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Luc401

How often should you format a computer

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Ive always wondered when you should format a computer because we have some old 5-6 year dells in my house never been formated and there so slow but the specs in them are still pretty decent..Because when you get a new pc like the one im on now its so fast but after 6 months already i already noticed a lag type thing.


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I generally reformat yearly just in case. Sooner if I notice an issue.


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once it crashes or gets infected with lots of viruses i say a year

mine usually gets fatal crash every 6 months and i have to reinstall OS after that

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I only do it when the system starts slowing otherwise I leave it, sometimes it may be every 2-3 years but if I have an issue then I'll format and reinstall.


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Do it when you feel like it. You don't have to if you don't want to unless you have problems already that can be solved by formatting.


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I'm pretty OCD about keeping my install clean, so not that often. Don't really have the need to.

 

Gone are the days of being so OCD about a clean install that I'd format monthly.

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I'm pretty OCD about keeping my install clean, so not that often. Don't really have the need to.

 

Gone are the days of being so OCD about a clean install that I'd format monthly.

Well if you know exactly what's going on and keep everything neat, you don't even need to format :P


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There's really no set "if this happens, reformat" rule.  You reformat when you feel like the OS is performing sluggishly as a result of bloat.

 

If you're not obsessive compulsive about keeping things clean like a lot of us are, you may never need to reformat. :P


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i do it everyother day. 

 

for example:

 

Saturday: wipe HDD and SSD, install Windows

 

Sunday:  install Steam games and misc programs. game for 2hrs

 

Monday: wipe HDD and SSD, install Windows

 

never gotten a virus :D


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once it crashes or gets infected with lots of viruses i say a year

mine usually gets fatal crash every 6 months and i have to reinstall OS after that

This pretty much, that's why I keep OS on SSD and all other files on HDD.


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once it crashes or gets infected with lots of viruses i say a year

mine usually gets fatal crash every 6 months and i have to reinstall OS after that

 

Lol what do you do on your computer that it crashes every 6 months?

 

I honestly think that Windows doesn't need reinstalled ever unless you have a very serious virus problem or an ancient computer with ancient hardware. If you have a SSD, a reinstall is never needed unless the aforementioned happens. Things like TRIM and such keep your computer running like new.


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Lol what do you do on your computer that it crashes every 6 months?

 

I honestly think that Windows doesn't need reinstalled ever unless you have a very serious virus problem or an ancient computer with ancient hardware. If you have a SSD, a reinstall is never needed unless the aforementioned happens. Things like TRIM and such keep your computer running like new.

modding windows UI or hdd gets new bad sectors 

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I will say 1-2 years. I havent formated in a long time but I will when I get my hands on a new Ext HDD. I will not download my 500Gb Steam folder and other stuff again!


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modding windows UI or hdd gets new bad sectors 

 

Interdasting. Never thought of that.


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There's really no set "if this happens, reformat" rule.  You reformat when you feel like the OS is performing sluggishly as a result of bloat.

 

If you're not obsessive compulsive about keeping things clean like a lot of us are, you may never need to reformat. :P

What if I install McAfee? :P


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I format about twice a year just because really....keep things nice and clean.


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What if I install McAfee? :P

Then you should be charged with technology abuse and taken into custody. :lol:


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You don't need to format your computer, as long as you have no viruses or malware that actually infected your system. An anti-virus and anti-malware software can detect these viruses and malware before it infects your system and remove it.

 

But assuming that failed, or wasn't able to detect it in time before you execute it, or be able to fool your security software from early detection, and infects your system: the damage is done. Your anti-virus or anti-malware can remove it, but if it damaged or replaced system files with modified files, you can try a system restore to go back in time, but if that fails (or broke due to the infection), then I am afraid it will have to do a format and re-install.

 

But aside from the above (and significant hardware change that requires it), you don't need to format and re-install:

The sensation that people get from re-installing a perfect computer, is just a placebo effect. In fact, things should run slower after a re-install, as you lost all optimization that Windows did over time (applies to Vista and up). If that is not the case, then usually it's due that you filled the system with crapware, or the HDD is heavily fragmented.

 

So where do it come from? In my opinion, from legacy Windows.. in other words: XP and older, where it didn't actually maintain itself, beside a using a primitive and basic (yes, less good than what we have now) defrag software built-in, which required, by default, to manually execute, and few did regularly. Also, it didn't help that many defrag software were using Windows API codes... so it was a just an interface replacement, pretty much. So the result, was normal that, over time, the computer ran slower over time. And it didn't help that the fact that basic software such a simple web browser for example, where pushing our CPU's a lot, so any performance drop even  few a percentage, was very noticeable. So, format > re-install was done often.

 

Going on a side tangent, so feel free to ignore this bit:

In my opinion, due of having software pushing our computer resources, it built another reflex (I am guilty of this as well), of bashing any basic or essential software (if you will), that consume more system resources than what it did 6 years ago, because it wants to evolve by proving new features and improves its interface, giving us ultimately a better experience. This resulted in software development slow down. As soon as a software does a step to provide a new feature, people freak out because it consumes 5MB more of RAM.

 

A perfect example is our web browser, look at Firefox and Chrome on memory usage, just for an example. Remember when Firefox started to move too fast, this was before Chrome, it started to consume a lot more RAM than normal, to provide us cool features, and imrpovements throuout the software, and people were freakoing out and bashing it?

 

Today, Firefox moves at baby steps, and so all other web browsers, to support the lowest common denominator in computers. To show and example of this: Chrome! Chrome doesn't even support the most basic of features that we have today: color profiles.

Why? Because supporting it, will make Chrome slower to render pages (so faster computer required), and will consume more memory.

 

Even IE supports it. http://petapixel.com/2012/06/25/is-your-browser-color-managed/ But, I don't blame Google. Google has no choice. If they do, people will complain. So they to wait until the last laptop powered by a Pentium M with 512MB of RAM, Intel integrated graphic, and Vista 32-bit on it, somehow running, dies out, so that Google can move forward without people noticing.

 

Anyway, back to topic.

All to say, if your system is ~100%, a format and re-install only give you a placebo effect.

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I'm pretty OCD about keeping my install clean, so not that often. Don't really have the need to.

 

Gone are the days of being so OCD about a clean install that I'd format monthly.

Damnit, I format pretty much monthly. I can't get over it, it's like a curse!


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I don't as I don't have the installation disc.


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