But it usually not the reformatting that gets them back to a running system, but a reinstall of the OS. But I guess if your are going to reinstall the OS, you might as well do at least a quick format - full if it is not an SSD and you think there might be bad sectors on the drive or you are patient.

Cheers
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31 May 2011   #10
MacGyvr

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
You don't ever need to unless you want to change the cluster size or file system. If you are reinstalling the OS or installing a new OS from scratch you might want reformat, but you don't need to.

It is not something that you need to "freshen"
I disagree. With Windows XP, I found it necessary every 6 months at least. With Windows 7, the span is much longer, but I would say roughly around the 8-10 month mark. You'll want to do it more often if you install/uninstall a lot of programs. They simply do not clean up after themselves appropriately, and Windows doesn't take care of that task...it is up to the software author. There will always be a time when you want to start with a clean, fresh system. To say otherwise....well....'nuff said.
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