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Windows 7: Format and Reinstall or Repair Install?

04 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Format and Reinstall or Repair Install?

Out of habit from my XP days, and just general cleaning .. I want to clean out W7. I used to format the OS partition and reinstall XP .. but W7 has this Repair Install, and don't know anything about it.

I just want to get rid all of the lil bits of program junk and other uninstalled orphaned files, and possible fix some stuff that might be wrong. Mind you nothing is Broke with my W7.

I am reading up on the Repair Install from the Tuts:

Do a Repair installation if:
  • A System Restore did not help fix your Windows 7.
  • There is no other easier option left that can fix your Windows 7.
  • You DO NOT want to do a Clean reinstall of Windows 7.
  • You DO want to preserve your user accounts, data, programs, and system drivers.

I don't mind doing a Clean Install, I am the only User account, I can reinstall the Programs. But it would be nice to just keep all that.

edit: if I do either, can I backup my Activation at all?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install

If you just want to clean up 7, do neither. Use ccleaner, and you will be up to snuff.
In the future make a system image after an install, then you can just use that original image to reinstall, although still not necessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #3


After your next reinstall, when set up just as you like with all programs, settings, cleaned, defragged - but before corruption has a chance to set in - save a Win7 Backup image externally so you never have to reinstall again, just reimage the Win partition in 15 minutes from booted DVD or Repair CD.
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

You can even place your User files on another partition so that the image is only of your OS and Programs, then when you reimage your data is waiting and current in its own separate partition vault.
User Folders - Change Default Location
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Nov 2010   #4
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello Josh.

Doing a clean install and creating an image would be the way to go; also this tutorial at the link below has some very useful information to optimize the HDD before the install, just make backups of anything you want to save before you start.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hmmm..I've forgotten about about Disk Imaging! I have a small 10GB partition of Linux that I could make the Image with and save to a USB HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Format and Reinstall or Repair Install?

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