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Windows 7: Should you re-install Windows every year?

02 Mar 2011   #21
barryware

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
Okay, I can understand that, but restoring from an image is totally different from doing a clean install, as the subject of the thread is about. Actually, restoring an image shouldn't require any additional driver, programs or tweaks, so an hour should be plenty of time.
I understand.. I chimed in as to how I do it to maybe help others..

A clean install from scratch does take me 8 ~ 10 hours. Restoring an image takes about 30 minutes..

My point was that prior to a major update or an app install, I image my boot drive. In the event I am unhappy with the results of the update or app install, I restore the image as opposed to uninstalling the update or app. This way, my machine never gets dirty to the point it will ever require a fresh install. It is always clean and running perfectly.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Mar 2011   #22
Fayla

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1
 
 

I only ever reinstall under the following circumstances: A) Removing pre-installed bloatware B) SP1 failure to install C) System failure / upgrades relating to hardware. Like you I leave my computer on 24/7. On my system drive I have my work programs installed (Photoshop CS2, MS Office 2007, Final Draft V7) and some video / audio programs. All other content is saved to my other hard drives. Of course I keep two system images of the computer.

When it comes to an system image, you should make it when you have all of your CORE software requirements installed. Then you can always restore back to a point before your computer got cluttered. if you're going to restore an image, make sure you choose the image that only has your core software requirements installed. If you don't have such an image, you should make one at that point next time around.

I suppose as long as the system image you do have is in a "working state" then it would be better than the current state (since your installed tweaks are important to you.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2011   #23
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by barryware View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
Okay, I can understand that, but restoring from an image is totally different from doing a clean install, as the subject of the thread is about. Actually, restoring an image shouldn't require any additional driver, programs or tweaks, so an hour should be plenty of time.
I understand.. I chimed in as to how I do it to maybe help others..

A clean install from scratch does take me 8 ~ 10 hours. Restoring an image takes about 30 minutes..

My point was that prior to a major update or an app install, I image my boot drive. In the event I am unhappy with the results of the update or app install, I restore the image as opposed to uninstalling the update or app. This way, my machine never gets dirty to the point it will ever require a fresh install. It is always clean and running perfectly.
That goes back to my original statement...if you can complete all of the facets of doing a clean install in 8-10 hours, you are a better cyberman than me, unless you keep a fairly bare bones OS, with little to install and tweak. I can spend 2 hours, just installing my browser and customizing it exactly the way that I want. When I think about all of the other programs to reinstall and tweak, I shiver at the thought of doing a clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Mar 2011   #24
Rockfella

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

A clean install of 7, tweaking it little bit, installing drivers, ms office and some minor softwares takes about an hour for me. I do it every 20 days or so.... just a habit and because of this i avoid extreme tweaking. 7 can run stable without issues for many months even years if properly maintained unlike XP that used to get slower by time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2011   #25
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Wow...so much unecessary work! First off, a complete full install of Windows 7 takes about 10-15 minutes when using a flash drive. Then, the rest of the driver installs, updates, and software installs will take about 2 hours or so...so if anyone wants to claim that it takes them much longer...it's time to stop overtweaking and get organized.

2 hours just for a browser install and customizing??? So far irrational that it doesn't even need to be commented on.

As others have said, Windows 7 needs very little done to it by default, unless you feel like tweaking things that shouldn't be tweaked.

I see it as breaking down into two options. First, you realize it doesn't take that long to do a clean install, and you learn to organize your necessary drivers and apps so then can be done quickly, and you learn to leave out the needless tweaks. The second option is, if you really need to hide behind the "it takes me too long to do a clean install" view, then you should have a good, prinstine image configured with all of your *ahem* tweaks, read the be reloaded in 30 minutes or so. Right?

How much sense does it make to complain about how long it takes a person to do a clean install, and then not be keeping system images? That's like complaining about getting wet in the rain when you refuse to use an umbrella.

I have two flash drives. One has my combined, all versions both platforms of Windows 7 to handle the install. I have a second flash drive that stores my latest drivers and software. In two hours I can have my full system back up and running, fully configured. The OS customizations take 5 minutes or less, because very little needs to be done to Windows 7 in order to have it run at peak efficiency. Anything more and you are likely degrading performance and risking stability. This 2 hour window covers my home tower, my work tower, and my work laptop, all with much different software configs and set ups. Why make the process longer than it needs to be?

To answer the OP's question, a clean install should be done when nothing else solves the issue, and shouldn't be done on a schedule. This isn't XP and too many people assume it is the same, where it needs to be reloaded or tweaked to run better. My work tower has been running since Windows 7's release on August 6th, 2009, and hasn't needed a reload at all. It's in use for minimum 8 hours a day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2011   #26
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

DeaconFrost,

Quote:
2 hours just for a browser install and customizing??? So far irrational that it doesn't even need to be commented on.
But you did anyway. I could attempt to explain to you why it requires that much time, but it it obvious that you wouldn't understand, so the rational choice is for me to not even try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2011   #27
Wordsworth

Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
 
 

From Win 3.1 to Win 98 I'd clean install every 6 months. Since XP, which always ran solid for me, I clean install with new hardware, a Service Pack, or if they're gremlins running about I don't care to spend anymore time troubleshooting (one instance since XP).

For a clean install, I have Win 7 on a flash drive, and all drivers and applications on another flash drive. No looking through all my boxes and tubs for this or that CD or DVD disk. Quick and organized clean installs I can live with. I do make backups now and then and recently restored one to a new HD only because the Win 7 install was pretty fresh off the older drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2011   #28
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Okay, I use IE, and it is just there. I don't need to configure anything for it, aside of making sure the pop-up blocker is still set to on. Live Mesh Sync brings my Favorites back. If you use an alternative browser, you simply load that, configure any quick plug-ins you might have, and be done with it...it certainly wouldn't take two hours to do that. I typically load Firefox and Chrome so I can test out the website I work on. Even then, I can't possible see how it could take two hours, or how I could ever justify taking that long. Mozilla developers don't take that long to recompile the browser for nightly builds!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2011   #29
barryware

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
That goes back to my original statement...if you can complete all of the facets of doing a clean install in 8-10 hours, you are a better cyberman than me, unless you keep a fairly bare bones OS, with little to install and tweak. I can spend 2 hours, just installing my browser and customizing it exactly the way that I want. When I think about all of the other programs to reinstall and tweak, I shiver at the thought of doing a clean install.
Well actually.. Truth be told, It took me months to get Vista exactly the way I wanted it.. Ran it that way for a few months, then Win7 was released.. I am still tweaking win7 here & there from time to time and have been running it for about 14 months now.. Maybe a little less.

But a clean install, hardware all working, updated, apps installed & updated, a few of the basic tweaks so I can call it "functional", is 8 ~ 10 hours.. Then months of tweaking
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2011   #30
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

As to the original question, this was pretty common through Win98. Since Windows 2000 though, I find I only reinstall on hardware failure or when I get adventurous in testing beta software, and I know the risks I take with that so it bothers me not. Otherwise, I reinstall when I get new hardware (to remove the OEM image), and that's about it.

Further to some of the other recent posts, I spent about 30 days (not kidding) tweaking and setting up a base Windows 7 system the way I wanted it, but I was using MDT to create the install (hence a lot of trial and error on certain fringe things that don't happen right out-of-the-box with MDT). Once I had that done, it was 100% repeatable and I can rebuild a machine in about 1 hour with all my software and tweaks off of a USB key. I used a generic key from product.ini (and an Office install with no product key) so that I could then use that to reinstall on other's machines, which has saved me countless months (quite literally) of time. I don't have to keep a base image - I just use MDT to reinstall for me, exactly the same way, every time. Updating to SP1? Replace the win7 source with an SP1 source, and my next build was Win7 SP1, with all of the same software and tweaks installed the same way as they were on Win7 RTM .
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 Should you re-install Windows every year?




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