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Alternative to formatting

Hi people,
Excuse my ignorence. I just have a simple question, is there any viable alternative to formatting your hard drive?.
I've had my laptop for 2 years now, but have never formatted ever since buying it. I was thinking,  would a program like Diskeeper 8.0 do the job of making the speed more faster. Or is formatting the only way to go??
Thankyou in advance

Monday, June 7, 2004

Generally, as your install and un-install applications, a lot of extra crap gets left behind.  If it's a well-behaved and/or self-contained application (like a Java Jar file), this effect will be minimized.  If it's one of the billion vb/windows-based apps out there, it's unlikely to behave as well.

Therefore, as long as you have *complete* backups of your data *and* installs for your main applications, it's good to do it every so often.  For Windows boxes, I've heard annually is a good rule of thumb.  I used to do it every six months, but I've grown attached to my current win2k install and will probably keep it until I completely convert to Fedora or Debian Linux.

Monday, June 7, 2004

Regularly scheduled defragmenting, running AdAware/Spybot/etc and more RAM if there's room would probably give you a substantial speed improvement without reformatting.  The RAM would be easy to justify versus a reinstall if you value your time.

I've been abusing an XP machine for 18 months without reformatting and it still seems lively today.

Monday, June 7, 2004

Run a couple  of spyware removal programs like Adaware, SpyBot, or SpySweeper. Also get a registry cleaner like RegistryFixer. They'r not perfect but they usually find a lot of crap to delete.

Tom H
Monday, June 7, 2004

Thanks guys, but have you by any chance used diskeeper?. And would you recommend it?.
Currently, I have the choice between my normal windows defragmenter, Norton Disk Optimizer, or Diskeeper. Any recommendations for which one you find best.?
thanks heaps

Monday, June 7, 2004

At least part of the XP defragmenter was provided by Executive Software, the same people who make Diskeeper.  I've always used the one built into Windows.

Monday, June 7, 2004

Datadocktorn have some instructions. Maybe not that helpful, but funny.

Name required
Monday, June 7, 2004

My home desktop has run W2K for four years without reformatting.

My laptop has run XP for two years without reformatting.

My work desktop has run XP for two years without reformmating (mind you it crashed this morning and gave me an Unmountable boot volume message and it took the sysadmin an hour and a halr to fix, so perhaps it's not that good an example).

If  you install and uninstall a lot then it may get messy, though a defrag should do the trick. Make sure you have loads of memory though - I would recommend 512 MB for a vanilla XP install.

Stephen Jones
Monday, June 7, 2004

In theory no. Personally I just wait until hardware has done a two year leap then upgrade.
My current PC at work is a 2.4Ghz P4 with 1GB of RAM and it runs very nicely (Particularly compared to my previous 1Ghz P3 system). I take the old HD out and stick it in as a second drive so if I forgot to move an app over I'm a happy bunny.
Generally with XP I find defragging gives the best performance boost, you'll need to run it multiple times to get good results, have some more notes on defragging.

Peter Ibbotson
Monday, June 7, 2004

Since when is this "Joel on Customer Support Questions from 1996?"

Monday, June 7, 2004

My zip drive keeps clicking, what should I do?

Mr. Peabody
Monday, June 7, 2004

The individual is asking for feedback, so whats the big deal?. Well Elisa, if Stephen Jones says what he says, then his onto something here :). As he knows his stuff.
I havnt formatted my laptop in 2 and half years, and its still going strong.

Thanks Stephen, now I can rest assured that I wasnt the only one that was not formatting my laptop :)

Dave Levi
Monday, June 7, 2004

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