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Windows 7: Clean install every year or two?

22 Aug 2010   #1
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Clean install every year or two?

My system wouldn't start today and I tried a "startup repair" to no avail. A system restore to no avail, and an image recovery. The recovery program wouldn't even detect the image on my external eSATA drive. I didn't know what to do. I tried everything I have learned on this site.

I have had an SSD for more than a year and had turned off superfetch, prefetch and a whole bunch of services, modified the pagefile and had programs spread all over 3 drives. I think my Windows install just "gave up"

I ended up doing a clean install and all is well. Luckily I had all data on different drives so I didn't loose much. I just use my SSD for Windows. There may have been a solution, but sometimes.....does one simply have to do a clean install every year or two? I have heard people say this is the case and with all my system mods....I think it was the case with me....especially with my very complicated system mods.

If anyone has experience with this let me know. Thanks.

P.S. I have been away from the forums for far too long. I need to get back to work helping people. Sorry for not being here to help for a few months. I have been busy with photography and video with my new Canon 500D and 7D. It takes all of my time


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Aug 2010   #2
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

I'm in good shape simply going six months like one 64bit RC install saw!

The startup problems were not Windows related on the last build however. I just received the replacement bios chip that will need to be soldered in. But the case lasted 3yrs. despite various dual and multiboots anyways!

The new build? The spare supply first used wiped the first board out! fuming for sure! GGrrrr.... But before the memory was swapped for a different brand requiring a fresh clean install within the first two weeks.

Some people simply prefer a clean install every year or so often simply to keep Windows as fresh as possible. If you are constantly adding and removing a variety of programs the system registry will tend to get loaded up with leftovers there. Drives see other clutter of temp folders left by installers, etc..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2010   #3
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I was VERY concerned that I might have a hardware problem. I still may.

I assume that having Superfetch off and programs, pagefile, and everything else scattered around 3 hard drives for a year took it's toll. I used this machine non-stop and it's been on for a year strait, only rebooting for updates.

I wonder how many others do a clean install every year or so. It feels good to start clean.

Good to hear from you again Night Hawk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Aug 2010   #4
Lemur

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer
 
 

For users in a work setting, they are restricted as to what they can d/l, install, and browse. Those machines tend to have less trouble and fewer needs for OS installs. I try using virtual PCs to test out new software and, as a result, my registry is less screwed up. Still, with my own drives imaged, I usually blow out the operating systems once a year. I don't recall having to install new operating systems for Ubuntu. I just keep upgrading. But I use it a whole lot less.
Nate, I wonder why you weren't able to install from your image?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2010   #5
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

The SuperFetch should actually be left on since that runs in very low key to maintain things like the fragmentation level on drives. That's one of the more useful background services for memory management seen there.

With the 64bit Windows you can practically do away with the paging file since more data is already loaded into the active ram to begin with. No great loss not having one!

You could easily be now seeing a few bad sectors or a few corrupted system files where an upgrade repair install or simply moving onto a clean one would solve everything. Run a good drive tool however to see the drive is now seeing some wear. (nothing beats a clean fresh install of 7 for sure! )

Hope you grabbed some fabulous photos while you were gone to make it worthwhile!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2010   #6
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nate42nd View Post
My system wouldn't start today and I tried a "startup repair" to no avail. A system restore to no avail, and an image recovery. The recovery program wouldn't even detect the image on my external eSATA drive. I didn't know what to do. I tried everything I have learned on this site.

I have had an SSD for more than a year and had turned off superfetch, prefetch and a whole bunch of services, modified the pagefile and had programs spread all over 3 drives. I think my Windows install just "gave up"

I ended up doing a clean install and all is well. Luckily I had all data on different drives so I didn't loose much. I just use my SSD for Windows. There may have been a solution, but sometimes.....does one simply have to do a clean install every year or two? I have heard people say this is the case and with all my system mods....I think it was the case with me....especially with my very complicated system mods.

If anyone has experience with this let me know. Thanks.

P.S. I have been away from the forums for far too long. I need to get back to work helping people. Sorry for not being here to help for a few months. I have been busy with photography and video with my new Canon 500D and 7D. It takes all of my time

I too do extensive system mods. I also find a clean install is needed but in my case it is much more frequent. I do a clean install about every three months
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2010   #7
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Once I get everything set here I make a few master images and tuck those away on other drives in case one has a need. I even revise those at times due to the present software configurations in the event a beta for something causes problems.

Some simply can't be reinstalled without buying a new license all over again for each while files are always backed up elsewhere in case a fresh install is in need. I won't be down long for that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #8
gregrocker

 

Hi Nate -

Did you place the Win7 backup image in the root of the drive and make sure it was named WindowsImageBackup and only that - otherwise it won't be detected in my experience.

I am a clean reinstall guy but find that with built-in drive imaging it isn't really necessary if you keep a baseline image - except for fun.

I also strongly believe that tweaks and mods work against you and agree with your theory that they mounted up to bork your System in this case. Win7 is nearly perfectly balanced and only needs regular system settings.

In particular, SuperPrefetch is perhaps the great genius feature of Win7 OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #9
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

The main folder can be renamed even when booted from the 7 dvd for seeing a select image restored. I added the month at the end of "WindowsImageBackup_August" and simply left the user name sub folder unchanged.

Both booted live and while in the CP see the option to browse when not electing to use the first autodetected as the latest. The images are at the root of the two storage drives one intended strictly for images and VHD storage while the latest is also seen on the primary storage drive for ready access.

As far as modding Windows constantly that can lead to more frequent problems without a doubt. Changing themes is not what is meant by this but trying out a ton of speed 'em tweakers and performance optimizer downloads and other ??? will tend to gum up the works at times.

(some even have hidden bugs depending on where they come from!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #10
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

This might be a no-brainer type question. Hope you don't mind. My laptop has a manufacturer's recovery partition that let's me restore my machine to a like new condition. Is this type of install as good as a traditional clean install using an installation disk? (Aside from having to remove the manufacturer's crapware that also gets installed.) Thanks for any advice pro or con. And my apologies if this should be a separate question. If so, I'll delete and repost.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Clean install every year or two?




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